Wine 101 : The Basics – Learn more to make your wine journey more fun. | April 27, 2015 - Shinsei Wine Monday's

In our fifth chapter on Wine, we thought it might be helpful to take several steps back and give you some “wine basics” to make wine more approachable from ordering in a restaurant to selecting in a store. We’re going to debunk some myths, give you tools to know what a wine will taste like, understand the four “V’s” of wine – Varietal, Vineyard, Vintage and Vintner and how to read a label.

Shinsei Restaurant | 1/2 price Bottle Wine Mondays

Shinsei Restaurant | 1/2 price Bottle Wine Mondays

It's more awkward than introducing someone whose name you've forgotten, feeling like the only one in the world who doesn't know about wine can almost drive one off the drink. Over the next weeks we will share simple things to build up your confidence and help you walk tall when it comes to wine.

Even if you’re a “bon afide” oenophile, these brief refreshers will remind you of all the knowledge components that heighten the pure joy of drinking wine. One of the best places to start on your wine knowledge journey is to debunk common myths. So here we go!

Champagne is for ANY occasion

In fact is a great partner to spicy food including many of our dishes at Shinsei. Every day should be a celebration of life, so pop a cork and enjoy the bubbles whenever it feels right!

“In Success you deserve it and in defeat, you need it!"
Winston Churchill on champagne

Rosé is VERY sophisticated, dry and quite delicious.

There are many shades of rosé that range from bold savory to fruit-forward. No matter what your personal taste profile might be on the wine spectrum, there’s probably a rose for you!

Do NOT smell the Cork!

It won’t actually tell you anything. If you want to check that the bottom of the cork is damp and not crumbly, ok but the most important thing is to taste the wine, not the cork. Presentation of the cork as a part of wine service goes back to Bordeaux in France. Unscrupulous wine merchants were faking the labels of the most famous chateaus to counterfeit the most expensive bottles. The winery solution was to create unique marks on the corks, which were harder to fake and consumers recognized the marks of legitimate chateau.

Sweet wine is NOT ONLY for dessert or “wine beginners”

Sweet wines and lighter bodied wines from warmer climates tend to be more fruit-forward. They will unlock new flavors and cut through the heat and spice of many Asian foods.

Red wine, to chill or not chill?

Enjoying red wine is about the balance between the fruit and the tannins, too much chill will hide the nose, the fruit and make the tannins and acids scream – not good.  However, laying red wine to cool for a bit will take it to just a little cooler than room temperature and provide a balance between the fruit, acid and tannins. Lighter reds, pinot noir and merlot a bit cooler, and heavier, more full bodied reds like cabernet sauvignon and syrah/shiraz slightly warmer.  A little chill for reds is a good thing!

Next week we tackle the four “V’s” of wine – Varietal, Vineyard, Vintage and Vintner. With this foundation knowledge you can read a wine label and have a few clues as to what the wine may taste.

Of course, you should select and drink the wines that make you happy.

Remember, Mondays at Shinsei is about “wine o’clock” with 1/2 price bottles from 5p – 10p. [ reserve your table at Shinsei ]

The best wine is shared wine. Come share the journey and a bottle or two with family and friends.

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