5 Surprising Wine Etiquette Tips (Slideshow)
September 17, 2013
Wine specialist Aimee Cronin shares with us the surprising 'do's' of wine tasting
Let the Sommelier Help You Pick a Wine
Navigating a restaurant wine list can be a challenge. Some are set up by region, others by style, some by price. On top of that, restaurants tend to seek out unique and interesting wines that you probably haven't had before and may very well not be "typical" of their region. What's a thirsty diner to do? Well, no one knows more about that wine list than sommelier, so that's a great place to start. They know the ins and outs of every wine on the list.
All they need to make a good recommendation for you is to know what you like. Of course, this can be tricky as well, because how many of us can articulate what we like?
Here's a tip: Use the Drync app to remember and rate all the wines you try, then show your wine history to the sommelier. They will have a wealth of information to help you choose a wine you'll love. Then, use the Drync app again to scan, rate, and even buy that awesome wine you just discovered in seconds. No more scratching your head to remember or searching countless stores in vain — the wine comes to you!
If the wine in your glass is too warm, don't be afraid to add an ice cube to it. Wine is 85 percent or more water, so as long as the ice is clean is it not going to change the flavor or structure of the wine. It will, however, give you a much more pleasurable drinking experience. You can also fish the ice out once the wine gets to a temperature that you like.
Keep Your Reds Chilled
That's right. We said it. Put all your wine in the fridge. A lot of the rules created around wine are for the 1 percent of wines that are meant to be aged and the 1 percent of wine drinkers who age them. Most wine is bought for immediate consumption, so New World etiquette would suggest that you should have it ready to drink at all times.
First, heat and light speeds up the aging process of wine. Second, warm wine of any kind is gross. Cool temperatures, on the other hand, slow down the aging process of wine and suggested serving temperatures for most red wines ranges from 50 to 60 degrees. This is not room temperature. Have you been in a 60-degree room?
Try this: Rather than trying to chill down your wine when you think of it at cocktail hour (or drinking it warm, which we've already determined is yucky), keep it chilled and then pour yourself a glass to warm up. It takes a lot less time to bring up the temperature for a glass of wine than to bring down the temperature for a whole bottle.
Just a note — we wouldn't recommend storing all of your wine in the fridge (where would you put the vegetables?), just what you want to drink in the near future. Stock the rest in a spot that is relatively shaded and not too hot or dry.
Make It Cold Quick
It happens every holiday — champagne emergency! The party is hopping and the bubbly just isn't cold. Putting it in the freezer is dangerous (it could explode if you forget about it) and putting it in the fridge takes forever.
Here's how you speed things up: Get something you can put ice in (an ice bucket is ideal, but anything that will hold ice, water, and a bottle of wine without leaking everywhere will do). Put the wine in it and surround with as much ice as you can. Then, pour a bunch of salt on the ice. Add a little water and wait about 10 to 15 minutes.
Why does this happen? Very simply, salt water has a lower freezing temperature than regular water. So, by pouring salt on the ice, you are making ice water that is as cold as ice (rather than melted ice). That ice water completely covers the surface area of the bottle, chilling it down fast.
Buy What YOU Love
Everyone has different tastes, so don't take someone else's word for what is good. Instead, buy the wines you love. This, of course, entails remembering the wines you love (which wine can make rather difficult to do) and then finding them again. The Drync app sets to solve both of those conundrums for you. Take a picture of the wine label, rate how much you liked it, and it is saved to your history so you can remember it forever. You can then buy it on the spot in a matter of seconds or wish list it to buy another time. Regardless, it is really quick and easy to do, so you get back to enjoying the wine and the company!