How to order wine like a pro: 10 commandments to follow

Glancing over a wine list and thinking about which bottle to order, swirling a glass and noting the flavours as they come into play should be an enjoyable experience. But for some, it can be more awkward than agreeable.

Indeed, according to a study by Californian wine brand Dark Horse, a lot of people are puzzled by wine lists in a bar or restaurant, and many do not know what they’re meant to be tasting for when a waiter asks them to try the wine. There’s no need to be anxious though.

Wine expert and TV personality Joe Wadsack (Dark Horse/PA)

Joe Wadsack has teamed up with Dark Horse to share his top 10 wine commandments to remember…

1. The wine glass DOES makes a difference


A thinner glass is much more attractive to drink from because it doesn’t change the temperature of the wine while you drink it, and a slightly bigger bowl, tapered towards to the top, will capture the lovely aromas better and allow you to see and taste the wine more clearly.”

2. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wine rack

(Dark Horse/PA)

Build up your collection, and try not to be jealous of bottles other people have stashed away. “There is everything that you might need in the Dark Horse range from rich plush reds including Cabernet Sauvignon to crisp zesty whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, and an unusually crisp, refreshing rosé.”

3. Learn how to chill wine properly

“Add a teaspoon of salt to a bucket half full of ice cubes before pouring cold water into it until the ice moves freely.”

4. Don’t be concerned about screw tops

“Screw top wine bottlers are not lesser in quality, despite what you may have heard.”

5. You don’t need to open a bottle and let wine ‘breathe’


“Almost no air is going to get to the wine through that tiny narrow neck. Either pour into a decanter or a jug, or better still, just pour it into a big glass and leave it for a minute of two. It does exactly the same thing.”

6. Not all wine improves with age, it’s a case of preference

(Dark Horse/PA)

“The first thing to disappear in all wines when left in the cellar are the velvety juicy fruit flavours, so you might actually end up missing out.”

7. Get the temperature of red wine right

“Red wine should be served at slightly lower than room temperature, so you can smell the subtler aromas, and taste the chewy satisfying flavours in the wine. If it’s too warm, especially in summer, the wine will taste too jammy, vapid and defuse.”

8. Learn an easy wine and food pairing to impress guests

(Dark Horse/PA)

“Sauvignon Blanc is a great wine that can go with any tomato based dish. The tangy fresh green notes in the wine actually share molecules with those found in tomatoes, asparagus and capsicum.”

9. New World wine is just as good as Old World wine

“Recent research shows that people still feel that so-called Old World wines from France and Spain are finer than New World wines from California and Australia, this isn’t true. Spain’s most famous red wine, Rioja, wasn’t made until 50 years AFTER monks started to grow grapes in southern California.”

10. Price doesn’t guarantee quality

“Wine becomes expensive when there isn’t much of it about, and wine isn’t better because it’s made in smaller quantities. The top châteaux in Bordeaux charge hundreds of pounds for a single bottle, even though they make more than 100,000 bottles a year.”

- Press Association

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