Wine, unlike spirits, comes with it’s own set of rules. So much so, that I believe it needs to be consumed with the same measure of elegance. Having said that, drinking wine doesn’t need to be overwhelming — even if you are a newbie or an experienced taster. The wine world comes across as intimidating at times but it really isn’t, once you understand its nuances.
In fact, I would say that an important must-do while drinking wine is to be free of any apprehensions about the beverage — one need not worry about saying the right thing or perceiving the aromas and flavours as anyone else does. Wine is wonderfully subjective, and your appreciation of it depends on the time of day, how much wine you drink, what you usually eat or drink, your mood and of course, most importantly your own preferences.
There are a few dos that can help improve your experience: Ensure your wine is at the right temperature. If your wine is too cold, you won’t be able to taste the flavours, and it is too warm, your wine may get flat. Ideally, white wine should be consumed at 11 degrees Celsius and whites sparkling wine at six degrees Celsius and six to 18 degrees Celsius for reds.
Do allow some red wines to breathe. Open the bottle and keep it still for some time or pour the bottle into a decanter to speed up the process. You could also simply rotate the wine in your glass to enhance its offerings to you. Wine opens up as it comes into contact with air and releases otherwise hidden aromas.
As much as the temperature is important, serving it in the right glassware can change the way this peculiar beverage tastes. When it comes to wine, the shape, size and thickness of the glass matters.
If you are going to pursue discovering wine, I would recommend spending some money on good glassware. Incorrect glassware can destroy even the best of wines. If you intend to build a collection at home, it would be wise to buy a wine fridge to store your wines at the right temperature. Do not keep your wines at the back of your cupboard, where they can be subjected to 40-degree Celsius heat.
Indian cuisine has some delectable offerings and it is high time we experiment with our local cuisines. Not drinking wine with our food is a shame.
We even have a wine-growing region in our very own backyard — Nashik, Akluj, and Nandi Hills to name a few, and you will find that there is great quality being produced here itself. It is only a matter of how open you are to experimentation.
Nikhil Agarwal is a CEO and sommelier of All Things Nice