Until two years ago, I’ve never really been a wine drinker. I’ve enjoyed it socially at gatherings or business functions, but never really cared for it. When presented with an option, I always went for a basic Chardonnay – mainly because I prefer cooler drinks.
Since working in the beverage industry, I’ve been exposed to countless types of wines from around the world. Now, I totes enjoy opening a new bottle and learning what it has to offer me. For example, this past Saturday evening, I – along with two friends – popped open five bottles from Italy, Spain, France, South Africa, and Portugal. So much fun!
Since the “basic bitch” Chardonnay days, I can say that I’m more open to all sorts of wine. For the most part, I generally enjoy full-bodied reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, light reds such as Pinot Noir, and dry sparklings such as Champagne.
With that said, I’m certainly a Millennial who is included in the 42 percent of all wine drinkers in the U.S. last year. I mean, why not? According to the Harvard School of Public Health, wine drinkers are 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack! And we all know that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in the nation.
Anyway, I wanted to offer some type of [non-expert] tips, to make this article a worthy read, so I decided to focus on three things based on my experience with friends.
I’m no wine snob by any means, but wine is meant to be enjoyed in certain ways. While this conversation can go down many roads, I’m just going to focus on stemware and serving temperatures.
There are various wine glasses depending on the type of wine you are about to drink. For example, red wine glasses are generally larger, designed to allow the wine to open up and “breathe,” while white wine glasses have a smaller surface area. Champagnes and sparkling wines should be served in flutes, which are design to minimize the amount of air it is exposed to, retaining its perarlage longer.
When it comes to serving, there are ideal serving temperatures. For examples, whites should generally be served between 45 and 50 degrees, depending on the varietal. Reds are generally served a bit warmer at 50 to 65 degrees. The serving temperature can affect how the wine’s taste, so for a better glass, plan ahead and serve accordingly.
If you’re like me, you live alone. For that reason, there’s nothing worse than opening a bottle that you know you aren’t going to finish. In fact, most of the time I just want one glass. After all, I work all the time, so the last thing I want to do is get trashed.
Luckily wine has somewhat of a lifespan. Light wines, with 11 to 12 percent alcohol, should be enjoyed within three days of first popping that cork. Stronger wines, with 13 or 14 percent alcohol, can be enjoyed just a few more days.
Having said that, the taste will vary based on your wine and how you store it. To savor the freshness if your bottle within the lifespan of opening, I recommend investing in a vacuum air stopper. These tools go by various names and are all generally inexpensive. I use the stainless steel Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump. At around $20, it came with two bottle stoppers and two pourers. It’s a great product and I highly recommend it.
No matter what, just enjoy it!
To me, every day is a great day to enjoy a glass (bottle?) of wine. If you’re one of those stiffs, then today is your day. Happy National Drink Wine Day!