Many of us are enjoying a nice glass of Chardonnay during the pandemic. Since we can’t go to restaurants or bars, it’s one luxury we can enjoy at home with our partner and adult children. Sometimes, when we feel like having a glass of wine we may have forgotten to chill the bottle or have misplaced the corkscrew. Occasionally, you may use your unique skills to solve such issues.
The wine hacks below will help you improve your wine-drinking experience. You have probably had one of these experiences including drinking expired wine, allowing fine wine to oxidize beyond drinkable concentrations, and biting on a piece of cork. Here are some easy hacks you can try to ensure your glass of wine is perfect:
Hold Your Wine Glass Right
One of the essential things to know about drinking wine is how to hold your wine glass. The best way to hold your glass is to grasp the stem, not the goblet. This keeps the wine in the glass at optimal temperature for a more extended period. You can prepare for an excellent wine session by ordering a bottle or two from an online wine store like usualwines.com.
Expedite The Chilling Of Your Wine
If you’ve constructed a wine cellar at home, that probably means you’re a certified wine drinker. One hack you should be aware of is the chilling method for wine. It makes a difference at what temperature certain wines are served. In general, white wines should be chilled or at the very least served at a cool room temperature.
When you make the mistake of forgetting to put the wine bottle in the fridge just before your guests are about to arrive, what should you do? If you have 10 to 15 minutes to spare, you have two options. You can wrap the wine bottle in a wet towel or paper. If you’re going to chill it, don’t leave it in the freezer too long since wine can freeze after an hour.
Alternatively, you can place the wine bottle in a bucket with some ice if you have them. You may also speed up the wine chilling process by placing the wine in a bucket of water, (at least one cup of) ice, and salt. Another good alternative is to add some frozen grapes. These will look great while floating around your glass.
Learn about the Five S’s
Drinking wine is different than drinking other alcoholic beverages. You may be tempted to gulp it down like beer, but it’s better to take your time and savour each mouthful. Note that there are five S’s of wine tasting: see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savour. If you live by this mantra, you’ll not only avoid being judged by others, but you will enhance your wine-drinking experience. Practice the five S’s every time you’re in a fine dining restaurant by asking if you can have a taste of the wine before ordering.
Another thing to keep in mind is to master the act of swirling. Swirling wine in a glass oxygenates the wine, which releases its aromas. Slowly and gently swirl your wine and then and sniff it. Be careful with swirling, though, as a slightly exaggerated move can result in disasters like stained clothes and table linens.
To be a real wine expert, you can take a sommelier course to obtain certification. Upon completion, you have the license to explore wine at the next professional level.
Sommelier certification is awarded to individuals who’ve demonstrated a mastery of wine knowledge, service, and sales. As a sommelier, you’re responsible for selecting, purchasing, and serving wines in restaurants or other hospitality settings. You can also provide wine education and recommendations to customers.
Detect Spoiled Wine
Have you experienced having left a bottle of wine on the counter for too long? Even wine that has been opened and left in the fridge for over a week can go bad. Here are a few tips to tell whether it’s still drinkable.
Begin by smelling the wine. You’ll usually notice a few distinct aromas when red wine has gone bad. If it already smells rotten and similar to vinegar or garlic, you should get rid of it. Oxidation is the process by which wine gets stale.
You can also find out if your wine is still drinkable by examining it. Pour some of the wine in a glass – if you see bubbles in a wine that’s supposed to be clear, it has gone bad. Additional signs that you should dispose of your wine are the colour becoming a brownish flat, or clouds forming in the glass. The wine spoilage process varies from wine to wine. It’s almost certainly not good if its taste is no longer like it was the first time you tried it.
Learn Wine Vocabulary
There’s a whole vocabulary for wine, so make sure you understand the basics so you can better convince people how wonderful this drink is. For example, no one uses the word ‘smell’ when they refer to wine’s aroma.
The blend is a wine made from different grape varieties. The weight or thickness of a wine is the body, determined by the amount of alcohol, tannins, and/or sugar.
Brix measures the sugar content in grape juice. On the other hand, residual sugar is the amount of leftover sugar in a wine after fermentation. It can give a wine a sweet taste.
Tannins refer to astringent compounds found in grape skins, seeds, and stems. They can give a wine a dry, puckery taste.
Astringent tannins are what make red wine taste dry in the mouth. They’re primarily responsible for the puckery sensation you get after glugging. Dry wine is not sweet (sometimes referred to as ‘Brut’ for sparkling wines). ‘Vintage’ refers to the harvesting year of the grapes used to make the wine.
Learn a few descriptions regarding the taste of wines you enjoy most, and then slip them into conversations about wine. ‘Buttery’ and ‘creamy’ are words you can use to express your love for a Chardonnay. Shiraz can be explained with words like ‘jammy’ or ‘fruity.’ If it’s Bordeaux that sweeps you off your feet, you can describe it as ‘earthy’ or ‘spicy.’
Save Leftover Wine
The small amount of wine left in your refrigerator can still be put to good use. Wine can impart amazing flavours to food, so it’s great for cooking, and sauces made with it are popular. Keep in mind, though, that a bad-tasting wine will still taste bad when added to sauces.
Alternatively, you can save the wine to add to recipes later. This may be accomplished by filling an ice cube tray with leftover wine. Once frozen, you can store the wine cubes in a plastic freezer bag and then take them out whenever you need to prepare a dish that requires wine. Also, you can make vinegar out of any red wine you have left. Being such a versatile ingredient, wine should be a staple in every kitchen.
The shelf life of leftover wine varies depending on the type of wine. Sparkling wine, for example, will last only one to two days after opening. On the other hand, red wine lasts three to six days.
If you’re unsure whether or not leftover wine is still good, it’s best to throw it out. There’s no point in drinking wine that’s gone bad, as it won’t taste good.
Are you feeling more like an expert now that you’ve read some helpful hacks for wine? Try them out the next time you have a glass by yourself or in the presence of good company. You’ll be able to impress everyone with your wine know-how.