We get a lot of great questions from our readers. It’s clear that many of you are doing more than reading, you’re actually making drinks, serving Wine to family and friends, and upgrading your Beer.
That’s great news – we encourage it.
In an effort to make it easy to upgrade your home beverage service I have compiled a short list of just five things that you can easily do at home to upgrade your experience.
Five Steps to Upgrade Your Wine, Beer, and Cocktail Enjoyment
1. Decant Your Red Wines – Many of us have a decanter or two at home. The decanter has become a favored clichéd gift for home warming parties, weddings, and other occasions that would cause one to fill out a gift registry. However, far too many allow this valuable item to lie about collecting dust. By valuable I refer to its valued function rather than the price tag. In fact, the monetary value of your decanter may be a roadblock to its use. (Too fancy for everyday use.) If so, or if you don’t have a decanter, step out to your local home shop and purchase a simple decanter. A good example can be found for roughly $20.
Today, most wine is made with remarkable clarity and filtering practices that are so vigorous that very few wines sold today will ever throw any sediment. Couple this with the fact that most wine is served within five years of its birth and the result is a rather sediment free zone.
You can find more on the subject HERE in our story dedicated to decanting Wine at home.
2. Buy (or use) a cocktail shaker – I say buy or use as many of you already have a cocktail shaker. Like your decanter, it is likely dusted more than washed, which is a great waste.
Shaking is a vital technique in the cocktail world. You should be getting your cocktail shaker to work for margaritas alone. (You’re not still making this great cocktail in a blender, are you?) Shaking perfectly chills your drink, mixes the various elements, adds a needed dose of cool water, and aerates the drink for maximum expression.
Check out our cocktail department where you will find hundreds of uses for your cocktail shaker. If you don’t yet have a cocktail shaker you can find one at your home store near the decanters.
3. Pour your Beer in a glass – This may seem simple because it is! Far too often at both parties and bars I witness quality, craft Beer being drunk straight from the bottle. Why?
Like decanting your wine, pouring your Beer into a glass allows the aromas and flavors to blossom with the interaction of some much needed oxygen. Like decanting, don’t be too gentle when pouring your beer. Head on a Beer is a good thing.
Like wine, and even more so, Beer types have their ideal glass match. If you want to get that detailed and specific great, but don’t let the fear of serving a Beer in the wrong glass get in the way of getting the Beer out of the bottle. Any glass is better than no glass.
4. Serve Red Wines Cool – While this may seem ridiculous at first, hear me out. Most red wines, particularly in the summer months are served too warm. Room temperature in January is quite a different thing than room temperature in August. Most red wine will do well served at 65°F. Don’t bother getting your thermometer out; you need not be that precise.
Some wines such as Beaujolais, light Pinots or Grenache will benefit from a good chill. Lighter, fruity reds with little or no tannins can be chilled nearly as long as whites. A good chill accentuates the vibrant fruity flavors of youthful, fruity reds. This is especially true in the summer months.
Even big and bold wines with plenty of alcohol strength and tannin will show better when served with a slight chill. When wines like these are served too warm, which sadly they are, the alcohol shows too prominently and the rich and complex flavors become a bit muddy. Serving big and serious wines mildly chilled, not cold, will allow you appreciate the wine to its fullest.
5. Mix it up, Don’t Get in a Rut – One of BevX’s enduring mantras is for you the beverage drinker to keep out of a rut. There are far too many wonderful Wines, Beers, and Spirits being offered today for you to settle into one or two labels. Remember, it’s a journey of discovery.