Manward’s Guide to Wine
Andy Snyder|November 23, 2022
We’re doing something different today.
With the holiday season upon us… it’s time to reflect upon this odd year. It’s time to celebrate our wins… and mourn our losses.
And there’s no better way to do so than with a nice, high-quality bottle of wine.
We muse about the topic each year around this time. After all, a good glass of malbec is an ideal way to celebrate the season and loosen our mind as we look back on the year that’s been.
So in a bit of an annual tradition – and to prove that we’re far more cultured than our boots let on – here is Manward’s guide to everything you need to know about wine.
Red vs. White
No discussion of wine should start with anything but a look at all the different varieties… We’d certainly need more room than we have here to cover them all.
But know this… Merlot, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon are simply types of red grapes. And chardonnay, riesling and sauvignon blanc are types of white grapes.
There aren’t many differences in the winemaking process from one variety of grape to the next – although red grapes are typically fermented with their skins intact. The different tastes and textures of various wines simply come about from differences in plant chemistry.
Red wines are typically softer and richer than whites. That’s important because reds should be served just below room temperature – at about 65 degrees. This dulls the often sharp flavor of red wines’ rich tannins (which taste like tea or dark chocolate) and emphasizes their fruitiness.
In other words, slightly chilled red wine burns less.
White wines, on the other hand, are much fruitier and much more floral. They are typically served at 55 degrees to help bring out their rich aromas and emphasize their acidity.
A chilled white wine tastes better and feels a bit crisper in the mouth.
Our advice is to find a grape you like (we’re still looking for one we don’t like) and stick to it. Try different brands until you find a favorite.
The go-to grape in the Manward house… is malbec.
We once spent nearly two weeks touring the wineries and vineyards of the malbec capital of the world – Argentina’s famed Mendoza region.
Wines from the high-altitude foothills of the Andes are unique. They’re very flavorful and have a texture unlike any other wine.
Your Bottle, Sir
We must also cover what is perhaps the most intimidating part of wine-drinking.
We’ve all been there. We order a bottle of wine for the table, and the waiter leans over and pours us a small sample glass.
The whole table is watching, waiting to see if we say or do something that proves we’re a true wine snob.
Do we swirl it in our glass just right? Do we sniff it first? Do we choke on a sip of pure vinegar and send it pouring through our nose?
Don’t sweat this intimidating process.
It should be painless.
Our job isn’t to grade the wine or to give the table a review of its texture, aroma and “legginess.”
No, our job is to make sure the hooch ain’t spoiled.
Give it a taste, make sure it’s fit for your glass and not your salad, and dutifully give the waiter your snobbiest of nods.
It’s rare these days, but sometimes a bottle will suffer from what can only be described as “mustiness.” It will smell like an old log cabin… or maybe a wet dog (a French poodle, of course).
You don’t want that.
The smell comes from a compound called trichloroanisole (or just TCA), a tiny amount of which sometimes finds its way onto a bottle’s cork. That’s why, when wine is suffering from the ailment, it’s often said to be “corked.”
Again, if you’re testing a glass tableside and it smells musty, turn it down. The bottle is bad.
Feel free to shake your head in disgust. The table will be convinced you’re the ultimate wine connoisseur.
But the truth is, wine is quite simple.
Simply have fun with a bottle (that’s the point of it!). Try different grapes and regional varieties. And splurge a bit on something fancy.
Just be sure to raise a glass to Manward.
Note: If you’re looking for a truly unique wine experience, this is it. Bonner Private Wine, founded by our good friend and “wine explorer” Will Bonner, is a private wine partnership that gives folks access to the unique “extreme altitude” wines of northwestern Argentina. These wines are not only bursting with intense, delicious flavor… but also packed full of the anti-aging compound resveratrol. And for a limited time, Bonner Private Wine is offering to send you one free bottle when you sign up. Click here for the details.
Andy Snyder is an American author, investor and serial entrepreneur. He cut his teeth at an esteemed financial firm with nearly $100 billion in assets under management. Andy and his ideas have been featured on Fox News, on countless radio stations, and in numerous print and online outlets. He’s been a keynote speaker and panelist at events all over the world, from four-star ballrooms to Capitol hearing rooms.