This page will be periodically updated with links to The Essentials, a series I will be writing about the tools needed in your foray into the world of wine.
Essential #8 – Wine Books
For many, a cursory search on their phones will meet their needs. But for anyone who is more than incidentally interested, there is no substitute for a really good book.
Essential #7 – Wine Classes
There are some subtle differences between wine tastings and wine classes. Whereas in a general tasting you are given free reign to try any and every wine in sight, a wine class will have a much narrower focus, often with the intent of highlighting certain themes related to the wines chosen. Vertical tastings and price tastings are some examples.
Essential #6 – Wine Tastings
This essential is unlike any of the previous ones covered. It is not something that can you can claim ownership over, at least in a physical sense. It is something that needs action, that required the essence of doing, and in the process you will be lead onto the path of becoming.
Essential #5 – The Corkscrew
The traditional cork is unlikely to be completely eliminated, if only due to people wanting to preserve the romantic image that is associated with it. After so long, the act of pulling a cork from the bottle has become something like a rite, a critical act in a codified ritual, and some may feel that the wine experience is somehow incomplete without it.
Essential #4 – The Wine Glasses
Choosing the right wine glasses should be a simple matter, because there are really only a handful of considerations to take into account. But as with anything, the decision process can get complicated due to an over-abundance of choice. Small glasses, large glasses, exotically shaped glasses, coloured glasses, all of them seem like they will serve the task of being drunk out of just fine. But wine isn’t just a beverage – it’s also an opportunity to exercise all of your senses.
Essential #3 – Wine Preservation
Sooner or later you will come across a bottle of wine with just two or three pours remaining that you simply cannot finish, no matter how high the quality or price. This is not an indication that your love for wine is waning. As the saying goes, sometimes you really can have too much of a good thing. Fortunately a number of solutions exist for preserving leftover wines for appreciation at a later time.
Essential #2 – The Ice Bucket
It’s generally accepted that sparkling wines should be kept chilled. Bubbles in sparkling wines remain stable instead of boiling away at room temperature. For still wines, keeping them at a lower temperature will ensure it stays fresh and crisp, allowing you to observe the evolution of aromas and flavours as you swirl the glass. Otherwise the wine may quickly oxidise, evaporate and die in the bottle.
Essential #1 – The Decanter
Most people may not feel the need for a decanter. Why would you empty a bottle into something that looks like fancy vase? The main function of a decanter is exposure to oxygen, which makes subdued aromas more evident and increases flavor perception during the wine experience.