There is no distinct right or wrong when it comes to wine tasting. However, there are a few habits or rather rituals that professionals in this field have in common. People looking for tips on how to start drinking wine need to focus on developing a palate and hone their ability to recall a wine. Sounds complicated? The below-given tips will simplify this point and answer the biggest query in this respect – how to drink wine for beginners. Stay with us till the end.
Understand The Significance of Keeping Wine Horizontally: It is the thumb rule of keeping wine safe and sound for years. The reason is that bottles stored in an upright fashion bear a high risk of damage, with time the cork starts drying out, shrinks and gives way to external air that spoils the wine. That’s why all wine cellars have arrangements to store bottles in a horizontal position. However, if you are keeping the bottle with you for a few weeks, you can always store it in any position you want.
Always Wipe The Bottle’s Mouth After Pouring: Always keep a napkin or tissue paper around whenever you are pouring wine. It helps prevent spills and keeps the bottle clean for further use. A common technique followed by sommeliers across the globe.
While Using Wine Opener, Turn The Opener Instead Of The Bottle: One of the most useful tips mentioned under what to know about wine for beginners by experts is that while opening unopened bottles with a corkscrew, it is the corkscrew that needs to be rotated and not the bottle. It doesn’t matter how tempted you feel to turn the bottle, it is amateurish and unacceptable among pros.
Polish The Wine Glasses: This tip goes not just for sommeliers but all those who wish to host or participate in wine tasting events. Many people overlook the importance of a clean and clear glass which may interfere with the aroma and taste of the wine. Always check the glass for detergent smells, spots, and dust from the cabinet before serving wine in it.
Avoid Pouring Too Much In One Go: While pouring wine in an empty glass, it is important to know the right volume that needs to be poured. Normally, it is suggested to never fill the glass more than its two-third level. It leaves the guest with an option to choose if they want more or wish to settle with the first serve. Wine glasses are specifically shaped to focus on the aroma emanated by the wine and overfilling just kills that effect.
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Smell The Wine Before Tasting: You may have noticed this in several movies and TV shows, and experts suggest the same. The wine is smelled before tasting because our sense of smell is far sharper than our sense of taste. Even when we are drinking or chewing something in our mouth, much of its perception comes from our nose rather than our taste buds. Therefore, for a better experience try to sniff the wine before taking the first sip.
Take Small Sips And Savour The Taste: The answer to how to start drinking wine is that it should always be sipped in small quantities and savoured in the mouth before being gulped. Run the liquid over your tongue to taste the range of flavors present in it. You can take medium to large sips depending on your liking but try to keep it on your tongue for a few seconds first. It maximizes the experience as well as the taste of the wine and lets the taste settle down in our memory.
Note The Colour Of The Wine: If you are new, it might be good to hold the glass before a white wall or background. The colour of wine gives a clue of its age. Normally, white wines gain colour with age while red wines lose their colour intensity. Therefore, if you come across a red wine with a sharp colour know that it is relatively new. An old red wine will be tawny brown or burgundy in colour. Nevertheless, wines are fun to look at irrespective of their age.
How To Drink White Wine For Beginners: White wine is a versatile drink that goes well with various dishes like pasta, chicken, and seafood. It is suggested to chill it for 30-45 minutes before serving. The best you can do is refrigerate it as you start cooking the meal and take it out when the food is ready to be served. Remember the rule of thumb – lighter the wine cooler needs to be the temperature. Also, it is important to use the right kind of glass and select the type of white wine that goes with a particular meal. White wines are normally sipped in narrow glasses that are held from stem to keep the wine cool.
How To Drink Red Wine For Beginners: Red wine is classified according to how heavy it feels in the mouth. Wine connoisseurs specify 12 varietals of red wine body types according to its heaviness in the mouth. Red wine is usually served in wider glasses. They can either be full-bodied or medium-bodied or light-bodied reds. Here is a summarized description of the three:
Full-Bodied Red Wine: Petite Sirah, Shiraz, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Medium-Bodied Red Wine: Barbera, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.
Light-Bodied Red Wine: St. Laurent, Lambrusco, Beaujolais, and Pinot Noir.
Wine is an acquired taste and therefore its description varies from person to person. If you really wish to become a pro, you must try tasting as many different wines as possible and discover which one feels lighter to your tongue and goes well with your taste preferences. Above all, it is an experience that needs to be enjoyed and treasured so make sure you don’t miss that part.