by Debra Williams

Hey, I said it. Being a wine snob is not a bad thing. We all want to be perceived as being knowledgeable about wine when in the presence of other seasoned wine drinkers. Gone are the Boons Farm and Solo cups days, right? It makes for some fond college memories, but hopefully we’ve all moved past that now. So what are some things to do and not to do when in a group of wine experts? Here’s a few of my favorites.

Don’t Smell the Cork
It might make for great visual, but there is nothing about that cork that gives you any true indication of the true taste of the wine. As they say, “The proof is in the pudding.” Always take that first taste when the sommelier offers it to determine the true nuances of the wine.

Red Wine is Best Served Chilled
Ever been in a wine cave that is 78 degrees? Me either. Every wine cave I’ve ever entered required a sweater. Red wine is best at 55-60º.

Consider Your Food Pairing
A thyme, lemony white fish dish and robust red wine would not be the best pairing for any guest. It’s important to make sure that your food choices match with the wine you are serving. Google will be your best friend. Food & Wine Magazine is my go-to source when I’m looking for pairing recommendations.

Always Serve Yourself Last
Wine tasting is about sharing and enjoying with friends and family. When pouring, be sure that everyone in your group is served before serving yourself.

Take the Time to Smell and Taste Your Wine
Did you know that a lot of what we taste is determined by what we smell? Take the time to first sniff your wine. Then, follow that sniff with a slow taste. Let the wine linger in your in mouth for a moment. Let you palette really discover the nuances of the wine. Once you’ve swallowed, wait for the aftertaste. It can release a whole different taste experience.

Remember Wine is about our Individual Perspectives
Never criticize another taster’s conclusions. My husband loves spice, football, steak, and red wine. I’m music, fish, bland, and love my white wines. Our tastes are different. If someone loves their glass of wine and perhaps you do not, then it’s OK. Remember, the reason we have so many wonderful varietals of wine in the world is because of our wonderfully diverse palettes. Let’s celebrate that.