All Your Wine Questions Answered
Whether you’re a decades-old wine connoisseur or a casual wine drinker, you can be sure of one thing: understanding wine is as nuanced and complex as a fine wine’s tasting notes. Wine is a hobby for many, a lifestyle for some, and a profession for others. And despite where you identify on this spectrum, it’s safe to say you have questions about wine because you’re reading this article, and also — because, who doesn’t?
With a bit of reflection and research, we’ve contemplated questions we often receive about wine in our shop. What are ten things you probably don’t know about wine? Read on to find answers to some of our most frequent wine questions.
How much is my wine worth?
Whether you’re curious about an estate Pinot Noir bottle you found in our shop, or a 1976 Rothschild bottle you’ve been saving for a special celebration, you’re probably asking: how much is this wine worth? Here’s the short answer: your bottle is priceless.
Yes, you may be able to find a wine auctioneer or merchant who will pay you in exchange for the bottle. But for that special wine you’ve been saving, it’s best to open and enjoy the bottle when you feel ready. Saved bottles of wine accrue worth not just for the wine itself, but for the memories associated with them.
And if you’re looking for a concrete date for how long you can lay a bottle down in your cellar (provided there are optimum conditions), get in touch with us by phone or email, and we’ll let you know.
I tried a great bottle of wine in a restaurant, where do I find it?
Good news, the odds are in your favor that you’ll be able to purchase that special bottle of wine you enjoyed at a restaurant over an anniversary dinner. Start with a local wine merchant. If you show the merchant the wine label, it’s likely they can direct you to a distributor or a shop if they don’t carry the wine in-house.
How should I store my wine? Do I need a temperature-controlled cellar?
If you purchase wine to drink with an upcoming meal or only plan to keep the wine around your house for a brief time, a dark closet-type place suffices as a storage spot. However, if you are planning to store your wine for a longer amount of time, a wine refrigerator is a smart investment. Unless you have a robust collection, purchase a refrigerator in place of a cellar – they’re affordable, space-efficient, and readily available. Keep your fridge around 55-57 degrees, and your wine (reds and whites) will maintain just fine.
I’m entertaining a large group of guests, what wines should I serve?
Suiting a variety of tastes is a difficult task at any soiree, but by seeking out professional wine recommendations, you can make drinks one less thing to worry about.
Start by considering your menu, and what you plan to cook. How many courses are there to pair wine with? How much do your guests drink? Consider the countries of origin for your dishes, and then get in touch with a shop like Mt. Tabor Fine Wines. We’ll steer you in the right direction, making sure you stick to your budget without sacrificing quality.
Where are the current best value wines?
Spain is turning out excellent wine these days, but much of what we like to recommend has to do with specific growers and distributors (think: Jose Pastor). Your best bet is to get in touch with us and let us know your tastes, or to join us for a Friday night tasting, where we’ll introduce you to fabulous wine from all over the world.
What type of wine glass should I use?
There are different types of glasses for varied types of wine for a reason. If you are looking to get the most out of your tasting experience, glasses that are particular to a variety of wine will present that wine to your nose and palate in the best way possible to show off the wine. In general, look for thin, clear glass that features a long stem and a slight inward curve at the top. If you buy inexpensive glasses, you won’t fret about breaking them.
How long does white wine last upon opening?
White wines typically last two days. A bottle of white wine (or rosé) opened on a Friday night will likely still taste fine, though compromised by oxygen, through Sunday. You can start to taste the effects of oxygen and the wine will start to taste flat after about 24 hours. After two days, however, it’ll be done.
How long will a bottle of red wine last after opening?
On average, red wine will last for two days, similarly to white wine. Though some types of red wine, even improve their taste by the second day, which is why some wine is best decanted. But the wine does have a lifespan, and red wines are best consumed within two days before they start to fade.
What makes one wine more expensive compared to another bottle?
Multiple factors influence a wine’s value. The origin of the wine, whether the vineyard where the grapes were harvested is small and unique, impacts a wine’s cost. The method of production (use of oak, handpicking, etc.) also adds to wine’s cost. But the most influential factor in determining wine’s pricing is demand – if a producer can sell wine 10 times over, then he or she can command a premium price for the product.
I’ve opened a bottle of wine, should I refrigerate it?
If it’s a white wine, then yes, place the bottle in the refrigerator after opening, and during consumption. If it’s a red wine, you can leave it out of the fridge if you’ll be imbibing it all that evening. But if you’ll likely drink the rest of it the following day, it’ll actually keep better and for longer if you put it in the fridge overnight. Just make sure to take it out and let it come to room temperature before enjoying the rest.