02 Jun Some Basic Wine Requirements
Perhaps you didn’t grow up in a household with parents that drank. Maybe you chose to avoid alcohol for religious or health reasons. You may have prevented crazy parties in high school, or opted to be the responsible one so you could be the assigned driver for your friends. For whatever reason, if any of these details sound like you, you probably don’t know much about wine (unless you’ve been around it a lot due to friends). Getting to know some basics can be helpful for many reasons, from entertaining to knowing how to gauge when you need to stop if you’re thinking of drinking at a party and don’t want to become sloshed. The following are some introductory Q&A s we hope will be helpful to you.
How much wine should I carry hand if I’m having friends over for dinner?
Even if you don’t drink, you might have folks arriving for dinner and need to have enough alcohol on hand for your friends (along with the appropriate stemware). Vinepair.com has a handy tool for measuring how much you should buy to make sure you’ve got things covered. Check out their calculator here: www.vinepair.com/dinner-party-calculator. This tool will help you get rid of the guesswork and can ensure you won’t come up short.
How much alcohol is too much?
It’s difficult to give a general recommendation here, because that will vary from person to person, depending on body composition. When you begin to feel the effects of alcohol, stop then instead of continuing (if you want to avoid getting drunk).
Be mindful of the temperature!
Wine is a little bit of a finicky, sensitive beverage (#truth). And, here’s the thing: different wines taste better at varying temperatures. This isn’t a one-temp-fits-all type of gig. Finding out this will help you to do your homework in advance to make sure you’ve got it at the appropriate temperature before opening the bottle for your dinner party. For a helpful reference guide, take a look at http://www.skybarhome.com/about-wine/wine-serving-temperatures/wine-serving-temperatures.html
Why do people smell and swirl their wine before drinking it?
Well, here’s the deal. Swirling the wine allows oxygen to infuse with the wine, and that process releases the wine’s distinct flavors, something that’s helpful before you consume it.
What wine to serve?
If you’re new to this whole world, you might think that all wines are produced equal (if it’s alcohol, it’s alcohol, right?). But, nope … that isn’t accurate. Sure, they all contain alcohol, but depending on the kinds of grapes used, whether the wine was oaked or not, how much contact the grape juice had with the grape skins, and the various pairings of different grapes to generate a variety of flavors shows that you’ll end up with an array of outcomes– some wines that are more sturdy, and others that are lighter. You’ll want to match the wine you serve with the type of food you are having for dinner because of this. If you’re new to it and aren’t sure what types of wine go well with what you’re serving, do a little research. Google “pairing wine with food” to find some good articles and tips for understanding how to best put the two together.
As with anything else, the more that you become accustomed to the world of wine and get to know yourself with various aspects of it, the less opaque it will seem. Soon you’ll be pulling every aspect of this off like it ain’t no thang. In the meantime, good luck as you experiment and get to know more about wine, its relationship to food, and the rich culture and long-standing tradition that it recalls.