What makes a good bottle of wine? For enthusiasts, this is a question that calls upon the use of a decanter, like this one. However, if you are just getting started with wine then you might find cork-sniffing a bit too pretentious. You soon appreciate this as a skill that is necessary when you appreciate the psychology, biology, and chemistry that goes into wine making. Even if you don’t, it pays to learn how to drink wine like a pro the correct way because after all, you paid for it.
The Basics to Drink Wine the Correct Way
Wine is mostly made from grapes, but these are not the same ones you will find at the grocery store. By the way we’re curious, do you like green or red grapes better?
Wine grapes are much smaller and come with thicker skins. The grapes are sweeter and contain seeds. There are more than 1,300 varieties of wine grapes planted for commercial wine production. Though there are thousands of grape varieties, 75% of the world’s vineyards cultivate about 100 varieties. The most popular among the grape varieties is the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Choosing the Right Kind of Wine
There are many people with a lot of views about wine and its consumption and many more still don’t know the first thing about wine. If you find yourself in the second lot, then you need not panic in social settings. Firstly, you shouldn’t order the first foreign item you hear. You may think that you are in the mood for a Cabernet Sauvignon from France when your palate is in the mood for something from a different region. At this point, you are better off with either New-World or Old-World wines.
European wines are commonly referred to as the Old-World wines and have an earthier taste. New World wines are wines from other parts of the world and often have a fruitier taste.
Embrace All Your Senses
A major aspect of studying the profile of a wine is identifying smells. This requires that you improve your sense of smell by taking in more of the smells in your surroundings. The smells in your glass of wine allow you to identify the different chemicals in the wine. You are not expected to know the chemicals by name, so these comparisons come in handy when placing the wine.
There are plenty of examples of this, such as how pyrazines smell like bell peppers in a Cabernet Sauvignon. Thiols give the wine a fruity smell and also give off a smell like a cat pee. Rieslings and Muscats have a fruity smell that is attributed to the presence of terpenes. All these are unleashed when you swirl the glass. By tilting it, you give yourself a wider surface area to stick the tip of your nose as you smell the chemicals. Become more aware of the smells in your surroundings and you will have most of the work done in identifying the wine.
Are you overwhelmed by how complex drinking wine correctly can be now? It’s okay, everyone starts somewhere right?
Allow Wine to Sit in Your Mouth for a Bit
Taste the wine and let it sit in your mouth for a little while (not too long though). As a result, you can identify the flavor. When it comes to wine, the flavor comes from its taste as well as the smell. The flavor is not just about what you taste but also what you hear, see and feel. That is to say, this is the part about wine drinking that makes it the full-bodied experience it is.
The tongue picks up tastes in more complex ways than your kindergarten teacher told you. In one sip, you can identify a host of things such as salts, sugars, acids with sour tastes and many more.
To get a full taste of the wine and get it to engage with your senses and buds, suck some air in with the wine sitting on your tongue. Don’t lean back. It should produce a gurgling sound, usually very low and barely audible. Consequently, this will push some of the most volatile compounds of the wine into the receptors behind the nose.
This is how you drink wine the correct way. If you like the taste, you can proceed to swallow and take more. If the wine is not what you wanted and you don’t like how it tastes, just spit it out. There is a way to spit so that you don’t look off-putting as you do it. This takes time to master, but all you need to know is that you have to spit out with confidence.
Things You shouldn’t Do When Drinking Wine
Don’t Get Fancy with the Descriptions
You probably expect a professional to apply all sorts of hard-to-pronounce words in their description of the wine. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Do not bother to overthink your descriptions in a bid to sound like you know your stuff. Wine speak is much simpler and you can describe wines the same way you do people. A particular type of wine can be simple, friendly, easy-going, over the top, mellow or anything else you can think of when sizing up a person. It is easier to describe a wine than you think.
Don’t Rinse Your Glass
There is no need to rinse your glass when switching from one wine to another. This will only dilute your wine, which is worse than having a few drops of a different wine mixed in.
Don’t Chill the Whites too Long
A wine that is too cold loses the aromatic elements as they become deadened by the low temperatures. The lighter-bodied ones can be chilled to 500F. Full-bodied ones don’t need that much chilling. This also goes for bubbly wines.
As you might be aware after reading this article, there is a lot that goes into proper wine drinking habits. There are wines for different seasons as well as meals and occasions. That said, wine is grape juice that has gone bad. There are times when the notes and scents will remind you of places you have not been to for a while, and that is the beauty of it.
Now that you know how to drink wine the correct way, what’s the next wine you are going to taste? Let us know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading! Check out some additional Wine on My Time articles and enhance your wine knowledge! Check out Beginner Wines You Need to Try, What is the Best Wine for Weddings, or How to Cork Wine Correctly. And the best part of the article, bottoms up! We’ll uncork ya later!! 🍷