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September 24th, 2009

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04:39 pm - The Ways of Wine ...
So, what do I need to know about wine ? I have a glass or two every now and then (usually red, usually chosen randomly), but I don't really know much about how wine should be stored or cared for.
How long can I keep a bottle around after it has been opened ? How should they be stored ? (And is it different for cork vs screw cap vs artificial cork ?) How would I determine if a wine should be kept (cellared ?), and for how long ? Feel free to answer all the other questions that I should be asking, too :-)
Current Mood: curiouscurious

(13 touches | En garde !)


[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 06:51 am (UTC)
Wine Appreciation : The ability to tell varieties of wine apart. Varieties are 'red', which is usually red in colour and 'white', which isn't. Neither look much like beer, which is a good thing, because accidentally mistaking wine for beer can lead to crushing disappointment ;)
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 07:17 am (UTC)
All I know is that a $30 bottle of wine generally tastes a lot better than a $10 bottle of wine, and once you pass the $100 per bottle mark you need to be a pretty good wine taster to tell the difference any more.
[User Picture]
Date:October 9th, 2009 10:42 am (UTC)
And this is because almost all of the price of a $10 bottle of wine goes on things like the glass bottle, the label, the cork, the transportation, the duty etc. With a $30 bottle, the cost of these things is almost unchanged, so the cost of the wine itself is so much more.
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)
How long can I keep a bottle around after it has been opened? - two hours.
How should they be stored? - Cool dry place, preferably on their side so the cork is kept immersed from the inside.
How would I determine if a wine should be kept cellared? Typically, I read the review that says "could benefit from cellaring". :>
For how long? A couple of years.
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 08:51 am (UTC)
You should be able to keep red for a day or two, if you recork/reseal it, and some reds will actually be better after a day.
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
DOnt keep red into a third day unless you intend to cook with it

I never have any left after one day, so the issue doesnt usually happen:-}
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
Right. For red wine, if there's any left over on day three, make a pasta sauce or beef stew or similar, pour the remaining wine into it and let is simmer for an hour or more ;-)
[User Picture]
Date:October 9th, 2009 10:42 am (UTC)
And putting an opened bottle in the fridge will help it to keep for longer.
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 08:13 am (UTC)
I would agree with all of the above.

Once you are past a certain price it's snobbery or rarity as much as taste.

I know that the wines that are expected to be laid down are usually put into bottles with deeper dimples in their bottoms. ;o)
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 08:24 am (UTC)
A good wine book will tell you all that. I know my Dad's has tables in it suggesting how long various vintages of various wines should be cellared. If he has a boxful or more, he'll start testing them when it gets within a couple of years of 'optimum' (and by testing, I mean opening a bottle to drink with dinner).

Unfortunately, I can't give you any recommendations, because I rely on Dad to tell me stuff about wine :P
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC)
We bought a widget that lets us suck some of the air out of wine bottles, thus, in theory, letting them keep for a few days rather than needing to be drunk all in the one night. It creates a bit more of a vacuum in the bottle so the wine oxidises less than it otherwise would .

So we can keep wine for a few days or a week with it where we wouldn't necessarily be comfortable keeping it without the vacuum widget. doesn't mean we'd know the difference tho.
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
you need to know as much about wine as continues to add to your enjoyment, however much that may be. Personally, I find that knowing quite a bit still continues to add to my enjoyment, and I've done a few wine tasting courses and found them terrific, but I drink more than 'a glass or two, every now and then', and enjoy wine dinners, winery tourism, and all that.

Store wine in the dark, preferably laying flat, minimise temperature variations (ideally at about 12-15 degrees), and extremes of humidity as well. But if you aren't keeping it for years, it doesn't matter much. For screw caps, you can ignore the humidity part, but not the light and temperature part, and they will allow some wines to keep a lot longer. Screw caps are a good thing, because natural cork spoils a percentage of wine by harbouring bacteria, making it taste a lot worse than it should. If you buy a full case of wine, just leaving it in the case is fine, maybe on its side if you expect to keep it for ages.

After its been opened, it lasts just a couple of days or so, you can extend it a bit by one of those gadgets that seals the bottle and maybe sucks some of the oxygen out. There is nothing particularly wrong with drinking wine after that, it just won't taste as good, and gets dull and uninteresting pretty quickly.

Some wine rewards cellaring, some doesn't much. It depends on variety, and how it is made. The wines that are improved most by cellaring are generally fairly heavy reds, such as cabernet sauvingon or shiraz, especially ones fairly heavy in tannins. A lot of other wines will improve after a couple of years or so.

The most important thing to learn about wine is what the different varieties (and styles) taste like, and which styles you like.

The difference between cheap wine and moderate wine is usually pretty easy to taste with a bit of practice. There is a real difference between moderate quality wine, and premium wine, but its subtler -- mostly its about the complexity of the after taste.
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
What he said.

Interestingly I have found that my taste for wine (and chocolate) have changed dramatically over the past couple of years, when, for a start I've not been drinking a lot of wine, but also have been going through dramatic hormonal (therefore chemical) changes. I will be vaguely interested to find out if I go back to enjoying heavy reds as much as I used to, as they are abit off my palette at the moment. And that's a bit of a complicated way of saying that tastes can change too.

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