At WineCollective, we have compiled a list of wine tips and tricks to help you with anything from storing to serving. Everyone at office headquarters has a word of advice; whether they are simply wine lovers or certified WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) professionals, we all sample a ton of wines every month. While some are entertaining, they are all great suggestions to lead you further into the wine world. Enjoy!
David Gluzman – Founder | WSET Certified
“If you can’t finish a bottle of wine, red or white, store it in the fridge till the next day. It will help it last longer. Also, if you drink Port it should be stored in your fridge as well.”
Handy for someone who enjoys a single glass in the evening, an unfinished bottle can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Ensure that it is corked and has no exposure to air.
Matthew Protti – Co-Founder | WSET Certified
“Familiarize yourself with what grape varietals grow well in different countries. This will help you with a first pass on whether a wine is at a good price/value. As well, look for wines that are sourced from one area (AVA, DOC) and not blended from a large geographic region (e.g. South Australia).”
Although grape varieties can grow in multiple regions, each will have its own characteristics dependant on terroir. Take a look at where varietals thrive. Napa Valley, California and Bordeaux, France have mastered Cabernet Sauvignon.
Lindsey Snell – Wine Lover
With past experience in serving, Lindsey suggests that you keep an eye out for waiters with top-notch know-how or try these techniques at your own dinner party.
“Once the host has picked a wine suited for their guests meals make sure the server shows the host the bottle and gets approval to open it. The server should then provide the host with a taster and go clockwise around the table until they are back at the host to fill their glass.”
She also advises that you should not be afraid to send back a bottle of wine if it is unpleasing or smells “corked” like soggy cardboard.
Larissa Pinhal – Newbie Wine Lover
“If your guest spills a glass of red wine on your fancy white couch or carpet don’t get angry. Instead, run and get Windex. Spray enough to cover the stain and dab with a cloth. It should come right out.”
Chris Calon – Beverage Connoisseur
“Don’t smell the cork… You just look like a *****”
While smelling the cork won’t give you insight to the wine taste it may be cracked, moldy or dry, which will let you know if oxygen has been let in. The cork may also have printed information on bottling date or winery details.
Chris also says, “When clinking glasses, do not touch the tops of the glass. Aim to touch the widest parts of the glasses.”
You don’t want to be the guy/gal who breaks restaurant stemware. Cheers!
Megan MacLean – Wine Lover
Also a previous restaurant server, her tip comes in handy when pouring your guests a glass that is sure to impress!
“Have a cloth napkin handy. You can use it to hold the bottle if you’re serving chilled wine as a barrier between your hand’s warmth and the wine. When you’ve finished pouring, twist the bottle a little to catch any dripping and wipe the rim with your napkin. Most wine can be poured to the middle of the glass, but if you’re serving sparking, pour against the inside.”
Judy Bishop – Winery Know-it-All
“When cooking meat dishes with leftover red wine, aim to match the depth of the meat flavours to the body of the wine type. A deep rich Malbec or Syrah would work well with beef short ribs. A lighter Pinot Noir or Zinfandel would pair with braised pork or veal. A more tannic Cabernet Sauvignon with a lamb dish.”
Douglas Robertson – Tech Guy | Wine Lover
“If you are re-corking a bottle of wine with the original cork, put it in the same way it came out! The outer end of the cork may be dusty and you can risk getting dirt or bits of cork in the wine.”
Amber Fountain – WSET Certified
“When buying a new world wine, Reserve and Reserva don’t mean much. Don’t let it sway you, instead look for a bottle with the most detail.”
New World wines are wines produced outside of a traditional growing area like Europe. This includes Canada, South Africa and the United States.
“I always chill my wine a couple of degrees colder than suggested so that it can warm up a little in the bottle or glass. Also if you don’t have a wine cellar or cooler, store your wine in a place in your house with the most consistent temperature and humidity. The coolest place is where your dog sleeps mid summer.”
Do you have any wine tips or tricks you have come across through your wine experience? WineCollective would love to hear them!
Adorable illustrations courtesy of Gemma Correll