- June 05, 2019
An immense number of people around the world, whether today or ten years ago, love drinking red wine. Red wine is an indispensable part of festivities, enjoyed during various occasions from when the Romans celebrated Saturnalia to when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. There are so many colours, blends, flavour profiles, and varieties of this delicious beverage to choose from that you will always find at least one that suits your tastes. But to make your red wine drinking a more enjoyable experience, here are some tips that you can follow:
- Know where the wine was made by looking at the label
The label tells you where the grapes used to make the wine have been grown. You have to know the origin of the grapes since the location of their source affects the wine’s properties and quality. If you want to try a light-bodied red wine, try picking one made from grapes grown in cooler climates. These places include Yarra Valley, Tasmania, Geelong and Adelaide Hills as some good examples of cool climate regions. On the other hand, riper wines with more intense fruit flavour are produced from grapes grown in warmer areas. Some of these areas with warm climates where grapes are grown are; Barossa Valley, Heathcote and further up north.
Nevertheless, expect that there will be exceptions to this rule as winemakers tend to strive for producing a wine that is unique in their region. Besides, warm and cold climes don’t fully account for a wine’s quality. The soil and microclimate in the area where the grapes were grown also produce a distinct terroir for every variety of wine.
- Use the appropriate glassware
The next thing you should remember to have a more wonderful drinking experience is that each kind of red wine needs a different type of glassware. You will need a wine glass with a shorter stem if you are going to drink a light-bodied red so that you can get your nose closer to the wine. Meanwhile, bolder red wines can go in a wine glass with a longer stem since these wines already have an intense aroma that you won’t have trouble smelling.
- Observe as you pour and swirl
Pop the cork and leave the wine to decant or breath a little. Then, slowly pour the wine into the glass and swirl it around. Observe how it looks. See if any solids are floating within the liquid. Check how thick or viscous the wine is and if it coats the sides of your glass. If you see a thin film of transparent dripping liquid on the sides of the glass after you swirl the wine around, that’s what you call the “wine legs.” Some people refer to this as “tears of wine.” Less viscous and more alcoholic red wines tend to leave more distinct wine legs or tears.
- Sniff before tasting
Next, take a whiff of the wine’s aroma by placing the rim of the wine glass close to your nose. While you’ll likely smell the main fruity scent of grape, try to find scents other than that of grapes. Close your eyes to nullify one sense and let the aromas permeate through your nose slowly as you try to detect hints of strawberries, currants, blackberries, vanilla, rose, pepper, and other wine additives.
When you are about to take your first sip, don’t swallow right away. The best part of red wine drinking is letting the wine roll around on your tongue for a while. The flavour will sink into your taste buds gradually, which will then tell you if your red wine is on the sweeter side of the spectrum or the tannin-richer, bitter side. There might also be notes and aftertastes that you don’t expect to encounter. If there’s a lingering taste after you finally swallow the wine, recall the smell you enjoyed earlier and ponder how the aftertaste is related to the wine’s scent.
- Choose the best food pairings
The best food to pair with lighter red wines is poultry and crabs. Beef and ham, on the other hand, go best with bolder and more bitter wines. You can have pasta as well. However, vegetables such as green beans and Brussels sprouts generally don’t pair well with most red wines. These vegetables, along with asparagus, contain compounds that would clash with the flavour of red wine.
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