Get the most out of your vino with these tips and tricks from the pros.
Aiming for a new and improved you in 2016? That’s tough. Improving your wine experience? That’s not hard at all.
To help you get the most out of your vino, we asked the pros for their best wine drinking hacks.
CONTROL THE TEMP
Aim for a middle ground when it comes to temperature. Good reds taste better with a little chill on them, and good whites taste better when they’re not ice cold, says Joe Campanale, co-owner and beverage director for several New York neighborhood restaurants. So put that bottle of red in a refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Use clean, clear glasses with a good stem, says Campanale. He uses Bordeaux-shaped glasses for “pretty much all wine, including Champagne.” The stem plays an important role — keeping your fingers from warming the wine.
Drink most white wines young, says Gordana Kostovski, sommelier/beverage director of the Volver restaurant in Philadelphia. And these days, many red wines are made ready to drink on purchase, too.
Big red wines, on the other hand, may need a little more time. Wondering how long? You can ask at the wine shop or check the vineyard’s website for suggestions. Try quick-aging your wine in the new Oak Bottle, which adds oaky depth in just a couple hours.
DARE TO DECANT
Decanting a wine is good all around. Whether young or old, a wine improves when exposed to a little air (which occurs naturally when pouring the wine from the bottle into a decanter). Careful pouring also means you leave any sediment in the bottle. Champagne, white wine and rosé can benefit from decanting, too, says Jessica Pinzon, wine director of the Napa Valley’s Miminashi restaurant.
PICK SAVVY STORAGE
Store wine on its side and in contact with its cork, says Kostovski. And if you’ve got a wine refrigerator, keep it in there at 55 F. If not, look for a spot in a basement or closet that’s shaded from heat and light. And, says Kostovski, think about investing in a Coravin, the device that allows you to sample wine repeatedly without pulling the cork.
There’s no hacking a really bad wine. Campanale recommends going to a good wine shop to get a head start. If you find a wine you like, make a note of the producer; you’ll probably like some of their other wines, too.