Let’s start this off with a little disclaimer: I don’t know anything about wine. I’m not sure what makes one bottle more special than another, and I will certainly never be the first person to recommend a wine based on specific ingredients or processes that made it as exquisite as it might be. I’m the one who shows up to a liquor store on the way to a girl’s night searching the isles for who-knows-what, settling on a Malbec with a cute label, and hoping for the best as I shrug my shoulders and make the purchase.
In fact, once while touring wineries in Penticton, a wine-maker – otherwise known as a vinter – kept telling me interesting facts and stories about wine, and all I could think about was how handsome he was, even balding, and how distracting his cute New Zealand accent was.
I wasn’t a good student in his presence, but I have since learned a few things about sipping wine and spirits which have been incredibly helpful. I can’t be the only one who enjoys sipping an alcoholic beverage or two with absolutely no clue what I’m doing, so here are my top three tips for looking like a pro while sipping wines and spirits:
Sip to Savour
Wine is meant to be sipped, not gulped. While most people know this, there is still a belief you need to swish the wine around in your mouth to entice all your taste buds. However, most experts say you just need to hold the wine on the center of your tongue to taste the complex flavours. So instead of rushing or swishing, savour the flavour before swallowing.
Delightful Little Decanter
I didn’t realize a decanter was necessary until I was gifted one and decided to try it out. A decanter is a vessel that allows wine to breathe, softening its harsh edges. Pour your wine into it for 30 – 45 minutes before serving it up. I’d ask you to let me know what you think after you try, but I already know you’ll be amazed.
Exhale, Then Sip
When it comes to spirits, most beginners are better at taking a shot and chasing it down with Coca Cola, lime wedges, someone else’s drink, or anything that is close by. However, spirits have an incredibly complex flavour palate that is rather enjoyable when you know how to do it well. Unlike wine, where oxygen enhances flavour, by exhaling before sipping spirits, you will be able to truly taste it.
I might not be a pro, but I’m learning and loving the process (and, there’s cute vinters along the way).
We want you to come join Vern at the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival in Calgary October 12 – 13, so we’re giving away two tickets through our Instagram feed. Click here and follow the rules to be entered in for your chance to win!
By Deanna Tucker
If you thought this was good, you should check out the 10 things Ricky can’t live without.