Have you ever watched a movie where the characters are drinking wine, and wondered to yourself whether or not the process of drinking fine wine is actually that complicated and tedious in real life? Are all the paraphernalia and rituals necessary to be able to really enjoy wine, especially if you’re drinking a good wine?
Now, if you have a $2 bottle of wine that you picked up at your local gas station, by all means, go ahead, pop open the cork and guzzle that baby down. However, if you spent a small fortune, time, and effort trying to locate and purchase a bottle of fine wine, then you should definitely take the time and effort to respect the wine and drink it properly. Enjoy the wine in all its aspects: taste, color, aroma, and body. Each is a separate aspect that, in a truly good wine, will come together to give you a delicious and unforgettable experience.
In drinking fine wine, the drinking receptacle matters as much as the drink itself. In this case, stemmed wine glasses are the only choice, and each part of the glass actually plays a role in your wine-drinking experience. The stem allows you to hold your wine without transferring any of your body heat to the wine itself. You will notice that some glasses are wider and has a rounder, larger mouth than other wine glasses. The rule of thumb is: the more full-bodied the wine, the larger the mouth of the glass should be. This allows for a greater rate of oxidation, which in turns allows for more of the aroma and flavor of the wine to be released.
THE PRE-DRINKING RITUALS
Before drinking your fine wine, it is said that you need to open your wine to allow it to “breathe”. This allows the tannins in the wine to settle down, so that you don’t get a bitter flavor in the wine when you drink.
Once you have allowed your wine to breathe and poured the wine into the glass, your next step is to savor the drink. First, swirl the glass in your hand, allowing the wine to further oxidize and release more of its aroma (called the bouquet). Take this time to inhale the scent of your wine. Did you know that much of the enjoyment of drinking fine wines comes from this phase, because you get the first notes of the wine, which is usually light and fruity?
After smelling the bouquet, now you get to the sipping of the fine wine. Take a small sip (good wines are never meant to be guzzled), then while allowing the wine to pool in your wine, breathe through your mouth. This is where you get to taste the undernotes of the wine, as well as fully appreciate the body of your wine itself.
DRINKING YOUR WINE
Once you have finished with all the rituals of enjoying your wine, now you can properly drink it. Enjoy your wine!