How to Drink Wine Properly
This guide will elevate your wine-drinking experience by revealing pro tips used by wine lovers and industry professionals alike. Along with learning how to drink wine properly, we'll cover aspects of investing in fine wine including different types of stemware and wine accessories.
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Wine is more than a drink; it’s an experience, and the temperature at which you serve it, how you present it, and how you taste it makes a world of difference. Wine might be a complicated topic, but it’s easy to enjoy! Here’s what you need to know about the proper way to drink all types of wine.
Picking the Right Wine
Choosing the right wine goes a long way. Wine professionals always seem to know just the bottle to pop open on every occasion. So, what’s their secret? Wine comes in several styles, and although they’re equally enjoyable, each is best suited for specific occasions.
Red wine is bold and fruity; it can be textural as well. Although think-skinned varietals like Pinot can get away with it, most red wine is best suited for cold weather, cozy evenings, and wholesome dinners.
On the other hand, except for oak-aged Chardonnay, white wine is much more enjoyable when it’s warm outside. White wine has higher acid, which makes it refreshing.
Treat rosé like white wine—it’s a lovely stand-alone wine style best enjoyed when entertaining in the backyard. You also get those lovely red berry scents typical of red wine!
Sparkling wine is celebratory, and popping open a bottle of fizz can turn a reunion into a party. Still, sparkling wine is also food compatible and very versatile, so there’s no wrong time to drink bubbles.
Orange wine is the new kid on the block, despite being a wine style similar to what people drank thousands of years ago! Orange wine is not for everyone, as it is often oxidized and a bit funky. This is the type of wine you serve when you want to impress someone, especially if they’re into wine.
Choosing the Right Wine Glass and Food Pairing
Once you have chosen a wine style, you must serve it in the proper stemware and pair it with the appropriate meal. How to drink wine like a pro? Get this right, and you’ll be on the right path.
Drinking wine is all about the wine glasses used. The best glasses for red wine are large and have plenty of swirling space. White wine glasses should be smaller unless you’re dealing with a very expressive oak-aged white.
High-end wine glasses are more expensive than regular ones but enhance your drinking experience. Grassl Glass or Zalto wine glass — are excellent examples of stemware designed to bring out the best of every wine.
Grassl Wine GlassesGrassl 1855, for example, has a stunning 230mm (about 9.06 in) height, 110mm (about 4.33 in) width, and a 70mm (about 2.76 in) mouth opening — this is where you serve bold Cabernets and spicy Syrah. On the other hand, a delicate
Grassl Glass Mineralité is smaller and can handle crisp white wines while preventing them from getting too warm — the wine glass matters.
As for the food, we’ll talk about pairings in detail some other time, but know that universal food and wine pairings don’t exist—we all like different things! Although pairing red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat and seafood is an excellent place to start, there’s much room for experimentation. Find the right pairings for you!
Wine Service: The Basics
Even if you have the right stemware and selected the perfect bottle for the occasion, serving the wine properly is the difference between having a good time and a great one. Wine service matters, and professional sommeliers know it. You can make an average bottle of red taste like glory if you treat it right! So, where to start?
How to Pour Wine 101
Don’t over-pour! What’s the right amount of wine? A standard wine glass should contain five ounces of wine, less than half its total capacity. And if you keep your open wine bottle on hand, even smaller pours are preferred. Pour as you go; never let your wine warm up too much.
The wine’s temperature is essential, and although we all like our wine differently, you want to serve red wine between 10-16°C (50-61°F). The bolder the wine, the warmer you should serve it. For white wine, fridge temperature of 4°C (39°F) is an excellent place to start, but you want to serve more complex whites closer to 10°C (50°C).
Is Decanting Wine Necessary?
Traditionally, crystal decanters are used to separate well-aged wine from its deposits. These solids precipitate into the bottom of the bottle after months and years in a dim-lit cellar. Luckily, wine with sediments is rare, so you’ll never have to pour wine from the bottle into a decanter with a lit candle below the neck.
Still, decanters have other uses—they aerate the wine, volatilizing its aromatic compounds, effectively making it more fragrant and pleasing. Decant red, white, and rosé. Every wine, young or old, can benefit from a bit of oxygen. Grassl Glass and Zalto wine glasses offer beautiful decanters that can excite your wine service.
Don’t Drink It, Taste It!
Once you’ve selected the wine, stemware, meal, and poured it at the right temperature, it’s time to taste it.
Drinking wine is not the same thing as tasting it. Tasting involves all your senses. So, what’s the purpose of tasting wine? Tasting wine allows you, first, to assess the wine’s quality. Second, to unravel its mysteries.
Taste wine using standard wine-tasting techniques, and you’ll get better at it. In time, you’ll be able to determine the grapes used to make the wine, its provenance, and perhaps even its age! Most importantly, you’ll learn more about yourself — taste wine to become a better taster and host!Shop Now