Here is a short wine primer of a few DO'S and DON'TS for the potential wine lover to make wine drinking a truly enjoyable experience.
DO begin by trying some inexpensive wines ($6 - $20) some of these wines are truly excellent and you’ll enjoy the most expensive ones later.
DO try different wines. This is the only way to develop your palate understanding and discover your particular taste. You’ll never learn anything you drink the same wine all the time. Even if you find a wine you enjoy like you no other, make a sacrifice and try others.
DO trust your instincts. If you don’t like a wine, don’t drink it. If you hear this wine is good and you don’t like it, forget it.
DO understand the best feature of a good wine is its balance. Wine flavors have many components: spice, tannin, different fruits, etc. In the best wines no flavor is stronger than others.
DO use the right glass. The right glass augments the taste and you will appreciate the wine more. You don’t need expensive glassware, just one that’s delicate and wide to allow the wine to breathe.
DO make sure to serve the wine at the right temperature. Serve your white wines cold, not freezing, serve them between 42°F and 53°F, Champagnes at around 45°F. Serve your Red Wines at cellar temperature (between 55°F and 65°F), not room temperature.
DO save leftover wine for around four days. Newer reds could improve when left open overnight. Most wines though, lose something when left uncorked or for too long. Oxygen spoils the wine. You should consider using left over wine for cooking and open a new bottle for drinking.
DO talk about wine with friends. Perhaps you may want to start a wine club so you can get together occasionally to share and discuss new wines.
DON’T think you must know about wine to appreciate or serve it. Wine professionals know that no matter how much they know about wine, there is a lot more to find out.
DON’T be put off by wine jargon. The bottom line is to decide whether you like what you're tasting.
DON'T pay too much attention to old, stuffy rules. Don’t believe that red wine goes with red meat and white wine with white. Red wine could be really enjoyable with fish, especially if the seafood is prepared with a meat-derived sauce. Drink what you like, and again, don't be afraid to experiment in combination with foods.
DON’T think that white wine is only for women, or red only for men. Although certain whites may sometimes be referred to as having feminine qualities, white wine is not a woman's drink any more than red is a man's.
DON’T store white wine in the refrigerator for weeks. This will cause a loss of flavor and can turn corks moldy. Chill your whites for an hour or two before serving, or use an ice bucket to chill them at the table.
DON’T fill your wineglasses to the brim. A wineglass should be filled approximately one third full. This leaves room for the wine to breathe and provides space in the glass for swirling the wine, which releases aromas and flavors.
DON'T take a wine to a dinner party with the expectation that the host will open and serve it. Few good cooks would go to the trouble of planning a dinner without putting thought into choosing a wine that will be an integral part of the meal. If you bring a wine to dinner, make it understood that it is for later use. It's entirely appropriate to say, "Here's a gift for your cellar," thereby relieving your host of the obligation to pour the bottle immediately.