Drinking wine itself is always a do. But while you’re getting tipsy, there are certain rules you must to abide by and ones you should definitely try!
Rule 1: Know What You Like
Beyond the simple classification of white or red, know what types of wine suit your taste—learning the regions and the characteristics don’t hurt either. Simply knowing that you like Riesling will not make for the best possible wine and dine experience. Knowing, however, that you like semi-sweet Rieslings from New York state, or the crisp Rieslings from Germany is going to greatly improve your Riesling consumption. After becoming a self-taught connoisseur, you will either buy or order exactly what you want (and need) every single time.
Rule 2: Know What You Don’t Like
Just as you should know which characteristics you prefer in wine, even more you should know what makes you cringe. Chardonnay is sold oaked and unoaked, but it tastes different depending on which of the two you buy. Knowing that you dislike oaky Chardonnay is helpful because you will walk straight past it at the liquor store. Being aware of tastes and characteristics that do not suit your palate is the best way to ensure you’re drinking exactly what you like. #WineWin
Rule 3: Check Your Temperature
Even rookies know that most reds are served room temperature and whites are to be served chilled, but for some reason not everyone abides by this cardinal rule. Drinking an ice cold red is a sin to the gods, and similarly a lukewarm white is a definite no-no. Here’s a helpful chart that shows exactly what temperatures each type of wine should be served at! Drinking wine at it’s destined temperature is not just to seem bougie, it actually enhances the flavors of the wine. So go ahead, show your parents that infographic (thanks, Pinterest!) to encourage them to buy you an awesome wine fridge. Whatever you do, please, please, pleaseee don’t put ice-cubes in your Merlot.
Rule 4: Pair Accordingly
There’s a science to pairing wines with food. Unlike a tequila sunrise or a vodka-diet—which I’m assuming would taste awful with a filling dish of pasta or a crispy wood-fired pizza—wine tastes wonderful with its perfect match and will often provide your meal with a gourmet touch. It’s commonly understood that reds complement saucy, spicy, or meat-based dishes, and the glorious gift of wine and cheese is loved worldwide, but not all wines are created equal. To really enhance your wine drinking experience, you must pairing specific types with certain snacks, dishes, and desserts. Serving a rich white wine with a salty steak won’t please anybody, and since you slaved over that slab of meat for at least 40 minutes, that’s a damn shame. Instead of facing daily dinner disappointments, pair wines using this chart. To start, think about the flavor profile you’re going for, and then pick a wine based off of that. Even if you just want to host a wine and cheese night, the tastes of each matter, and should be considered while you’re carelessly browsing the Barefoot section at Skytop.
Rule 5: Be Prepared For Your Hangover
Most people who don’t drink wine only refuse a glass because of the gnarly headache expected the morning after. Trust me, I know—when I down a bottle in just one night, I too wake up with a hangover that only equates to a pirate’s after he yo-ho-ho’s an entire bottle of rum. The thing is, wine is really heavily packed with sulfites, which dehydrate you like a raisin in the sun. This is the main reason for that god-awful headache wine lovers hate. If your weekly plans include a bottle for every Wine Wednesday, then you should take precautionary measures to combat that hangover. My advice: drink tons of water before, during and after drinking wine. Also, before bed snack on something salty, because the sodium will cause your body to retain water, hence hydrating you more!
Rule 6: Don’t Be Afraid To Get Creative
Yes, wine on it’s own is more than amazing, but wine cocktails are also nothing to shake a stick at. Wine will add sweetness to any cocktail, while still adding more alcohol to it—better than juice or soda, am I right!? My favorite wine cocktail is mixing a light white, like Riesling or Pinot Grigio, with gin, lemonade, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and club soda. It’s refreshing and just sweet enough to give you an instant summertime buzz. If that doesn’t suit your tastes, here’s another amazing wine cocktail: a French 75 (usually made with sparkling wine or Champagne), gin, lime juice, and a splash of simple syrup. It’s light, easy to drink, and definitely more fun than your average glass of champs. As you can tell, making wine cocktails is easy: combine wine, a hard liquor (gin, light rum, or vodka), an enhancer, (flavored liqueur like Chambord, or a fruit, herb, or juice), and something fizzy (club soda or tonic). Use what you like and flex your creative muscles. Wine cocktails are made with, duh, wine, so it can never taste too bad!