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Drinking White wines too cold and red wines too hot
I have been talking about this issue for ages, but it seems like no one is listening. White wines are often stored in the fridge while red wines are stored somewhere in the apartment.
White wines are therefore at 6 degrees C usually too cold while red wines are too hot – especially right now in summer.
What you can do is take your bottle of white out of the fridge to let it warm up for half an hour or so and put your red wine into the fridge an hour before serving it if you don’t have a wine fridge.
I often drink my whites and my reds straight out of my cellar, which means at 16 degrees Celsius. I would recommend serving most reds at 17 degrees and most whites at 10 degrees.
Don’t fill your glass too high
Filling a whole bottle into one glass.
Ok, this is kinda basic but you should not fill your glasses to high. Wine needs a bit of space in the glass to allow it to shine. So make sure that the wine has space
Believing you need expensive equipment
To get you started in wine you don’t need expensive equipment. I might have quite a lot of expensive toys today, but when I started practicing for the Master of Wine I often tasted from IKEA glasses and I still often use freebie corkscrews to open my bottle.
It is nice to use a fancy decanter to aerate your wine but you can get the same effect from a glass vase or a jam jar…
Judging a wine by the first sip
Tasting wine is like getting to know a person. Sometimes your new best friend needs a bit of time to come out of his shell. It is the same for some more delicate wines. At the same time, some wines seem impressive at first but are boring after one or two glasses.
So take your time and don’t dismiss or celebrate a wine before the bottle is empty
NOT judging a wine by its cover
Yes, you heard me right. It is a mistake NOT to judge a wine by its cover.
Of course, it is mostly about the content of a bottle of wine but when you shop for wine and don’t get to taste it the label often helps. First of all, there is a lot of information on the label on the grape variety, region, alcohol level, and sometimes even on ratings … but by looking at the label you can also often tell who the wine is made FOR and by whom it was made. Once you pull the cork, what matters is the bottle content.
Taking food pairing too seriously
There are only a few real mistakes you can make when matching wine. You should not eat sweet food while drinking less sweet or dry wine. You should not drink big alcoholic wines with spicy food … but that’s about it.
Of course, if you want you can go very deep into the food and wine matching but to me, most of the time, it is more important that I eat good food and drink good wine …
On top of that: Do you think anybody sat down at a desk for hours writing down possible matches for aromatic Blue cheese and then came up with Port? NO! Somebody one day just had a bottle of Port open while eating blue cheese and realized, that it is a great match.
Just following your palate
I know this is a bit controversial, especially because every wine expert tells you to just follow your palate.
You should find out what you like, but to do that you should listen to the advice of others: Friends, Sommeliers, Wine critics, pretentious wine snobs, and of course taste around.
You cannot know what you like without having tasted many different wines and most wine experts taste way more than you might be able to.
The independent advice of a knowledgeable taster is therefore valuable and can help you find better wines faster.
Of course, you should not religiously follow somebodies advice and believe wine is good because taster X gave it a big score.
Thinking you can understand wine without traveling to the region.
I think you can know a lot about wine without ever leaving your hometown, but to understand a wine style or region you should go there. Wine is a cultural product and to understand the culture, you have to live it. Plus this gives you a nice excuse to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world for education …