Last weekend my husband I went to Napa and did some wine tasting at several wineries. We visited a few larger wineries as well as some boutique wineries and had a wonderful time. While we were at the wineries I wanted to learn more about the tasting process and proper ways to store bottles, so I asked each wine host what tips they could give me. The top 5 tips I learned are below and I hope they help you with your next wine tasting and storage.
Do you like to drink wine?
1. About 80% of our sense of taste is actually in our nose, so when drinking wine it is important to smell the wine before taking your first sip. The correct way to smell wine is to stick your entire nose into the glass and take a deep breath. As you smell the wine think about all of the scents you are picking up to ready your taste buds for what you are about to drink.
2. Swirling the wine in your wine glass is very important because it aerates the wine and releases the vapors, evaporating from the sides of the glass, for you to smell. As the wine coats the sides of the glass, it releases its bouquet which makes it easier for you to smell the wine. While firmly holding the stem of the wine glass, gently swirl the glass in tiny circles on a flat surface for about 10 to 20 seconds.
3. When storing wine it’s best to keep it in an environment which is between 45-65 degrees fahrenheit. If wine is kept in an area which is higher than 70 degrees it will age a little faster than desirable. If it’s housed in the refrigerator or in an environment less than 45 degrees for longer than two months the wine can be damaged because the lack of moisture could eventually dry out corks, which might allow air to seep into the bottles.
4. Do not store wine or bubbles in the door of the refrigerator where it will get shaken up. Unless you want to spray champagne all over you obviously don’t want your bubbles stored in a place where they can be shook. When it comes to wine, vibrations can disrupt the sediment and keep them from settling which could make them unpleasant and gritty. This is unlikely for short term storage, but it’s best to store your wines some place they won’t get a lot of disruption.
5. Do you ever wonder why so many wine racks are made so your wine bottles are stored sideways? The experts say to store your wine on its side to keep the liquid against the cork to keep the cork from drying out. If you are planning on drinking the wine in the near future or it has a screw cap or plastic cork this shouldn’t make a difference, but storing them sideways won’t harm your wines.