There are always exceptions and wine is full of them, but here are a few general tips to help you get the most out of your glass of wine.
1. Always decant a red wine, chances are it is young and can only benefit from a breath of fresh air to round its tannic corners. Just pouring it into a jug and back into the bottle can make the world of difference. It is to do with tannins so normally whites do not need decanting (unless they are ‘reduced’ but that is another story…wine faults blog to follow!)
2. Your choice of glass can add dollars to the wine. A rounded tulip shaped glass with a fine edge to drink from is perfect for reds and whites alike whatever the age or grape variety.
3. The temperature of the wine is important. To keep it simple the cooler the better as wines will soon warm up once served or the glass can be cupped by your hands to quickly warm up reds in particular. Normally whites are served chilled as they are refreshing. The colder, the less you will taste. So chill to the limits poor wines and serve fine whites less cold. The worst is for reds to be served too warm as there is no way of cooling them down (apart from an ice bucket- which I have done when necessary in restaurants!)
4. Don’t fuss about matching the right wine with food. They are meant to go together so all do, just some go better than others thats all. If you want to take it to another level just think of wine as a sauce. Complement or contrast.
5. Remember that the appreciation of wine is personal. There are no rights and wrongs. It is what you like that matters. Do not be put off by so-called experts. If you think the wine you just ordered in a restaurant smells bad, then say so right away. Over 20% of wines are ‘corked’ (smell of damp cardboard and have no flavour anything to do with fruit). Life is too short to drink bad wine!