9 Wine Tips for Beginners – Essential Things to Know
by Jennifer Kristensen on Mar 18, 2023
When you’re getting started with drinking and collecting wine, it can seem like there’s a nearly insurmountable number of things you need to learn about fine wine. As long as you approach it with an open mind, it won’t be long before you learn everything you need to know.
In this article, we gathered all of the best wine tips for beginners. Whether it’s keeping a wine journal or considering discount bottles of wine with an open mind, these tips will help you build your collection and establish a familiarity with everything you need to know about wine.
The 9 Best Wine Tips for Beginners
1. Keep a Wine Journal
One of the best things you can do as a beginner is to keep a wine journal. At this point, you should be exploring and trying different wines. By keeping a wine journal, you’ll be able to remember the type of wines you like and learn more about your preferences.
The best thing is you don’t have to keep a physical journal. Whether you purchase a dedicated wine journal or just use a note-taking app on your phone, the most important thing is that you keep records of your preferences and how they change over time. This will help you when you’re shopping for your next bottles!
2. Hold Your Wine Glass Correctly
It’s imperative to hold your wine glass correctly. A common mistake that people new to wine make is holding the glass by the base, but unfortunately, this impacts the flavor and aroma as your palm warms up the wine. You should always hold your wine glass by the stem.
Also, you should make sure that you purchased the right type of wine glasses! In general, you should start by buying wine glasses with a medium bowl, as they’re versatile and perfect for most types of wines. If you are enthusiastic about a particular type of wine, it’s worth researching what type of glass is recommended.
3. Experiment with Trying New Types of Wine
An open mind is one of the best things a wine enthusiast can have. As you’re becoming familiar with more types of wine, you should be willing to experiment. (And if you have a wine journal, you should jot down what you did and didn’t like about each bottle!)
As far as red and white wines are concerned, the best bottles for beginners are Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. Most people who are new to wine also love a bottle of rose wine. With time, you’ll discover your preferences and find it easy to experiment with new wines.
4. Learn the Basics of Pairing Your Wine
While a glass of wine alone is already a delicious treat, one of the best things you can do to make it significantly more enjoyable is to pair it with the right food. As a rule of thumb, you should always select wine pairings that are sweeter and have more acidity than what you intend to eat.
Your wine should have the same intensity as your meal and pair well with the sauce. Generally, red wine pairs well with red meat and other boldly flavored foods. White wine is better to pair with lighter fare, like seafood. Rose wine is excellent for pairing with salads, fruit, and cheese.
5. Serve Your Wine at the Correct Temperature
If you want to enjoy your glasses of wine at their best, you should ensure you’re keeping them at the correct serving temperature. You should keep sparkling wine and light white wine at almost freezing temperatures, generally between 38 and 45°F.
If you have full-bodied or aromatic white wine or rose wine, you should keep them in temperatures ranging from 45 to 55°F. Light-bodied and medium-bodied red wine should be kept at temperatures ranging from 55 to 60°F, while full-bodied red wine can be kept at 60 to 68°F.
6. Consider Discounted Wine with an Open Mind
It’s easy to feel somewhat off-put by discounted wine. After all, it must mean that nobody is purchasing that type of wine — and there might be a good reason. In reality, though, there are many reasons that wine might be discounted — and it doesn’t always have to do with quality.
If you keep an open mind and purchase discounted bottles of expensive wine, you may be surprised by the incredible quality you sometimes find. Surplus bottles of incredible wine are often marked as discounted, but the reduced price doesn’t make them any less delicious.
7. Drink Open Bottles Before They Expire
It doesn’t take long for an open bottle of wine to expire. When it comes to light wines like a light red wine or a bottle of your favorite white wine, you only have one to three days to drink the bottle after opening it before unpleasant flavors begin to develop.
Even with dark red wine, it’s advised to drink the bottle before five days pass if you want the bottle to taste its best. And considering how expensive some bottles of wine are, this is worthwhile advice to follow. To help preserve the wine after opening, you should always replace the cork and store the wine bottle at the correct temperature.
8. Learn About Wine Storage Techniques
As you’re increasing your familiarity with wine, one of the most important things you can do is learn about the proper wine storage techniques. Aside from serving temperature, you should also consider factors like light, humidity, and even environmental vibrations.
Certain factors are more important than others when it comes to the duration of storage and the type of wine that you’re storing, so you should read about your particular scenario when researching wine storage techniques. With time, you’ll have all of the essentials memorized.
9. Consider Using a Wine Cooler
One of the best things you can do as a beginner is to keep your wine in a dedicated wine cooler. Unlike storing your wine in the fridge door or pantry, using a wine cooler will allow you to control the temperature and humidity your bottles of wine are exposed to. This can significantly improve the longevity of your bottles.
Understanding the nuances of drinking and storing wine can take a lot of work for beginners. In fact, the amount of information on the web can often feel overwhelming. As long as you use our nine best tips for beginners, it won’t be long before you know all the essentials of drinking and storing wine.