It seems like the most basic of all tasks. Simply pour wine into a glass, bring the glass to your lips… and drink.
Indeed, that’s really all that’s involved in drinking wine. But if you really want to experience and enjoy wine to its fullest, it takes just a little more “work.”
Whether you find a bottle of wine under the Christmas tree and don’t know what to do with it, or you’re an experienced wine drinker looking to “improve your skills,” here’s a step-by-step approach to drinking wine the right way:
- Pour the wine into a large glass. You want the wine to fill up no more than half of the glass, giving it a chance to “breathe.”
- Swirl the wine in the glass. Place the stem of the glass between your thumb and index finger, and gently allow the wine to slosh around. This will help release the wine’s aromas by exposing it to air.
- Smell the wine. And don’t be dainty about it. Stick your nose as far as you can into the glass, and then take several short sniffs. What you smell ultimately will “connect” with what you taste.
- Take a sip. Think about the flavors and other ways you might describe it.
- Think about the after flavor. Is it pleasant? Does it last for several seconds? A long after flavor is one sign of a top-quality wine.
Follow these tips, and you’ll not only get more enjoyment out of drinking wine, but you’ll begin to identify the aromas, flavors and textures you like the best.