So, you know nothing about wine but neither do your friends. You want to impress at the upcoming housewarming party or a mini wine tasting event but let’s not kid ourselves – Wine is intimidating. Fortunately, it is easy to fool the masses with a few simple tips. Gear yourself up and become the wine guy/girl in the group.
Pro Tip: It’s a general rule of thumb to start with learning extensively about one of two regions (including the wine pronunciations) instead of starting too broad. Here’s our primer to the popular wine regions of the world to help you decide which region to focus first.
Buying Wine Like A Pro
Wine lovers buy wine by the bottle. Pros and wannabes buy cases of it.
A single bottle is surely not enough for a housewarming / dinner party so buying by the case is a great way to stock up on wine for such occasions. Buying wine cases is also a sound decision for collectors in part because retailers often offer discounts for bulk purchases.
However, buying wine by the case isn’t always a simple process.
This is why the Guidesify team recommends Vinomofo exclusively as the best wine platform hands down for purchasing wine cases.
As mentioned in our Vinomofo review, the platform is one of the only wine clubs which was formed genuinely for wine lovers, and not to clear the shelves of garbage wines. Only less than 5% of the wines tested by the Vinomofo’s wine tasters are approved to be on the platform, indicating its strict quality control protocols.
Not interested in getting a full case of the same wine? Vinomofo has built a few great mixed cases that come in all arrays, depending on the occasion and budget. Check them out here!
Fun fact: A standard case of wine contains 12 bottles (750 ml each) of wine – Vinomofo’s cases contain only six. This is because special and high-end wines are typically offered in cases of six.
Using Wine Apps to Gauge Wine Quality with Confidence
Image Source: Vivino
When faced with rows of wine or a multipage wine list, admittedly, it can be a challenge to select an ideal bottle. The advertised price and description will usually be the only things we can see but have no additional information.
Wish to see if you have purchased an exquisite bottle of wine? If only there was a personal sommelier by your side during the housewarming, right?
Worry not, there are various wine virtual assistants on the app store that could help with that!
To name a few, Vivino, Wine-Searcher, and Delectable Wine, are all good wine scanner apps equipped with community aggregated reviews and logging functions.
Think Taobao’s image search function, but specially built for wines.
In particular, boasting more than 50 million users, Vivino is the world’s largest wine app and marketplace empowering people around the globe to enjoy wine to the maximum.
Using A Handful Of Descriptions When Tasting Wine
Before going into the vocabulary needed to describe the taste of wine, it is important to know the three broad categories and to look at them in isolation – Sweet, sour, and bitter.
Note that the bolded words are common wine descriptors that you could use and add to your repertoire!
Wines that have a tart and sour taste are more acidic and leave a taste in the mouth that can be tangy or tingling. Acidity is essential for aged wines as it gradually decreases over time. Without acidity, a wine may be described as flabby or flat, where the wine has deficiencies in tannin/acid balance.
Next, tannin comes from the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit which creates dryness in the mouth. Too much tannin will create a bitter taste and can also be described as astringent.
A dry or bone dry wine means that the wine has very little, if any, residual sugar.
Eager to add more words to your vocabulary bank? Use a wine glossary then.
How To Pour Wine
Next, learning how to serve wine professionally can give you a few bonus points at the housewarming for sure.
We won’t be covering how to open a wine bottle. It is increasingly popular for good wines to be unscrewed rather than uncorked as screw caps are no longer considered the closure method exclusively for cheap vinos.
Of course, if you still want to know just in case the housewarming wine has a cork closure, check out this quick YouTube guide.
It’s absolutely mesmerizing to watch when someone pours wine with class and style. Like this Japanese sommelier who completely deserves an Olympics medal for giving a “bank account emptying” performance.
For starters, an average bottle of wine is around 750ml. Never fill a glass more than halfway and adjust the pour amount accordingly to the number of guests you are serving.
Finish each pour with a slight twisting motion and wipe the lip of the bottle with a napkin/towel to avoid dripping.
You would also like to keep your guests’ wine glasses on the table while pouring. We are still in the middle of a pandemic anyways.
Optionally, you may want to purchase a fancy decanter beforehand and pour the wine in, allowing it to “breathe” for at least 30 mins before serving.