- Business Insider UK spoke to Amelia Singer, a wine expert.
- Singer is a TV presenter on The Wine Show, and writes for Waitrose Food Magazine.
- She told us about the most common mistakes made when serving wine.
Read the full transcript below:
Amelia Singer: Hi my name is Amelia Singer and I’m a wine expert, TV presenter on the wine show, and I run my own wine tasting and consultancy business, Amelia’s wine.
Everyone thinks red wine and cheese is really great. I know it’s really romantic and it’s the iconic image of valentines day or some kind of rom-com, but guys it really doesn’t do justice to either the wine or the cheese. If you really love both, then you think about this.
So effectively cheese can have quite a lot of acidity, particularly goat’s and sheep’s cheeses and hard cheeses and when you match it with a red wine, which often doesn’t have the same acidity and actually normally has quite a bit of tannin and alcohol. What’s going to happen is it’s going to clash and only exacerbates the acidity, and the tannin, and the alcohol levels. It’s going to dry out your wine, and it’s going to completely dry out your cheese. No, go.
My own personal pet peeve is that white wine is served too cold and red wine is served too warm. Why is this important? Well, when a wine is cold it basically mutes it and means that it’s not able to express its aroma and its full range of flavour compounds, now if you have a really cheap insipid white wine that’s fine; my mother’s Pinot Grigio with ice.
However if you are having something more complex, or something which is really meant to be fruity and perfumed then take it outside the fridge, maybe pour it in your glass and maybe let it open up a bit for 5 minutes. Same thing for reds, often particularly with really light, aromatic, juicy red wine. Shove that red wine in the fridge for half an hour, take it out and then you’ll find that instantly the aromas will become way more intense, it will be fresher and fruitier and then what’s quite fun is you can just see how it evolves in your glass.
Sometimes, like people, the wine just needs to breathe and chill out before you’re actually going to get its true potential and particularly if you’ve got really alcoholic muscular red wine and it’s very young, you know it’s got lots of testosterone and you’re just like chill out.
Just open it up, you need to pour it out, you can pour it out into a decanter if you want to be posh, or you can pour it into a water jug. Basically, anything that will allow the wine to aerate and release it’s flavour compounds.
In regards to wine glassware, people can get really stressed out. which again is sad, if you have a beautiful wine and you’ve only got a mug available just go for it. However, if you really want to taste and appreciate the nuances in your glass of wine it can make a difference.
You really want to keep the bubbles in your sparkling wine, carbon dioxide can basically travel up the glass to keep the bubbles bubblier when you have a flute, which is this here. And always you want to hold it down here because you don’t want to heat up your sparkling wine.
You can hold a red wine glass like that if you want to warm up your red wine, that is perfectly acceptable. And I have sometimes done it, this is a white wine glass when someone serves me “whice” white wine which is as cold as ice and you then can’t taste anything. then if I want to warm it up then it’s perfectly acceptable.
By keeping it narrower, and keeping the bowl smaller you can concentrate the perfume and you can also keep it cooler. This would be perfect for your Sauvignon Blancs, your Rieslings. Anything citrusy, juicy perfumed something like this is great. However for your red wine, generally you want the surface area to be slightly rounder because red wine has got lots of layers which it needs to open up.
To really actually help along with the aeration process, do give it a swirl there is a reason why wine people swirl their glasses it’s not purely to be pretentious it actually does really help with the tasting process.
Produced by Charlie Floyd.
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