Wine drinking comes as a social activity that many or most of us truly look forward to, typically every week. While many wine drinkers feel like they’re really on top of their wine etiquette and know how to appreciate a fine wine with friends, most don’t realize how little they actually know. Wine tips you should know include things like how high to fill a wine glass, depending on if it’s red, white, or sparkling wine. Or, how to serve a red or white wine at the correct temperature. Our hack is easier than you think! If you’ve been doing a few things wrong for, like, ever, fret not, as you can now see how it’s done the right way with our wine tips for dummies and change up your wine rituals quite slightly. No one will ever realize what you didn’t know once you have it correct. And no, you don’t have to be a sommelier to get these things right, so read on for 10 fantastic wine tips for dummies (but we know you ain’t dumb)!
Interested in attending a week filled with the best wines in the world and some of the biggest celebrity chefs around? Buy tickets to The San Diego Bay & Wine Festival coming up this week in San Diego, November 16th-22nd.
Wine Tips For Dummies
- Placement – your wine glass goes to the right of your water glass on the table.
- Lipstick Trick – if you don’t want to get lipstick on your glass, which can be both a little gross and it takes your lipstick off, then secretly lick the edge of the glass right before you take a sip. No lipstick, no problem!
- Stem Etiquette – don’t be a bowl grabber, always hold your wine glass by the stem. Many people mistakenly think you only need to hold white wine by the stem (so you don’t warm up the wine), but you should also hold red wine by the stem.
- Correct Temperatures – white wines should be drunken colder than red, although both can be stored at the same temperature. Typically though, people will drink white wines too cold and red wines too warm, which limits how much you can enjoy the wine — a white that’s too cold will be flavorless and a red that’s too warm will be flabby and will not have textures that are full of expression. Whites should be drunken at 50 degrees Fahrenheit and reds should be drunken at 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Temperature Hacks – white: if it’s been in the fridge, it’s too cold. Plan to leave it out at room temperature for 30 minutes or so before drinking. Red: if it’s been sitting out, a slight chill will be necessary. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to brighten the fruit and lift the aromas.
- Glassware – the reason for all of the different shapes of wine glasses is so that a particular wine’s defining characteristics can be accentuated. Wine will be directed to key areas of the tongue and nose, where it can be fully enjoyed. Although wine can be savored in any glass, a glass designed for a specific wine type helps one to better experience its subtle differences.
- Fill Level – nope, you shouldn’t fill all wines to the same line and you defintiely shouldn’t fill to the brim. Fill red wine glasses to 1/3 full, white wine glasses to 1/2 full, and sparkling wine to 3/4 full.
- Cheers-ing Superstition – when clinking glasses, you should politely make eye contact with each individual person as you cheers them. According to French superstition, if you don’t look your cheers-er in the eye, you’ll risk seven years of bad luck (or bad sex)!
- Host’s Duty – as a host your eyes should always be looking for empty glasses. Make sure glasses stay filled!
- Wine Talk – a Chardonnay is buttery, creamy, round, or oaky if it’s been aged in the wood. A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is acidic, fruity, minerally white, and is a little lighter in body. An Australian Shiraz is fruity and jammy, while a Cabernet Sauvignon from France’s Bordeaux is tannic, structured, and smooth with age.