From Wine Newbie to Wine Connoisseur

At Harvest Ridge, we want you to relax and enjoy. Wine is meant to be enjoyed; it is meant to be fun! We love wine and love learning about it. We do our best to provide information to help YOU enjoy it more. Our blog postings will often focus on informational elements about wine. We hope you find these interesting (and/or entertaining). We encourage you to try new things and experiment with wine; however, ultimately, what you like is what you like. There is no “wrong” with wine. So all that said, here are OUR Top 10 Wine Tips (a la David Letterman)!

10. Don’t judge a wine by its label – or its price. Great and enjoyable wines can be found in all sorts of packaging and prices. Don’t assume that a less expensive wine is going to be awful and don’t expect that a super-duper cool label is going to indicate it is a super-duper wine. Keep an open mind.

9. Sparkling wines do NOT need to be reserved for special occasions. They pair well with a variety of foods (that’s a whole other blog topic) and can be enjoyed more often than once or twice a year! Bust out the bubbly!

8. Swish out your mouth with water often when drinking red wine. Keeps your teeth pearly white! (Or, at the very least, keeps them from turning a dull grayish-purple.)

7. When possible, attempt to enjoy wines at an appropriate temperature. Red wines are often served too warm and white wines too cool. Reds’ best temperatures are 55-65F (lighter reds in the cooler range, heavier the warmer), whites’ are best served 50-55F (again, darker/heavier on the upper end, lighter – and rose on the cooler end), sparkling is best served at about 45 degrees. These are guidelines. And, it is ok to err on the side of cooler. It can always warm up while you hold the glass!

6. Serve your “best” wine early in the evening. Having a party? Don’t save your good stuff for later. Share it with your guests while they are “fresh.” (Once they’ve had a few glasses/tastes, what they are drinking becomes less important.)

5. Like something? Order a case. Many stores/wineries offer a case discount. Ask about it and take advantage of it. Always a good idea to have something you like on hand.

4. Food pairings. (Again, we’ll come back to this topic time and time again.) Drink what you enjoy BUT be open to pairing suggestions. Some foods and wines/drinks just naturally enhance each other. (Cosmopolitans and brie cheese do NOT enhance each other. The cosmo suddenly tastes like cough syrup. Just take my word for that.) Be willing to consider suggestions of sommeliers and others.

3. Never stop learning about wine. Have your favorites but enjoy others. Check out new ones. If you are a note-taking type of person, keep notes. (They actually sell wine journals for that!) If you are not that type of person, just try a wide variety. Different countries, different grapes, different blends. Branch out! (No pun intended.)

2. Drink in moderation. Wine is almost always better when you don’t regret it the next day. And, though I know you know, I’ll say it anyway. Don’t drink and drive. No one wants to wrestle the keys away from you at the end of the night. It ruins everyone’s fun. Let’s just avoid that awkwardness and imbibe responsibly. Enough said.

****Drumroll ****** And the number ONE Harvest Winery wine tip is:

1. Enjoy wines with those you love. (Except for the occasional family reunion when you might enjoy wine to tolerate family you rarely see.) Wine goes hand in hand with food and family. Wine+food+good company= good times.

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