What Are the Best Tips for Drinking Red Wine?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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There are a number of different tips and techniques for drinking red wine, though the best tips often depend on the circumstances a person is in. In general, however, red wine should be poured into the proper type of glass and served at the proper temperature for full enjoyment. It should be allowed to aerate; this can be assisted through gentle swirling and should be enjoyed by as many senses as possible while tasting. Someone drinking red wine should typically remember that the process should be fun.

One of the most important tips for enjoying red wine is for the drinker to actually take the time to enjoy the wine and not be worried about what anyone else may think. Tasting and drinking wine, red or white, should be a fun and enjoyable experience, not a test of cultural status. Drinking red wine should typically begin with proper service of the wine, however, to ensure the flavors and aromas of the wine are as full as possible.


The wine should be poured into a red wine glass, which is slightly shorter and rounder than a white wine glass, and served at room temperature. A red wine glass is shaped differently than one for white wine to increase the amount of exposure the wine has to air, which increases aeration of the wine. Many wine experts also suggest that red wine should be served at “room temperature,” however, this is fairly vague. Room temperature in Arizona in the summer is very different from room temperature in France in the winter. In general, “room temperature” means slightly cool but not actually chilled and is closer to the temperature of a cellar or place where wine would be stored.

Before actually drinking red wine, the drinker should gently swirl the wine around in the glass. This works with the natural shape of the glass to increase aeration in the wine, which causes more aromas in the wine to be released. Once aerated for a few seconds, the drinker should smell the wine, gently breathing in the aroma of the red wine. This serves to help the drinker ensure there are no “off” smells in the wine, like vinegar or chemical smells, and to begin “drinking” through his or her senses.

The sense of smell is closely tied to taste for a person, so by smelling the wine the taster begins to get a sense of the wine. Once this is done, and there are no “off” smells to the wine, then the person should take a taste. This should be a small taste at first, and the taster should take time to let it rest upon his or her tongue, feeling the body of the wine and enjoying any subtle nuances of flavor. After this initial taste, the drinker can enjoy any lasting “finish” the wine may have, and then continue drinking red wine for full enjoyment.


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Post 4

@Feryll - I don't think red wine or any alcohol can be good for a fetus. This sounds like something made up by someone who couldn't stop drinking for nine months while she was pregnant, so she needed an excuse to not stop drinking.

Post 3

@Feryll - At best, the benefits of red wine for a mother-to-be include removing toxins from the body and helping the baby develop better mental and emotional skills. I'm not sure how you could prove the second part, but there have been studies in this area.

Either way, I think it is safe to say that there are no studies that show that drinking red wine in moderation will harm a mother or her unborn baby. A couple glasses of red wine a week during pregnancy should be fine.

Post 2

I was talking with a coworker the other day and she told me that she was drinking red wine while she was pregnant. She said the wine was actually good for her and the baby. This sounded strange to me because I thought alcohol in general was really bad for pregnant women.

Has anyone else heard that drinking red wine during pregnancy is good for you, or that it is not bad for the baby?

Post 1

I have always thought that all of the sniffing and glass swirling were people putting on airs. I am fascinated to read that these actions actually have some benefit other than making some people feel like they are more sophisticated than the rest of us.

I have been in restaurants where I have seen groups of people at other tables sniffing and twirling, and I thought those people were being ridiculous. Who knew there was a "right" way to drink red wine? My friends and I just get as many bottles as we can and drink as fast as we can.

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