If you are new to the world of wine drinking, here are a few guidelines that will help you enjoy your red wine:
Knowing Your Red Wines: Red wines are most simply differentiated by what is known as their ‘body’ type. Light-bodied red wines offer a less intense taste that does not last as long on the pallet and full-bodied red wines supply a much heavier taste that lingers on in the mouth. There are also several versions of medium-bodied red wines that fall somewhere in between.
The key to enjoying your red wine is to start with a light-bodied variety and work your way through to the heavier-bodied varieties. If you start the other way round, the stronger flavors will drown the lighter ones. To enjoy your red wine evening to the utmost, you would do best to start off with a light wine variety such as a Merlot or Barbera and move on to a medium bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir or Tempranillo before hitting the Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Shiraz or any of the other full-bodied wines.
General Temperature Guidelines for Red wines: Red wine is best enjoyed when served at the proper temperature. The general rule that states that all red wines should always be served at ‘room temperature’ can be a bit misleading. The correct temperature actually refers to the ‘room temperature’ of a wine cellar, which is around 15-16 degrees C or 55degrees F and not that of a heated modern home, which at 70 degrees F is way too high.
As a general rule, full-bodied wines taste best when served at around 63 to 68 degrees F, light-bodied wines a bit cooler at 59 to 63 degrees and very fruity red wines cooler still at about 54 to 57 degrees. There are even thermometers specifically designed for wine for wine connoisseurs who want to be sure they have the temperature just right!
When served at a temperature that is too cold, the subtle flavors and textures of the wine will be lost whereas the wine can taste somewhat flat and totally non-refreshing if the temperature of the wine is too warm. No need to go rushing for your thermometer every time you open a bottle of red wine though. Just remember that red wine needs to be just cool enough to be refreshing but warm enough so that you can savor all the flavors. You know you have got it right if the glass of red wine feels slightly cool in your hands.
Let Your Wine Breathe: It is best to open a bottle of red wine at least 20 to 30 minutes before serving so that the wine gets a chance to breathe. All red wines benefit from breathing time as it allows them to release their multiple flavors and really show what they are made of. This is especially true for the full-bodied red wine varietals.
Use the Right Wine Glass: Truly experiencing the aroma of red wine is very important to how much you will enjoy it. This means you need to use the proper wine glass. A glass for red wine should be have a large bowl so that you can properly swish the wine and release its subtle fragrances. The mouth should only taper slightly so that you can fully smell the wine as you sip it. The large opening also allows the wine to ‘breathe’ properly.
Check out wine reviews from Jason and Neil Parsons, Regular Guys in the Remodeling Industry.
Now you’ve got the fundamentals right; sit back, relax and enjoy your red wine.