Real wine enthusiasts, rather than casual drinkers, look for ways to keep wine an integral part of everyday life, in spite of occasional challenges. Headaches are major challenges, of course, but there are other less-severe examples that can be managed more easily.
You may not be a professional wine taster who samples hundreds of wines in a day's time, but that does not make you immune to the discoloring effects of red wine. The stains usually are not permanent and disappear when you brush your teeth. Some serious red wine connoisseurs do notice that over time mere brushing does not remove the purple color completely. A trip to the dentist for a professional whitening procedure might be in order.
However, there are some measures you can take to prevent and fix the situation.
Wait an hour or so after drinking wine to brush. The high acidity in wine can leave your teeth sensitive to abrasion. Brushing prematurely could damage your tooth enamel.
Drink water between sips of wine. It will help eliminate the acid.
Before brushing, dissolve a half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and take as you would a mouthwash.
Use a fluoride rinse two to three hours before winetasting.
No Alcohol, Please
When you really like wine but have to stay away from alcohol, are you out of luck? Alcohol-free wines are available, but their resemblance to ordinary table wine, both in aroma and flavor, depends on how the producer removed the alcohol.
Historically, winemakers used steam distillation or reverse osmosis to remove the alcohol, but these processes tended to degrade the wine's flavor and aroma. Many alcohol-free wines are still made in this way, but the best are made using the spinning cone column.
The winemaker sends the wine through the spinning cone, and centrifugal force basically pulls the wine apart, drastically increasing its surface area. While this is happening, nitrogen is injected into the bottom of the cone, and as it rises, it traps all the delicate compounds controlling the wine's aroma and flavor. These compounds are then condensed and added back to the dealcoholized liquid. Unfermented grape juice is often added at the end to enhance the overall beverage.
One thing you should know is that alcohol-free wines are not necessarily totally free of alcohol. If you check the label, you will usually find an alcohol level of .5 percent. One of the best alcohol-free wines is Fre, produced by California's Sutter Home Winery.
Get the Lead Out
Lead crystal is beautiful, and your crystal glasses and decanters can make your wine appear particularly elegant. Over time, however, wine can absorb some of the lead. Never store wine in lead crystal decanters, especially more durable wines such as sherry. Of course, using your lead crystal glasses every so often for a dinner party is harmless.
For new crystal, soak it in vinegar for 24 hours and then rinse. Stay away from harsh detergents as well, for these can increase the release of lead.