Wine is one of those things that comes off as intimidating and served with a bible of rules. But there are wine rules that you don't have to follow. Without an unnecessary rule book you won't be concerned with whether you're doing it right or not. This way you can actually enjoy each sip confidently and maybe even learn a thing or two about grapes! Trust me — throughout my 20s, I have been known to uncork a bottle of wine or two every now and then — without it breaking — so I think it's safe to say I know a thing or two about it. Kind of.
Seriously, don't gasp if you forgot to swirl your red around the glass and smack it against your teeth like you've seen the pros practice. Don't be embarrassed if you're sipping rose as a winter storm roars outside, either; pink wine isn't reserved exclusively for poolsides during a heat wave! Of course there are some rules to follow to ensure you're getting the most out of a glass, and there are friendly sommeliers who can help remind you of those and assist in expanding your knowledge of key terms like "terroir" and "tannin" and "fruit forward" so you have a basic understanding. However, when it comes to drinking the wine, there are some traditional rules that can and should be broken. Just for the sake of relaxing — and isn't that the point of wine for the most of us?
Red Wine Can Actually Be Chilled
The rule that red wine should never be chilled isn't hard and fast — in fact, you should try it. I've seen chilled red wine popping up on menus — like at June Wine Bar in Brooklyn — and at first I scratched my head. Isn't red wine supposed to be room temperature? Isn't red wine supposed to keep me warm? Serving temperature is all about how the flavor is impacted. If it's too warm or too cold you could be muting all the winning characteristics about the bottle. But pop it in the fridge to cool and you could be enhancing your sipping experience.
You Don't Always Need To Spring For An Expensive Bottle
You don't need to shell out the cost of your college tuition to drink well. You can learn all about quality vineyards and good wine by talking to your local wine store clerks. Give them your price range and what you're hoping for and they'll steer you in the right direction. Good wine doesn't equal debt.
Never Judge A Bottle By Its Cork
Conde Nast Traveler writes, "corks were considered the best (and for several centuries, the only) way to seal a bottle." But that is no longer the case. If your bottle doesn't have a cork and is instead sealed with a screw cap, that doesn't mean you're buying bad wine. This is especially great for people (me) who always seem to misplace the corkscrew.
French Vintage Wines Aren't The ONLY Good Wines Out There
Wrong. While we learn to think of vintage French wines as the wines to strive for, your local vineyards should not to be overlooked. There's a lot to learn about the terroir of your region. Drink local!
You Don't Need To Drink Certain Wines In Certain Glasses
I drink red wine out of cleaned-out jam jars, okay? Let me tell you from personal experience that it tastes just fine. Sure, certain wines have their signature glasses for their own reasons. Red wine glasses traditionally have rounder bowls in order to enhance the flavors of the drink. But don't think you've committed a sin if you're sipping wine from what once was a raspberry jam jar.
Champagne Isn't Only For Celebrations
Sure, there's nothing like popping a bottle and diving into the bubbles when there has been a marriage, a birthday, or some sort of an achievement unlocked. But, you don't have to reserve your champagne and fancy bottles for these moments. Champagne, if you enjoy it, can be sipped on your average, ordinary Wednesday night. When all there is to celebrate is a new episode of Riverdale on the CW.
Rosé Isn't Only For The Summer
Please. Rosé is a year round pleasure. And while you're at it, give orange wine a try.
You Don't ALWAYS Need To Pair Your Wine With Your Food
Honestly, I really just go with what I'm craving when I'm pairing wine and food. Yes, food and wine pairings are worth studying up on to accentuate taste. But it's not like you can't enjoy red wine with your salmon. We all have our own unique tastebuds.
You Don't Always Need To Serve White Wine Very Cold
Actually, wine writers say you're probably serving your white wine a little too cold. Thrillist writes, "Only cheaper whites of lesser quality should be ice-cold. If a worthwhile white is too cold, the taste will be dulled." Use your best judgment with your white wine!
You Shouldn't Shy Away From Canned Wine
Oh, yes you should. The wine coolers by Ramona can easily be enjoyed through a straw. Uh-huh, wine through a straw. And Ramona's wine coolers are organic. I'm not sure what isn't to love about drinking wine like this from a can?
You Don't Only Need To Shop At Fancy Wine Stores
You don't have to go to a renowned neighborhood shop that stocks vintage bottles. You can actually just go to Costco. GQ editors shared, "Costco stores stock, on average, 170 labels and have 'wine stewards' working the floor." And their Kirkland branded wine is apparently pretty noteworthy. Consider this information noted!