Here are some tips and tricks I've learned over the years from waiting tables, drinking and loving wine.
1. Don't Sniff the Cork:
History of the cork: The cork is obviously in a wine bottle to keep it fresh. When you order a bottle of wine from a restaurant and the server places the cork in front of you DO NOT SMELL IT. That does nothing.
The purpose of the server presenting you the cork came about in the days before wine labels existed. We didn't always have Photoshop, you know! Vineyards would print the name of the winery on the cork itself, so the wine drinker knew where the bottle came from. Today, servers still present the cork in such a manner, it is traditional.
2. Check the cork to be sure it has not rotted.
If you are just dying to address the cork sitting in front of you, fine. You can pick it up and check it for rotting. The left cork is good, the cork on the right has rotted. Don't drink that. (obvi!)
3. Fun Fact: We are in a cork shortage
When you see a twist cap wine bottle, it is not the wine Gods telling you, "Hey you, good work today, you earned a night off from having to use your wine opener. Be lazy and enjoy this cork-less wine."
Word on the street is that we are in a cork shortage. By shortage, I mean it is expensive and companies are too cheap to pay for the cork, and opt for aluminum twist caps instead.
I'm good with that. Why?
I can drink that bottle in a hotel room
I can drink it on the go
I am lazy
I have to wait less time to get to my wine
4. It is all about the glass
Don't make me drink from a wine glass that is too small. Keep it simple, don't make it cutesy, and most importantly, keep it LARGE.
5. Finally, here are some of my favorite inexpensive wines!
Jacobs Creek: $6/bottle average
My fav: Try their Shiraz Cabernet
(Notice the twist caps?)
Penfolds: $8/ bottle
No twist caps, sad day.
Tip: Australian wines are delicious and CHEAP
My fav: Try their Pinot Noir
The Naked Grape: $4 / bottle (!!!!) Find it at Target
Any time I see this wine, I buy it
Their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are fantastic
Price is even better
Mirassou Pinot Noir: $10/ bottle
My favorite Pinot Noir (at that price point)
Let's be real, if money was no object I wouldn't be buying cheap wine
Smoking Loon Pinot Noir $6/bottle
Have you noticed I like Pinot Noir?
Freixenet Champage: $10/bottle
AND, they make these in mini champagne bottles too.
Don't forget to add some rock candy to your champagne flute for a little extra razzle dazzle!
***disclaimer: I'm not an expert I just drink a lot.
What wines would you add to my list?