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Whether you’re out to lunch and it’s your turn to pick the bottle, you’re hosting a dinner party or you’re out at a tasting, we’ve compiled a list of basic tips and tricks that will make you look and sound like you know your stuff, even if you don’t.
1. Do a little research before you get there
Not the most confident person when it comes to choosing the best suited wine off the menu? Do you tend to get a little stressed about the formalities of tasting and approving the bottle? Well, rest assured, a little research goes a long way.
Familiarising yourself with the wine list ahead of time will eradicate any uncertainty and knowing the serving protocol will ensure you’re well prepared. Firstly, the server or sommelier will show you the label of your chosen bottle. Check that it’s the one you ordered. Secondly, they will uncork or unscrew the bottle and pour you a taste where you will decide if it’s all good to go. Remember to sniff, swirl, sniff again and sip for extra expert points, before delivering your verdict.
2. Hold your glass the right way
This is an easy, yet oft-overlooked pointer that can take you from moron to maestro in a matter of seconds. Remember to always hold your wine glass by the stem and never by the body. This not only ensures that the wine’s temperature remains stable, keeping it delicious for longer, but keeps any unsightly greasy fingerprints from spoiling the ~aesthetic~. And remember to keep that pinky finger tucked in - god forbid you out yourself as a novice with an outstretched pinky.
3. Know the lingo
Brushing up on wine terminology beforehand will help you out immensely. If you’re describing a chardonnay, try words like ‘buttery’ or ‘creamy’. If it’s a shiraz, whip out ‘bold’ or ‘fruity’. Everyone has a different palate so don’t be disheartened if someone disagrees with you, as long as you say it confidently you should be in the clear. A little lingo goes a long way in the wine world, so throw in some words like ‘tannins’ and ‘flavour profile’ for extra points.
4. When in doubt, choose rosé
You can never go wrong with a good rosé, particularly as the days start to warm and summer nears. Rosé is a versatile wine that will pair well with a variety of dishes and appeal to the palate of many with both its sweet and dry varietals.
Also, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you may have picked up on the fact that spritzers and seltzers are the current on trend beverage. They’re not only light in calories but offer the perfect zingy buzz that is always welcome on a hot day, so why not try a rosé spritzer? Not only are there many pre-mixed options available on the market right now, but it’s super easy to make your own! Just mix three parts rosé with one part soda water and add the garnish of your choosing - we can recommend fresh berries or a sprig of thyme.
So there you have it, the best tricks of the trade to get you on your way to becoming a wine ‘expert’ and that will have you looking like one in the process. Remember, occasions where wine is involved are supposed to be enjoyable, so try not to overthink it. Cheers!
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