Can’t seem to catch a break when you buy a bottle of wine? Tired of your friends and passer-by sommeliers making fun of you because you just can’t seem to pick a winner?
Maybe you’re choosing great wines, but just not serving them the right way?
Here are 4 tips to help you get the most out of that next bottle:
Wines can be fussy and temperamental on a good day and need to be at the right temperature to be at their best. The temp you serve them at will affect their overall aroma, taste and perceived freshness.
Wines served too warm can taste unbalanced, flat and highly alcoholic. Wines served too cold can be considerably muted in flavor and aroma.
- When drinking wines that need to be kept warmer, try cupping your hands around the body of the glass as your swirl
- When drinking wines that need to be kept cooler, always hold the glass by the stem to avoid warming them up too quickly
Below are suggested temperature ranges for wines by type:
Tart, bright white wines: 48-53 °F
Rich white wines, like an aged Chardonnay: 54-58 °F
Light red wines: 58-62 °F
Heavy red wines: 63-65 °F
Wines are typically always improved with the introduction of air. It helps open up and release its flavors and aromas.
Don’t just remove a cork/cap and let it sit in the bottle without pouring any of it out. You need increased surface area to properly induce air. If you want to leave it in the bottle to aerate that’s fine, just make sure you pour out about ½ of it to create some room in there for the wine to breathe
You don’t need a fancy decanter, or aeration/pouring device to add air to your wine. A simple glass container, pitcher, jar etc to pour it into will do just fine. Again the key is increased surface area to allow more air to make contact with your wine
A good general rule of thumb: the more tannins a wine has the more time it will need to aerate. Lighter-bodied reds have lower tannin levels so will need little if any time to breathe. Young wines with strong tannins will need more time to breathe. We like to let most wines sit for 10-15 minutes before drinking
We’re certainly not one’s for formality, heck, drink it straight from the bottle if that’s your style, but here’s why a great glass can make a difference:
Shape The shape of a wine glass dictates surface area which influences the amount of air that can be introduced into a wine. Air affects the overall flavor, aroma and presentation that you experience
Rim The shape and thickness of the rim can also play a part in your experience, directing the wine to specific parts of the tongue with different taste sensitivities
Diameter The diameter of the glass opening can concentrate or expand the amount of aroma or bouquet that rises
- Go big if you can (20 ounces or more) – A large bowl gives that small pour plenty of room to breathe. Plus you want lots of room to swish and swirl
- Pick clear glass – You want to see the wine and excite all your senses. A thin glass is better than thick glass: you want to taste the wine not the glass and thick stemware can get heavy
- Long stem – Comfort is important and maximizes enjoyment
- Slight inward curve at the top – Helps to focus the aromas