Ever been lost in endless lists of wine menus and end up ordering “something white and sparkling” or “a good red one?”
Now, Dr. Foodle is here to save you from this wine madness and make you look smarter when choosing a wine.
There are some basic rules you can follow:
Never fall into the trap of “hugging” or clutching your wine glass. It’s not a fire to keep you warm! The moment you hold your glass the wrong way in a restaurant when tasting the wine, the waiter knows you have no idea what you are doing. The main reason for properly holding a wine glass from its stem is to keep any aromas on the hands from mingling and obscuring the smell of wine. Many also consider it a matter of savoir vivre, so your wine glass won’t get greasy by the time you take a few sips.
When you are poured a little wine to see whether you approve or not, don’t just grasp the wine glass and drink it right away. Ok, this may sound ridiculous if you are not into wine, but that’s how it is. There is a particular way of tasting and judging wines, which includes the way it looks, the way it swirls in the glass, and its smell and taste. You don’t need to be an expert; just raise your glass and have a look at the color of the wine.Hopefully, you won’t spot any living insects inside! Bring it to your nose and smell it a bit,then take a sip to taste it. It is not very rare for a cork to be rotten, which gives an ugly and moldy smell and taste to your wine. At least if you smell it,you’ll be able to avoid drinking the mold!
A simple rule for white wines: The darker they get, the older they are. Now you have one more thing to look for once you raise your glass to taste the wine. If you see a very intense yellow, sometimes golden yellow, it is a sign that this wine is more mature. If it smells of wood,there’s another sign that it spent some time maturing in a barrel.
The opposite goes for red wines. The darker a red wine is, the less mature it is, which is not a bad or good sign, but just gives you an idea of the age of the wine. Red wines lose their color during maturation, with the most mature ones having a lighter red-orange color (like sherry). So if you are about to taste a red wine that has a lighter color, like sherry, expect to taste a strong, mature wine.
Beware of the trick of many restaurants to fool you. When looking at wine menus, many people think this way “Ok, this is the cheapest so it may not be as good, so I’m taking the second cheapest. It should be better.” So guess what? Many restaurant owners have noticed this way of thinking, so they overprice their cheapest wine, making it the second cheapest but most frequently ordered!