Getting the most out of each bottle is important because, and lets be real here, most wines are luxury items. Wasting an opportunity with wine is wasteful at its least and disrespectful at its worst. After all, a lot of people put a ton of effort into ensuring that they put the best juice possible in every bottle.
So avoid these common wine mistakes and take advantage of those efforts. Besides, it’ll make the wine taste better too!
Photo courtesy kenudigit via Flickr/CC
This Wine is Too Cold
This is one of the least problematic wine mistakes you can make. Unless you’re tailgating outside of MetLife Stadium on a bitter New Jersey Meadowlands’ afternoon (go Jets!), it’s pretty easy to remedy. Just let your wine warm up!
This Wine is Too Hot
Serving wines too hot is much worse than serving them too cold. The temperature doesn’t do any favors for the wine, but it also tends to be indicative of mistreatment. I’m an outlier in the wine world because I believe that wine is fairly durable, particularly if we’re talking about short term storage.
This Wine Needs Some Mouth-to-Mouth
Letting a wine breath is often seen as a pompous affectation of snobby old men and their fancy wines, nothing could be further from the truth. Think about it: wines have been bottled with durability in mind, often being produced in reductive, or oxygen free environment. The wines need to take a few breaths of air in order to stretch out and relax.
This Wine Needs a Bowl
Yes glassware does matter, even though I have written some articles that might seem to contradict that statement. In the past, I have promoted the use of simple glassware, tumblers even, and railed against the fetish of finding the perfect glass for each and every wine. I’m sticking by those positions but at the same have to recognize that there is a right time for bigger bowls, like when you have a wine that has more to say.
This Wine Needs a Rest
There’s a phenomenon in the wine world known as “travel shock.” It basically says that wines which have recently traveled need to rest in order to show their best. While I have no idea what the scientific basis for such claims might be, I have experienced travel shock enough to believe that it is real. It’s probably similar to bottle shock, which is basically the same phenomenon but refers to wines that have been recently bottled, another from of stress on the wine.
This Wine Needs A Better Dinner Partner
While it is easy to promote a “drink-what-you-like-with-your-dinner” attitude, the truth is that some wines simply don’t work with certain foods and vice versa. The examples may be limited but a few that I can think of off the top of my head include wines with artichokes, which make wine taste bitter, oily fish and big reds, where the wine tastes like tannin and metal, and salad with low acid wines, where the dressing makes the wine taste sad and flabby.
Photo courtesy ulterior epicure via Flickr/CC
Assuming You Know
Assuming that you really know enough about a wine to dismiss it after one encounter is the biggest mistake we make with wine. There are so many things that can make a wine show poorly, from the six mistakes that lead up to this one to things like bad corks, dirty glassware and even a bad palate day. Hey, it happens to the best of us.