10 Important Wine Facts You Need To Know
We may know that syrah is synonymous with shiraz, and to not judge a wine by the size of its bottle but are we paying attention to the other facts in the wine guidebook? If you suspect not, then the Aussie Wine Month this May would be a good time to start.
woman with drive has picked ten important facts about wine that will make your next wine drinking experience just that much better.
Never fill a glass more than half full. This way you can comfortably swirl the wine around without any spillage. Swirling draws oxygen into the wine to release its aroma and flavours, and enhance the drinking experience.
Choose a bottle from the darker corners of the store. Stay away from bottles that are placed too close to direct sunlight or that are sitting under incandescent light. Heat destroys the flavours of the wine while strong light speeds up its ageing process.
Lipstick and strong perfume do not pair well with sparkling wine. The nose enjoys a glass of wine before the palate does so do not wear strong perfume to a champagne tasting or if you are opening a special bottle of bubbly. Lipstick, meanwhile, causes the bubbles to fizzle out much faster, which compromises your enjoyment of that champagne.
Also read: Three Different Ways To Drink Bubbly
Keep open bottles in the fridge. A bottle of wine should be ideally consumed within 48 hours of being opened but will still taste decent as long as it is sealed and kept in the fridge. The general rule is to consume a light wine within three days and a bolder one within 10 days.
Not all wines age gracefully. Most everyday whites are made for consumption between one to three years of release while most reds should be consumed within five years of release. Any longer and you will end up with stale wine on your hands.
Serve the right wine at the right temperature. Serving wine too cold suppresses its fruity flavour while exaggerating its oaky character and tannin. Serving wine too warm exaggerates the alcohol content but softens the tannin. The rule of thumb in Australia is to serve red wine at 18-21 degrees Celsius and white wine at 7-10 degrees Celsius. A much simpler guideline is to put reds in the fridge 30 minutes before opening and take whites out of the fridge 30 minutes before opening.
Have dessert after finishing your glass of wine. Sugar makes tannins more tannic so a delicious wine will taste jarringly bitter in between bites of a sugary treat. Either finish your wine before ordering dessert or indulge your sweet tooth by pairing that dessert with a dessert wine like port or sherry.
Do not judge a wine’s quality by its legs. Legs are the streaks that run down the inside of a glass after a swirl of wine. They are an indication of viscosity, which is largely attributed to a wine’s alcohol content. The higher the alcohol content, the thicker the legs.
Never pair mint or asparagus with wine. Eating anything minty before drinking a glass of wine will drastically change the wine’s flavours. Mint is strong enough to overpower even the boldest wine and will leave you with a nasty aftertaste. Asparagus, meanwhile, makes wines taste more vegetal, metallic and harsh.
Oily food is a bubbly’s best friends. Oily food leaves a greasy texture on your tongue and the acidity of sparkling wine beautifully cleans it off. So can you serve bubbly alongside good old fried chicken? Absolutely. The wine will balance off the fat and salt content to draw out the flavours underneath. Curries are another great accompaniment to sparkling wine as long as the level of spiciness is not over the top.
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