Should wine be savored or guzzled? For true pleasure, mindset matters

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Should wine be savored or guzzled? For true pleasure, mindset matters

 Photo Credit: Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

Let's hope that your wine never tastes like cocktail sauce, that zippy red stuff that comes with shrimp appetizers and raw oysters on the half shell. But let’s also use those two words — cocktail and sauce — individually and completely unrelated to the zippy red sauce, to get to the bottom of when and how the wine you drink can reach its full potential. Is your wine at its best as a “cocktail” or a “sauce”?

Sometime in the 1980s, wine started wedging its way into the consciousness of American nightlife revelers. Wine was steadily becoming a viable drink option, just as a drink, for everyone. Serious wine consumers had been enjoying wine regularly with meals for years, but in those big-hair days, good wine was becoming much more available.

Today, wine-as-cocktail remains a viable option, a different context than wine-as-aperitif. Enjoying a glass to wake up the palate and stimulate the appetite is one thing; ordering several glasses of wine over a few hours in a bar is another. There’s nothing wrong with it if it works for you, but to me it’s sort of like eating frosting directly from the bowl. Isn’t it better on cake?


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