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If you are going to be drinking wine,then you must know how to drink it,there is a huge difference between the ordinary drinker who gulps,swigs,belchs,tosses off his glass and a man of taste who exquisitely savors  a nature's masterpiece which has been grown and  nurtured for quality, he then exchange appraisals and comparisons with other wine lovers worthy of his confidence.
There so many hidden beauties in the wine,that in haste to satisfy a thirst, a drunkard will not fully appreciate its treasures like a master can.
Here are five simple rules to be a Wine Master

1. Buying the wine: Never buy wine at the last minute, or uncork it as soon as you receive it. If you must drink badly, at least care for the right of others not to do so and If you're  having people over for dinner ,dont send out for wine as soon as you seat yourselves at the table except at a quality restaurant that do have an exceptional wine bartender. Allow old bottles to rest as long as possible when you buy or receive them,lets say a week or more. Yes wines do expire, so a wine can grow so old its becomes senile,check the labels and see if there is any indication of expiry date. Take note to Select the "bottle" to match the menu and the guests.
wine decanting

2. Preparing the wine for the right Temperqture:
At the right temperature, a wine is prepared for tasting, decant old red wines using a decanter  to separate the clear liquid from any deposit or residue at the bottom of a bottle. White wines are an exception to this rule.

Room temperature/Chambre 28°C: Red Bordeaux,wines made from liqueurs e.g Muscat
Greater than Room temperature: Red port,sherry,Madeira
Less than Room temperature:Red Burgundy,White port
Chilled:White Burgundy
Iced cold: White Bordeaux,Champagnes,
 To ice wines, bring them out 20 minutes before consuming them, place them in an ice bucket, uncork, then replace the cork loosely. Avoid aeration/oxidation.

3. Serving:
A wine conoisseur can be recognized at once by the glass/crystal out of which he drinks. Always use the appropriate glass for the specified wine. A glass without a stem is a no-no for a first class wine. Not mugs or paper cups good wine has all its ornament it needs.A glass  needs not to be too ostentatious as to block the view or interrupt the pleasure of the drink.A
A stemmed glass should be of ample size,thin,light,well-balanced,firmly based,no engraving or veining or decorations. The cup and sphere should narrow like as a tulip. The stem puely cylindrical.

4. Knowing what wine goes with what menu:
Wines and dishes should serve to enhance each other.To be a wine master,one requires experience gained by garnering of intellectual information and relying on varied sensations acquired over time.Sometimes, you can chose a wine based on your intuition,but I will give you the following advice.
a. Do not serve sweet wine before dry.
b. Do not serve a full-bodied wine (e.g Red Burgundy) before a lighter wine (e.g port)
c. Do not serve red wine after a liqueur-like white wine.
d. Never invite again guests who mix their wines.
e. Fish goes with white wine except when it is prepared in a stew, then you should serve with red wines.
f. Its safer to serve red wines with Red meat or poultry except your you have become more adept to be more discerning as to choose other wine types.
f. A Madeira or dessert wine is favourable with fruits or desserts.
g. Champagne,if it is the dry type should not be served after dessert but when used to sustain toasts,speeches and orations,it should be preferably be light and slightly sweet as fruits and candies are usually served at such proceedings. Also,Champagne when used to  accompany a whole meal should precede all wines and never to be served at the end of a meal.
You can vary and harmonize the sensations,by serving various flavors of Champagne (dry,semi-dry) during an entire meal ending with the sweetest just before dessert.
h. Foods soaked in oils,hors d'oeuvres  or salads, owe most of their flavors to vinegar(a sour wine) and because of this acidic taste which is very pronounced ,Wines,even best ones usually taste flattened when served with such foods.The better choice is to wash them down with cool,clear,light water to aid their digestion.
i Always be careful to whom you offer wine, remember the biblical saying and  good advice " dont cast your perls before swine". Offer wine to those who will appreciate it.

5: Drinking the wine:  
When a drinker gets ready to drink, he concentrates all his faculties of attention on his glass (sight,feel,taste,touch,smell). A wine lover is recognized by his bearing and there is this distinctive way he holds,admires ,drinks and enjoy a glass of wine. He drinks wine by delicately sipping it to savor every mouthful to fully appreciate the quality of the wine, only then he can judge, compare and discuss the wine with other wine connoisseurs. Only gourmets of first rank can  talk of  a wine's body,sweetness,dryness,finesse,color,smoothness,bouquet,delicacy ,all these vocabulary which seems a mystery to the ignorant.
To drink a wine,a glass should be filled halfway way and not overflowing,tilted to give the eyes pleasure,the colors and various strata of the liquid can then be admired before the glass continues on its onward journey to the mouth.

So now that you are on your way to becoming a wine master, you may want to keep labels of wines you taste for future records.
You can achieve this by carefully remove the label of a wine by  either soaking the bottle in hot water to  make it peel off easily or in more serious cases, carefully scrape off with a sharp razor blade or better still copy down the information on the label .

N:B: This post is not for either alcoholics or undiscriminating boozers, its for the rare men and women of taste who drink moderately in order to taste the joys of life and for those who are willing to learn.

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