Red and white wines differ most obviously in the color of the grapes used in making them. But there are other, more subtle differences in the wines. For instance, sometimes including the skin in the fermentation can make a difference in the wine’s flavor and coloring.
The different winemaking techniques result in very different-tasting wines that can be paired with different foods and different experiences.
When Should You Drink Red Wine?
Red wine is often associated with romance. You’ll often see couples on a date drinking red wine instead of than white.
Foods with big and bold flavors, like red meat, pair wonderfully with red wine. The right food pairings can enhance the flavor of both the food itself and the wine.
When Should You Drink White Wine?
Drinking white wine is indeed a flavorful experience. The various types of white wines have distinct flavors that are mouth-watering on their own or when paired with various foods.
White wines are often paired with lighter appetizer courses before the main entrée. They are also a staple accompaniment with fish and seafood dishes.
Some people choose to enjoy white wines as a refreshing palette cleanser in between courses in a large meal.
How to Have an Optimal Wine Drinking Experience
No matter what type of wine you select, knowing how to drink it properly will help you make the most out of your wine drinking.
1. Choose the right glass
Wine glasses are specifically designed for different types of wine. Differently shaped glasses aerate wines differently and can alter the smelling and tasting experience.
If you want to have the best tasting experience with your red wine, opt for a glass that has a large and rounded bowl which will aerate and open up the wine, allowing you to really enjoy the nose of the wine. For white wine, a wine glass that has a small bowl is often the preferred option. Since white wines are generally chilled and do not need to “open”, narrower glasses are perfect for preserving the wine’s aroma.
2. Serve the wine you’re going to drink at the right temperature
To get the best taste from the wine, you need to serve it at the right temperature. White wine is generally much better when chilled, whereas a red wine must be served closer to room temperature.
Usually, white wines taste best between 41-48 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s ideal to store a white wine in your refrigerator, but remove it about 20 minutes before serving.
Red wines, on the other hand, will taste best between 55- 65 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, serious wine drinkers invest in a wine fridge or cellar.
3. Hold the glass by the stem
Holding the bowl of the wine glass can transfer the body heat in your hands to the wine in your glass. Thus, if you want to enjoy your wine at its optimal temperature, make sure to hold the glass by the stem.
4. Sip slowly to enjoy to maximize the complex flavors
Remember that wines are best when savored and sipped.
Before you take a sip, make sure to swirl your wine as it allows the drink to oxidize even more.
Take a small-sized sip and then hold the wine in the middle of your tongue before you swallow it. Doing so will allow you to taste the wine’s complex flavors.
5. Only pour 1 to 2 ounces into your wine glass
Before you decide on a full glass, consider pouring a small amount of wine. It is actually common to try a handful of sips of wine before you commit to a glass. Proper wine tasting is a good way to identify whether you like the wine’s flavor or not.
Pairing wine with food
Wine is known for pairing excellently with food. However, there are some factors to consider when choosing a wine and food pairing that will provide the best overall experience.
For instance, a sparkling wine perfectly matches fried and salty food. The acids and carbonation emulate the alcohol and clean the salt from the palate with every sip.
On the other hand, pick a silky white wine to go with food such as a cream sauce or a fatty fish. For instance, a Chardonnay is delicious when paired with fish such as salmon and any type of seafood in an opulent sauce.
Dry rosé pairs well with cheese and richer dishes. Some cheeses go best with red wines, while others are best for white wines. Dry rosé, on the other hand, is versatile enough that it can be paired with just about any kind of cheese since it has the fruitiness of red wine and the acidity of a white.
Other red wines like Bordeaux and cabernet will taste best when paired with steaks and other red meats. In fact, these wines will refresh your palate after every bit of meat.
When it’s time for dessert, make sure that the wine you’re going to drink is sweeter than or as sweet as the dessert. For instance, you can pair dark chocolates with bitter wines and ports.