Being a true wine connoisseur is something of an art. The unspoken rules and points of etiquette are numerous but can help you to enjoy the experience of drinking wine at a deeper level. Of course, how you enjoy your wine is completely up to you, but if you would like to find out more about wine etiquette, read on.
Choosing the Wine Glass
While some wine drinkers don’t pay too much credence to the importance of using the ‘right’ glass when drinking their favourite wine. However, there is something to be said for immersing yourself in the full experience of wine drinking with the correct glass.
As a general rule, red wines tend to be served in glasses with larger bowls, whereas, white wines are served in glasses with smaller bowls, with rosé falling somewhere in the middle.
The reason for this is the way in which aromas escape the glass, with certain styles of glass delivering a better and even aroma depending on the type of wine.
The champagne flute style is used for sparkling wines in order to keep it fizzing – if you were to use a large bowl style, you may find the bubbles dissipate faster than you would like.
Serving the Wine
If you have guests over, it can be fun to serve them in the style of a restaurant. This is a great way to show off your vintages and treat them to the full experience.
Start off by presenting the bottle to your guests, allowing them to take a look at the label and vintage. You can then uncork your wine and offer a sample to ensure the taste and integrity of the wine. Once your guest signals that they are happy with the vintage, you can top up their glass to the appropriate level – white wines and rosé should only fill one-third of the glass and red wine approximately half of the glass.
This allows for swirling of the wine and the release of the aromas, offering the full wine tasting experience.
Toasting with Wine
The origins of clinking glasses is not quite known, although there are two likely stories. One suggests that glasses were clinked to allow the liquid within to slosh over into other glasses, proving to any guests that the host was not trying to poison them! The other story links the clinking of glasses to the sound of church bells. Glasses were said to be clinked in medieval times in order to drive away the Devil.
Whatever the origin of the story is, there are still some etiquette points to remember when clinking glasses with others. When clinking glasses, you should aim to do this ‘bell to bell’ avoiding the rims altogether so as not to damage the fragile part of the glass.
Drinking the Wine
Of course, there are certain etiquette points when attending a wine tasting, but you needn’t be too restrictive when drinking wine at home – the most important thing is enjoying it!
However, if you want to immerse yourself in the experience and display wine drinking etiquette, there are certain practices you can adhere to.
Before drinking, you can take in the aromas of the bouquet by swirling the wine around the glass and deeply breathing in the smells so as to pick up the variety of flavours. This will improve your experience as you take a sip from your glass. Give yourself some time to take in each note as you allow the wine to swirl around your mouth so you can truly pick up each flavour.
While there are many etiquette points to keep in mind when drinking your favourite wine, the most important thing is that you enjoy it! Of course, we hope to take the complexity out of the storage of your wine through the use of our Spiral Cellars, so while you worry about how you’re going to drink it, let us take care of storing it. Have a look to our wine room designs.