How much do you really know about drinking wine? In my case, not much. It was not until very recently that I learned that I did not know how to hold a wine glass properly (Hint: Hold it by the stem, not the cup). Let’s all learn the basics about wine together.
Pick a Color
First, there are two main categories of wine: white wine or red wine. White wines are mostly made of white grapes; they are made without skins or seeds. The skins are separated from the juice and yeast is added for fermentation. White wines are lighter and have a crisp, fruity flavor and aroma. Red wine is made from the darker red and black grapes. On another note, sparkling wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it, making it fizzy.
Bonus Tip: Champagne is the same thing as sparkling wine, the only difference being that sparkling wine can only be called champagne if it comes from the region of Champagne, France.
Hold the Glass Correctly and Stare at Your Glass
To hold wine, you can grab either the stem or hold onto the base of the wine glass. Never grab the bowl portion of the wine glass because holding it by the “bowl” warms your drink, which is not what you want. You hold champagne flutes the same way. While sipping your drink, remember to stare directly into your glass because it is impolite to look at another person while drinking if you are in conversation.
Let It Breathe
When you drink wine, you need to perform a practice called “letting it breathe.” Letting a wine breathe is when you expose the wine to the air to facilitate and promote the exchange of wine molecules with air molecules. Letting the wine breathe makes it easier to smell, which therefore makes the wine taste better since our sense of taste is directly affected by our sense of smell. You can let the wine breathe by swirling the wine. To swirl the wine, you can either place the glass firmly on the table and swirl it by the stem, or, as an alternative, you can pick the wine glass up and twist your wrist in circles.
How to Pour Wine
Know the appropriate measurements when pouring drinks. Red wine glasses should be 1/3 full, white wine should be ½ full, and sparkling wine or champagne should be ¾ full. Always “twist pour,” which is when you twist the bottle at the end of pouring.
Here’s a great guide to wine tasting: