I wish I had a glass of wine for every time someone has said to me “I don’t know anything about wine, but I like to drink it.” My response is generally “What kind of wine do you like: red or white?” To which the usual response is: “I like Cabernet or Chardonnay,” or they say “I only drink red wine.” My normal response to that answer is: “Then you know the most important thing, you like wine. Beyond that not much expertise is required, unless you have the desire to become a Wine Aficionado.”
Over the years we have been led to believe that wine is this mysterious liquid that we need to understand thoroughly to enjoy. Most wine drinkers don’t have great wine knowledge and become easily intimidated by wine. All people really need to know is that they enjoy drinking wine and what types of wine they enjoy. I have friends who don’t drink anything but red wine and some who only enjoy white wine…most of them have little wine knowledge, but they surely enjoy raising their glasses.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about wine or tell people what you like or don’t like. We all drink wine for pleasure and we should enjoy what we drink. Believe me, you will not look like a fool if you ask questions.
As I have said any number of times in my blog, the best way to learn about wine is to drink many different types of wines. Experiment by drinking different varieties of reds and whites. This will perhaps let you enjoy more wine.
A Few Wine Things to Help Build Your Wine Knowledge:
Wine Etiquette Habits to Master:
- Hold your wine glass by the stem or the base…not the bowl.
- Smell your wine. Sniff it, taste it and think about it. What do you like about the wine? Would you drink more of this type of wine?
- When opening a wine bottle do it slowly and gently. Sometimes if you pull the cork too quickly it will suck wine right out of the bottle and you just might end up with stains on your clothing.
- When clinking your wine glass with a friend, clink them bowl to bowl gently and look your drinking partner(s) in the eye.
- When pouring wine, hold the bottle toward the base of the bottle.
- When pouring wine always pour less than a half of a glass as it gives your wine room to breathe and open up.
- Try to keep your portion of drinking equivalent to the other people you are serving or who are drinking around you.
- Always offer wine to others before pouring seconds for yourself.
Pronunciation of Wine Names:
It’s important to be able to pronounce wine names correctly. Nothing can shake your wine confidence more than to blurt out your wine order (especially with a group of friends or business associates) and mispronounce it completely or totally wrong. By the way, I still do this with some European wines, especially French and Spanish wines. Worse yet, I think is just pointing to a wine on a wine list and saying “Ah, I’ll have a bottle or glass of that one.”
Below is a short pronunciation guide I have put together to help us all.
Pinot Blanc: pea-no-blahnk
Chenin Blanc: she-nahn-blahnk
Sauvignon Blanc: so-vee-nyonh-blahnk
Pinot Noir: pea-no no-ahr
Cabernet Sauvignon: kab-er-nay so-vee-nyonh
Gamy Beaujolais: gah-may boh-sho-lay
Our next LEX 530 Wine Dinner will be held on Tuesday, August 20th at LEX 530 in Elkhart, Indiana. This End of Summer Wine Dinner will feature premium wines that will pair well with each of the five-courses, prepared by Executive Chef, Chad Coryn. Check out the menu here. For more information and to purchase your tickets go here. We generally limit our wine dinners to 50 guests. Our German wine dinner sold out rather quickly, you might want to get your tickets early to be safe and ensure you have a seat.
As always I appreciate your support of our wine blog and encourage you to share it with family and friends. If you are reading this blog for the first time please consider subscribing while you are on the website. This way you’ll get our reviews and articles in your email. If you care to share your comments on this blog posting or other topics please do so in the comments section below.
Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- August 18 – International Pinot Noir Day
- August 29 – International Cabernet Day
- September 20 – International Grenache Day
- November 7 – International Merlot Day
- November 14 – International Tempranillo Day
- November 20 – International Zinfandel Day
- December 4 – Cabernet Franc Day
- December 20 – National Sangria Day
- December 31 – National Champagne Day