Have you ever felt like you’re not getting as much out of your bottle of Italian wine as you think you should?
Time and again, you hear people talking about wine as though consuming it is an experience in and of itself. But for you, cracking open a bottle and having a few glasses doesn’t seem to quite reach that level. Sure, you really enjoy the wine (and the effects that it has on you) but you’re not getting that transcendent experience from drinking your wine that others seem to get.
It all comes down to the way you’re drinking your wine!
Now, we want to preface this by saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with opening a bottle, pouring a glass of wine, and just drinking it. In fact, we know that this can sometimes be ideal, especially during those stressful days when you just want to unwind.
But if you truly want to experience your wine, you can do so much more than just drink it!
In this article, we run through a list of tips that will help you to enjoy the Italian wine experience on a deeper level than ever before. And those tips start with…
Tip #1 – Combine Wine and Food
One of the greatest things about Italian wine is that it has the ability to complement and draw out the flavours in your favourite dishes. A good red wine can emphasise the richness of a delicious meat-based dish. Some wines, such as Prosecco, help you to dull the sweetness of a dessert just enough to make it more palatable. And of course, there are plenty of Italian white wines that mesh well with everything from pasta and fish through to various types of cheeses.
The point is that drinking wine with a meal is such a difference experience to drinking wine on its own or eating a meal without a drink. You get to experience a much richer array of flavours and have the opportunity to experiment with different combinations to find something that works well for you.
Tip #2 – Don’t Drink Straight Away
Let’s say you’ve cracked open a bottle of Italian red wine.
There’s nothing stopping you from pouring and drinking the wine immediately. You will still get to enjoy an interesting variety of flavours and will have a great experience.
But there is more that you can do both to unlock the full potential of your wine and to heighten the experience of actually drinking it.
For example, you may use a decanter to allow the wine to aerate. This means using the device to introduce oxygen into the wine in such a way that the gas draws out the drink’s main notes, helps to bring out the subtler notes, and makes for a more intense and engaging drinking experience all around.
When it comes time to actually taste the wine, give yourself some time to appreciate the wine with all of your senses. Swirl the glass in the wine and enjoy the interplay between colours and the light. Breathe in the aroma the wine gives off and take some time to explore the bouquet. You may find yourself identifying notes that you’d otherwise miss if you went straight to tasting.
Even when you do take that first sip, don’t simply swallow the wine and move onto the next one. Allow your tongue to explore the drink so you can draw out all of the unique flavours it has to offer. When you swallow, spend some time with the aftertaste and think about what the wine leaves behind when it’s gone.
Drinking Italian wine can be a full-blown sensory experience, if you allow it to be. Through decanting, especially of red wines, you bring the wine to its full potential. And by taking just a little more time, you get to enjoy everything that the drink has to offer.
Tip #3 – Select the Right Glass
Your choice of glass has an interesting impact on your experience with your wine.
For the simplest example, let’s look at Champagne flutes. You will notice that these are long and narrow glasses that allow as little oxygen in as possible. This is a purposeful design as air leads to sparkling wines losing their carbonation quickly. The less air that gets introduced to this type of wine, the better.
Now, try drinking a red wine out of a Champagne flute.
Something seems off, doesn’t it?
The reason for this is that, as described earlier when we spoke about decanting, red wines benefit from some level of oxidisation. The air draws out more flavours and enhances red wine, which is the opposite of the effect it has on sparkling wines and even many white wines.
Our point is that selecting the right glass for your wine ensures you get to enjoy the drink as it’s meant to be enjoyed. As a general rule of thumb, wider glasses suit reds, flutes suit sparkling, and whites benefit from a middle-ground between the two.
Tip #4 – Get the Right Temperature
Have you ever left an Italian white wine out for a while before pouring it? You’ll have noticed it tastes different at room temperature than it does when it’s chilled. And more often than not, that change in taste isn’t for the better.
This is a perfect example of the effect that temperature has on your wine experience.
For a white wine, the refreshing qualities of the drink make themselves known when the wine is chilled. For red wines, something closer to room temperature will give you the best experience. If you’re unsure, research the wine online and you’re sure to find the ideal serving temperature.
The Final Word
If you want to get a little more out of your Italian wine drinking experience, these four tips will help you. Try them out and you’ll soon discover that enjoying wine can involve so much more than drinking. The experience can be a sensation for all of your senses, if you allow it to be.
Of course, you also need to get your hands on a good bottle of wine. That’s where we come in. Check out the Xtrawine website and you’re sure to find the perfect bottle of Italian wine for you.
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