Frequently Asked Questions

Have Question? Here are a few and our answers

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Question 1: What gives red wine its color?

  2. Question 2: Where do the flavors in wine come from?

  3. Question 3: How long will wines last after being opened?

  4. Question 4: How should I store my wines?

  5. Question 5: Is there a correct way to taste wines?

  6. Question 6: What is a “corked” wine?

  7. Question 7: Do I have to spend a lot of money to get a good bottle of wine?

  8. Question 8: What type of wine glass should I use to serve my wine?

  9. Question 9: I’m having a dinner party, and I have no idea how much wine to purchase.


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Answer 1:

Red wine gets its colors from grape skins during fermentation. The depth of color is determined by the length of contact time with the skins. But all skins are not equal! Some are thicker than others, which means more color can be extracted, although the Nebbiolo grape tends to defy that description. It is thick-skinned, but the wines that are made from this grape (Barolo and Barbaresco regions in Italy) are lighter in color but have robust tannins!

Answer 2:

The flavors of wine begin to develop during fermentation. The byproduct includes alcohol plus over 200 aromatic esters. Oak (which I addressed in the article “How Oak Influences Wine” found in another section) imparts aromas and flavors of vanilla, spice, chocolate, to name just a few! There is so much more to share with you on this topic than space will allow. If you are interested in flavor profiles of specific varietals, I would love to hear from you! It’s amazing how influential the various steps in the winemaking process will be.

Answer 3:

Generally speaking, red or white wines will usually last 2-5 days after opening. The reason for the variable length of time is twofold. For one thing, it depends on how you store it after it has been opened. If it’s sealed (recorked) and refrigerated after opening, this can extend its life by not subjecting it to heat and light. Second thing to consider is the varietal and the structure of that wine. Is it a soft red with few tannins (think Pinot Noir), or does it have big tannins and high acidity (envision a Napa Valley Cabernet)? The bigger wines will last longer!

Answer 4:

In an ideal situation, wines should be stored in a refrigerated cooler, with the temperature range of 55-60 degrees, depending on whether you’re considering long-term or short-term cellaring.

Answer 5:

When you are tasting a glass of wine, keep in mind one thing. Your tongue has five different areas of taste: sweet, sour, umami, salty, and bitter. Although the taste buds for each flavor can be found throughout the mouth, it is more pronounced in certain areas of the tongue. Sweet flavors are easy to pick up at the front of your tongue, whereas bitter (think of tannins in red wine) will be more noticeable at the back of the mouth. When you’re tasting your next glass of wine, swirl the wine in your mouth to pick up more of the flavors that you’re searching for. The worst thing you can do is to swallow the wine like you’re drinking a glass of water. You will certainly miss out on so many good flavors and characteristics of that glorious wine!

Answer 6:

A corked wine refers to the taste of wine that has been affected by the chemical TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole). It’s definitely easier to call it “TCA”! TCA is formed when airborne microbes affect the cork, whether it’s still part of the tree or it has been turned into a cork.  The taste is unforgettable, smelling and tasting like wet cardboard, wet newspaper, wet dog, or a musty, damp cellar. It can affect a winery’s entire cellar, which is devastating! Winemakers fight hard to stop it, and they win 95% of the time. However, approximately 3% of all wine is corked!

Answer 7:

There are two schools of thought on how much to spend on a bottle of wine. If you have a budget that you must abide with, then only spend what you can afford. If you have more available funds than the average person, then go for it! I’m sure that’s not what you were looking for in answer to this highly debatable question. This is when it pays to ask for help. Whether you’re just beginning to explore the world of wine, or you’ve had the pleasure of drinking wine for several years, I am here for you. I only recommend wines that I have personally tasted and would buy myself. There’s an advantage to asking for ideas from someone knowledgeable in the wine industry. Have you ever bought a bottle of wine solely based on the label? Or have your best friend recommend a wine that they loved, but the flavor of the wine is nowhere near what you enjoy. This is where it pays to ask an expert in the wine industry for help. Someone who tastes wines almost daily. I would love to give my input the next time you are ready to buy something different but don’t want to waste money on something that you won’t enjoy drinking. I would be so excited to help you discover that delicious wine waiting for you around the corner! Just fill out the form to request my help. I think you’ll be glad you did!

Answer 8:

There are almost as many types of wine glasses as there are wines (or so it seems!). Yes, you can buy a different glass for each wine varietal, but does that make sense? Or do you have room in your cabinet for ten different wine glasses? Or do you even WANT ten different wine glasses to confuse even the most wine savvy person out there? No, I don’t either! To simplify this dilemma of proper glassware, consider using just a few glasses that I feel make a difference when it comes to enjoying your wine to its fullest potential. For dry wines, I would choose a Bordeaux glass for your reds, especially Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux. It has a larger bowl with more height which opens up the aromas and releases the tannins. Next, look for a Burgundy glass to enjoy Pinot Noir. The wider bowl and tapered mouth will open up the Pinot Noir and will definitely show off the brilliance of the wine. For white wines, my choice would be a traditional white wine glass that has a smaller bowl to keep the wine colder for a longer time with a narrow mouth to focus on and concentrate the delicious aromas. And let’s not forget Champagne! The Champagne flute does more for the retention of the bubbles and keeps the focus on the fruit than any other shape of glassware. So there you have it! Four glasses that will help you enjoy your wines, no matter what varietal or style that you decide to enjoy.

Answer 9:

I’m so glad you asked this question! When planning a dinner party, there are many variables that will influence your decisions. This is where I can help you plan the perfect event. Filling out the form with your information will get the planning (and party) started!