Learning about wine can be a great way to impress your friends, with your new found expertise. Maybe you’re making your favourite dish? Either way there are multiple factors that can enhance your wine hosting experience, so here are a few tips to make you stand out.
Your gut will tell you which wine to buy. Just because someone recommends a pricey wine that you might not otherwise drink doesn’t mean you can go against your own preferences for no other reason. You don’t want to end up spending money on a wine you may not like. If you have a blue print in your mind of what you love, try wines that are either that style or grape or some that deviate slightly from the path. This is often how you discover your next corker.
The rule is, don’t be afraid to try new wines. Try a new wine to develop an appreciation for it as it travels over your taste buds. Your new favourite kind of wine could be in the least likely places.
However, try these wines first before hosting, you don’t want to have picked a tipple that divides the room! Make sure you’re a wine host to remember for good reasons.
Wine can make great sauces for beef dishes. Just add some butter and red wine in a saucepan. Simmer the sauce while it thickens and evaporates a little of the alcohol content. When finished, pour it lightly over whatever beef dish you are fixing.
Equally, white wine is amazing for creamy chicken dishes, risottos and seafood. Fancy a veggie option? Wines complement a number of vegetarian dishes, the guys at Oh My Veggie have a cracking list for you to sink your palette into.
Your wine should be served at the ideal serving temperature to keep the flavour at its maximum potential. Red wine needs to be about 14-15 ºC (58-60º F). White wines should be kept at 8 ºC (47ºF). If a white wine is too warm, it can have a dull, bitter taste.
Personally, I love white wines to be colder than that, there’s something heartwarming when the bottle has a nice gentle mist of cold around it.
4. Wine days
Why not travel to a vineyard? It’s important to understand the types of grapes used in wine making and learn the different flavours they impact, as well as harvesting techniques. This gives you the right knowledge to discern and explain wine to others. It’s also a nice excuse to have a lovely holiday.
Also don’t feel like you have to to travel to France, Italy or Spain to discover the process. There are many top vineyards in the UK, mainly in the South East that run wine tasting and tours. The UK Market is hugely expanding and many wines are winning international awards.
There are many amazing vineyards to discover such as Bolney Estate, Breaky Bottom, Carr-Taylor, Chapel Down, Henners, Hush Heath, Sedlescombe, Ridgeview, Ryedale and many more!
5. Stock up
Buy a large selection of wines to have on hand. Don’t just stock the basic red or white. To be a great host, you should experiment with all kinds of wine including white, sparkling, sweet and red. And let’s face it everyone like some bubbles on arrival!.
Sparkling wines and champagne need to be served very cold. Room temperature will not do for these varieties. Put your champagne inside a good refrigerator to serve it chilled.
There’s nothing better than a chilled glass of the fizzy stuff that’s nice and cold especially on a warm day.
Use good quality and fresh stemware when you serve your wines. It should look good, as the glass can impact how your guests feel about the wine itself. Cheap stemware gives off a very bad impression to your guests. As a rule, a two glasses should make a lovely melodic ‘clink’ when tapped together rather than a clumsy clunk.
We found that the wine glasses from the La Divina range from Villeroy & Boch make a lovely sound. In terms of champagne flutes, if you fancy something modern and slick, a strong favourite that has always resulted in compliments, are the flutes designed by Tanya Streeter for Habitat.
We just love the bubble effect and they are very striking in the flesh.
When you know more, it becomes clear how much fun wine can be. It can be advantageous in many social situations to be knowledgeable about wine. Impress everyone around you with your knowledge, etiquette and presentation skills!