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The world of wine can often feel like an intimidating place for newcomers, with unexplainable terms, stuffy etiquette, and arbitrary rules. At the Wade Bales Wine Co, we don’t subscribe to all of that, but still, no one wants to be the person who pronounces the “t” in Merlot, or serves a gem of a wine in a polystyrene cup! Here are the only real wine no-no’s…

If you really can’t find a wine glass, then any glass will do, just stay away from disposable plastic, paper or polystyrene cups. If you can, use a wine glass. It makes it easier to take in the bouquet and see the color and clarity if you care to be polite to your wine. Also, just psychologically, you probably will not drink it as fast because you are acknowledging the personality of what’s in your glass. You can’t chug down from a glass of wine without rumors of your alcoholism brewing throughout the day.

Don’t overfill your glass. If it’s too full, it’s much harder to appreciate the aromas properly, and you’ll almost certainly spill if you try to swirl it. One-third to half-full is considered proper glass filling. And while you’re pouring, try not to let the neck of the bottle touch the wine glass. Instead, the wine should fall through the air and into the center of the glass to really aerate it and help release its aroma. If you’re pouring sparkling wines, tilt your glass and allow the liquid to pour down the side of the glass, thus limiting the loss of bubbles.

The winemakers of your favourite Bordeaux, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Verdot or Merlot haven’t worked this hard to have you butchering the names of their wines! As a general rule, say it with your best attempt at a French accent, and if you’re still unsure, just google it.

NO-NO #4: HOLDING THE BOWLHold your wine glass by the stem, not the bowl. That way, you can see the wine better, and you won’t change the temperature of the wine. This applies especially to white wine and Champagne, which should be served chilled, but you don’t want to warm up red wine either, unless it’s very cold. In that case, go right ahead and hold the bowl of your wine in your hands to warm it up a little and release its potential!

Using someone else’s wine glass in these times is a serious no-no. So if you’re hosting a gathering, make sure you find a way to identify each person’s glass. You could buy a liquid chalk pen and write names on the base of every glass, or, create your own wine stem collars using ribbon or twine, with a different accessory or bead strung on each.

That’s about everything you need to know about that. Look out for more ‘Wine Made Easy’ tips coming soon!

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