You love everything about wine. You love going to the store and reading the labels, finding one that sounds delicious. You love the sound of the cork popping, and the sweet aroma. But, the thing you are most in love with is the taste. You can’t wait for the first sip and for the distinct taste of each fruit and spice. However, how much do you know about wine? Here are 5 facts that every wine lover should know.
- To breathe or not to breathe
Most wine lovers know that red wines need to “breathe” (also known as aeration) before serving, while white wines are meant to be kept cold right up until serving time. But, do you know how long your red wine needs to breathe? If your red wine is younger than eight years old or is strong in tannic, it needs to breathe for one to two hours. If your red wine is over eight years old, it usually only needs to breathe for approximately 30 minutes. A very, very old red wine requires no aeration.
- The shape of the glass really does matter
There are a wide variety of wine glasses for a reason. The size and shape of the bowl is meant to allow you to pick up the different flavors and aromas of the wine. Red wines are served in a bigger glass to support oxidation, which diffuses the aroma and opens up the taste.
- How to calculate the wine you’ll need for a party
You are getting ready to throw a celebration but have no idea how much wine you are going to need. Remember this- a normal 750 milliliter (24 oz.) bottle will give six glasses. Champagne and sparkling wine will give 10 glasses.
- Know good pairings
You should always drink what you like. If you want Champagne with your meat, then go for it, but it is always nice to know what wines should go with what foods. A light, dry wine (think Sauvignon Blanc) goes great with appetizers and salads. For fish, chicken, turkey and pork go with a more robust white (Chardonnay). Steaks, roasts, and filets should be paired with a robust red (Cabernet), lamb should be paired with a Merlot, and Italian dishes should be paired with a Chianti. Desserts should be paired with something sweeter such as a Moscato or a Riesling.
- Storing your wine
If you are one of those lucky people to have a wine cellar, make sure you are storing your wine properly. Wine should be stored away from light and at a cool temperature of 50 degrees. The humidity in your wine cellar should be at about 60 to 70 percent. The bottles should be kept at a slight angle, facing downwards so that the cork stays moist and air stays out. For those of you that don’t have a wine cellar think about investing in a wine refrigerator.
Whether you are the type of person that is out to enjoy a nice expensive bottle of Champagne, or just want to kick back at home with a nice bottle from the liquor store, it is always good to know some of the ins and outs of buying and serving wine.
[1.] Luigi Bormioli – http://luigibormioli.com
[2.] Napa Valley – http://www.napavalley.com
[3.] Yellow Pages – http://www.yellowpages.ca
[4.] Etiquette Scholar – http://www.etiquettescholar.com