Top 10 Frequently Asked Wine Questions
Frequently asked Wine Questions
- How can I chill wine in a hurry?
A great cheat is to soak a teatowel in water and wrap it around your bottle of wine, then pop that in the freezer. The teatowel should be really soaking and your wine will be very cold in 30 minutes.
2. Can I put bottles of wine in the freezer?
Yes, see above!
3. We’re having champagne/prosecco – how long should I chill it for?
These should be very very cold. The colder the better. If you are drinking a very fancy Champagne, then slightly warmer than the fridge, between 8-12 degrees.
4. Does putting a spoon into my sparkling wine keep it sparkling?
No, sadly not, most bottles of bubbles need to be consumed on the day they are opened unless you have a Vacu-Vin especially for sparkling wine.
5. How can I fix it if my cork breaks or crumbles?
The easiest way to avoid breaking the cork is to make sure that the spiralled screw goes all the way in. If you only twist it in halfway, you are only catching half the cork and the likelihood of it breaking increases.
If it does break, you have two options. The least desirable, but easiest way is to push the cork into the bottle. Hopefully its not too crumbly. The second option is better, but requires a bit of practice. Slowly twist the corkscrew into the remaining bit of cork, but rather than inserting it in the centre, keep it as close to the edge of the neck of the bottle. Put as much of the corkscrew in as possible , then extremely gently, tease the remaining cork out. Voila!
6. Do I need to let wine breathe?
I would always recommend letting red wines breathe even if its just for an hour. This enhances the flavour aromas. If you don’t have an hour, invest in an aerator, they aren’t expensive and they are easy to clean.
7. How long will wine last once opened?
If you don’t finish the bottle, put the cork back in it, or cover it with cling film and pop it in the fridge, that goes for reds and whites. Wine is a perishable product, so treat it like that.
Once opened it will last 3-4 days if kept in the fridge.
8. Does price really matter?
Yes, it does. In an €8 bottle of wine you have around €1.40 Vat and €3.20 Duty which leaves you with less than €3.50 to cover transport, glass bottles and packaging, warehousing, cork, label, grapes!! And all the margin from the retailer to the winemaker. So I would recommend spending an extra few euro and the value goes up exponentially. Will cheap wine kill you? No, but it might make you feel like dying!
9. I want to buy wine as a gift – what makes a ‘good’ present?
The Classics make great gifts, people drink with their eyes too! When you gift someone a wine that is recognised as quality, they immediately value it higher. Chablis and Sancerre make great white gifts and Rioja, Bordeaux and Valpolicella Ripasso make good red gifts.
10. Does it make a difference whether the wine is in a screwcap or cork?
Not for most of the wines we drink on a daily basis.
Wines sealed with a screwcap are usually done so to preserve the freshness, such as Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Grigios and even fruity reds that are made to be drunk young. Wines sealed with a cork closure are ones that have aging potential. For me personally I never make a decision on the wine based on the closure!
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