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Wine 101


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You can drink wine on a picnic, you can drink wine at a restaurant, you can drink wine on a jet, you can drink wine on a cruise ship, you can drink wine with lunch, you can drink wine with supper, you can drink wine at a party or you can drink wine at home with your spouse. In fact, the only truly inappropriate time to drink wine is if you are driving.

With so many reasons for wine, would it not behoove you to know as much about wine as possible? For instance, you should know the proper temperature to store and drink wine. If you want to store wine, you should store it between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

The refrigerator is too cold for wine storage and room temperature is too warm for wine storage. Therefore, if you do not have a wine cellar under your house, you will probably need to purchase an appliance that holds wine in a case at the proper temperature. Such wine cases are plentiful and easy to find.

You should keep your wine storage box in a dark place because UV rays also break down important molecules in wine. Consequently, if you plan to keep wine for more than a month, you should plan to keep it stored in a dark cool place.

When it is time to drink your wine, you should know what temperature to serve your wine. If you are serving white wine, the best temperature is between 60 and 68 degrees. Many people prefer white wine at cooler temperatures than the best temperature for white wine but in drinking the wine too cold, you will cover many of the flavors of the wine with coldness.

If you are serving red wine, you should serve the wine starting at 70 degrees. If you are serving wine that you have properly stored at 55 to 60 degrees, be sure to allow enough time for the wine to warm up to the proper temperature before serving it.

When you serve your wine, you will want to know what kind of glass will enhance the flavor of the wine the most. If you are serving white wine, your glasses should be narrow, with the bowl barely wider than the rim of the glass. Just remember that you want less air warming up the white wine, so the opening to the wine is narrow.

When you are serving red wine, your glasses should have a wider bowl. For full-bodied Cabernets and Merlots, your glass should be taller than your glass for a lighter and fruitier Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir glass should be wide but short.

While it might not seem like it would make very much difference to most people whether you serve their white wine at 50 degrees in a wide rimmed glass or if you serve their Shiraz in a narrow rimmed, tall wine glass at 63 degrees, it does make a difference. You do not have to make a big deal out of it, but if you serve the proper wines at the proper temperatures and in the proper glass ware, you will be amazed at how many extra compliments you get about how good the wine you serve is.

Ian Love is the boss of Australian wine shop - Liquor Merchants, and owns top Perth restaurant Coco's. He runs a great wine club in Perth.


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