It is no exaggeration to say that wine simply makes our lives better.
It makes our meals tastier, our evenings more relaxed and our summer days more indulgent.
Our bank accounts, on the other hand, unfortunately, don’t benefit as much from our favourite bottles.
Instead, they take a beating every time we grab one – especially if, like us, you like expensive things.
Fortunately, there are excellent hacks that will turn even the cheapest wine offering from your local liquor store into an upscale wine connoisseur’s dream.
1. Combine it with cheese
Everyone knows that cheese is the perfect accompaniment to wine. The sharpness of cheese can mask the stronger taste of wine, and vice versa.
The two complement each other for balance and harmony to please your taste buds. Cheese is also simply delicious, and you should always have it with you.
2. Add some fruit
Who doesn’t like sangria? There’s no better way to sweeten the bitterness of wine than by mixing in some fruits and berries. The addition of apples, strawberries and the like adds flavour, and they also add a nice, decorative touch.
3. Keep your wine cold
Adding ice or chilling before drinking can dilute an overpowering wine and make it more refreshing to taste. It makes sense — you wouldn’t enjoy a lukewarm beer, and there’s a reason why people prefer margaritas frozen or on the rocks.
Wine connoisseurs will tell you that red varieties should be kept at room temperature for proper consumption, but I’d say add some ice to slow down the aromas for a smoother taste. Pro Tip: Add frozen grapes for maximum results.
4. Aerate your wine
Exposing wine to the air filters out some of the graininess, allowing it to breathe better. That’s why you often see people swirling a glass several times before taking a sip.
For wines that pack a punch, as budget-friendly wines often do, a quick trick to weaken the acidity is to aerate them – by letting them sit for a while before serving, decanting them, or using a neat little device.
Purchasing a fancy aerator can cost a pretty penny, but there are still some affordable options that will get the job done and impress all your friends while you’re at it.
5. Make it into a spritzer
Adding something fizzy and bubbly can soften sharp and off-putting flavours, but if adding soda sounds like blasphemy to you, then you’ve probably never tried it.
In countries like Spain, one of the top wine-producing countries in the world, natives have discovered the miraculous effects of adding lemon-lime soda (and other Fanta flavours) to wine, calling the mixed drink “tinto de verano.”
Another popular variation is called a kalimotxo, also known as “poor man’s sangria.” It pairs red wine with a cola-based soda (yes, really). Hey, don’t knock it until you try.
6. Consider it
If you’ve ever enjoyed the cosy warmth of mulled wine on a chilly day, you’ll understand why it’s generally a good idea to drink mulled wine. But even if it’s not winter, raising the temperature of a red wine with some spice and sugar will reverse its low-grade taste.
7. Drink more wine
While I wouldn’t recommend drinking yourself into oblivion, even cheap wine always seems to taste better after a glass or two or three or the bottle. So what are you waiting for? Grab a glass and grab a girlfriend. It’s time for more wine.