Some people will say that “wine is wine” but the truth is that a $6 bottle (and in most cases will) taste better as compared to a $3 bottle. I happened to sip the most inexpensive bottle of wine called barefoot or was it yellowtail. My face shrunk and my eyes welled up, ready to cry. It had an overwhelming terrible taste. And this is how I started crafting these ideas. Let’s get started, shall we?
Mull the Wine
Mulled wine is a traditional alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink made from red wine, sometimes dried grapes, and mulling spices. The spices include; cloves, cinnamon, and grated nutmeg. And the famous wines for mulling are port and claret.
Mulled wine is a popular beverage during the holiday season in Europe, especially in winter, and in special occasions such as Christmas. And due to the weather, it is either served warm or hot.
Note that a significant amount of sugar is required to make this process successful. If you’re on a weight loss diet, stay away from this concoction. Some scientists argue that the sugar used ends up being consumed during the mulling process, but this is still subject to debate.
A Quick Recipe
- For every pint of wine add one cup of water.
- Adjust the spices to your liking.
- Boil the water with spice until you extract the flavor completely before adding sugar and wine.
- Let the mixture boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool.
- Serve with dry toast, cookies, or biscuits.
A Sangria Maybe?
Sangria is a combination of fruit, wine, and a sweetener. Who doesn’t love sangria? It’s the best method to sweeten the bitterness of cheap wines. The addition of strawberry, apples and other fruits, infuses intense flavors and also adds a decorative and classy touch.
A Quick Recipe
This is my version of the traditional Spanish drink. Feel free to add any fruit in season, but avoid pears and apples. They “drink” all the rum. To take your Sangria a notch higher, try white rum or red Burgundy wine. It is also not necessary to dilute with carbonated beverages. You already have enough problems with your choice of wine.
- In large glass pitcher mix 1 1/2 cups rum with a 750ml bottle of red wine (preferably dry).
- Add thinly sliced lemon, lime, and orange fruits (1 each).
- Top up with 1 cup orange juice and sugar to your liking (I use 1/2 cup granulated sugar for this ratio).
- Let the mixture chill in the fridge for 2 hours to infuse the flavors.
- Shake vigorously before serving.
How About a Spritzer?
Spritzer is a wine that has water and sometimes sugar added to it. There are many types of spritzers. The proportion of wine and carbonated water added is what differentiates them. Adding bubbly and fizzy substances can reduce the unpleasant tang and flavor experienced with cheap wine.
Aeration of Wine
Aeration is the process by which air circulates through and dissolves in wine. In the process of exposing wine to air, some of the grains are filtered out, and a few chemical reactions occur to weaken the acidity in the wine.
You might have noticed some people often swishing wine around in a glass more than two times before taking a sip, right? This is a quick way to aerate wine. Other ways to aerate wine include; the traditional method of decanting, using small devices like two pitchers or glasses of wine, or purchasing fancy devices like a commercial blender. Or you could just use your domestic blender at home.
Match Your Wine with Food
Wine has been a basic requirement in dinner tables for ages. Food pairing, however, is the recent phenomenon. The main reason behind pairings is to find the right combination. Certain elements such as flavor and texture in both wine and food do correspond to make the entire meal an enjoyable experience.
Cheese is yet another classic wine matcher. The sharpness of cheese can disguise the stronger taste of average wines and vice versa. Ignoring all the rules, cheese is delicious! It doesn’t, matter whether you’re using it to disguise your mediocre bottle of wine or just indulging in your guilty pleasures. Just have the cheese, will you?
The above techniques might look bizarre at first, but these are tried and tested to make your average wine taste a million dollars rich, no pun intended.
Image credit: Pixabay