Wine hacks to make every bottle taste better…
Whatever you spend on your bottle you want it to taste as delicious as possible, right? Chances are you’ve got a good reason to be drinking (delete as appropriate bad day/good day/celebrating/commiserating/meeting friends/on your own/Netflix/because it’s a day of the week with a y in) and that means you need your wine to show up and do the work. The good news is that there are a handful of things you can do to make your wine taste better, whether it is the best (or worst) bottle you’ve ever opened…
- Good Glasses – sail in the right vessel
Drink from good glasses. Yes, you can drink from tumblers, tea cups and paper cups but the reality is that there are certain glasses that noticeably improve how a wine tastes. The two major things are that the glass is ‘tulip shaped’ i.e. narrower at the top than the bottom; and thin glass. Simple. But the difference is perceptible both in terms of taste and how the wine feels in your mouth. I know, Ikea do 6 for £1 and they are fine, but spending £6 (or more) on one will mean you taste the difference. So, sacrifice the cost of a bottle of wine or two, and invest in a couple of good glasses, they’ll pay for themselves in no time. There are a number of brands of glass that consistently make good glasses, listed in a very broad low to high cost order: Glass & Co, Riedel, Schott and Zalto (these are the daddies but cost A LOT per glass). John Lewis, wineware.co.uk and your local wine shops are all good places to shop for them.
And if you don’t believe me, try the same wine out of two glasses side by side and see if you can taste and feel the difference. A wine glass and tumbler will do.
2. The right temperature – keep it cool
Changing the temperature of wine costs nothing and can transform what you’re drinking. I would say that wines are too warm 80% of the time, especially because they warm up quickly once they are in your glass, even the reds. As a wine warms up it releases more of its aromatic characteristics i.e. flavours, but also it loses some of its freshness and you can taste the alcohol more. As a general rule, bigger bodied wines, that’s chardonnay, viognier etc in the whites and shiraz, cabernet, Bordeaux, Malbec in the reds, shouldn’t be freezing cold because it means you feel more of the dry tannins and less of their richness. Whites should always come out of a fridge or chiller and reds should be cool. Remember room temperature was the recommendation before we had central heating, so avoid your wines being by the cooker or radiator!
3. Adding food to the mix
This is a tricky one because different wines will react differently to different foods but this isn’t about matching, this is about how elements of the food will actively change your experience of the wine. SO if your wine tastes too something there’s a chance that food can help.
Red wines that taste or feel dry or furry in the mouth need protein to balance the tannin that gives them that furry feeling – meat, cheese, crisps, nuts… they will all help make the wine taste smoother. The drier the feeling, the more protein you need so red meat wins.
Wines that taste too sharp, red or white, need fat which they balance out. So again, cheese, antipasti with oil, cured meats, fish and chips are all good shows and in dire needs, crisps work!
Wines that feel to heavy need something to stop them overwhelming your palate. This is a personal preference thing but if a wine tastes too much on its own, have it with your dinner.
There are plenty more things that help enhance a wine, but these 3 work every time!