Happy Hour: 10.16.19
Wine can be downright confusing. Most people are only interested in drinking it, but having even a little knowledge will go a long way. If you consume enough wine and information, you eventually develop skills naturally. Here are a few tips for looking like a wine expert in front of your friends.
read the back of the bottle.
Show others you pick out your wines by more than just a catchy name or label by digging a little deeper. Often, wines will have the history of the winery or important facts on the backs of their bottles. Paying attention to the alcohol level often listed here as well is helpful. Sometimes wineries intentionally mislead consumers on how much alcohol is in the wine, so knowing the typical level of your favorite grape can help you compare it to others.
look up vintages.
Every year is different, in life and in wine. Some years are fruitful, and some years, wine isn’t made at all! Doing a quick web search on vintages will make you look intelligent and will broaden your understanding of the quality. Save yourself from buying bottles from inferior years. In literally 2 minutes, you can do an online search and rattle off simple facts about the weather in Napa, Burgundy or wherever your favorite wine is made.
talk about fruit, tannins and structure.
Is your wine fruity or tart? Does it leave your mouth dry? How long can you taste it after you drink it? These things are what experts talk about when judging wine. Even if you’re completely wrong about everything you’re saying, just categorizing your thoughts like this will make you look like you know what you’re talking about. While your friends might remark that it’s really good or smooth, you can pontificate about how the wine smells fruity, goes tart on the palate and then has a long, dry finish. Pay attention to the basics, slow down and think about what you are smelling and tasting. Sometimes looking like you know what you are talking about is just stating the obvious.
pair food and wine.
If you bring a bottle to a party, bring food to pair with it. This could be something as simple as Champagne and potato chips, or goat cheese and sauvignon blanc. Showing people you pay attention to what you drink with your food is an endearing quality. Once again, a little web search can go a long way if you are completely in doubt. Pairing wine with food really does open up another world when dining. Whether you follow expert advice or enjoy experimenting, invite friends over and become your group’s wine guru!