Ever since humans discovered the winemaking process, this healthy beverage has been the object of obsession and, for some, the source of divine inspiration. Martin Luther called it “a drink made by God.” Ernest Hemingway described wine as “one of the most civilized things in the world.” Andre Simon said that “wine makes every meal an occasion.”
Obviously, enjoying such a pristine beverage should never be a habit or some side activity. It is a form of art and should be treated as such. If you are still inexperienced in the matter, here are a couple of guidelines that will make you an oenophile in no time.
Choose the right wine for the right occasion
As sublime as wine may be, not every variety is the best suited for every social setting. The level of enjoyment you’ll ultimately get will greatly depend on your ability to find the right match. Let’s go through some of the most important mentions:
White wines – Due to their lightness and dryness, white wines are perfect for starting a social occasion on the right foot. They also produce a very pleasant impact when served immediately before the main course.
Red wines – Since they are far heavier than white wines, red wines should be reserved for the main course and served during the latter parts of a social gathering.
Rose wines – Rose wines are very light and breezy. Therefore, they are best suited for more casual settings.
Champagne – Too sparkling to be used as the main beverage, champagne makes an irreplaceable ingredient to any serious celebration.
Choose the right wine for the right dish
The other important skill you need to learn is the craft of matching the wines with different meals. Here are a couple of guidelines you should follow:
Choose the type of wine that will add flavor to the meal and not override it. Sweet wines are well paired with sweet meals.
The heavier meals with red meat go hand in hand with heavier wines like red wine. Accordingly, white wine is compatible with lighter meals like fish.
The crisp wines are good appetizers and therefore should be served before meals, followed by white or red wine during the course (depending on the dish). Sweet wines should be reserved for dessert.
Develop your taste
The previous two requirements are exactly that – requirements. If you want to be perceived as a wine expert and truly become one, you will need to continue to take active steps to develop your taste. How can you do that? Well, step one – start ordering mixed wine cases online. The variety of bottles will push you out of the comfort zone and give your brain something new to chew. Also, research the history of wine. This is the only way you will be able to recognize and appreciate all the nuances of this beverage.
Master the art of serving
Now that we’ve covered the theoretical knowledge, it’s time to start developing your wine-handling skills. A proper wine lover should be aware of the following things:
Red wine features the best taste when cooled down to 53 °F – 69 °F. In the case of white wine and sparkling wine, these numbers are 44 °F – 57 °F and 38 °F – 45 °F respectively.
The glassware makes all the difference. Generally speaking, full-bodied wines offer the best taste when served in slightly larger glasses. In the case of red wine, the more generous the dimensions are, the better – the wine needs to breathe. Lighter, fruitier wines can be served in smaller glasses.
Opening a bottle of wine is a small ritual – professional sommeliers always cut the foil at the bottom lip, and poke the cork slightly off the center. Also, the corkscrew should be left at least one screw away from going all the way in. Breaking the cork is considered impolite.
We hope these few guidelines will set you on the right track and ignite your passion for good wine. Of course, all the things we covered are still considered pretty basic and in order to become a proper oenophile, you will need to start making your own beverage. But, every journey starts with one step, and the adventure ahead of you couldn’t be more exciting.