5 Lifelong Wine Tips You May Not Already Know

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I am always eager for more helpful wine advice, because despite reading articles and drinking a lot of it, there is still so much to learn. I subscribe to Cellar Angels. While I was cleaning out my inbox over the weekend, I saw these tips from Martin Cody, the company’s president. I had to share them.

1. The Twenty-Twenty Rule:  Unfortunately, most Americans serve their red wine too warm and their whites too cold. The 20/20 rule fixes that for 95% of all your wine needs. For red wine, place them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes prior to serving. This will put a very nice chill on the wines and allow their true flavor to show. For white wines it’s okay to store them in the refrigerator all the time, just pull them OUT 20 minutes prior to serving so they have a chance to warm up.

2. Vintage absolutely makes a difference. Just like it does with the Cubs. Find a great wine shop, befriend the owner(s) pick their brains and they’ll steer you in the right direction. Be prepared to pay a little more money for better vintages (again, just like the Cubs!).

3. Do not order the 2nd least expensive wine on a restaurant wine list. This is historically an average wine but the highest margin wine on the page as the restaurant knows you won’t want to order the least expensive wine.

4. Every Champagne will have two small initials somewhere on the label: RM or NM. RM let’s you know this is a Grower Champagne, meaning the producer of that champagne actually grows the grapes. NM indicates the producer sources those grapes from various growers (famous NM champagne houses include Veuve-Clicquot, Krug and Dom Perignon). The RM champagnes are “sleepers” in the bubbly world with incredible values in the $20-$40 range and often sell grapes to the NM’s!

5. If you order a bottle of red at a restaurant and it’s delivered too warm, as many are, ask for an ice bucket with water. Place the wine in the bucket for 5-7 minutes and you’ll be set! There’s no reason to drink a good wine too warm; life’s too short.

Cellar Angels is a private membership program that connects wine lovers to wineries offering exquisite wines at a discount. There is one wine offered per week and proceeds benefit select charities, chosen by you at checkout. You can request an invitation to join Cellar Angels, if you are not already a member.

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