You might be an experienced wine drinker who has traveled all around the world to sample the finest wines, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t made mistakes. Most wine connoisseurs gain experience through sampling and asking questions. Ultimately, there’s room for error.
However, some mistakes are more prevalent than others. While it’s unlikely they’ll mar your overall experience, it’s worth being aware of them. By identifying them, you are in a strong position to avoid them in the future and enhance your wine-drinking experiences.
Swirling It Too Much
Whether you’re drinking a beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon from Cakebread Cellars or a Merlot from your local winery, you’ve likely poured a glass and started swirling it. After all, swirling aerates the wine to help it release the best flavors and aromas.
However, if you’ve sometimes found that your wine tastes bitter after swirling it, it might not be the wine’s natural flavor. Too much swirling can sometimes result in oxidation. This oxidation can make wine taste more bitter, potentially ruining your wine-tasting experience.
Not Pairing It with the Right Food
Many wine lovers drink wine with a meal, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, how much you’ll enjoy your wine and food can depend on whether you’ve paired the right products. Not all wines work harmoniously with all food.
For example, slightly acidic wines enhance seafood flavors, whereas full-bodied red wine can overtake the flavors. As a general rule, you can’t go wrong with these combinations when you go out to eat:
- Pinot Grigio with seafood
- Rosé with cheese
- Cabernet with red meat
- Pinot Noir with earthiness
- Riesling with sweet and spicy
Holding the Glass By the Bowl
As comfortable as it can be to hold your wine glass by the bowl, it might affect the flavor of your wine. Holding it by the glass increases the risk of transferring your body heat to the wine. You might then not get the best flavors out of the wine. Instead, hold the glass by the stem. It can then remain at the perfect temperature for drinking. However, if your wine glass has no stem, keep a gentle grip on the glass with your fingers as far above the wine level as possible.
Not Using the Right Wine Glasses
Wine glasses come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s not because glass manufacturers wanted to get creative. Different-shaped glasses are suitable for different wines. Use the wrong one, and your wine-drinking experience might not be as satisfying as it could be. Ask your local winery expert if you’re unsure what to use for your chosen wine, such as a standard wine glass, coupe, flute, tulip, or another type.
Not Storing It Properly
If you’ve gone on a wineries tour and have a collection of wines to enjoy, remember to store them properly. Otherwise, your drinking experience might not be as satisfying as you anticipated. The best wine storage temperature is 55 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit, with wine stored out of the light and with humidity levels of 55% to 75%. Wine that isn’t stored appropriately can become distorted and oxidized.
There’s more to drinking wine than opening the bottle and pouring the contents. Making these mistakes above may alter your experience more than you might think.