Why You Shouldn't Save Your Best Bottle Of Wine For Last

A well-planned meal is like a well-thought-out date: How it begins determines how it will end and how it plays out in the middle will tell you if there's a chance for a second.

Flavor pairings seem to be a topic that intimidates and eludes many home cooks, and wine pairings are even further deemed downright terrifying, leaving many to choose the cheapest bottle that greets them at the front door of the store. And should any one of us be gifted with an expensive bottle of wine from a thoughtful friend, we may just squirrel it away until some anticipated special occasion like an anniversary or holiday.

But wine expert Mathew Woodburn-Simmonds, founder of Decoding Wine, has a tip that will dispel the myth that the best should be saved and free you to start pouring as soon as possible.

The third bottle is the best of the night

Mathew Woodburn-Simmonds made it his life's mission to simplify wine and "empower" people to choose wines they'll actually enjoy drinking. And if you have a wine picked out that you really enjoy or splurged on, he suggests you don't wait till the end of your meal to pop the cork.

Woodburn-Simmonds told Tasting Table to "start with the good stuff," because by the end of the night, who can really appreciate the bouquet of an exquisite Pinot Noir? The wine expert explained that after guests have a few glasses, they start "loosening up" and their palates might not be as sharp, meaning they might not be as interested in or capable of fully appreciating your coveted wine. 

Discussing the best and worst wines to serve on Thanksgiving, Woodburn-Simmonds explained, "the third bottle of wine is the best one of the night and you can drop to a slightly cheaper bottle as the day goes on." So after your guests have been served a welcoming sparkle in a flute to kick off your party, go ahead and serve your stunner. Save the cheaper, less-quality wines for later on when your guests won't even notice.