Answering Your 12 Most Common Wine Questions
Wine can be a complex subject. Depending on just how much of a wine connoisseur you are, or if you’re thinking of becoming a wine connoisseur, it can take a lot of research, discovery, and tasting. Generally, most people just want answers to a few common wine questions.
Let’s take a look at some wine FAQs:
1. I prefer sweet wines- Can you recommend some?
There are many great red and white sweet and fruity wines on the market. Here are some of our favorites:
Wine tip: Always check the label for the amount of residual sugar: the higher the number, the sweeter the wine.
2. What foods pair best with sweet wines?
In general, if the wine is sweet, foods that are salty and spicy pair best. Cheese, nuts, pork, sausage, Italian pasta, and spicy Mexican cuisine will do the trick. Some good sweet wines that you may want to consider include 2012 SELENIUM VINEYARD NOBLE WINE and 2018 VIN DE GLACIÈRE RIESLING.
3. At what temperature should I serve wine?
There are actually a few wine FAQs on serving temperature, so we decided to bundle those Wine FAQs:
Red wines are best served between 65-70°F or just a few degrees below normal room temperature. If you have wine in the refrigerator, take it out and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes at room temperature and that should do it. If the red wine is served cold, it will taste acidic.
White wines are usually served at cooler temperatures - between 55-60 degrees. After taking the wine out of the fridge, serve within 5-10 minutes.
Ice wine and all other bubblies are best served cold, and they should be placed in an ice bucket so that they retain their flavor and bubbliness.
4. How long can wine be stored?
One of the most common wine questions is how long the wine will remain good. The majority of wines have a shelf life of 1-4 years from the date of release. However, there are exceptions for some wines that can be stored for 1-2 decades. In general, white wines are not meant to be stored for long periods; there are a few rare exceptions. Red wines, on the other hand, can be stored for decades.
Wine tip: Once the bottle is opened, it should be consumed between 1-5 days. If the wine is past a week, however, do not throw it out because you can use it for cooking or as vinegar.
5. How can I tell if the wine has gone bad?
There are several ways to tell if the wine has gone bad and they include the following:
- It may smell rusty
- Some red wines will taste sweeter
- The color of the wine may be rusty or brown
- It tastes very bubbly or fizzy
- The cork may be pushed out because of the accumulation of gas
- The taste may be sharp and pungent
6. Are cheap wines good?
Even though many people think that buying an expensive bottle of wine will taste better than a less expensive wine, the reality is that many great quality wines are relatively inexpensive. If you love wine and have a limited budget, here are some excellent wines to try that will not break the bank:
- 2020 SWEET RIESLING
- 2018 RAMOS VINEYARD GEWURZTRAMINER
- 2018 RAINSTORM PINOT GRIS
- 2018 SILVER TOTEM CHARDONNAY
All the above wines are less than $15 and are of exceptional quality.
7. How should I save leftover wine?
The key to saving leftover wine is to keep oxygen out of the bottle because it will oxidize and degrade the wine. Pour the wine in a container to the top, cap it tightly with a plug or cork and place it in the refrigerator. There should be no air in the bottle once you have it corked, and this will preserve the aroma and taste for 1-7 days.
8. Does one have to follow all the wine rules?
Absolutely not. This is another of the common wine questions people ask. Even though there is a lot written about wine and etiquette, there are no absolute rules that one has to follow. Many new wine drinkers are often put off with wine rules. If you are new to the game, then the goal of wine drinking should be fun and pleasurable; you do not have to follow any rules as long as you are content. If you want to eat banana bread with ice wine or Thai curried chicken with Riesling, then it is all a matter of personal choice, and if you like it, you do not have to abide by any rule.
9. Does it matter which type of glass I use to drink wine?
Some wine connoisseurs claim that expensive wines do taste better in stemmed glasses because you can swirl it to fully appreciate the aroma. The choice of wine glasses is personal and a matter of affordability. If you are content drinking wine from a regular glass, then continue with the same practice.
10. Should wine be served with the glass full?
In general, wine should never be poured to fill the glass container. Only fill half the glass because you want the aroma released from the wine to fill the container. Some people believe that by swirling the half-full glass, the aroma can be better appreciated.
11. After I drink red wine, my throat feels dry. Why?
The reason why some red wines will make your throat feel dry is due to the content of tannins. Red wines are made from the crushed skin and seeds of grapes, a process that extracts tannins. The presence of tannins is what makes the throat feel dry. White wines tend to have low amounts of tannins and will feel smoother.
12. I am new to wines; how do I know which wine to buy?
For new wine drinkers, buying wine can be a daunting task because there are so many wines on the market. Pacific Rim and Company have knowledgeable staff who will be happy to answer any questions you have (their phone number is 1-503-863-5454). By discussing your likes and dislikes, the representative can suggest the right bottle of wine for you. If you want the wine for a special occasion, mention that, as well as what type of food will be served at the time. If you are at a restaurant, ask the server for advice. Most people do not ask anyone, and consequently, might end up with a negative experience. It is perfectly fine to ask questions, and, in fact, it is the best thing you can do to find the right wines to suit your tastes.
If you’re looking for some quality wines to try, check out our inventory!