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A Gentleman’s Guide to Drinking Wine

Guide on Drinking Wine

You may know the dissimilarities or distinction between full-bodied and medium-bodied wines, or what tannins are. Even so, such understanding or comprehension can be very helpful when you want to choose a bottle for a romantic date night or want to sound sharp-witted and shrewd than your colleagues.

But no matter what your objective is, here is a quick guide to drinking wine. Take a read!

What Body Means in Wine

The words full, medium, and light refer to the texture of the wine when you taste it or how thick it feels on your tongue. Consider the difference between tasting heavy cream, whole milk, and skim milk. 

This analogy might be the best way to tell the difference between full-, medium-, or light-bodied red wines. White wines do not follow this analogy, though. However, people still discuss them through these terms. 

Moreover, if you become aware that the wine body is not a flavor, but a feeling or sensation, then you will find it easier to determine a body type of wine the next time you decide to drink. Take Screaming Eagle, for instance. It is a full-bodied wine with concentrated purple.

Here’s a great tip for you! The wine lists you find in restaurants are usually ordered or arranged from lightest to fullest body type. Another thing, the body type if a wine correlates with the alcohol content. Take note that wines that are about 13% ABV (alcohol by volume) are heavier in the body compared to wines with lower ABV.

Common Grapes

Wine producers all over the world make use of many different types of grape to make vino. However, there are six most popular grapes (three red and three white) that you will come across more often than others. 

Each of these six grape types corresponds to one of the body types (full, medium, and light). The following are the BIG SIX grape types to make vino:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon: full-body, red grape
  • Merlot: medium-body, red grape
  • Pinot Noir: light-body, red grape
  • Chardonnay: full-body, white grape
  • Sauvignon Blanc: medium-body, white grape
  • Riesling: light-body, white grape

But a few of these grapes can be fuller- or light-bodied relying upon the style of the winemaker. What’s more, there are many other grapes you might encounter in shops or on wine lists. Take Malbec (medium to heavy body, red grape) and Pinot Grigio (light body, white grape), for example.

A great reminder when buying these wines, ensure to examine or check the shape of the bottles. For instance, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay arrive in a much rounder bottle compared to other grapes.

Why not read the label? For sure, you’ve asked yourself this. However, when you are in Europe, the grape names are not typically listed. Thus, looking at the shape of the bottle can tell you whether the wine is full- or light-bodied.

Swirling the Wine

Do you often see people spin and swirl a glass of wine before drinking it? Well, it might appear odd, but if you do not do this, perhaps you may want to buy the most inexpensive wine on the list. 

Keep in mind that swirling the wine around in the glass helps release the aroma of the wine, wherein most of the flavor comes from. All you need to do is to hold your glass by the stem with your thumb and index finger. And then imagine you are drawing or making small circles with it. 

Also, check the wine’s legs after you swirl. The wine’s legs refer to the streaks of liquid left on the glass. You will know if the wine is high in quality if you see more legs. 

Aerating Wine

Take note that when you pop open a bottle of wine, oxygen enters and alters how the wine tastes. This process is reckoned as wine decanting. Simply speaking, letting your wine breathe.

A lot of people believe that giving full-bodied wines ample time to breathe boosts their flavor, except white wines as they are not decanted. Here’s a helpful hack for you. 

When you open a bottle, and the wine tastes very edgy or sharp, it is a good idea to let it breathe for some minutes. In this way, the wine might taste better than before.


Sure, drinking wine is rather simple and straightforward. But describing it is somewhat challenging. For this reason, it is important to do your research so that you can choose the best bottle of wine for any occasion. Also, you can sound and drink smarter than everyone else. 

A good wine is best when paired with a complementary treat, like high-quality cheese or artisanal chocolates. If you’re buying wine as a gift, you may as well go for a wine gift basket for a decadent experience.

Another thing, it is not true that when you have two bottles from different vintages, the older one will always be better. As a matter of fact, the younger vintages of today are guaranteed to be delicious when they are released.

What do you think?

Written by Mark Greene

Mark Greene is writer and life coach dedicated to helping men to perform at peak level. He shares dating advice, style tips and strategies for building wealth and success.