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How to Skimm Your Life
Life hacks for the modern life long learner
- Read in 18 minutes
- Audio & text available
- Contains 11 key ideas
How to Skimm Your Life (2019) offers a helpful crash course on a variety of subjects, including travel, job-hunting and world affairs, so that you can feel more knowledgeable about the important things in life. If you’ve ever felt like you needed some help making better-informed decisions on a day-to-day basis, look no further.
Key idea 1 of 11
Feel fancier and more informed by learning some basics about wine.
Does the following sound familiar? You’re standing in front of a wall of wine bottles, wondering what to bring to a party, and your mind is a total blank. Should I buy white, red, bubbly or a dessert wine? Will I look foolish if it doesn’t pair well with dinner?
Wine should be enjoyed as a stress-reliever, not a stress-creator. So let’s look at some tips and essential info that will help you feel more comfortable the next time you find yourself chatting about wine with a friend.
Wine is essentially fermented grape juice, and the color of the wine is determined by the color of the grape skins to which it is exposed after the juicing process. Likewise, the amount of tannin a wine has is determined by how long the wine spends soaking with grape skins, seeds and stems. Tannin is a compound with natural antioxidant properties, and is generally found more in red wines than in white; it’s the reason your mouth tends to feel dry after a glass of red.
Now, when it comes to tasting wine, you may have noticed that people like to swirl the wine in their glasses and take some air into their mouths after taking a sip. This may come across as pretentious, but there’s a good reason for it: swirling the wine and taking in air are both ways of getting oxygen into the wine, which opens up more of the wine’s complex flavors. Of course, knowing why you’re doing it won’t change the fact that it still looks a bit goofy.
There’s a whole list of words people use when talking about wine as well, such as crisp, bright and flat. A lot of these words refer to the amount of acidity in the wine, and speak to the amount of citrus flavor it has. A good amount of acidity can lead to a crisp and fresh-tasting wine; no acidity, and the wine can taste flat or even flabby.
And if you hear someone say the wine tastes oaky, that’s a reference to the oak barrels in which the wine spent time. New barrels will impart an oakier flavor, while old barrels tend to impart more subtle ones.
So whether you’re enjoying a Chardonnay with some chicken or pork, or a Zinfandel with your pizza, now you know what goes into your favorite wine to make it so distinctive.