Basic Rules of Thumb for Wine Drinkers

Basic Rules of Thumb for Wine Drinkers

The number one rule when it comes to drinking wine is that you find a wine you love and drink it on a regular basis. However, there are a few additional guidelines that will make drinking that favorite bottle even more enjoyable.
  1. Red Wine is Not Meant to Be Consumed at Room Temperature

Most houses are kept around 70-75 degrees but you want your red wine at 55-60 degrees or cool to the touch. If you put it in the fridge for twenty minutes before you drink it, you’ll have a much easier time picking up on the wine’s particular flavors and aromas.
  1. White Wine is Not Meant to Be Consumed at a Frigidly Cold Temperature

As for whites, the common misconception is that they need to be drunk straight out of the fridge. But when white wine gets too cold, it doesn’t taste like anything other than alcohol.
There are some exceptions. A bubbly or Sauvignon Blanc should be cold but a Chardonnay benefits from warming up a little bit in order to release its full flavor potential. Take whites out of the fridge before drinking and let them warm up for about 10-15 minutes, or to 40-50 degrees.
  1. There’s No Such Thing as the “Perfect Pairing”

Celebratory drinkPeople get so caught up in pairings – the old “red goes with meat and white goes with poultry” rule. The reality is you can pair any wine with whatever you’re serving. There are plenty of wonderful red wines that go great with chicken or fish.
Don’t spend all your time worrying about finding the “perfect pairing.” Instead, find a few wines that you love and put them on the table.
  1. You Get What You Pay For (Sort Of)

I tend not to drink wines that cost more than $50. I don’t have the kind of palate that allows me to taste the difference and let’s face it: pricey wine can be a budget-buster. However, I absolutely see the difference in wines that are under $10.
The added sulfites, preservatives and artificial junk used in really inexpensive wine leads to sinus congestion at the end of the night and headaches the next morning, which is not worth the $5 you saved. You don’t need to spend $100 on a bottle in order to avoid these symptoms, but you do need a little bit of quality. Usually that quality is found in bottles costing at least $14, but it still doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Check out some of Wine Shop at Home’s Everyday Wines.
  1. You Need to Breathe and So Does Your Wine

When it comes to letting wines breathe, most people think they can just pull the cork and be done with it. But wine needs access to air and oxygen. How much air and oxygen can actually get into your bottle when you have only one inch of space at the top where you pulled out the cork?
In order for wine to really breathe, you need to get it into a larger container. Either a glass, a decanter or, if you have one, an aerator. All red wines benefit from decanting, as can some whites.
Once you’ve poured a glass or two, any wine that’s left in the bottle is breathing. Warm air degrades wine very quickly so don’t leave the bottle on the counter over night or it may be undrinkable the next morning. Pop the bottle in the fridge until you’re ready for a glass the next day
  1. Storing Your Wine Vertically vs. Horizontally

The position of your bottle doesn’t matter if you’re drinking the wine quickly and the wine’s not old. When storing wine long term, horizontal is better. If you’re going to be consuming it in the next month, it really doesn’t matter. Just keep it away from a window and, if possible, is a cooler room. The worst place to store your wine? On top if the refrigerator.
Remember, these are just guidelines and the most important aspect of drinking wine is that you enjoy it! If you like your wine so cold that you put ice cubes in it, by all means, keep drinking it that way! My own mother drinks the cheapest wine you could possible imagine. It makes her happy and I’m in support of keeping my mother happy. And tipsy!

pour red wineNow, relax, open a bottle and enjoy!

If you’re interested in hosting a wine tasting at your home, Wine Shop at Home offers an inexpensive and fun way to get your friends together. Laughter, connection and great wine make for a fantastic evening! Shoot me an email at running andwineing@ to get started.


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