It’s no secret that man and alcohol have always had an affair, but wine can be an intimidating mistress. Most men do not know how to approach wine; even scotch with its mouthful names is somehow easier. Well good news is, all you need is information to approach wine with something like confidence.
Here are a few things you have to know when it comes to wine:
What wine “body” means.
You’ve probably heard of people talking about a wine’s body using words like “light,” “medium,” and “full,” They’re referring to how thick the wine actually feels on your tongue.
To fully understand this, think about the difference between swishing skim milk, whole milk, and heavy cream in your mouth. That’s the ideal way to differentiate between a light, medium, or full-bodied red wine.
White wines however don’t adhere to that milk analogy. When you understand that body is a feeling, not a flavor, you’ll find it easier to identify a wine’s body type the next time you take a sip.
Helpful hack: Restaurant wine lists are often ordered from lightest to fullest body type.
Why you should let your wine breathe?
When you pop pen a bottle of wine, oxygen flows into the bottle and changes how the wine tastes.
This is called “decanting” the wine, or letting it breathe.
Giving full-bodied red wines some time to breathe (anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours) improves their flavor. (White wines aren’t decanted.)
Helpful hack: If you open the bottle and the wine tastes a little too sharp or edgy, let it sit for a couple minutes, you may notice that it tastes better. Some fine wines may take longer, even up to a few hours to fully “open up”. So if you’re planning on treating guests to something kickass, you may need to open it long before they arrive.
What does a wine’s “Vintage” mean?
A wine’s “vintage” is simply the year in which it was bottled. A classic mistake many wine novices make is assume if they’re holding two bottles of the same wine from different vintages, the older wine will be better.
That’s not necessarily true: More people are drinking wine today than 20 years ago, so to keep up winemakers are mass producing wines with methods that ensure they’re delicious right when they’re released.
Helpful hack: Some pricey wines are still made to be aged, but most bottles will taste best if you pop the cork today or in the next few months.
Why you should swirl your wine?
Ever see people spin and swirl wine around in their glass before taking a sip? Looks pretentious right? Well it has its purpose. If you don’t swirl, you might as well buy the cheapest wine on the list. Swirling helps release the wine’s aroma, and that’s where a lot of the flavor comes from.
Helpful hack: To swirl the wine, grab your wine glass by the base of the stem with your index finger and thumb. Now pretend you’re drawing small circles (gently) with it on the tabletop.
How to identify wines from around the world.
Most wines are identified by the type of grape used to make them, but European wines are classified by region, not grape type. For instance, Bordeaux and Rioja are regions in France and Spain, respectively.
Helpful hack: Europe has many, many wine regions that take time to master. It’s easier to figure out which grapes you like for example in the U.S., then ask your waiter for something from Italy or France that’s similar to the grape you know and like.
Well there you have it, now chill out and enjoy your delicious glass of wine