The history of using screwcaps, not corks, with wine.
As the article points out, pretty much all wine in Australia comes with screwcaps nowadays, and holy shit are they so much easier to deal with than corks…
Be prepared to drink more if your glass is bigger.
We have enormous-ass pretentious wanker Riedel wine glasses of the sort that can fit half a bottle in a single glass.1 Do we abuse them for over-consumption purposes? Do you even have to ask?
Fancy stemware, do you need it?
My husband recently discovered that, if he made friends with some local restaurant owners, we could get Riedel glasses for commercial, rather than retail, prices. A Riedel glass retail is about $30-60. The restaurant versions are about $5-20. So, hey. Now our house is full of really, really nice wine glasses. Go figure.
(Also, because they’re the restaurant versions, they are like indestructibly tough, despite being made from lead crystal and feeling like they’ll break if you so much as breathe on them. So, hey. Bonus!)
Wine tasting really isn’t as intimidating as people seem to think it is. I’m not great with all the “mmm, blackberry” and “eurgh, capsicum” stuff either, but it’s okay, because as soon as someone in the group just blurts out a random taste, you can just chime in with a yea or nay, and the great thing about taste is that it’s subjective, and no one can actually tell you that you’re “wrong”.
Still, just in case you need them, here’s some more tips on how to fake it ’til you make it in the wine world. And you will “make it” if you drink enough wine. Basically, all the flavour palette stuff just comes from experience. Oh, and drinking more expensive wines. Cheap wines, i.e. the stuff most people drink most of the time, tend to be intentionally one note. So they’ll have one big dominant flavour and that’s all. If you’re all like, “I’ve never had a wine that tastes of freshly cut grass with a crisp aftertaste of floral and citrus!”, then this is very probably the reason why.
It’s not you, in other words, it’s the wine.
But, really. Just drink stuff. If you like it, you like it, if you don’t, you don’t. It’s not actually a test. (And anyone who treats it like it is is very likely a pretentious asshole who doesn’t know what they’re talking about anyway.)
Rule 1 – Don’t use wine as an elitist weapon, it is grape juice and tastes nice.
Rule 2 – Share your wine, crack open that bottle you have been saving.
Rule 3 – Drink wine with food, it is one of life’s true pleasures.
Rule 4 – Drink good wine, to not do so is like smashing a good bottle.
–The Wine Wankers gives us perfect life advice.
My mother is actually allergic to wine, specifically Chardonnay, and it doesn’t give her a headache; it makes her break out in a rash.
Meanwhile, I am “allergic” to wine, mostly because of that one night at the Christmas vacation retreat thing where I had a bit too much red and then decided waking up at 5am the next day would be an awesome idea.
Protip: it was not. Also our unit’s balcony was covered in wine because apparently some people got into a “wine fight”. Engineers, right? Go figure.