Blackberry Farm

Friends of the Farm

5 Tips for Wine Beginners

With Wine Geek Weekend approaching, we thought we’d whet your appetite with these quick tips for wine beginners:
1.    Trust your own palate – Your senses as well as your likes and dislikes are all unique to you. While your tastes will evolve as you taste more and more wines, don’t be afraid to stand up for what you enjoy drinking.

2.    Be open to trying new wines – Try not to get caught in a rut of drinking the exact same wine every time. Make it a point to order a different wine every time you visit a restaurant. You might find a host of new wines that you absolutely love this way.

3.    Use good glassware – You don’t have to spend a fortune on the finest crystal, but at the other end of the spectrum, a chunky thick wine glass that is about as big as a thimble just won’t do. Get some clear wine glasses that have a relatively thin glass or crystal bowl and that hold at least 12 ounces if you filled them to the rim. This will allow you to have an all-purpose glass  for swirling, appreciating and drinking your wines

4.    Find a good retail shop or restaurant and develop a relationship – Wine professionals taste a staggering amount of wine, and they can help steer you in your wine purchases toward fun, exciting and delicious wines. Basically, they can sift through the sea of wine for you and help pinpoint wines in the style that you like. Having a sommelier or wine retailer that you trust to steer you in that right direction is a great way to find new favorite wines. Give them some ideas of the style and price that you would like to enjoy and see how they do. If you find that their selections tend to be right up your alley, continue to be their patron and develop that relationship.

5.    Serve and store wine at proper temperatures – There are very few factors that can truly destroy a wine experience as much as the serving temperature of wine. A wine served too hot will show mostly alcohol, and a wine served too cold will really showcase tannin (the element that dries your mouth out) and oak flavors. Serving wine at the proper temperature helps to subdue the alcohol and allows the fruit flavors present in the wine to show. You can play around with it to find the temperature that works best for your personal tastes, but I find 58 degrees works for me for almost all wines.

 Andy Chabot, Director of Food & Beverage