Wine Etiquette for Beginners

Wine drinking is fun, and can be such a great experience and one that constantly changes. Now we have noticed that for the new wine enthusiast sometimes things can get intimidating. Don’t worry, with a few key points you can start on your journey toward venous enjoyment.

Serve your wine at the proper temperature.
Red wines are usually served at room temperature where as white wine is served chilled.

The different glasses
White wine glasses tend to be smaller than red wine glasses. This is because white wines do not need as much surface area to breath like reds do. It also ensures that the white wine remains cooler. When drinking white wine, choose glasses that have narrower bowls.

Red wine needs to oxidize (breathe) in order for its flavor to fully develop, which is why red wine glasses have typically larger bowls. This distinctive bowl shape, allows more of the wine to come into contact with the air hence why the bottle of red wine should be opened some time before enjoying.

Young wines: 1-5 years old: 1 hour
Old wines: 6-10 years old: 15 minutes

How to pour the wine
Hold the bottle towards the base and when pouring the bottle always ensure that the label of the wine is on show to whomever you are pouring for.

When pouring a glass of white wine- usually the bowl is smaller than a red wine glass as a result you may pour slightly more white wine into the white wine glass versus a red wine glass.

See the picture below:
Hold your glass by the stem, NOT by the bowl.
When drinking wine, always hold the wine glass by its stem and never by the bowl. Not only does it leave unsightly greasy finger marks but it also warms the wine too quickly.

Appreciating the Wine
In order to appreciate your wine you need to swirl the wine in your glass to increase the wine’s contact with the air, this releases its aroma. It is a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the wine, and try to select all the aroma’s you can detect by ‘nosing’ the wine. This means you may place your nose just above the wine glass (1cm away from glass) and smell its aroma.

Don’t be afraid to tell people what you identified. You can smell and taste flavours such as cut grass, wet dog, floral, ruby etc… Remember everyone’s palate is different, and what you smell might be completely different to someone else. But that’s perfectly normal. Swirl your wine by holding the glass by the base or by the stem whilst on the table. Smell your wine as you swirl it to take in the beautiful aromas.

Taste the wine.
Wine is best when sipped and savored, as opposed to being gulped down. Never take more than 1 sip at a time.Take small-to-medium sized sips of wine, and hold the wine in the center of your tongue before swallowing. This will allow you to taste the complex flavors of the wine. Roll the wine across your taste buds by lightly swishing it around your mouth. This action aerates the wine which in turn releases all the aroma’s.

Like any passion, you should be able to enjoy wine for you. Everyone has different tastes, so what you like, someone else may hate. After all, that’s the greatest challenge in life is to learn what you really like and truly enjoy. Wine is no different.