I recently attended a wine tour/tasting. I highly recommend it! Apparently I’ve been drinking wine incorrectly my whole (legal drinking-age) life. Here I thought you simply pour it into a glass and drink it. Wrong. There are way more steps involved than I ever realized. Don’t worry, I’m here to share them with you so you don’t continue to make the same mistakes.
Step 1: Balance Your Wine
If you’re one of the many who hold your wine glass in order to keep it from falling over when you drink, you’d be wrong. Apparently, if you’re cupping your wine glass in your hands, this warms the temperature of the wine to that of your hands. This is wrong, according to the experts. Hold the glass by the stem as though you’re trying to balance a basketball on a pencil. Your wine-drinking experience is already more exciting, right? This balancing act can be increasingly difficult with those large, (it’s been a long week) glasses.
Step 2: Tip to See Film (Check for poison)
Lesson #1: Trust no one, even your waiter. Tip your glass ever so slightly to see the layer of film on the top. Yeah, I didn’t realize my wine had a film on top either. Apparently that’s a good thing. Are there any floaties on top or beneath the film? If not, excellent. You can proceed to step 3.
Step 3: Smell (Again, check for poison, or wine gone bad)
I’ve learned that being a wine connoisseur includes being increasingly paranoid. Don’t just slightly waft the aroma to your nose. Really get your nose in the glass so you can get super close to the wine. If your nose is actually touching the wine, you’ve gone too far. Back up a smidge. Do you smell that rich bouquet of flavours? Me neither. Just nod and agree with the wine snobs around you.
Step 4: Swirl
Now don’t get carried away. It’s not an aggressive swirl that can spin your wine right out of the glass and splash on your neighbour. Ever so gently, until you’re a real pro, swirl the wine around in the bottom of the glass. Your friends should be really impressed with you by now. Apparently, this helps to release the flavours.
Step 5: Swish It Around
Take a sip and swish it around in your mouth. Now, you don’t want to gargle it like mouthwash. You’re supposed to swish it around to get rid of whatever tastes already exist in your mouth. Now, you don’t have to spit the first sip out (although that’s what the “experts” suggest). Just don’t judge the whole glass by this sip. Cleanse that pallet so you can taste your wine from a blank mouth slate.
Step 6: Slurp It
This doesn’t involve slurping it from the glass. Sip the wine and then slurp it from within your mouth for about 30 seconds before swallowing. Yeah, I don’t really understand how this is supposed to work. I just pretended I was doing it and moved on to the next step.
Step 7: Smell it Again
I know what you’re thinking. You already smelled the wine. However, you just swirled the wine around and now it smells completely different. Again, nod and agree with the wine snobs.
Step 8: Drink Away
Yes, finally, if you’re not completely exhausted, you can drink your wine. Now, I’m not entirely sure on this, but I think you can just drink your wine normally from here on out. At least the wine that’s already in your glass. Pour another glass and you’ll have to start at step 1 all over again.
My Personal Take on Ice Wine: It’s not worth it. It’s crazy expensive, comes in a small bottle, and tastes like syrup (not the good kind). Save your money.