The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Five common wine mistakes

Image - Wine Faux PasThe Drinks Business website offers some practical advice to wine drinkers “whether you choose to drink from a crystal cut Lalique glass or a plastic cup at a barbecue.” Here are five of their top tips:

1)    There is nothing wrong with taking the chill off a red wine, in fact it’s advised. When time is an issue the radiator might look like the best solution. However rapidly changing the temperature of a wine is a bit of a no no with extreme heat capable of irretrievably damaging wine. Red wines in excess of 18°C will lose their freshness and the flavours will become muddled. The best way to warm a red wine is to allow the bottle to warm up slowly to room temperature, or by holding the bowl of the glass in your hands.

2)    There is nothing wrong with a necessary spot of swirling to release the aromas of a wine, but do refrain engaging in any over-enthusiastic circular motions. You will at best lose much of the aroma and at worse inadvertently spill the lot over yourself. A gentle swirl is all that is needed.

3)    Apparently there is a camp that believes allowing a wine bottle to touch the rim of your glass while pouring is a verifiable vino sin. Instead, its contents should fall through the air and into the centre of the glass aiding its aeration and releasing its aroma, which might well do some good. Another sensible suggestion when pouring sparkling wines is to tilt your glass and allow the liquid to pour down the side of the glass, thus limiting the loss of bubbles.

4)    If quaffing a bottle with friends feel free to load your glass with ice. But if you’ve paid a decent penny for a bottle, it would be wise not to add ice. Winemakers slave over the composition of their wine and diluting it with ice cubes is not only likely to cause offence, but throw off the delicate balance of a wine.

5)    By filling your glass to the top you will not only limit your ability to swirl and release its aromas, but increase your chances of causing a spillage if you do. As a general rule fill a glass by no more than half allowing the aromas to be released and captured.

Source: Drinks Business (