Wine is the drink that is most associated with the rich, being linked to fine cuisine and etiquette. Once it was only consumed by elite classes, but it is now found in homes around the world. According to the Wine Institute, 784 million gallons of wine were consumed in the United States in 2010 compared to just 590 million gallons in 1990.
Many people want to better understand the different types, regions, and pairings to avoid looking common or embarrass themselves when ordering wine. Knowing some of the basic facts about wine will turn you from commoner to connoisseur. Try reading books like Windows on the World Complete Wine Course or Wine: Flavour Chemistry and use a Barnes and Noble coupon code to pick them up at a bargain.
Here are some key points you need to know about wine to turn you into a snob:
Red or White
Which should you choose? White or red? In some cases it is a matter of your own personal taste, but in others it may be right to pair your wine with your meal. Remember to pair white with white and red with red. For example, you’ll want to drink white with chicken and red with beef.
How to Order Wine
If you’re just starting to learn about wine, things like vintage, variety and region aren’t going to make a lot of sense to you at first. Ask your server what would pair well with your meal or what their best sellers are. If you’re still unsure, ask them for a tasting or just order a single glass. They will bring you the bottle to verify the details. After the server opens the wine, they will sometimes present you with the cork. Check to make sure the cork hasn’t been damaged or improperly stored. This is how you check to make sure it is of good quality.
How to Smell Wine
After you have checked the wine, your server will present you a glass to taste. To appraise (taste) wine, make sure the glass is ⅓ full only. Swirl the glass several times so the aroma can rise, allowing you to take a smell. Put your nose into the glass and take 2 or 3 quick sniffs. Does it have a berry smell? Perhaps vanilla or oak?
How to Taste Wine
Next, take a generous taste of the wine and swirl it around in your mouth (similar to mouth washing, but not as vigorous). Note specific tastes of the wine. For example, is it fruity? Woodsy? Some find that holding your breath or closing your nose will help you taste the wine better.
The most common types of red wine include Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz and white wines include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio. Try different lower cost wines at home for 10 days to better understand the different types, tastes and aromas of wine.
You will always meet someone who knows more about wine than you do. True wine connoisseurs will understand the wine regions, soil conditions, and weather conditions that influence the taste of a specific type of wine. This type of knowledge will come with time and experience. The more you drink, the better you’ll become at distinguishing types of wines. If you would like to learn more, tour vineyards and ask questions or attend local wine tastings. How long will it take you to become a wine snob?
Author Bio: Check out Natalie MacLean’s Wine Blog and www.foodandwine.com for more tips about wine.