Many people enjoy wine and want to learn more about it, but feel that this knowledge is reserved for the elite or those who are already experts. It turns out that nothing could be further from the truth. You can start collecting and tasting wine with just a few essential accessories. If you’re looking to dive deeper into the hobby and find out what you will need to start your journey, the Columbia Distributing blog has you covered with this wine lover guide for novices.
Once you’ve gotten your hands on a bottle of wine, you obviously need a glass to pour it into. While it may seem like any old cup will do, having a few different glass shapes will help you get the best experience out of your wine drinking.
For white wines, glasses with smaller bowls are usually best. They preserve the aromas of the wine and help it stay cool. If you edge up to more full-bodied whites, then a larger bowl may be better. Should you find yourself drinking sparkling wine often, grab a couple of glasses with long, narrow stems.
Red wines are a bit more complicated, as there is a wider range of flavors. In general, glasses with a wide opening will help dull bitter or spicy flavors. Here are some more specific glasses to pair with certain red wines:
- Bordeaux Glass: Suited for bold wines, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the large shape of the glass keeps your nose away from the burn of alcohol and creates a smooth taste.
- Standard Glass: This shape is what you picture when thinking of a wine glass. Best for wines with spicy notes or high alcohol content, the smaller opening limits the impact of flavors so as to not overwhelm your palette.
- Bourgogne Glass: The large, round bowl in this type of glass captures aromas, making it helpful for wines with more subtle hints of flavor like Pinot Noir.
Tools and Accessories
Opening a bottle of wine can be tricky, so make sure you have the correct tools to get the cork out smoothly. Corkscrews come in a variety of styles, including twisting, lever and even electric. Choose one that comes naturally to you. Waiters typically use the lever style of corkscrew with a serrated blade attached for cutting the foil covering the cork. This combination is called a “waiter’s friend” and can be handy so you don’t need to have two separate tools to do one job.
If you find yourself opening bottles of wine but not finishing them in one sitting, then a wine preserver may be useful for you. A vacuum pump tool limits the amount of interaction between oxygen and the wine so it lasts longer. Store the bottle in your fridge for a couple of days and enjoy the rest later on.
Now that your collection of bottles is growing, you’re going to need a place to keep them all. Wine should be stored in a cool, humid place away from indirect sunlight. There are wine refrigerators you can invest in that allow you to control the exact conditions in which your wine is stored. If that’s out of your price range, then keeping your bottles on a wine rack or shelf on your kitchen counter or in your basement will do the trick. If you plan on opening a bottle of white wine in a couple of days, keeping it in the fridge is perfectly acceptable.
Build Your Collection
Collecting wine can be a fulfilling hobby that you can invest as much time and money into as you want. After you’ve acquired everything you need to become a wine lover, it’s time to start adding bottles to your collection. Browse Columbia Distributing’s selection of beverages online or contact us today to see which wines you can’t wait to taste.