As many people have long suspected, there is a right way and a wrong way to drink wine. Learning how to pour wine, what are the right glasses to use with each kind of wine, the temperature at which it should be served, whether it should be decanted or not – all of this is not just esoteric wine lore but actually makes the wine taste a lot better. With this in mind, here’s a very brief introduction to how to drink wine the right way.
A growing trend
The number of wineries and wine drinkers continues to grow every year in the U.S. This trend is driven by millennials, who consumed as much as 42% of all wine drunk in the country in 2015, according to USA Today. That comes to around 159.6 cases of wine. Millennials are also willing to pay more for a bottle of wine, and as many as 17% admitted to buying a $20 bottle of wine in January 2016.
But wine drinking has a long history, in this country and around the world. In 2016 alone, 949 million gallons of wine were drunk in the country. The number of wineries continues to grow to meet this growing demand. It stood at 6941 in 2010, and more are started each year. Along with the popularity of wine drinking, there has been growing interest in wine tastings, food combinations, and more wine-related lore.
Why it helps to learn how to pour wine
Wine etiquette isn’t a matter of being snobby or pretentious. The simple truth is that when wine is served the proper way, it tastes better. And if you’re going to pay $20 for a bottle of wine, you may as well get the most out of the taste. From choosing the right glasses to opening the bottle without breaking the cork, there is a method behind it all. To begin with, choosing the right glass can enhance the taste of the drink.
There are different types of glasses for red wines, sparkling wines and sweet dessert wines. Of course, if you don’t happen to have all styles handy, you can just use the ones you do have. Next, there’s the temperature at which wine should be served. Again, this affects the taste of the wine. So sparkling wines and champagne should be served ice cold, white wines should be chilled, and red and dessert wines should be at room temperature.
Letting wine breathe
Opening the bottle without breaking the cork is a task that has challenged people for hundreds of years. If you start slightly off-center, the worm or the curly part of the corkscrew will be centered in the cork. You need about seven turns, or one turn from completely embedding the worm in the the cork. For long corks, the worm should go all the way in. Then pull the cork out gently, making slight sideways moves to work it loose.
Then there’s the question of decanting. If you have the time and a decanter or glass pitcher at hand, it’s better to pour the wine into it and let it sit for about half an hour. This works for every kind of wine, but the improvement in taste is most clearly seen in red wine. And finally, how to pour wine. The glass should be handled by the stem, so that your body temperature doesn’t affect the wine. One bottle of wine typically has five servings.
When you buy a bottle of wine, you put a lot of thought into that choice. Learning how to pour wine can help you get the most out of your choice.