Wine is the water of the business world. From mixers to high profile dinners, this ancient libation is everywhere and can make or break a good impression.
Every businessman and woman should at least have a working knowledge of wine. To help you on your next luncheon or sales meeting, here are 3 tips to make you more wine literate.
Red vs. White. Knowing the difference between a classic red and a classic white can make your life a million times easier at the dinner table. Reds generally exhibit a set of rich flavors with spicy, herby and even meaty characteristics. They are better served with heavy meals like steak, lamb or pork. White wines are light in character, with crisp, fruit flavors and aromas. They are better served with seafood, fruit, chocolate and cream based sauces.
Ordering. Never ask the waiter what wine you should order. If you have questions and a sommelier isn’t available, then go with a “safe” choice like a Chardonnay or Pinot. Make sure to have the waiter bring the wine before the food arrives. Alan Richman of GQ Magazine says “Wine without food is fine; food without wine is a disaster.”
Sampling. Once you’ve selected a wine, it’s time to sample (no this doesn’t mean you have to act all pretentious and make a scene). Kathryn Borel, author and avid wine fan, tells us the real reason we sample is to figure out if the wine is corked i.e. it has gone bad. This can be done in 3 easy steps. 1. Grab the bottom of the glass and swirl it. This infuses air into the wine and releases its flavors. 2. Take a sniff. If you smell vinegar, dirt or old laundry then it’s gone bad. 3. Take a good sized sniff and let it flow over your tongue. As Kathryn says, the waiter isn’t waiting for your tasting notes, he just wants to know if he needs to go get another bottle of wine.
You can never know enough about wine. Sommeliers spend their lives learning about new and vintage wines, pouring techniques, etc. What you can do is spare yourself some embarrassment at the next business dinner and know the basics. ICCE offers a Wine 101 course for just $35! Just a couple hours with Tampa wine guru Michael Roberts and you’ll be on your way to impressing the boss in no time. Go to www.tampatraining.com for more information.