For thousands of years it has been customary to have wine accompany a meal. This practice that tracks back to ancient Greece as the main feature in success and wealthy feasts, still exists for many reasons, celebratory or otherwise. This age-old custom we’ve enjoyed for so long has since been proven by science to help with digestion, heart stimulation, memory and bone structure. Science explains that while eating, your body goes through stress and forms oxidants that can eventually lead to diseases. Wine contains anti-oxidants and beneficial compounds that help neutralize the negative effects of digestion and any not-so-healthy foods you may be eating.Here are some important facets every chef must know about wine.
Different wines should be served at certain temperatures. Red wine should be room temperature, about 20-25 degrees Celsius or 68-77 Fahrenheit. Pink or rosé wine should be served slightly chilled, around 7-13 degrees Celsius or 47-55 Fahrenheit. White wine and sparkling wine should both be cold; keep them in the fridge so they are below 5 Celsius or 41 Fahrenheit. All wine should be stored at 55 Fahrenheit.
Pouring wine into the right glass is imperative to how the wine aroma is developed when meeting oxygen. Here is an illustration to decipher the correct glass use:
Knowing wine composition will help you understand how to pair food with wine based on their similar components. Those components are broken down into 6 main groups: Fruit, Sweet and Wooden, Spicy and Savory, Mineral, Dairy and Nut, Herbal and Floral. Research your wine by where it is from, year and composition in order to pair it well with food. For example, dry white wine goes well with light cheese, fish, nuts, fruit, chicken, green veggies and spicy foods. Red wine pairs well with grilled and cured meats, heavily aged cheese, potato dishes, roasted vegetables, duck and orange vegetables.
Corked wine is something we’ve all heard of, but may not know if we’ve ever actually encountered it. A corked wine is one that has been contaminated with cork taint, and this contamination gives off a very distinct smell and taste. Cork taint occurs in a small percentage of all natural corks available in the world, with recent studies finding that only about 5% of wines with natural corks are actually corked. While drinking corked wine is not harmful to your health, it does ruin the experience.
Another wine process you may have come across is one that involves decanting. ‘Decant’ simply means to pour the wine from one vessel, its bottle, into another. The reason you decant the wine is to allow it to come into contact with more oxygen. Oxygen’s initial connection with wine can be very beneficial, enhancing the wine’s flavors as well as softening it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can only decant certain types of wine. Any wine, red or white can be decanted. There is hardly any wine that does not benefit from being decanted, so if you want to decant your wine, do it! Decanting is also a great trick to ensure your wine is more likely to please all of your guests. The contact the wine has with air rounds out the wine and makes it more enjoyable to a larger range of people’s taste buds. Plus, if you have a nice decanter, it is a nice addition to your table’s décor.
Now that you know a little more about wine you can sit back with a glass of your favorite wine and enjoy it.