3 simple tips to make your wine taste better, from our experts

If you enjoy pouring yourself a glass of wine at the end of a long day, listen up.
At WineFriend, we’re all about drinking better — so we’re sharing three easy ways to get the most out of your wine, every time.
Side note: While these tips can’t save you from picking a dud off the shelf, we’d love to match you with two wines tailored to your unique taste buds — just take our fun & free Taste Test.

Tip 1: Temperature Matters

Make sure your wines are stored and served at the right temperature. Check out our video!

In New Zealand we tend to drink our red wines WAY too warm and our white wines WAY too cold. A red wine that’s too warm can smell ‘cooked’ and taste bland and soapy, while a white wine that’s too cold can smell, um, like nothing and taste thin and metallic. Yuck!

So, to preserve and accentuate all those bright, fresh, sexy florals, fruits and spicy notes in your wines, our team at WineFriend are asking you to chill out with your chilling out.

Believe it or not, a slight chill on your whites and rosés is all that’s needed! Pop the bottle in the fridge for 45 minutes max, and for heavier whites such as chardonnay and viognier — 20 minutes will do the trick.

If the bottle’s already been in the fridge for hours or days, take it out about an hour before you want to open it.

But if you want to get technical, white wines drink best between 8-12 degrees and reds between 15-19 degrees.

If you’re storing wine, it’s a good idea to keep your wines somewhere dark because light can damage bottles as badly as heat. Basically, you don’t want to store your wine anywhere you can see it (especially if you have persuasive friends)! Under a bed or at the bottom of a wardrobe can work nicely⁠. (Better living, everyone).

WineFriend Fact: When our wine tasting team are picking the best of the bunch to include in subscription cases, we ALWAYS taste them at a cool room temperature—or ‘chambrés’ as the French say—to truly appreciate each wine’s characteristics.

Extra for Experimenters: To really see the difference temperature makes to a wine, pour yourself a glass, cover it, then put the rest of the bottle in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Take it out and try the cool glass and the warmer glass side by side. Amazing, right? That’s our kind of science!​

Tip 2. Size matters (wine glasses that is…)

When it comes to good glassware, size and shape do matter!
But glasses come in so many shapes and sizes — so how do you know which one is the glass for you? Well, it depends on what you’re drinking.
  • For still whites and rosés: go for a glass that’s slender but swirlable with high-ish sides as that’ll help to trap those fruity, floral aromas. It’s pretty much the little black dress of wine glasses —versatile and always in style!
  • For sparkling: when it comes to popping open a bottle of bubbly, like champagne or prosecco, reach for a flute glass! Its tall, narrow, supermodel-like shape keeps those aromatics on overdrive and the fizz fizzing.
  • For reds: grab your grandest goblet with a wide, fat bowl to help those rich aromas and flavours roam free and smoothly. It's the ultimate vessel for your vino voyage!

But who really has different types of glassware at home anyway?! Don’t fret if you haven’t got a range to choose from — Gabriel Glasses are super versatile and cover all bases. They’re what we use when tasting. We also find that the thinner the glass, and the narrower the lip, the nicer the glass is to drink out of.

Tip 3. The four S’s

To truly appreciate that delicious glass of goodness, make sure to ‘swirl, smell, sip, slurp.’

  • Swirl: Just like us, a bit of fresh air does wonders for wine after being cooped up for so long. Swirling it in your glass helps warm and oxygenate the wine, which releases all those glorious aromas and flavours that’ve been held captive inside the bottle. But don’t be too generous with your pour or your wine might slosh on your shirt! Check out our video here.
  • Smell: After unleashing the aromas in your swirl, it’s time to take it all in with a good sniff. Get your nose right down into the glass and inhale like your life depends on it. What fruity, spicy, savoury or herbaceous notes can you smell? (Extra for experts: this is called the ‘nose’).
  • Sip: The best part. Get all that goodness in you, and don’t be afraid to swish it around your mouth to give your taste buds a good treat.
  • Slurp: Now try sucking in a little oxygen over the top of the wine in your mouth. This is a great way to inject a little more aeration into the wine which enhances the whole experience. Only do this once or twice if you have company — overdoing it can really annoy people (just a heads-up, gang)!

And with that we say: Go forth, young grasshopper. You’re now equipped to drink better!

With a combined 50+ years of experience in the wine industry, our team of experts taste 80+ different wines every month to pick the cream of the crop for our subscribers — they know what they’re doing, and now you do, too.

When it comes to wine, we’ve got you sorted.

New to your wine journey?
No probs. Let’s help you get started!

Want a bit more convenience in your life?
We’ll do the heavy lifting for you, so all you have to do is sit back, sip and enjoy.

Want to branch out from your usual go-to?
Sweet as. We’ve got options galore with over 60+ different wines. every. month.

Or maybe you already know what you like and prefer to stick to what you know?
Sorted. You can be as prescriptive as you like, and we’ll make it happen.

And—even better—we have 27 different price, case-size, and frequency options so there really is something for every budget.

Curious about what we do?
Take the Taste Test to reveal your perfect match...

22nd April, 2024Apr, 2024 by The team at WineFriend

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