glasses.jpgThere is so much pomp and circumstance surrounding wine - that it's almost comical. It must be served in this wine glass at that temperature - and don't even think about drinking that with fish. But how much of this horse and pony show actually improves the experience of drinking wine? Is there method behind the madness or is everybody just drinking…ummm…the Koolaid?

Turns out the answer is yes and yes.

The temperature at which wine is served impacts the balance of the elements (fruit, tannins, acidity and alcohol) and affects the overall taste of the wine. Specially designed wine glasses can bring out the nuances of a wine or help a big red wine open up a little more. Drinking a full-bodied tannic red wine with a hearty protein like steak - softens tannins and brings out the fruit notes. These are little details that can make your wine shine but ultimately it's the big details that can take an ordinary wine experience and make it extraordinary. What these “rules” don't take into consideration is that wine is a personal AND social experience. Everybody has their own preferences and create their own guidelines based on what works for them. Wine is also meant to be shared - to be an element of a great night filled with good friends, bad jokes and take out sushi from Quan. Once you start stressing about the little details you lose what makes wine so special. So, we included below some tips to help you get the most out of your wine. Getting the most out of the experience…well that's up to you.

Wine Temperature:
Red wine should be served between 60 - 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
A big misconception is that red wine should be served at room temperature. That was true back in the castles of England a century ago - today however, most city apartments are probably closer to 80 degrees. The easy fix is to throw your bottle of red wine in a bucket of ice and water for 5 - 10 minutes prior to serving.

White wine should be served between 45 - 50 degrees. You're best bet is to put the wine in fridge for an hour or two prior to serving, or for a faster cool…throw it in a bucket of ice and water for 35 minutes.

Wine Glasses:
If you have lots of money burning a hole in your pocket by all means invest in the entire Riedel collection of wine glasses - but if you are looking for a multi-purpose glass suitable for red or white wine - go for a tulip shaped wine glass. That is a glass that has a nice bowl shape and is tapered at the top. (see image above)

When drinking from the glass - hold it by the stem. While that may seem slightly pretentious - it will keep you from heating the wine with your hands.

Wine Storage:
If you are anything like Gothamist, the wine is not left around long enough to store. But if you are planning on holding the wine for more than a week and don't have one of those fancy wine fridges - place the wine in the back of your closet on it's side. The key is keeping it in a cool, dark place and Gothamist has found the closet to work quite well. Do not keep the wine on your kitchen counter - regardless of how cute the wine rack is. The heat, vibrations and light will harm the wine.