A little knowledge can go a long way, especially when you’re a beginner. Thanks to our friends at winedirect.com.au we have put together 10 fun wine facts in our Beginner’s Guide to Wine that will have you feeling like an expert in no time!
So pour yourself a glass of vino and let’s get started.
Did you know…?
1. Wines with a screw-cap do not need to be stored lying down as this is only necessary to prevent the cork from drying, shrinking and letting in air.
2. There are people around the world who HATE wine! I know, I can hardly believe it myself. The fear of wine is called “oenophobia”.
3. You should be able to get 5-6 glasses of wine per bottle… or one really big one like this:
4. Since wine tasting heavily relies on wine ‘smelling’, women tend to be better wine testers than men because women typically have a better sense of smell than men.
5. Although many kitchen designs these days come with built-in wine racks, try not to keep your wine in the kitchen. It gets too hot which may damage the wine’s quality. Fridges also tend to get too cold for a wine to be stored in there long-term. Your best and cheapest bet is to find a cool dark closet somewhere in the house where you can keep your bottles. Or just drink them straight away. That works too.
6. You should never refer to a sparkling wine as ‘champagne’ unless it is, in fact, from Champagne in France. Using the casual and popular Australian term ‘bubbles’ or ‘bubbly’ will make you seem very cool.
7. Moet et Chandon is regularly mispronounced. The correct pronunciation is ‘mow-ett’ and not ‘mow-ay’.
8. Decanting a wine is an often used process mainly useful for older wines as it removes bitter tasting sediment and also allows a wine’s flavour to ‘open up’.
Do I need to match my food to my wine?
9. The short answer is no BUT certainly consider flavours. A heavy red wine will not do any favours to your mouth if you’re eating a spicy, chilli dish for example. As a general rule, it is typical to first serve lighter wines and then move to heavier wines throughout a meal. Additionally, white wine should be served before red, younger wine before older, and dry wine before sweet.
Tips on ordering out
10. How often have you gone out for dinner somewhere and been presented with a wine list which does not have even one name on it that you recognize? It happens to me all the time so I’ve got a couple of rules I follow to help me through.
a) If choosing a Sauvignon Blanc look for one from the Adelaide Hills or Marlborough in New Zealand
b) If choosing a Shiraz look for one from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale or Heathcote
c) If choosing a Cabernet Sauvignon look for something from the Coonawarra or Margaret River.
d) If choosing a Pinot Noir look for something from Tasmania or the Mornington Peninsula.
e) If choosing a Riesling look for something from Eden Valley or Clare Valley.
So that’s it! Feeling like a wine pro yet? Or maybe you’ve got your own top tips. Let us know if we’ve missed anything in the comments.