Wine - it has been around for centuries and like any things with a long history, rules have been developed about the right- and wrong- way it should be handled. After all, ask any wine coinsurer about wine, and you can count on getting answer that can be backed up with a long history. But, as times have changed, how wine is paired, what type of glass is used, how it should be stored, and many other elements once thought to be correct have changed.
And while for some this change may be unwelcomed, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t helpful to understand the new rules of wine. As producers of wine, the Bear Claw Vineyards team is happy to share some of the rules – both old and new- of wine drinking. So, pour yourself a glass, and take note of the rules of wine.
8 Rules of Wine
· Hold your glass of wine by the stem and not the bowl. This isn’t about appearance but rather because it allows you to see the wine’s true color as well as keeps your body heat from warming the wine. The only time you may wish to warm the wine by cupping the bowl is if the red wine you are drinking is significantly cooler than the temperature of the room. Ideally, though, red wine should be served at 62 to 68 degrees.
· Be sure your glass is not over-filled. You need to be able to swirl the wine easily in the cup without fear of it spilling or sloshing. A rule of thumb for drinking in public is to not fill the glass any higher than ½ full. (Hey, in private, fill your glass as high as you want!)
· Remember that a bottle of wine doesn’t have to cost a fortune to taste good. Just because it cost more, doesn’t mean you will like it any better. There are many wines available that cost between $12 and $20 that taste exceptional.
· You don’t have to be wine dictionary to enjoy wine. Rather, know what flavors you like, how you plan to use – drinking, cooking, as a gift, etc. – and buy accordingly. And, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are a lot of knowledgeable people out there who are happy to answer your wine questions!
· Remember that “dry” doesn’t mean a lack of flavor. Rather it means that it has less sugar.
· You don’t have to have wine cooler or cellar to store wine. In fact, wine can be stored in a closet right next to your shoes. Simply put, wine needs to be kept in a dark place, where there is no dramatic change in temperature or risk of the bottle(s) being vibrated. Then, about an hour before you need to serve it, place it in the fridge.
· When you swirl your wine, it is not necessary to create a tornado. A simple, slow swirl is all it takes to release the smell.
· Don’t be afraid to try new wines. You never know when you will discover a new flavor!
Drinking wine is not mysterious. Sure, there are basic things to keep in mind, but in the long run the best part of wine is, well, drinking it. At Bear Claw Vineyards, we love sharing our passion for wine and look forward to many glasses raised in salute to the wines of Georgia. So come see us sometime. We can’t wait to meet you!