Storage of wine:
One doesn’t need a fully equipped wine cellar with constant temperature regulation to store your wine correctly. Cheaper consumer-wines can easily handle the temperature changes in your kitchen. The heavier and often more expensive wines however should be nurtured to a larger extent, and should be stored somewhere out of direct sunlight. Big fluctuations in temperature are also detrimental to heavier and more expensive wines. However wine in general is not that sensitive and can handle temperatures between 5 and 20 degrees Celsius, as long as the temperature does not fluctuate too much. The best thing is to find a place for your wine by the bed or a cool spot in the hallway.
Serving the wine:
The correct temperature of the wine when served is a personal matter. Often it is recommended on the label of the bottle, that the wine should be served at 18 degrees Celsius; however this rarely occurs in the living room when your friends are over. Often the wine is served at a higher temperature, so as not to be perceived as too cold when the guests are residing in a living room temperature of 20-22 degrees. Generally white wine should be served at basement temperature around 10-12 degrees Celsius, and left to breathe before it is served. The temperature of the wine increases by about 4 degrees Celsius for each 10 minutes it spends in the glass. It benefits most red wines to let them breathe for a little while before serving. The slightly fruity and non-acidic wines such as Beaujolais need only be aired briefly before being served, as they don’t appreciate in flavor through oxygenation. The more expensive and heavy wines need gentle care; they need to be opened well in advance and served a few degrees below the recommended temperature.
Which glass to choose?
The perfect wine glass is thin and shaped like a tulip. The glass should have a tall stem so as to avoid holding the glass directly and heating the wine with your hands. The tulip-shaped glasses, that fold out at the top optimally retain the wines bouquet and therefore also their flavor, often called the Bourgogne glass named after the French wine country. Make sure the glass is clear, so that the wines inviting color is visible. It is imperative that the glass doesn’t contain residue of water or soap.
Wine and meals:
Food and wine should match, and the secret behind this lies in the balance between acidity and tannin. The food should be met by the same character in the wine, i.e. the sweetness in the dish matches the sweetness of the wine, while acidity is met with acidity. It is advantageous to use wine from the same region as the dish you are serving. A few good white wines are Riesling, European Chardonnay e.g. Bourgogne or Chablis and Sauvignon Blanc. Among the red wines, Bordeaux goes great with red meat and Bourgogne for light meat. Rioja works in harmony with bacon, while Chianti and Nord-Rhone goes well with game meat. Barolo or Barbaresco goes well with truffles and Brunello di Montalcino is ideal for spicier meat, such as lamb or pork. Red wine and cheese shouldn’t be combined without caution as the tannins can overpower soft and fattier cheeses. Instead, try to serve a good white wine with your cheese platter. Solid cheeses go well with dry white wines, while softer and stronger cheeses need more sweetness. Gewürztraminer from Alsace is good with many cheeses. If you still prefer red wine, then go with a Beaujolais, Fleurie or Pinot Noir to enjoy with your cheese.
Wine and alcohol:
A high alcohol percentage doesn’t suggest quality. Many wines between 12.5-13% are well suited as food wines as they don’t dominate the experience and flavor of the food. If you serve a dish with a high fat content, you should however match this with a wine that has a high alcohol percentage for the best combination.
Last but not least:
If you are searching for a wine to be enjoyed without food, then we recommend a less acidic variant with more sweetness and a slightly higher alcohol percentage. Many overseas wines both red and white are great choices Good white wine choices are Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Semillon. Whereas good choices of red wines are Zinfandel, Primitivo, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Merlot, Malbec. Strong European choices for cozying up at home are Amarone, Syd-Rhone – especially Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Rioja Reserva and Salento.