The world of wine is one of intrigue, class, and discovery. Some find it a snooty place, where how much you know about wine is more important than your willingness to use your senses and explore. That's simply not true! Don't let anyone intimidate you out of loving this drink of the gods. If one of these days, you do encounter a wine snob, put them in their place with these 5 tips for enjoying wine – the classy way. ;)
1. Choose the right glass.
You might not have every glass on the chart (and nor should you, if you ask me), but remember the basics: red wine is served in larger, bell-shaped glasses while white and rosé belong in their smaller counterparts.
2. Hold your glass like a pro.
Grip your glass by the stem, close to the base. This is how professional wine tasters hold their glasses, to avoid warming their perfectly-chilled wine with the heat of their hands.
3. Decant, then imbibe.
It's true: decanters make every red wine taste better. Especially super-affordable wine (okay, cheap wine – let's be real about my budget). Even a quick 10 minutes of aeration can make a difference. It's an easy way to get rid of slightly "off" smells, like the rotten egg smell of sulfer (which, take note, doesn't mean the wine has gone bad – it's just a testament to the presence of a harmless compound known as thiol). For the full decanting experience, let wine sit in an open glass pitcher or container for 30-45 minutes before drinking.
4. Open the bottle like a sommelier.
Cut the foil below the lip. This is a tradition left over from the time when the foil was made of lead, apparently. And remember when using a corkscrew to enter the cork slightly off center – keep the spiraling trajectory of the opener in mind.
5. Temperature is everything.
Remember: red wine should be just a touch cooler than room temperature, while anything lighter you'll want to drink chilled. And hey, isn't wine more refreshing that way, anyway?
My last tip is this: never tell a French bartender you'd like an ice cube in your glass of dry rosé. I did that, and was subsequently treated to a 30 minute lecture and a whole lot of stink eye. Yeah. So don't worry – you probably won't fail as hard as I did. Just remember these tips, stick your nose high in the air, and flaunt your newfound air of superiority!
P.S. A big thank you to Wine Folly for the tips!