From the moment you bring a bottle of wine into your home, small changes to your wine habits can elevate your experience from ordinary to extraordinary. These easy tips aren’t just reserved for the special bottles either: as the experts at Vintec tell us, every bottle can benefit.
While many of your everyday wines don’t need ageing to be enjoyed, all wines benefit from proper cellaring. Factors such as fluctuating air temperature, lack of humidity and exposure to excessive light all affect your wine and can cause damage in a short period of time. These factors can contribute to undesirable flavour characteristics in your wine, and either speed up or stunt ageing.
Vintec offers a range of different climate-controlled wine storage options, from 20 bottle capacities to walk-in cellars for over 4000 bottles. To store wines in the best possible environment, their wine cabinets are the smart and safest bet.
Most wine lovers know there are ideal conditions to store your wines, but did you know that the serving temperature also affects your experience? It’s a well-perpetuated myth in Australia that red wines should be served at room temperature, but with ambient temperatures of 30C and above in summer, your wine suffers in the heat as much as you do. As a general rule, experts say if it’s warm enough to be comfortable with bare arms, it’s too hot for red wine.
Hot wines will lose their fruit and floral qualities, and be dominated by heavy characters like spice, oak and alcohol. On the flipside, serving white wine at icy temperatures will strip out a lot of the flavour and accentuate the wine’s acidity. Check out the below graphic to see all ideal serving temperatures.
Glassware and decanting:
With glassware leader Riedel celebrating 260 years of business last year, it’s an undeniable fact that wine-friendly glasses will enhance your wine enjoyment. Their product range includes grape-varietal-specific glassware that truly elevates your experience, and with options for less than $20 a glass, there’s no excuse not to use good quality glassware every day.
There are two main advantages when it comes to decanting. The better-known benefit is to remove sediment from older wines, but aerating your young wines with a vigorous shake in a wine decanter is like speeding up the ageing process. Wine contains sulphur dioxide, which both protects the wine as it ages but also masks fruit in younger wines. Exposure to oxygen burns off the sulphur, revealing more fruit and therefore more flavour. You only need to compare a decanted wine to a non-decanted wine to see the huge difference it makes to even your every day drinking wines.
Did you know? When you acquire a Vintec or Transtherm cellar, you can become a member of the Vintec Club and access a lifetime VIP discount on Riedel fine glassware and decanters.
Food and wine pairing:
While your personal food tastes are always the most important factor, there are a couple of rules that can help guide you towards truly magical combinations. Forget the traditional concept of red meat/red wine and white meat/white wine, and instead think about it in terms of flavour and texture. Great pairings will either be complimentary or contrasting, but never conflicting.
An obvious example of a complimentary pairing is dessert with dessert wines, but how about matching a spicy Shiraz with sea salt dark chocolate? Or if you typically lean towards a Sauvignon Blanc with your fresh prawns, a citrus-driven Semillon will add freshness and acidity.
When it comes to contrast, you’re looking for balance of flavour. Spicy dishes are well suited to a dry, fruity white like Riesling or Gewürztraminer, and fleshy, creamy salmon has few better matches than an elegant Pinot Noir packed with sour red fruit. They’re the kind of pairings when you can’t decide whether you want to have another bite or take another sip.
And if you simply can’t decide, just remember that champagne goes with almost everything!
For more expert tips for cellaring and serving wine, visit The Vintec Club.