We understand: there is most likely no wrong way to drink wine. But are you getting the most out of that glass? We compiled the six common errors you might be committing – and how to correct them, so you make the most of a good bottle.
Serving Red Wine Too Warm and White Wine Too Cold
Don’t be afraid to serve wine at the appropriate temperature. Reds are frequently served too warm and whites too cold, resulting in a loss of the wine’s complexity and aromas. Red wines should be served chilled, ideally between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius.
White wines should be served at temperatures ranging from 8 to 12 degrees. Here’s how to get them there: Place a bottle of red in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before opening; remove a bottle of white from the refrigerator 20 minutes before opening. (Sparkling wines can be stored and served cold, at 5 to 10 degrees Celsius.)
Holding a Wine Glass by the Bowl
Hold a wine glass by the stem. This will keep your hand’s heat from undoing all of your efforts to get the wine to the proper temperature and warming it up too quickly.
Swirling Too Much
Swirl the wine in your glass a little to open up the wine and let the aromas flood out, says wine expert Mark Oldman. But doing it too much will oxidise the wine too much, ruining it and making it taste bitter.
Not Letting It Breathe
Decanters serve a purpose other than decoration. Pouring a bottle of red or white wine into a decanter accomplishes two things: The process begins by removing the sediment. While older red wines are perfectly fine to drink, the small particles aren’t exactly the most appetizing things to consume.
Second, decanting aerates the wine, allowing more flavors and aromas to emerge. Have you ever enjoyed the taste of a wine a day or two after you opened it? That’s aeration in action. In general, full-bodied, younger reds can be decanted for an hour before serving. Decanting time for older, more delicate wines is approximately 30 minutes.
Pouring Too Much Wine in a Glass
When you’re hosting a party or enjoying a glass at home, it’s easy to get carried away and overfill your glass. Don’t make this rookie mistake. We’re not saying you can’t have a second glass of wine, but smaller pours will allow you to fully appreciate each glass – and each sip.
Simply pour the wine to the widest part of the glass. This allows the greatest surface area for your wine to aerate while you swirl it.
If you don’t feel comfortable swirling wine mid-air, you can always place the glass on a surface and make small circles with your hand.
Storing Wine in Warm Places
Yes, even before you’re ready to drink your vino, temperature matters. Some wine newbies will store wine on the countertop, near a window, or worst of all, on top of the refrigerator.
We’re not saying that you need to invest in a fancy wine cooler in order to enjoy a glass of wine. We’re simply suggesting that you find a cool, dark place with a relatively consistent temperature to store bottles that are waiting to be opened.
The back of a closet is a good place to keep unopened bottles. It’s usually the darkest part of the house and doesn’t experience drastic temperature changes. The back of the pantry is also an excellent location. Remember to store wine on its side before opening it to avoid drying out the cork. However, once opened, store wine upright to reduce the amount of surface area exposed to oxygen.
If you’ve made any of these common wine mistakes, don’t worry – this is a judgement-free zone. However, by correcting these errors, you will be able to fully enjoy your wine.