Some wine drinkers like to savor the effects of consuming wine with little or no regard for subtle nuances of flavor and would even knowledgeably declare that it all tastes the same after several glasses. However, this is definitely not the case and if you enjoy good wines, you owe it to yourself and the wine, to savor and enjoy the many elements that work together to ultimately result in a fine tasting wine. There are ways though, to improve the taste of your wine and this can be achieved by understanding and working with temperature, air and light. These are the three elements which can affect how a wine will taste and they can be manipulated to bring out the best in a wine.
1. Temperature Must be Optimal For Serving
Common knowledge has it that a red wine should be served at room temperature while a white wine should be chilled. There is an element of truth in this, however it is only the beginning, particularly in regard to red wines. Each wine has it’s own optimal temperature and will vary with different grape varieties and the region where they were grown. For example, a full flavored Bordeaux should be served at 65 degrees F while a light Beaujolais should be served at 54 degrees F. Likewise for storing wines. For red wines, it should be between 52 – 65 degrees F, while for white wines, it should be between 45- 50 degrees F. You can find a detailed list of serving temperatures for various wines at this website: http://www.skybarhome.com/about-wine/wine-serving-temperatures/wine-serving-temperatures.html
2. Correct Aerating and Decanting
Correctly aerating a wine will improve it’s taste. Essentially, it involves allowing the wine to ‘breath’ by exposing it to air prior to drinking it. Young wines can often have high levels of carbon dioxide and exposure to air can reduce this and allow their true flavor to come through. This will work well for most young red wines and can also have a similar effect on young white wines. Young wines will need up to two hours to fully aerate, although a mature wine should only need one hour. For aged wines, a few minutes only is recommended. Decanting with the aid of an aerating funnel is the best way to aerate a wine, although electronic aeration is commonly used these days.
3. Wine Glasses Should Be Wine Specific
Yes, the way in which wine is tasted can also enhance its flavor. Wine glasses are shaped so as to direct the wine to precisely the right place on one’s tongue and to allow the aroma to waft gently up the nose. This is why a full flavored red wine should be tasted from a large wine glass. It also allows for full aeration. With white wines, reducing the surface area can create a more concentrated funnel through which delicate aromas can be savored and tasted. Keeping a collection of wine glasses suited for reds and whites will ensure you experience maximum aroma and flavor from either wine. A tip for serving red wine, is to only fill the glass to the level of the glass’s greatest diameter because this will provide excellent aeration and thus improve taste.
The correct combination of wine glass, aeration and temperature can bring about the optimal taste and aroma experience for both red and white wines. So yes, you can make your wine taste better but it is always a good idea to start out with a good wine in the first place so that you actually have something to improve upon.