v Tannins-Give you that dry tongue/mouth feel. They come from many places, including the skins of the grapes used in winemaking as well as the barrels the wine was aged in. I once heard that it can be compared to sucking on a tea bag, don’t try it; let’s take their word for it.
Aerating-The younger and more tannic the wine, the more time it needs to breathe. As a rule, the young red wines soften up in 30-60 minutes. Lighter bolder wines like a Pinot Noir, have lower tannins so they don’t need any aeration or time to breathe. Drink up!
v Decanting Young red wines-This helps the tannins to soften and helps to remove any sediment in older red wines.
v Wine Temperature- Red wine 58-65 degrees and white 48-55. I once heard it put simply….put the red in the refrigerator one hour before opening and take the white out one hour before.
v Glass size-Red should be at least 12 oz with maximum of 16-24 oz. and white 10-12 oz…this is when “bigger isn’t better.”
v Vintage date on the bottle- This is the year that the grape was harvested, not the year that it was bottled.
v Wine glass should be filled-One-third for reds, one-half for whites and three-quarters of the way for sparkling
v The Swirl- This helps the aromas to escape. Don’t swirl when your glass is half full, or you will be wearing your wine and you will need to read the tips for getting red wine out of clothing. Rest your glass on the table and give it a “gentle” swirl.
v The sniff-After the “gentle” swirl, stick your nose into the glass air space and smell the wine. Keeping your mouth open a bit helps for some. Practice and after awhile you will get it. The only thing you can do wrong here is get wine on your nose. Now just breathe in and imagine….
v Sip-Take a medium sized sip, hold it in your mouth, draw in some air across the tongue over the wine (do not choke or drool, you could be pegged as a rookie) chew the wine a little in your mouth then swallow. Feel your taste buds come alive!
v Getting red wine out of clothing-Salt (try this first, salt will soak up any liquid), dab with club soda or spray on Wine-Away….if these don’t work, you now have a rag to wash your car with.
v Water should never be used to rinse out your glass when wine tasting. Always use a little splash of white wine swirl and dump.
v Oaked Chardonnay is so common that some wine drinkers confuse the flavor of oak with the flavor of Chardonnay. If your Chardonnay smells or tastes toasty, smokey, spicy, vanilla-like or butterscotch-like, that’s the oak not the Chardonnay.
v Storing open bottles of wine-Don’t…. drink it good grief. However, if you have to, get one of those nifty WineSavers or put the cork back on tight then put it in the refrigerator for a day or two-before it goes into a coma.
v “Corked”-Tainted or Spoiled Wine; smells awful…like wet cardboard and can range from faint to strong. Now put the cork back in the bottle and return it to where you purchased it from.