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Wine: Wise or Why’s?

Whether you are just starting your love affair with wine, looking to enhance your existing wine knowledge or simply looking for an inspired question for your next Zoom quiz – we all have questions when it comes to wine.

I have carried out hundreds of wine tastings over the years, and some of them have actually involved other people! It doesn’t seem to matter on the occasion, location or a person’s age, the questions I’m asked seldom change. Is it the thirst for more which drives the questions? And does the pretentiousness of the wine-world like to keep the answers under lock and key?!

Well at RW&C we like to remove the mystery that surrounds these magical little bottles and have created a snapshot list of the most frequently asked questions… along with their answers, otherwise that would be silly.


Q/HOW LONG WILL A BOTTLE OF WINE LAST WHEN OPEN?

There are many storage factors when it comes to opened bottles, and although some styles can last longer, this guide is a good place to start.


White: 2 – 3 Days Refrigerate with a cork/closure


Rose: 2 – 3 Days Refrigerate with a cork/closure


Sparkling: 2 – 3 Days Refrigerate with a Champagne Bottle Stopper – NOT a spoon!


Red: 3 – 5 Days Store in a cool dark place with a cork/closure


Bag In Box: 28 Days Refrigerate whites / cool dark place for reds


Q/ HOW WOULD I KNOW IF THE WINE HAS GONE OFF?

Have the fruit aromas and flavours become dull or bitter? Has the colour darkened or gained a brown-edged tinge? If so, these are all classic signs that the wine has become oxidised (too much oxygen). More obvious signs of bacteria will present themselves with vinegary or nail varnish aromas – and as inviting as that might be, pour it away!


Q/ HOW SHOULD I STORE MY WINE?

The best way to store wine is in a wine fridge. There are so many on the market at varying price points, and they enable you to set different temperatures for each compartment. But if you’d rather spend your money on wine, rather than kitchen gadgets, simply put a wine rack in a cool dark room (wardrobes work well). If you are keeping the wines for longer than a few weeks, it’s best to lay the wines on their side so that the cork stays moist; a dried-out cork can allow oxygen into the bottle and dry out the wine. (Same rules apply for stelvin screwcap). Ideal storage temps:

White & Rose: 8 – 12c

Sparkling: 5 – 8c

Red: 12 – 19c


Q/ WHY DO I GET HEADACHES FROM DRINKING WINE? – IS IT THE SULFITES?