Wine seems to be the only drink that can make you look both classy and sophisticated, as well as a complete moron. There are also a lot of things to know about wine, but you don't have to become a sommelier to pass yourself off as knowledgeable.
For new wine drinkers, trying to navigate the vast world of wine can be intimidating. Oenophiles and wine experts are notorious for unnerving novices with technical terms and rules. While you may scoff at such arrogance, keep in mind that all you need to drink wine appropriately is to be eager and curious to try new things.
Still, it never hurts to have a few handy wine tasting tips and techniques on hand. With all that in mind, consider this your how-to guide for drinking wine like a pro.
Try Taking a Class
Wine class is a dream come true if you're a nerd who adores studying. Even if you don't intend to pursue a wine career, taking an introductory class will provide you with some life skills that will allow you to learn more about the wine you're drinking!
You can simply attend online classes or take a WSET level 2 test which is ideal for beginners who wish to evaluate their wine knowledge. It is a basic to an intermediate-level qualification that focuses on wines and is appropriate for both industry professionals and wine lovers. However, taking a WSET level 2 practice test before taking the real exam will be wise because it will help you better prepare yourself.
Learn the Language
Wine has its own language. Therefore, to learn the essentials before discussing this wonderful beverage with others. For example, the term "smell" shall never be used to describe wine's aroma.
Red wine's dry, puckery texture is caused by tannins, an astringent component. A "dry" wine is generally unsweetened, which is also known as "Brut" in sparkling wines. The vintage date refers to the year in which the grapes were picked.
Wine Should be Stored Horizontally
Corks shrink as they dry out, causing air leaks and deterioration when bottles are kept upright. Protect your wine on its side to keep the corks from drying out. Corks are better able to maintain their seal if there is liquid in the bottle to keep them wet.
Horizontal storage is preferable for long-term storage, but it is not necessary if you want to store the bottle for a few weeks. If you are looking how to build your own wine cellar, we have a comprehensive guide on how to get it made!
Turn the Wine Opener
Although it may seem like a good idea to have your other hand free to rotate the bottle while inserting the corkscrew, this is a bad idea. Professionals are trained to keep the bottle motionless and spin the wine opener so that the label remains stationary for easy reading.
Your Wine Glasses Should Be Polished
This is an essential and sometimes overlooked procedure. However, it makes a significant difference in the pleasure of wine when seen through clean glass. While polishing, you may also examine your glasses for any lingering detergent scents or dust from the cabinet.
Remember that you do not want to overfill an empty glass of wine from a bottle. A wine glass should never be filled with more than two-thirds of its volume.
Give Your Glass the Attention It Deserves
How you hold your wine glass says a lot about your level of expertise.
Holding a wine glass by the goblet instead of the stem is an obvious rookie mistake if you want to appear suave. However, in this way, the wine is kept at the ideal temperature for a longer time, ensuring that it remains as delightful as possible. And don't forget to put your pinky finger away! It's the mother of all warning signs, exposing wine newcomers everywhere, and it's about as graceful as a pig on ice.
Smell the Wine before Drinking
Always start your wine tasting experience by inhaling the aromas. The human nose is significantly more sensitive compared to our taste senses. Even when we are fully immersed in the wine, most of the taste and scent that we experience comes from our noses. You can enhance the flavour of your wine by smelling it before each sip.
Take a Sip of Your Wine and Savour It
Drinking wine like water will only cover a portion of your tongue, so you will not be able to appreciate the entire spectrum of tastes. Sips of medium to large size should be held in the mouth for at least 10 seconds before swallowing. After sipping a drink, I occasionally keep it in my mouth for a whole thirty seconds or so. The wine's tastes and fragrances will overpower your senses, allowing you to enjoy every last drop.
While Kraft-American singles would not work in this case, various other cheeses will match your wine well. Don't know which one to get? Fortunately, the Internet is full of resources that will happily instruct you on how to select the best cheese to complement your wine of choice. Isn't it true that any excuse to eat more cheese is a good thing?
When in Doubt, Decant!
Are you throwing a dinner party and want to avoid looking like a wine-obsessed moron? Then you're going to need some props. Specifically, those made of wine.
If you're drinking red wine, decant it into a wine decanter first to allow it to breathe. And, decanting can improve the taste of even the most inexpensive wines, so you'll be doing everyone a favour!
Do you want to sound more knowledgeable? You know what they say about faking it 'til you make it. And until you do, you should be able to wing your way through wine like a pro.
Looking for more guides to level-up your skills as a foodie? Check out Instagram @honestfoodtalks to learn new things about the unending world of food and drinks!