There’s never been a better time to stock up on wine. Not only because your own stocks are, no doubt, quite low, but because the value, choice and quality of wines on offer right now are at an all-time high. There’s really never been more locally produced, world-class, value-for-money wines on offer.
BUYING (WHAT) WINE
Start by determining what your favourite styles of wine are, and buy at least six bottles of each. This will allow you to enjoy them over a longer period of time, with a variety of different meal pairings too. You’ll be able to appreciate how each type of wine develops and what it goes best with.
In addition, make sure to stock up on other types of wine that guests might enjoy. As variety is the spice of life, you might just also surprise yourself and take to a new kind of wine as well. Although there are so many exciting varieties out there, here are the “Big Four” red and white wines you’ll want to have on hand.
Popular white wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and white blends.
Popular red wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinotage and red blends.
STORING WINE WELL
There’s so much to be said about this — a great wine can be ruined if it’s stored incorrectly. Still, you needn’t own a cellar to take good care of your wines.
Here are the basic rules:
- Store wine at a cool but, more importantly, consistent temperature.
- The less direct sunlight and heat the better.
- If the wine has a natural cork, store it on its side to keep the cork from drying out and shriveling up.
SERVING WINE WITH STYLE
If you’re going to invest in good wine, make sure you invest in a good quality wine opener — and some great wine glasses, too. Clear, curved glasses — that swell in the middle before getting a little narrower towards the lip — are best. They help to concentrate the aromas in the wine as you tip the glass to drink from it.
How much wine should you pour into your glass?
Great question! Don’t fill all the way to the top (we know, it’s been a rough year), but to really taste the flavours in the wine you need space in the glass for it to breathe and release its aromas. Pouring to about one third of the wine glass’s capacity (about 150ml-180ml) is best.
What’s the ideal temperature for wine?
Temperature really does affect the taste of wine. Too cold and the flavours will be tightly wound up; too warm, and the wine will be loose and limp. The perfect drinking temperature for red wines is between 12ºC and 18ºC; for white wines and rosé between 8ºC and 12ºC; Champagne, bubbly or dessert wine is best enjoyed between 5ºC and 7ºC.
• Take the effort out of buying wine, and become a member of the Wade Bales Wine Club. Monthly members will receive a personalised selection of wines they love (or want to try) delivered directly to their door each month — no strings (or lengthy bottle-store queues) attached.