Pour Wine to Savor and Enjoy, Not Guzzle

Chicago Tribune, Opinion, wine, Wine and Spirits -

Pour Wine to Savor and Enjoy, Not Guzzle

When you think of the broad concept of “enjoying wine,” or at least when I think of it, it’s hard not to imagine a glass being raised. Sometimes it’s a person raising a glass in a gesture of “Cheers,” and other times, it’s a bottoms-up raising of the glass as someone takes a sip or a whiff of wine. But just as often, that glass is being raised slightly — at the end of an extended arm — to move it closer to the opening of a bottle that is about to be poured.

The word “bounty” springs to mind in every scenario. The people are reaching for more wine and raising it up. It is a celebration. Let the wine flow, let the trumpets blare — clothing and the clock be damned. I have nothing against whooping it up. In fact, I’m all for it. But you can do that at a measured pace. Don’t limit yourself by over-pouring.

I suggest getting into the habit of pouring yourself (and your guests) just enough to be able to smell and taste the wine. You don’t have to use an eye-dropper — just be mindful of the fact that we all have our limits. And we have lots of wines to try. In some aspects of wine enjoyment — particularly the pouring aspect — being miserly usually pays greater dividends than the so-called “healthy pour” does.

Let us count the ways. For one, when there is less wine in your glass, you can taste a bigger variety of wines. If you are at home with family or friends, and you have six bottles open and want to have a taste of each, a standard 5-ounce pour (which you would get in most restaurants) might not allow you to reach bottle No. 6 and, furthermore, might give you regrets the next day.

Reason No. 2 in favor of miserly pours is, if you determine a favorite among the open bottles, you'll still have room in your belly and brain to return to it for another glass — a proper pour of 5 ounces (or 6 ounces if it’s your birthday) — after everyone has already tasted it. If you have nine bottles open, your test pours are going to have to be even smaller than they were on that night when there were six bottles open. And you might even consider spitting some of those tastes — especially if you can tell right away that you don’t like them.

Reason No. 3 comes to us courtesy of kindergarten. Sharing is good. When you don’t have 5 or 6 ounces in your glass, there can be a few ounces in someone else’s, and you’ll all get to taste all of the wines together, without people holding up an empty bottle and saying how much they loved it, as others stand by wishing they’d had a taste. Once everyone has tasted a bottle, it’s open season.

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