How to enjoy red wine
A romantic autumn evening, a party with friends or even a wedding, all deserve the elegance of red wine. Something in the ruby color makes us think of love, passion and the joy to live. However, like life, the wine must be understood and treated with patience to be enjoyed at its true value.
You may think that some people are snobs when they are admiring the glass, swirl it a few times, smell the wine, take a sip that they seem to chew, maybe even close their eyes. In fact, these people enjoy a moment in which they stop the time and abandon themselves to beauty.
A good wine must be savored like a work of art. First of all, it needs an appropriate frame, that is, a large, round glass, which we only fill up to the most bulging side. Then the serving temperature is critical; it should be 13-16 degrees for light red wines (Pinot Noir, Merlot) and 16-18 for the most intense ones (Cabernet Sauvignon, Fetească Neagră). When the wine is served too cold does not offer all the flavors, while a hot wine can smell like flu medicine.
Look at the red wine
Red wine offers a kaleidoscope of shades, from ruby, carmine to intense violet, almost black. Color names such as Bordeaux, Burgundy or Marsala (the color of 2015) come from the world of wine. For any woman, it must be a joy to discover so many nuances that can inspire lipstick colors, hair shades, or elegant clothing. Hold the glass against a bright white light and think for a moment what color it is.
Although it may seem odd, the gesture of swirling the wine into a glass is not snobbery, but a necessity. The aeration of wine, especially the red one, makes it open up, release new flavors that would otherwise be too subtle and ignored. If this is the first time you do this, hold the glass on the table and turn the stem of the glass circularly to avoid accidents. Certain stronger wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Fetească Neagră) may require some vigorous spinning before revealing themselves completely; these are more “introvert”.
Red wines are usually complex, beginning with notes of red fruits (raspberries, strawberries) or black fruits (blackcurrants, blackberries, plums) accompanied by other exciting flavors such as spices (cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, even pepper) if the wine was aged in oak barrels. Close your eyes and try to enjoy the smell of wine as you would do with perfume, ignoring the alcohol you feel at first.
Taste the wine
The smell must have already opened the appetite, and the taste will most likely confirm the previous impressions. Wine should not be swallowed immediately, keep it a few seconds in your mouth to enhance your sensorial experience. Depending on the type of wine, we may describe it as soft, as you were eating a mousse, or if it is still young, you will be feeling a bit of astringency, just like drinking a tea which is too concentrated. Combine the wine with food, to always reveal new tastes.
Fall in love
In a world of speed, enjoying a glass of wine gives us the respite to live, dream, reconnect with us, with the loved ones, and share simple joys.
Originally printed in the Romanian Magazine Avantaje, November 2018