When it comes to drinking the fruit of the vine there are wants and musts and there are Do’s and Don’ts. As wine drinking becomes democratized and more available to the masses quite often the wine connoisseur encounters “colorful” and unique behaviors associated with the enjoyment of fine wine that simply do not add up; in fact, these peculiar habits detract from the overall experiential value of fine wine drinking. For us, these are the three least favored behaviors associated with wine drinking.
Drinking wine is an adventure for all your senses, in the case of fine wine, the wine maker has made significant investment of time, expertise and money to balance the bouquet and give the bottle the uniqueness in aromas that makes it valuable. The sense of smell is indispensable to fully appreciate finer wines. By having aromatic candles, more than 30% of the sensory feedback will not be processed. There is a time and a place for aromatic candles, and evenings of fine wine are certainly not it. If must have candlelight the best option is traditional tea lights.
Thick Glasses, Disposable Glasses and Plastic Glasses
Wine is a liquid jewel and it can be best appreciated for its color and visual qualities when presented in appropriate glassware. Thick glasses impact refraction and hinder wine observation. When appreciating fine wine you should be able to observe the intensity and viscosity of the wine. Plastic glasses absorb flavor and can pollute the profile of your wine. Disposables are simply a no no.
Wine aficionados and connoisseurs alike would do well to keep a basic collection of wine glasses. When embracing a wine drinking culture making this small investment which is usually less than the cost of a good bottle of wine will make a huge difference time after time when it comes to truly appreciating the flavor, aroma and visual qualities of the wine. While generally speaking crystal is better than glass, glass technology has improved to the point where you can spot very high quality glass stemware that won’t break the bank.
Adding Ice to Your Wine
If you are drinking a finer more exalted wine you should keep your hands off the ice cube. Aside from the occasional cube dropped into a warm glass of white or Rosé and fortified/doctored wines like White Port, Vermouth, Sangria and Pineau de Charentes, adding ice to fine wine is virtually unheard of in the west. The chemistry and flavor profile will be numbed and not reflective of the craftsmanship of the wine maker.
Drinking fine wine is an art, a pleasure and a science. If done right your palate and your heart will thank you forever.