Wine just so happens to be one of those things that has a right and a wrong way to do it. Doing it wrong can ruin the experience completely, and wine is all about enjoyment.
There are many things to consider when enjoying wine, including the temperature of the wine, type of glass, and food pairing.
Red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines are all enjoyed different ways. Red wine is typically served at room temperature, or sometimes slightly cooler. Rosé, white, and sparkling wines are usually enjoyed chilled. Drinking a cold red wine or a warm white can distort the flavor. Recently, I tried a white wine for the first time at the wrong temperature, and got a completely different impression of it once chilled.
Different glass types affect how your wine is meant to be enjoyed. For the most part, wine is enjoyed in stemmed glasses. Not only does this make for an elegant look, but it also assists in maintaining the temperature of the wine by keeping your hands off the bowl, the part of the glass that actually holds the wine. Holding on to the stem keeps the body heat from your hand from warming up your wine.
Glasses for red wine typically have a large, round bowl. This helps the aromas circulate inside the glass before you smell them.
White wine glasses are similar to red wine glasses but slightly tapered at the top to keep the wine cool.
Rosé glasses look like white wine glasses, but sometimes have a slight flare at the lip of the glass, for flourish. Same principle applies: it’s slightly tapered to keep things cool.
Glasses for sparkling wine tend to be much slimmer and taller than white wine glasses, and this is to keep the bubbles in. A narrow bowl leaves less surface area for bubbles to cling to and escape along.
Stemless glasses have been all the rage lately and are basically just the bowl of the glass with a flat bottom. They’re usually used at casual parties where knocking over your glass may be a concern.
I’ve seen people enjoy wine in anything from a coffee mug to a plastic cup. Whatever your fancy, always consider the effect your vessel may have on your experience. Personally, I take care to ensure I am enjoying my wine as intended.
Pairing with wine is a whole conversation on it’s own. On a basic level, always consider what you’re enjoying your wine with and how it can also affect it’s flavor. Read here at my blog for an experience I recently had with a white wine that was chilled appropriately, but just didn’t tickle my fancy. Once I poured a glass with my dinner, it took on a whole new character after it played with the flavors in my food.
Getting the most out of your experience includes taking the proper steps to do it the right way. There’s no use counting out a good bottle because you couldn’t wait to chill it or because it didn’t taste good by itself.