Do you know what pairs well with any activity? Wine. Whether you're watching "The Bachelor" or a sports game, drinking wine is always an acceptable companion. Unlike tequila shots that indicate that it's a wild night, breaking out a bottle of wine is still socially acceptable in pretty much any social situation. We literally have gone to children's birthday parties and enjoyed a nice Merlot.
While there are no wrong ways to enjoy wine, there is a time and a place for everything. For example, at a fancy dinner meeting with your new boyfriend's parents, you might not want to drink the Pinot Noir straight out of the bottle or from a straw like you might do when you're with your friends (this is a judgment-free zone). So, here is the ultimate guide to wine drinking so that you can honestly look like a true wine expert, even if you're just a beginner.
Read The Label
If we're being honest, up until this exact moment, we were picking our wines based on how pretty their label was. That's kind of why our cans look the way they do; in fact, we've been told they look like masterpieces, and we're not disagreeing. So, I guess you can say, we sort of put in our spin on this necessary step.
There are five basic parts of a wine label. Here is what they are:
Producer or Name: This is who made the wine.
Region: This indicates where the grapes of the wine were sourced.
Appellation: This refers to what grape or grapes are used to create the wine. An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the wine's grapes are grown, and apparently, serious wine drinkers can taste different notes based on this.
Vintage or Non-Vintage: The year that the grapes were harvested is the vintage. It is vital to wine connoisseurs because the vintage reveals a lot about wine. The more 'vintage' the wine is, the more expensive you can assume the wine is.
Alcohol by the volume or ABV: This is the alcohol level, obviously. The alcohol level reveals a lot about wine. European wine regions are very strict with their wine and only allow their highest quality wines to have 13.5% ABV and above. Many high alcohol wines are created from riper grapes and, frequently, have more fruity flavors.
While those five are the main pieces of information on a wine label, occasionally, other information is featured on a wine label. Some fancier wines have "Estate Bottled" on their labels to reveal their product was produced and bottled on a wine estate.
Some wine labels also include their reserve, which sounds a lot fancier than it is. The word can even mean nothing because there are no rules or laws that regulate what a reserve wine is. Some producers use the title to indicate their top-tier wines. But, again, this indicator is more of a marketing scheme.
Lastly, some wine labels have the words, 'contains sulfites.' This is a requirement for imported or domestic wines in the United States.
Wine and Food Pairing
The critical takeaway here is deciding what wine to drink based on what you plan on eating. Although we believe wine can accompany anything from a doughnut to nachos, some things pair better with certain types of wine. According to the real experts, a wine pairing should have the same flavor intensity as the food. So, red wine is best paired with red meat, because it has more tannins and white wines with fish or chicken.
Pour (or Open) Your Wine
We're pretty confident that this step goes without saying, but to enjoy a glass of wine, the bottle, or can must be open. We much prefer cans for apparent reasons. Hit us up if you have figured out how to bypass this step because it sounds like you might have superhuman wine lover qualities we'd like to see for ourselves.
Different wines should be served at different temperatures. For example, your Cabernet Sauvignon is usually served at room temperature, while you want to chill your Chardonnay and sparkling wines like Champagne.
Although this step sounds very straight forward, there is a beautiful art involved with pouring your wine. The standard pour of wine is 5 ounces, and that pertains to both white and red wine. We don't have any suggestions on ensuring you're pouring 5 ounces unless you want to whip out a measuring cup, but that's not the look we want to go for in this situation. When we're in this situation or any drinking situation, we usually pour from one of our cans because we can be precise with our pours knowing that Bev is 8.4 ounces of wine (yet another reason that it's the best wine).
Swirl and Smell The Wine
Ahhh, yes. The step that separates the boys from men, the girls from women, the wine sippers from wine connoisseurs: swirling it around your can while you're on a boat or at the beach (or the wine tasting). That's how your friends know you've made it.
When the less wine educated drinkers accuse you of swirling your wine to look like a big deal, you can coyly educate them. Share that swirling helps release the different aroma compounds and makes alcohol evaporate the aroma compounds in wine to your nose. They'll be stunned, but you'll be too busy drinking in the delicious smell of wine.
When you swirl it, you can also see how much of the residual sugar from the winemaking sticks to the glassware. this, apparently, tells you something about how your vino is going to taste.
We are exceptional at this step. But one thing to keep in mind, wine is not water and therefore, shouldn't be guzzled like you're in the middle of an intense soccer game or killer Peloton ride. But also, if you want to guzzle, we won't stare or judge; we've seen it all!
You might want to start with a small sip so that you can get a feel for all those complex flavors on your taste buds, like the acidity, the aftertaste, and all that. Some fancy people spit it out when they're doing wine tastes, but we can't imagine why you'd want to lose any of this precious wine.
Wine Drinking Etiquette
And while we're on the topic of pacing our drinking, let's talk about over drinking. We've all made the mistake of getting carried away, but a true wine connoisseur knows their limits. And if that doesn't convince you to pace, this might slow you down just a little: wine has a lot of sugar. So unless you're drinking Bev, which has zero sugar, a traditional glass of white wine can have 6-14 grams of sugar, and sweet wines have even more. For reference, a Poptart has 18 grams of sugar. Mind-blowing, right?! We're guessing if you're reading this, you're somewhat normal, and the idea of drinking 2-3 pop tarts blended doesn't sound appetizing, but hey, we could be wrong!
To wrap things up, you now have all of the tools necessary to be the sommelier we know you have dreamed of becoming! Go out there and sip, swirl, and smell away!