Tips for enjoying, drinking, and storing wine
Courtesy of Peju Vineyards
First and foremost, always, please drink responsibly.
How can I keep an open bottle of wine fresh longer?
• Cork and place it in the fridge. Sometimes blowing gently into the bottle first before corking helps remove some oxygen, which oxidizes (and spoils) the wine.
• Vacu-vin or use a commercial wine preserver and place the bottle in the fridge.
• Apply gas to a bottle and place it in the fridge.
• Decant the wine into a half-bottle and place it in the fridge. Transferring to a small bottle with less air helps preserve the wine. Again, the less oxygen there is, the longer it will last.
How much wine do you need for a party?
• One bottle holds about 5 glasses of wine when each glass is filled halfway. How you figure how many bottles you need depends on how much you believe your guests will consume. Some will drink two to three glasses, some will drink none or one. If you have a crowd that enjoys wine, and if you’re entertaining over a period of hours, figure an average of three to five glasses per guest to be safe.
What’s the best way to chill wine quickly?
• The fastest way to chill wine is to put it in an ice bucket filled half with ice and half with cold water. Chilling it this way takes about half the time as chilling the bottle in ice alone.
Do wineglasses make a difference in the taste of wine?
Yes! Here are some things to consider:
• Choose a glass with a generous bowl to give the wine’s flavors room to evolve. Glasses should be clear and smooth, not faceted, to show the depth and richness of the wine’s color;
• The stem should be long enough that you don’t cup your hand around the bowl when holding it. Cupping it in the hand warms the wine.
I’ve seen people smell their wine before tasting. Why does smell matter?
• You may be surprised to learn that 80% of taste is smell.
• Swirling the wine in the glass helps unlock the aromas, allowing you to taste it better.
• You continue to smell a wine even after it is in your mouth.
Does it matter how I store my Wine? And is there any special way of pouring it?
• When you store a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, do so on its side, label up, so the wine is in contact with the cork. This keeps the cork moist and prevents it from drying up, which allows more oxygen in (ruining the wine).
• Once you remove it from the rack, do not turn the bottle, as this will stir any sediment that’s settled. When you remove it from storage to serve, keep it on its side, and angle it slightly to show the label to your guests. Then, pour it while holding the bottle over a candle. This allows you to see the sediment on the bottom of the bottle and helps you avoid pouring the sediment into their glass.
What’s up with the different bottle shapes?
• Ever wonder about the different shapes wine bottles come in? Cabernet is bottled in Bordeaux style bottles, which have a prominent shoulder; this prominent shoulder catches the sediment and helps prevent it from flowing easily into your glass.
• Cabernet, a fuller bodied and more robust wine, is often purposely left in contact with sediment. Sediment is not an issue with the lighter Pinot Noir or a Syrah, which is why they are bottled in soft-shouldered bottles
• The image to the right includes an example of a soft-shouldered bottle (the Syrah, on the left), and a prominently-shouldered bottle (the Cabernet, on the right).