So does that costly – or cheap – red wine you bought not as good as you thought? Well, no worries as we’re going to show you how to make red wine taste better. As you’ll see, there is more than one way to add flavor and consistency to wine, and it’s not going to cost you a lot either.
The easiest way to add flavor to red wine is to blend or mix it with something tastier. This is one of the oldest yet most effective means, and it’s hard to do. For first timers it’s best to start mixing those with a familiar character, so with red wines you should mix light reds and heavy reds.
Sangria is another old trick but still works. Just grab a bottle of cheap red wine, add some of your favorite fruits and you’re good to go. There are lots of recipes for Sangria on the web and you can make one up too, so there’s no wrong way to do this. What’s even better is you can prepare sangria with any wine.
Yes, we drink red wine at room temperature because that releases the aroma and flavors. But by chilling it in the fridge for a few hours, it could force the unpleasant taste to go down. Once it’s chilled, take the wine out and let the temperature rise. See if it tastes any better, and if it doesn’t, add some fruit for flavor.
Let it Breathe
Letting red wine breathe or aerate can improve its taste. However this only works for tannic red wine no older than eight years old.
- One way to aerate is to pour the red wine in a blender or a blade equipped food processor. Close the blender and pulse it a high level for 30 seconds. Don’t be concerned about the air bubbles that appear as that’s a sign the wine is aerating. Pour the wine in a glass and drink.
- The Two Pitcher Method: get a couple of light pitchers. Pour the wine into the first pitcher, and then pour it into the second pitcher. Just pour back and forth 15 times or so and that will help aerate the wine.
- Red Wine Glass Method; get a red wine glass, preferably one with a sizeable bowl. Pour some red wine in it and stop at the glass’ widest part. This is necessary for the wine to interact with the air, and it also prevents spilling. The bottle should be about 10 inches over the glass when you pour, exposing it to more air.
Put the wine down and allow it to breathe for -usually- 45 minutes. The older the wine is the less time it needs to breathe, and vice versa. Some pointers to keep in mind:
- If you’re drinking old, red wine, don’t aerate it for more than half an hour and drink immediately.
- For pinot noir and other light reds, aerate for 15 minutes only.
- Once you’re done aerating, swirl the wine a little before sipping.
Red Wine Mixes and Blends
There are lots of ways to mix and match red wine. Here are some suggestions to get you started, and feel free to change things up.
- Red Wine and Cola: cola cocktails and red wine go well together and taste pretty good too. Just mix equal amounts of red wine and cola, throw a bit of ice, a little lemon squeeze and it’s all set. If preparing sangria seems like too much work, red wine and cola will do.
- Add Cheese: if you don’t fancy mixing anything, get some cheese as it helps reduce the wine’s strong flavor.
- Spritzer: spritzer is usually made with white wine, but nothing can stop you from using red wine. Add two parts really cold red wine, 1 part water, throw in some ice and lemonade and it’s ready to serve. For more taste, you can use flavored soda rather than water.
- Something Vintage: for that classic sangria, add some brandy and fruit to the wine. Pour four cups of wine, add 2 tablespoons of mineral water, 2 tablespoons of brandy and 1 cup of chopped fruits. Blend well and it’s ready.
- Red Wine and Pineapple: if you prefer something tasty but easy to prepare, add a few chunks of pineapple to the wine. This should add just the right amount of sweetness to the red wine aftertaste.
- Lemonade or Nectar: if you want to keep things simple, add equal parts red wine and lemonade. You can add some sparkling water too and some ice. Another option is to add equal amounts of sparkling water, nectar and red wine.
- Freezing Delight: mix a cup of red wine with a couple tablespoons of simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar). Put in the freezer and take out when you’re in the mood for a unique dessert.
- Wine Smoothie: simply freeze the wine in a tray. Take it out, add some cubes, blend and drink. Just like above, you can add more flavor by mixing fruits.
Muddling involves mashing vegetables and fruits and placing them at the bottom of the glass prior to adding other ingredients. Peaches, melons and berries are the most popular, but you can mash any fruit you want. For the results you’ll want to use a muddler, which looks like an 8 inch baseball bat with a flat end.
Once you’ve added all the ingredients, shake thoroughly until the juices mix. Finally, use a strainer to keep the drink smooth. By the way, don’t muddle tender leaves because they leave a bad taste. If you’d like add some herbs, use rosemary, basil or mint and shake it.
Once you have that red wine acquired taste, you will never settle for anything less than high quality. However we can’t always buy the most expensive brand and have to settle for something less. But by following the tips above you don’t have to put up with cheap tasting wine anymore.