Wine – How to Become an Expert Wine Drinker

There is nothing worse than meeting business colleagues for dinner and not knowing how to properly order, pour or drink wine. Often clients from around the world bond over fine wines from across the globe, so to help you out, take a look at our wine etiquette guide.

How to Choose Wine

Choosing the wine for your table can be a difficult choice, especially if a restaurant has a wide range. To help narrow your choice, consider your price range, whether you would like red or white, and whether you are looking for a sweet, dry or full-bodied variety. Most restaurants will have a sommelier or bar staff on hand to help if you are not sure.

Sending Back Wine

After the wine has been delivered to your table, you will be asked to taste it. There are some occurrences where you should not accept the wine after tasting and instead send it back. Firstly, if the wine is corked, it is not fit for purpose – it will smell and taste bad. Secondly, if the wine smells like vinegar, it may be a bad wine and should be returned.

How To Taste Wine

When tasting the wine, it is important to do it in a particular way to show that you know your stuff. Firstly, look at the wine in the glass, ideally in natural light, examining its saturation. A wine should be rich in colour but clear enough to see through with a sheen to it. Any murkiness may show that it has added chemicals or has an issue with fermentation.

Next, swirl the wine around in the glass to look out for tears running down the side of the glass. This shows that it has good levels of glycerin and alcohol, meaning it is likely to be riper. The smell of the wine is also a great indication of its quality – primary aromas that you may smell include citrus fruits and florals from the grape itself. Secondary aromas are from the wine making process and are usually nutty or smell like cheese rind. The tertiary aromas will determine whether the wine is relatively new or aged, as this is likely to be from the barrels, such as cedar or tobacco aromas.

Now it is time to taste the wine. When tasting and discussing with others, consider the wine’s sweetness and acidity – would you describe it as soft or refreshing? Is it full-bodied and fills your mouth, or does it feel light and crisp?

The more wine that you taste, whether in restaurants or at wine tasting events, the more you will become familiar with the different flavors and aromas of each variety. If you are unsure at any stage, ask a sommelier for advice, as they have expert training in the art of wine.

Topping Up Your Glass

Often, restaurant waiters will top up your wine glass when it is getting low. If you do not want wine, simply place your fingertips lightly against the brim of the glass, rather than covering it entirely or turning it upside down. This shows that you are confident drinking wine and are knowledgeable in this area.