5 Tips to Becoming a Wine Connoisseur

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(Newswire.net — April 4, 2016) — Have you ever been at dinner and listened to others discuss the wine they’re drinking? What they like? What they dislike? Well, for someone who barely knows the difference between a $2 box wine and a $200 bottle of wine, it can be tough to carry on a conversation. Don’t worry, though. You don’t need a two-year education in wine to become a connoisseur.

5 Wine Tips for the Wine Newbie

Whether you’re in the supermarket trying to figure out which bottle to buy for the dinner party your hosting, or you’re eating out with a group of business associates and they ask you to suggest a good bottle of wine on the menu, it’s always helpful to have a basic knowledge and understanding of wine. This isn’t a comprehensive guide, but the following tips will at least provide the basics.

 1.      Start with Basic Wines

Everyone has to start somewhere. Even some of the snobbiest wine experts started with very modest wines. The reason that you should start with basic wines is that you need to build a foundation and appreciation. If you automatically start with fine wines, you won’t have any understanding of other types. Furthermore, it’s better to discover what you like and dislike when you’re drinking a bottle that costs a few dollars as opposed to one that costs a few hundred dollars. 

 2.      Get Familiar with the Label

Have you ever spent much time studying wine labels? Most follow a very similar pattern, and it’s helpful to know what you’re looking at. The wine’s producer is at the top, followed by the variety, region, and grapes. Then, you’ll usually find the vintage year, followed by the alcohol content and size at the very bottom of the label. Being able to quickly identify this information is helpful for comparing one wine to another.

 3.      Order by the Glass

When ordering wine at a restaurant, forgo the bottle. It’s better to order by the glass, since this allows you to try wines made from different grapes, countries, and regions. This will accelerate your learning and make it easier to find wines you like. It’s also important to note that it’s much cheaper this way – should you purchase a bottle you don’t particularly enjoy.

 4.      Know How to Serve the Wine

Perhaps the biggest pressure comes with serving wine at a gathering you’re hosting. Not only do you need to purchase the right wine, but you also have to make sure it’s stored and served properly.

Here’s one little known tip that most beginners don’t follow: Store wine away from food. Did you know that wine actually breathes the air around it through its cork? As such, you don’t want it sitting in a refrigerator next to garlic and fish. Instead, find an isolated storage space, such as a dedicated wine storage unit.

 5.      Learn the Lingo

If you want to be taken seriously by other wine aficionados, then you need to use some of the phrases and terms they use. This is the quickest way to show them you’re on board.

“Wine expertise is all about linking an odour or flavour with its recognised name,” says Dr. Alex Russell, an expert who’s worked in the wine retail industry for more than 10 years. “Experts will share information using similar terms whereas novices generally can’t describe wines very well and don’t know the experts’ tasting terms.”

Enhancing Your Penchant for Wine

It takes years of reading, tasting, and refining your senses to become a wine connoisseur. It’s certainly not a status you can achieve after reading a few paragraphs. However, with these tips, you should be more informed than you were before. Cheers!