Let’s face it – understanding wines can be complicated. Wine drinking is almost a ritual! Here’s how you can ace the game – by skipping over these common mistakes.
When you start drinking wine some things that the experts say or do may come across as fancy posing. Why must I hold the glass a certain way? Is it really necessary to sniff and swirl? What’s with the obsession with temperature? But with wine, it’s all about how you drink it. So, whether you are a rookie or a seasoned wine aficionado, here are 10 mistakes you must not make.
- Buying what you know – Wine is perhaps the most diverse beverage. The influence of terroir makes every batch unique. Be adventurous in your wine experience – let your palate taste and discover new favourites.
- Storing wine incorrectly – Temperature, humidity, air, and light exposure can all change the characteristics of wine. Ideally corked wine should be stored horizontally, with the wine touching the cork (to prevent oxidation) and in the temperature range of 120C to 180 Screw cap wines stay fresh longer and can be stored standing up. Excessive light and heat exposure can age a wine rapidly, destroying flavours. It’s also a bad idea to keep an open bottle for too long. A bottle of Big Banyan whites should not be kept for more than 2 days once open, and a Big Banyan red can stay for 3-4 days once opened.
- Serving wine at the wrong temperature – We’ve all heard about serving red wine at the room temperature and white wine chilled – but that may be all wrong. Chilling red wine a little – say about 150C – and serving a white at around 100C could make a startling difference to the flavours.
- Not letting the wine breathe – Some wines need oxygen to bring out the flavour and soften the tannins. Decant or leave the bottle of your red wine open at least half an hour before serving.
- Choosing the wrong glass – The shape of the glass has an impact on the tasting. A large bowl shaped glass is more suitable for reds as it will help aerate the wine as well as let the aromas waft up while tasting. Narrow and stemmed glasses are best for white wines as they prevent over oxidation and also keep the wine chilled.
- Filling the glass up to the brim – The right amount is when the glass is just 1/3rd It lets you savour the wine and also promotes responsible drinking.
- Holding the glass incorrectly – Yes, there is a correct way to hold the wine glass. It’s all about the temperature – if you hold the glass by the bowl you are transferring body heat to the wine and changing the temperature. Always hold the glass by the stem.
- Swirling too much – While swirling is great for aeration, too much of it can be annoying. Make a few gentle swirls, take a sniff, and sip away! Get some tips from our tasting guide.
- Drinking too fast – Wine drinking is about savouring the moment. Take some time to learn about the wine – it’s properties, producers, and pairings. Breathe in the aromas and let the flavours burst through on your tongue.
- Pairing it wrong – What you eat with wine can make or break the experience. If you aren’t sure of food and wine pairing just go with the simple idea of either matching or contrasting the flavours – e.g. sweet with sweet, or spicy and sweet. Get some tips on pairing here!
You are now ready to impress your wine buddies. Let’s pop open a bottle now!