A beginner’s guide to drinking red wine

Love the idea of savouring a delicious glass of red wine – but don’t know a thing about choosing a good bottle? Here’s a quick beginners guide.

Drinking wine is a much-loved way to relax. Whether you’re out at a fancy restaurant, by the beach, or just at home, a glass of red wine is always a nice way to cap off a long day or a great dinner.

If you’ve tried shopping for red wine, you may have noticed that there are so many options to choose from – different types of grape, different countries of production and different price points – that it can get confusing, especially for a beginner.

Trethowans
Trethowans

Fortunately, while it may all seem confusing to you, there are many ways to understand and appreciate red wine. Resources like this red wine guide are a great start to your journey.

If you’re a beginner (or an intermediate) wine connoisseur, in this article we’ll share some tips to help you learn more about drinking red wine, the common mistakes that novice wine drinkers make and some of the best tips for enjoying red wine. 

The Popularity Of Red Wine

Red wines are produced with different types of grapes. However, it’s wise to drink red wine with caution if you are prone to heartburn or acid reflux, as red wine is acidic and may sit uneasy in an empty stomach.

This is why it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve eaten something before you get started with wine. Red wine is often best with heavier foods, like pasta or steak, as the acidity of the wine clears your palate of thick and heavy flavors between each bite, and allows you to appreciate each flavor fully and individually. 

The health benefits of red wine

Many people who drink red wine do so not just for pleasure, but also because of the health benefits it may bring. Some of these include:

  • It has antioxidant properties. These can help ward off free radicals that are present in the body. 
  • It may lower blood pressure levels. However, don’t do this as your primary source of medication if you have existing heart problems without the advice of a medical professional.
  • It may improve gut healthComponents of red wine promote healthy gut flora, which an important part of keeping your digestive tract healthy and efficient. 
  • It may have benefits for cardiovascular health. Studies suggest that regular consumption of red wine can correlate with long-term cardiovascular health and help prevent maladies like heart disease. 

Four tips for choosing, drinking and serving red wine

Here are four tips that can help you have a better understanding of the art of loving red wine.

1) Get to know your taste preferences

The first step is to understand what your beginner’s palate is like. If you’re very much an amateur, don’t worry: all you need is a good bottle of wine to start.

The next time you’re at your local liquor store, ask the employees for any suggestions. Their job is to know their products and they can help you figure out which labels may suit your preferences.

Starting out with a wine that you are more likely to enjoy will make it easier for you to learn how to love the broader landscape of red wines. 

When learning how to enjoy drinking red wine, it’s important to always take your time. While you might not be a serious connoisseur yet, you’ll certainly be more advanced than most when you understand the basics.

If you take a look at more experienced lovers of red wine, you’ll find that they favor small sips, not gulps. Drinking wine is a leisurely activity, meant to be savored and appreciated.

When learning how to drink red wines, you will likely notice a variety of different flavors and aromas in just a single glass of wine. Try not to be too overwhelmed at once and just focus on one element at a time.

If you think you smell vanilla, try to focus on that when you inhale the wine’s bouquet, or, if you taste oaky undertones in one sip, take another sip and see if you can find it again.

With enough experience, it will become easier to find these different notes across any wine you partake in. 

2) Keep your stock quantity limited at home

Because you’re still a beginner, don’t buy too many different red wines. Don’t immediately feel compelled to have a large stock like those who keep wine cellars in their homes. You don’t want to end up drinking more than you need, or end up stuck with a selection of wines that you don’t really enjoy. 

3) Keep a stock of only your favorites

It is a good idea, however, to have a few bottles of your favorites handy for occasions where you’re more likely to want a specific wine. That way, you’ll actually know what you’re serving to guests on occasions when you have friends or family over.

Have three bottles to rotate at home, at any given time: one for dinner, another for snacks or light drinks and another one for breakfast and lunches.

4) Keep learning and tasting more

Even when you already have your favorites remember that, as a beginner, there’s still so much you can learn. Whenever you’re at a wine shop, give yourself time to learn more.

Consider asking the staff for any recommendations or if there’s any interesting new stock in the store. The longer you’ve been drinking red wine, the more that you can also adjust your taste buds to love more options.

If you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to having a personal collection of great tasting wine that you’ll appreciate for years to come. 

You’re one step closer to being a red wine connoisseur

Follow these tips and you’ll be one step closer towards becoming that red wine connoisseur you have always wanted to be. Don’t worry if you’re a complete beginner right now; it’s more than enough that you’ve started to show interest in wine.

And don’t forget to keep in mind that, as with all alcoholic beverages, wine is best enjoyed in moderation. Enjoy a glass or two a day and savor your journey through red wine.