Next time a Sommelier saunters towards your table, wine menu in hand, reach out with open arms, grab it and take charge!
Be considerate to your guests. Ask if the table want red or white but more importantly ask if they are working on a “financial budget”.
Make your selection and regardless of whether you’ve had it before, simply say “I’ve always wanted to try this!” Why? Because that way, everybody gets an opportunity to form their own opinion on the wine and removes any backlash about your choice!
For more details on how to select a wine check out these tips…
The fantastic thing I love about wine apart from the obvious enjoyment of tasting and drinking it or matching it with food, is that it promotes robust conversation and debate on a variety of topics including screw caps vs corks, New World Wines vs Old World Wines or to aerate a wine or not to aerate.
This usually takes place while drinking wine with friends, family or colleagues. The irony of these discussions is that for potentially a whole dinner, you can have everyone engaging in the one topic about wine!! The conversation can be robust and exciting and at the end of it – we all agree that talking about and tasting wine together is marvellous.
Women Of Wine hosted a Masterclass for the NAB Staff Club recently and during that Masterclass I presented the exercise to the group about the concept of the Wine Aerator.
One glass had un-aerated wine poured straight from the bottle; and
The other glass had the same wine poured through an aerator inserted into the bottle.
The discussion that ensued was fantastic. Most people loved the way the wine flavours were enhanced after going through the aerator and a few people thought there was no difference to the taste. Everyone did agreed though, the aromas were markedly changed and the fruity aromas were much more prevalent – thus making the wine a more enjoyable experience.
Either way, the discussion was excellent where everyone’s opinion counted and most importantly, it was fun!
There are some photos below of the aerators Women Of Wine uses.
5 benefits about aerating a wine:
I think an aerator works better with a young wine, say under five-to-eight years old. It softens the tannins and releases the aromas that bring out a wine’s full potential. Tannins are the chemicals that make wine astringent and what makes your mouth pucker and feel dry after taking a sip.
In older vintages, tannins break down in the bottle as the wine’s bouquet evolves, which means it doesn’t need aeration but they’re often decanted to remove sediment.
Using an aerator is a much faster way for the wine to breath than pouring your bottle into a decanter and letting it sit for 30 minute. With the types of aerators available now, where you can put them straight into the bottle, it is a handy travel accessory when heading to a winery or on a trip where you’ll be tasting wine!
The theatre of pouring a wine that has an aerator attached is exciting and will be show stopper at your dinner party and creates fantastic conversation.
The fantastic discussion and stories the guests share about their own experiences with aerators or decanters, wine dinners and winery visits is brilliant.
It helps you learn more about your own palate and it’s a fun way to analyse the wine. Wine education doesn’t need to be stuffy or too technical. Activities such as these are a great way to learn about wine.
The important thing to remember is that there are no rules. Love it, don’t love it…it’s a great experience and leads to great conversation!