Wine snobs may sniff, but thank me when these tricks bail you out.
Wine drinkers imagine themselves champions of verisimilitude (In Vino Veritas = In Wine There Is Truth). But we live in a real world, and there is legerdemain to both enhance your enjoyment of wine and cope with situations where events challenge your budget. So, a peek behind the wine wizard curtain.
Almost every wine benefits from decanting, especially young reds.
Classically, you decant in a decanter, but decanting takes time—several hours in the case of tight, tannic monsters. When you don’t have hours, what do you do? Put the wine in a blender and aerate for 30 seconds of whirring chaos. Presto. Done.
Wine pros grimace in faux horror, but they do not dismiss this frothy fix. It is not elegant, it may harm older and delicate wines, but it works with many, especially tannic, wines. Assault with a blender. Pour into decanter. Don’t tell your friends your caliginous secret.
Scenario: crowd coming and you bought cheap because your rent check/house payment is due. Same time, you don’t want to be dissed as a Two-Buck Chuck chump. Solution: serve wine in decanters or prepossessing pitchers. You might even give the wine a blender whirl to fluff it up for your friends.
Final trick involves honest-to-God deception, but its your party and you can try if you want to.
Save empty bottles of quality wine. Clean them. Save corks.
Before your fete, fill glamour bottles with your cheap stuff. Push corks halfway into bottles, place bottles on tables. Chortle as guests compliment the wine because of opinions influenced by labels. Your call about revealing subterfuge.
• Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante Sparkling Champagne NV. Bushel of peach, tangerine tickle; nice acidity; Barefoot is cutting edge of moscato movement. $8
• Grifone Sangiovese 2011. Dark cherry, fruit forward, oaky spice; one dimensional, but very acceptable value; will please many at your big party. $9
• Tait The Ball Buster Barossa Valley 2011. Focused shiraz-cab-merlot blend; tasty easy drinker; dark berries, red fruit; tannin bite finish. $22
Last round: Never ask a barber if you need a haircut or a wine seller if he has good wine.