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You sit down at a fancy diner table located inside an upscale restaurant. The waiter approaches your table and offers you a sample of their best red wine. You gladly accept and watch as the vibrant red hue fills your glass.
Now, you’re stuck there with a glass of red wine and no idea what to do with it. Sure, you know how to pick up a glass and take a sip, but what’s the correct way of drinking red wine? How will you know if you’re truly experiencing it?
If you’re new to the wine world or have never tried red wine before, then you’ll want to continue reading below. Here’s our guide on everything you need to know about enjoying a glass of red wine!
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Know Its Origin
Whether you’re at the grocery store or at a restaurant table, the first thing you should want to know before you drink wine is where the wine originated from. If you’re visiting a winery and vineyard, then you already have the answer, otherwise, be sure to ask or read the label.
The climate in which the grapes are grown has a big impact on how the red wine will taste. Although northern regions produce a lighter-bodied wine and warmer climates produce riper wines with more flavors, this isn’t always the case.
Different vineyards have different climate control that can be used to manipulate the way the grapes grow and how the wine will taste. Be sure to know this information before choosing a wine to try, because it’ll give you a good idea of what to expect.
Select the Right Wine Glass
If you’re sitting at a restaurant table, you might not have the option of choosing your own wine glass. If you’re trying a red wine at home, however, we want to ensure you select the right type of wine glass to pour it in.
Large wine glasses with round bowls are a great selection for red wines. If the red wine you’re trying is a lighter red, then go with a wine glass with a short bowl so you can place your nose close to the wine.
This will help you get a good sniff of the flavors before trying it.
Give It a Swirl
You’ve most likely seen people on movies or shows swirl their wine in their glass before drinking. Is this something merely for television purposes or is there a point in doing so? Swirling the wine in the glass before drinking gives you a few insights on the wine.
This will help you determine the consistency of the wine. Watch as the wine rises up on the sides of the glass. Is it thin or thick?
Are there small particles in the wine or is it smooth? All of these factors play a part in how much alcohol content the wine has and how sweet it’ll be. Give it a swirl and then take a few guesses of what you expect the wine to taste like before trying.
This gives the wine time to bring all of its wonderful flavors to the surface. You can then pour it into your glass and drink.
Take a Deep Breath in
Smelling your wine is another way to get the full experience before drinking it. Place your nose close to the rim of the glass and take a deep breath in through your nose. What aromas do you detect?
What’s the first thing you smell? You most likely smell hints of grape, but look past that. Are there any other fruits you smell? Is it sweet or sour?
Try to pull all of the scents located inside your glass of wine. If there’s a scent you can’t detect, then do some research on the wine and see what others are saying. You might have an, “aha” moment after seeing what scents others picked up.
Taste and Spit If Trying Several
If you’re only trying one bottle of wine, then it’s safe to say you can take a few sips and swallow the wine to get a good sense of the flavors. If you’re trying several bottles of wine, then you might want to use the taste and spit technique.
This is a common method of trying multiple wines without getting drunk. You take a small sip of the wine, swish it around in your mouth to experience all of the flavors, and then spit it out. Doing this will prevent you from becoming intoxicated before you’re able to taste each bottle.
Once you’ve tried them all you can then go back to your favorites and actually drink them.
Pair It With Appropriate Foods
Red wines go splendidly with a variety of foods. The food you choose to eat with your glass of wine has a lot to do with the type of red wine you’re drinking. Heavier red wines with more intense flavors pair well with red meats like beef and cured meats as well.
Lighter red wines pair well with chicken dishes. Of course, if you’re eating any type of pasta, a nice glass of red wine will go well with it, no matter the heaviness.
Also, keep in mind that there are many dishes you can make that call for red wine in the recipe. It’s a great way to bring some intense flavor to your dishes!
Will You Be Drinking Red Wine in the Near Future?
If you plan on drinking red wine sometime soon, then be sure to have this guide handy. Once you learn how to start drinking red wine, you’ll become a professional before you know it.
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