7 Tips & Tricks for Best Enjoying Wine, According to Our Somm Team
From guaranteeing the provenance of your bottle to loosely following a handful of food and wine pairing tips, our in-house sommelier team has come up with a list of seven tips and tricks for getting the maximum enjoyment out of your next bottle of wine. Check out our list below and get your glasses ready.
Ensure the Provenance of Your Wine
While it may sound obvious, ensuring that the bottle of wine you’re about to pop is in tip-top condition is the first foundational step to getting the most out of your wine. Start by shopping with a trusty retailer that goes to great lengths to ensure the quality of the wine before it ends up at your doorstep, which begins with careful sourcing of your bottles from thoughtful distributors, to properly storing in temperature-controlled facilities, to then only shipping during weather-appropriate conditions. Extreme temperatures—both cold and warm—can very quickly damage a bottle of perfectly good wine!
For those pulling from at-home cellars, be sure that your wine is aging in perfect cellar conditions. To ensure that your at-home aging regimen is spot on, check out our wine aging guide here.
Serve Your Wine at the Proper Temperature
Did you know that the majority of wine drinkers actually sip their wine at less-than-ideal temperatures? It’s true – most of us are pouring our whites too cold and our reds too warm. While white wines are definitely best enjoyed with a chill, straight from the fridge (or even worse, straight from a long period of time in an ice bucket) can actually render them too cold, which masks flavors, aromas, and nuances to be found in the juice. We recommend pulling white / rosé wine from the fridge or ice bucket and letting it sit for a few minutes prior to pouring.
On the contrary, red wines are generally served too warm. Most wine drinkers follow the “room temperature” guideline, though this phrase actually came about prior to central heating and air conditioning – meaning that room temperature was actually more similar to cellar temperature, which hovers around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Pro tip: Nearly every red wine will be more enjoyable when served with a very slight chill. The more you know!
(Loosely) Follow Food & Wine Pairing Tips
Here at Wired for Wine, we’re huge advocates of drinking what you love with food you love – however, there is a science to food and wine pairing. When enjoyed together, certain components in food and wine actually interact on a molecular level in your mouth, meaning that specific foods and wines will bring the best out of one another.
A prime example of this would be tannins and fat. If a juicy steak or burger is on the menu, you’ll most likely enjoy it with a hearty red wine, as the tannins found in the juice will combine with the fat in the meat, softening the former and bringing out flavor in the latter. Another example would be a complementary food and wine pairing, such as salt and acid. Take briny, saline-tinged oysters, for example. The tannins found in red wine will render the sea-inspired flavors metallic and unpleasant, whereas an acid-laden white promises to allow the brine to shine.
Further Explore Wines from Producers You Love (Then, Branch Out and Try New Things)
By now, you’ve likely got a few go-to wines that always hit the spot. Our recommendation? Explore these producers’ lineups further, as it’s a rather safe bet – if you already really enjoy something that they make, chances are that you’ll likely be into some of their other wines, too. Once you’ve made your way through familiar producers’ lineups, we recommend branching out into similar producers / varieties. Can’t get enough Sauvignon Blanc in your life? Albariño or Gruner Veltliner are likely to satisfy your acid craving. Love Pinot Noir? Then Gamay will probably do the trick.
Great Glassware Is Key!
It’s true – glassware actually plays a huge role in how a wine shows itself on the palate. Not only is elegant glassware a more pleasant experience aesthetically and tactically—that is, how it looks to the eye and feels in the hand—it also accentuates nuances and brings out the complexity found in great wines. Contrary to popular belief, great glassware also doesn’t have to be expensive! Check out some of our favorite Riedel glasses, available in 2-pack and 4-pack options, below.
Keep Good Company
Sure, great wine can absolutely be enjoyable alone, but we tend to believe that great wine becomes even better when shared amongst equally passionate wine-loving family members and friends. There’s nothing better than popping a cork on a delicious bottle, taking a sip, and sharing in the delight of its journey with someone who also enjoys wine as much as you do. For a perfect night in, we recommend getting a small group of friends together, bringing your favorite bottle to present, and grabbing a go-to pairing to share. Think of it like potluck happy hour in one of its most casual and enjoyable formats.
Take an Expert Rec!
Shameless plug, but there’s nothing our team loves more than introducing wine lovers to new brand new bottles to fall in love with. We’re constantly on the hunt for hidden gems scattered throughout the wine world, and turns out, there’s always something to be discovered. Curious to hear what we’ve found recently? Shoot us an email with producers / varieties that you tend to love here and our team will get back to you ASAP!