How to drink RED wine like a pro!
Wine Importer | Wine List Consultant | Speaker
"Do you drink Red Wine differently to other wines?"
"How do you stop red wine staining your teeth?"
"Does Red Wine make you more drunk than White Wine?"
"Do I need to drink white wines and red wines out of different glasses?"
Yes...these are some of the questions I get all the time and even though some may make me roll my eyes, some are quite legitimate.
I don't know about you but drinking red wine for me didn't just 'happen'. I didn't wake up one day and say "that's it, I want to drink this huge, tannic, juicy cabernet"...no, I started my wine drinking journey drinking Moscato and, I'm embarrassed to say, Passion Pop. So learning about red wines and the best way to drink them has definitely been a lesson in failing forward.
Here are my tips to drinking Red Wine like a Pro:
1 . If it's a cheap bottle, shake shake shake before you drink it!
Just like decanting an old bottle, cheap bottles of red wine can take like they have a bit of age on them and taste a lot more expensive if you just pour a little bit out of them, reseal the lid and shake it for a minute (just like you do with pancake shakers). Don't believe me? Try it yourself! Pour a glass before you shake and a glass after you shake and see if you can taste the difference.
2. Have an obnoxious range of glasswear and decanters
Have your range of Riedel glasses for Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Other... make sure you know which one is for which and then you will look like a real professional red wine drinker next time your friends come over for a wine. Not only that but if you decante the wine, for the sake of letting it 'breathe', you'll also look très professional.
3. Brush your teeth BEFORE you start drinking red wine.
The high acidity in wine makes your teeth sensitive to abrasion so brushing after drinking red wine can damage tooth enamel. As red wine stains the plaque in your teeth, brushing an hour before you start drinking red wine will brush away the plaque and limit any wine-stained teeth!
4. Prepare a platter of HARD cheeses
All professional red wine drinkers know the high acid in red wine does not suit soft cheese. If you host an event for friends and serve red wine, ensure you have a lovely range of hard, Italian or spanish style cheeses to pair with the red. (Also, the calcium in the cheese will help keep wine stained teeth away!)
5. Swirl it baby and give it a big ol' sniff
Professional red wine drinkers love to swirl their wine around in their big, obnoxious glass and drone on about the smell of oak, berries, chocolate, leather and all of the good stuff. If you are going to drink red wine like a pro, it's important to learn words like "tannin", "acid", "bold", "complex", "smoky", "toasty" and more... (let me know if you want a blog about that)
BONUS 6. The second bottle test
This is the key to red wine drinking over the decades. Did you enjoy the first bottle enough and feel ok enough to open the second bottle? If you are feeling a little 'drunk' after 2-3 glasses, perhaps you need to drink red wines that are lower in alcohol. If you are getting a bit itchy, you need to drink red wines with less oak tannin or less sulfur. When you can get through that second bottle (with friends obviously, I don't condone drinking 2 bottles alone), you know you have found that next "go to" red wine.... You'll also start to understand all those photos people post on instagram with 10-12 bottles of red for a table of 8 people...
So there you have it, how to drink red wine like a pro! Let me know in the comments below if any of these tips have inspired you to drink more red wine!