Wine Mindfully - part two
So far you have only looked at the bottle and researched it, now consider how best to enjoy it.
What temperature should it be served at? for reds room temperature is usually cited, but those rules were established when central heating was not the norm. So, for reds the serving temperature should range between 13 to 18 °C and for whites and rosé wines, and even lighter reds could be served at the upper scale of 7 to 13°C.
Now, take your time and consider how the bottle has been sealed, how much involvement will it require for you to open your bottle? If sealed with cork, you will need to gently remove the foil with the knife in your corkscrew and then gently twist it into the middle of the cork and encourage the cork out slowly at a stately pace, enjoying the sound when you remove the cork. Smell the cork, it should smell fresh, of wine, clean and enticing.
If your bottle is sealed with a glass stopper, this can be more straight forward as your two thumbs can push it open usually accompanied by a quiet but satisfying pop. With a screw cap, the ultimate in convenience, and often used to retain specific aromatics in wine, is usually again accompanied by a gentle pop when opened. Do you have a view on how you like your wine bottled sealed?
Now consider using a decanter just for its beauty. Decanters are normally used when a wine requires breathing and to allow its fruit to become more open. However, decanters can and should be used simply because they are attractive and can add style to any occasion. Usually used decanters are used for red wine, you can easily use a decanter for richer fuller white wines which will look very enticing in a decanter or indeed for rosé wines which can look extremely special on a summers day in the garden when poured from a decanter.
Now, take, your most beautiful wine glass. Long stemmed, slightly tapered inwards at the rim and made from glass that is not too thick, they need not be expensive. But, these features are important as they will allow you to assess and enjoy the colour and the wines aromas more fully. Now, pour the wine into your glass and listen as you pour.
Does it trickle gently or rush into the glass, can you control the speed with which you pour? Can you control the height of your pour into the glass? How does this change the sounds?
Only pour about two mouthfuls of wine, or two horizontal fingers width, then take your glass by the stem and tilt it gently towards a white sheet of paper, a white table cloth or a white napkin and drink in only the colour of your wine at this stage.
Whether your wine is amber, red, white, or rosé consider the colour carefully, have you seen this colour before in wine? in nature? in food? Does the colour appeal? The colour is defined by its grape variety, its age, the wines style and the wine making. Why not research what colour of wine the grape variety of your wine typically makes? Pinot Noir for example tends to be lighter in colour due to its thin skins and light extraction. methods versus a darker more opaque coloured Syrah for example.
Now consider the intensity of the colour of your wine. Is it solid or is it varied? is it deeper in the middle? is it consistent and intense? Or do the words red, amber, white or rosé inadequately describe the colour of your wine? Perhaps its a garnet red, a yellow white a light amber or a deep pink rosé? Perhaps explore wine colour charts and think about what the colour most closely resembles for you.
Can you start to imagine how this wine might smell or even taste from looking at the colour?
Part Three Coming Soon........................