Wine Facts 101

How should you store wine after you buy it?

So many wine-related problems can simply be avoided by storing wine properly. Here a few easy tips to make sure your wine always drinks its best!

Quick & Helpful Tips in Storing Wine

  1. Keep it in the dark....
  2. Store corked wine bottles on their sides....
  3. Keep the temperature constant....
  4. Don't move the wine....
  5. Keep the humidity at around 70%....

There’s a right and wrong way for storing wine at home. Wine is a delicate thing. Do yourself a favor and store it properly. Firstly, store wine bottles on their sides; there are exceptions; if bottles have Screw Caps on Top it’s not as vital how you store your bottles. But for corked bottles it keeps the liquid contents in contact with the cork and prevents the cork from drying out and letting in too much air which can lead to oxidation. And once a wine oxidizes, there’s really nothing you can do to save it.

Wine’s greatest enemy is temperature fluctuations, at the correct temperature, you can leave your wine to lay for years; depending on vintage and varietal or until you’re ready to drink it. But if it is left for extended periods of time in too hot or too cold a room, or worse, left at the mercy of constantly fluctuating temperatures, you’ll be left sipping a glass of disappointment rather than delicious wine.

Ideally your basement if is free of dampness and mold, can serve as a makeshift wine cellar, just store your wine bottles appropriately as above. Do Not store in hot garages, top of fridge or the cabinets above hot machines etc. In fact, don’t keep your wine in the kitchen unless you do decide to invest in a wine fridge (just keep it away from the dishwasher).

Wine Temperature Serving Tips

Does serving wine at certain temperatures affect how the wine tastes?

The reason we try to serve wine at their correct temperatures is because the temperature can dramatically impact the way a wine smells and tastes. By serving the wine at its ideal temperature, you ensure to have the best taste experience of the wine.

Three general rules which apply below:

Sparkling Wine best served chilled, between 40-50F degrees or 5 -10 celsius.

With short notice put your bubbly in the freezer about an hour before you pop it – but don’t forget about it or you’ll have an explosion. In extreme cases or extra short notice place the bottle in an ice bucket for 30 minutes with similar results. The chilled temperature will keep the bubbles fine rather than foamy. After you open the bottle and pour the first round of glasses, place the open bottle on ice until the entire bottle is finished.

White Wine and Rosé ideally served cooler — 50 to 60F degrees or 10 -15 celsius. A great way to get white wine and rose cold is to place it in the fridge immediately after buying it; however, if you buy the wine the same day you want to drink it, either leave it in the fridge for several hours, or you can place it in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes. This should do the trick! After opening the bottle and pouring everyone their first few glasses, either place it on ice or let the bottle sweat on the table, this releases the wine’s aromas and character as it changes slightly as the temperature rises.

Red Wine is ideally served Cool — 60 to 70F degrees or 15 -22 celsius.

A common misconception with red wine is to serve it at room temperature, in earlier times Red wine was served at cellar temperature which were cooler then today’s room temperatures. Cool your bottle by placing in the fridge for 30 minutes to hour maximum. After opening and or pouring the first few glasses, leave the wine out on the table to slowly warm. Optional with Robust Red wines it’s ideal to Decant the wine, more on this latter.

Serving Wine at Family gatherings and Social Party

A few general guidelines and tips: A standard wine bottle is 750 ml or about 25 fluid ounces. The average serving size of 5 oz (150 ml) will give you 5 glasses per bottle.

Having stated the above; this number can vary to various degrees depending on the alcohol content level of your wine choices. So, it can range from about 4–6 glasses per bottle for red and white wine to 10 glasses per bottle for Port or Fortified wines to Ice wines!

Understanding the Sensory Impact of Wine

How important is it to serve wine in appropriate glass or stemware? Let’s explore this further.

The aroma of wine is made up of many different molecules, each with different degrees of volatility, and as the wine develops in the glass, those molecules rise and hover, and their concentration in the air above the wine changes over time. The fill level of the wine or liquid is typically close to the widest diameter of the glass, which means that the wine spreads out and that contact between the wine and the air is maximized—more so when you swirl the wine in the glass. Aromatic molecules evaporate from the wine’s surface, and the glass’s constricted opening retains them in the headspace, the portion of the glass above the wine.

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