First of many Wine Tips: Wine enjoyment begins long before you take your first sip of wine. It starts in the wine shop.
White Wine Tips
- Wine Tips: When you purchase a white wine it needs to have a nice pleasing color in the bottle. Watch for cloudiness at bottom of the bottle which indicates the wine is breaking down. The clarity of the wine needs to look clean. If cloudy or if the wine color is off (too gold or dark) be cautious on your first sniff and sip.
- Wine Tips: While at the store a easy way to tell if the wine is old or going bad is to compare the color of the wine to other similar wines on the shelf.
- Wine Tips: The white wine needs to be chilled to the proper wine temperature. (40-43 degrees)
- Wine Tips: White wine does not need to be open before you are ready to use it but I suggest it.
- Wine Tips: Dont’ be afraid to use a wine aerator. Difference won’t be a great as in red wine but…
- Wine Tips: Pour the wine and again look at the wine in the glass. Nice fresh, pleasant, clear looking color and clarity. Make sure no bits of cork ended up in the glass.
- Wine Tips: Stick your nose in the wine. Smell the aroma of the grapes and the bouquet of the wine. Pleasant? Interesting? Can you pick up any other smells?
Take A Sip…..
Take a small sip and pull it across your tongue and swish it around your mouth. On the back of the tongue is the acidity high -medium – low? On front of tongue did you taste any sugar? Is the overall taste – pleasant – like it – don’t like it? Is the white wine temperature correct – warmer or colder?
Red Wine Tips
- Wine Tips: When you purchase a red wine it needs to have a nice pleasing color in the bottle. It is hard to see if the wine is breaking down when it’s in the bottle and dark red. While in the store hold the bottle up towards a bright light to give you a clue about the clarity of the red wine. Should be clean looking with no particles floating. A lot of sediment ends up on the bottom by the indentation of the bottom of the bottle, called a punt. I don’t usually buy these old wines because the wines were probably not stored right.
- Wine Tips: When pouring the wine, if it seems cloudy or the wine color is off (muddy looking) be cautious on your first sniff and sip
- Wine Tips: The red wine needs to be served at the proper wine temperature. (60-65 degrees)
- Wine Tips: Let red wine breathe! Most red wines will improve some if open before you are ready to use it. (min 1 hour). That being said, for a wine to improve it has to be in the bottle to begin with. You can also decant the wine which helps the wine breathe by getting air into the wine.
- Wine Tips: Don’t be afraid to use a wine aerator on a red wine. This is a great way to let red wine breathe. Improves about 90% of the wines I drink.
- Wine Tips: Look at the wine. Is the color a light red, ruby red, or inky red, etc. How is the clarity? Make sure no bits of cork ended up in the glass.
- Wine Tips: Sniff the wine. Nice fresh, pleasant, what smells can you pick up? Green pepper, chocolate, wood, earth?
Take a Sip…
Take a small sip and pull it across your tongue and swish it around your mouth. On front of your tongue did you taste any sugar? On the sides of your mouth did you feel a dryness from the tannin? How is the wine temperature? The overall taste – pleasant – like it – don’t like it?
One of the most important wine tips for many of us, wine is an enjoyment to have with friends and/or with a meal. We don’t want to swirl it, talk about it for hours or score it. We just want enjoyment from the taste. And like the salesperson said to me years ago – wine is an opinion so when it comes to wine, the most important fact is do you like it or not. Wine is for enjoyment!
Wine Tips: I suggest to many wine beginners to have food with their wine as most wine makers have blended the wine to go with food. Once your palate becomes accustomed to a wine you can use it as more or less as a beverage. So don’t be afraid to start out with some cheese and crackers then continue with the wine right into dinner.
Wine Tips: Storing Wine
So you have found some wines you would like to purchase. Where to store them? Wine has some natural enemies; heat, light, vibrations, and air. Most of us don’t have cellars to store wine but a cool basement will offer the proper wine temperature. There is storing and aging wine. Storing is just keeping your wine a short time frame. Again you need to be concerned about keeping the wine away from heat, out of sunlight, not in a location where a lot of vibration is felt from people walking, (like under a stairway) and the wine needs to be laid down or stored upside down in a wine box. I have the bottom of a dark closet set up with two boxes, one for whites and one for reds. I store the bottles upside down which keeps the cork wet and the air out.
Wine Tips: Buying Wine to Age
Once in a while I will find a value wine within my price range that I feel will improve with a little age. I try to buy 4 to 6 bottles of this wine. Look for a place that the wine temperature is cool and consistent, out of light and away from vibrations. The thing to remember is, it has to be in the bottle to begin with. I go by my palate. For me the wine needs to be higher in tannin and a little higher alcohol content, more around 13%. At the time I lay it down I take some of the bottles and put dates on the back label in pencil. I date each wine at six month intervals. I then get to taste the wine every six months and rate it. I adjust the dates to be longer or shorter depending on what my palate is telling about the wine. I normally lay down 4 to 6 of the same wines at a time. This takes me down the road 2 years or so. I have found that medium priced wines don’t improve much past the 2 to 5 year time span.
Another great section is the Pairing Wine with Food
Wine Aerator Tips
A wine aerator will effectively speed up and streamline the aeration process
If you were to ask any wine expert as to the various steps that are required to be fulfilled before wine is deemed worthy for consumption, then one issue they would invariably flag is the need to ensure that the wine has been allowed to decant for a period of time. Unfortunately, this is invariably a fairly long and tedious process and so for those of us who are impatient and who are eager to enjoy our wine sooner rather than later, then this can be a fairly obnoxious issue.
Decanting the wine is used in order to enable it allow to “breathe” more easily and this has been reported as ensuring a much more delicious, fulsome and delicate flavour to the wine. Decanting simply means that the wine has been exposed to a source of air so as to allow the chemical process of aeration to properly take place.
If you are a wine drinker, would like to be able to maximise the true potential of your wine collection and yet, suffer from petulant impatience, then a wine aerator is the thing for you. Designed to provide wine lovers the best of both worlds,it will effectively speed up and streamline the aeration process.
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