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. Martin Cody, president of Cellar Angels is here to share tips for ordering and enjoying wine.

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 Has Two Small Initials Somewhere on the Label: RM or NM

RM lets 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 NMs.

5. Life Is Too Short to Drink Good Wine Too Warm

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.)

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Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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