Did you know you have more control over how much you enjoy a nice bottle of wine apart from just choosing a good label? From storing to pouring, you can influence how your wine tastes. Follow these tips on how to enhance the flavour of your wine.
Temperature plays a vital role in the enjoyment of wine, from the moment the vines are planted all the way to the storage of the wine in your home and of course, the drinking of it. If a wine is stored incorrectly in high temperatures it will age and spoil before you’ve even opened it.
If you serve a red wine that is too warm the flavours will be masked by the alcohol. If you serve a white wine that is too cold, you also won’t be able to taste it properly as the flavours will be muted by the cold. If you have a cheap bottle of white that doesn’t taste very good, make it as cold as possible before serving! For a white wine that you actually want to taste, enhance your drinking experience by leaving the bottle out of the fridge for a short while before serving and conversely, with a red, maybe put it in the fridge for a short time before serving - especially if it’s a warm day!
So many wines are being made to enjoy ‘young’ these days, and so consumers often think there isn’t much need to decant it first. However, all wines will benefit from decanting, even the young ones. Decanting allows more oxygen into the wine from the design of the decanter. Also, the splashing motion when the wine goes from the bottle to the decanter will help to aerate it. Of course, once the wine is exposed to air it will begin the oxidation process, which over a period of time will make your lovely wine turn foul. But if you plan to drink the wine soon after decanting you will not have to worry about this too much. All older red wines should be decanted as a rule. This is because an older wine can throw off sediment as they age. When you decant the wine, don’t tip the entire bottle up, letting the sediment go into the decanter. Pour carefully at an angle so the sediment stays in the bottle but the wine is released. Aged wines may sometimes have a musty character, but this will go away with decanting.
Pairing food and wine
What is better than enjoying food or wine? Enjoying them together when you get the mix just right. When you match food and wine in the right way, it can enhance the flavour not only of the wine but of the food as well. To find the perfect match, you can keep a chart like this handy in your kitchen. Or you could just remember these two simple rules: white wine matches with light foods such as white meat, salads and fish. Red wine goes well with red meat or a rich casserole. Sparkling wine however, can go with just about anything as it acts as a palate cleanser. If you want to delve deeper, you can look at what makes up a wine and pair that to food. For example, if you have an acidic wine it will go well with fatty or sweet foods. A wine high in tannins will also go well with sweet food.
If in doubt remember one very important rule: this is not a contest between food and wine. One should not overpower the other, so if you are going for a light salad, don’t pair it with a bold red. And if you are going for a heavy, spiced steak don’t pair it with a sauvignon blanc. That is because one flavour will be the clear winner while you don’t taste much of the other one at all - and what is the sense in that? So the next time you are choosing a dish that is heavy or full of flavour, do the same with your wine. And same again for food and wines that have a more delicate taste.
Using the right glasses
Another way to enhance your wine tasting experience is to use the correct glass ware. The flavour of wine can actually be improved by using different drink ware for each type of wine. White wine glasses are smaller and narrower, while red wine glasses are larger with a wide opening. It is possible to get different shaped glassware for all varietals if you don’t have the storage room for that, just red and white glasses are fine. Red wine glasses are wide at the top to allow more air in the glass, which in turn releases the wines aromas and influences the taste. White wine glasses are narrower at the top, which leads the wine to go to the centre of your tongue when sipping it. By doing this, the wine mostly bypasses the sensors on the sides of the tongue, which in turn reduces the acidic flavours.
At Wakefield Wines we have developed a unique, touch activated temperature sensor so you can tell when your wine is at the perfect serving temperature to enjoy. Take the Wakefield Temperature Challenge and see the difference for yourself.