When it comes to alcohol, beer is the friendly next-door neighbor we all like, whiskey is the rich friend we want to be seen with and are content knowing nothing about, tequila’s the crazy friend who knows the best underground clubs (and we never want to be seen publicly with), and wine is that crush we’re too intimidated to talk to and might even end up disliking because we think they’re bossy.
But – just like in a real-life crush scenario – they’re probably quite nice and good for us… if we disregarded propaganda and took the time to know them.
Quite the deep intro for a very straightforward blog post, I might say.
Hello, lovelies, and welcome to this FAQ post about wine. I’ve gathered the questions I get asked the most and answered them quickly and sweetly! If you have any other questions, ask away in the comments. Maybe I’ll even write another FAQ with your questions in the future.
How long does open wine last in the fridge?
Generally speaking, all wines should be consumed within 3 days of opening them. Some full-bodied reds might last a couple more days to a total of 5 if stored in a dark and cool place like the fridge. Why? Because once you open a bottle of wine, you let all the oxygen in, which ‘oxidizes’ wine, meaning it ages it. So a few days later, you’ll notice that the wine has lost its fruity flavors, tannins, and acidity. Within a few days more, it might start turning sour or
‘vinegary’. At this point, you’ll want to use your leftover wine for activities other than drinking, like baking a cake with it (I’m quite famous for my decadent wine chocolate cake!)
Can I drink wine if I accidentally froze it?
Trust me when I say we’ve all been there. You’re hosting a last-minute gathering or just bought an uncooled bottle of white or rosé, so you pop it into the freezer to quickly chill it. Then you completely forget about it and it freezes. But don’t worry too much, as the worst that might happen is a ‘pushed’ cork. In all cases, simply remove it from the freezer and bring it back to room temperature or thaw it in the fridge. Once it’s back at liquid state, don’t wait too long to drink it.
How should I hold a glass of wine, by the bowl or by the stem?
Ideally, you’ll hold your wine glass by the stem. It’s not just ‘proper etiquette’ or a way for wine snobs to look better than you because they’re anything but, really. Holding your glass by the bowl will cause your body heat to heat up the wine in the glass. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I love my stemless wine glasses so much that I’m willing to risk a slight temperature fluctuation to drink in them. My wine doesn’t last that long in a glass to heat up, anyway. But if you have proper wine glasses, holding them by the stem is a good habit to practice, especially when wanting to enjoy a glass of fine wine.
Does it really matter at what temperature I serve wine?
Would you eat cold chicken soup or a frozen T-bone steak or a boiling cone of ice cream? Unless your eccentric that way, the answer’s probably no. Same goes for wine, as every type of wine presents itself best at certain temperatures. But seriously, let’s face it, who’s walking around a party with a thermometer to measure the temperature of every glass and bottle? If there’s someone like that at your party, I wouldn’t invite them the next time. But that’s just me. So it’s important to know the basic idea: chill your whites and rosés but don’t serve them iced, and serve your reds at ‘room temperature’, making sure they’re not too hot and not too cold.
What does a wine ‘vintage’ mean?
A vintage signifies the year wine grapes were harvested to make wine. When it comes to still wines, this year is also the year the wines were produced and is found on the label. Generally speaking, 90% of mass-market wines should be drunk young – whites and rosés within 1 to 2 years and reds within 5 years of the vintage. However, premium wines improve with years and are made to age before drinking them. As for sparkling wine, you will sometimes see the term ‘NV’ on a label, meaning ‘non-vintage’. In this case, the winemaker has blended wines from different years to produce this particular bottle. This doesn’t mean a wine is less valuable! Making a ‘vintage’ sparkling wine – from a single year’s yield – is a very difficult, and hence, super expensive process.
What does decanting do to wine?
You might have never heard of the term ‘decanting’. If you have, you possibly have no idea what it is. And if by a slight chance you do, you probably don’t know why we do it and what it benefits the wine. Firstly, decanting means pouring a wine bottle into another vessel – a ‘decanter’ – in order to aerate it, or ‘let it breathe’. Now, why decant? Decanting can separate the wine from the sediment that might have settled at the bottom of the bottle over time. Another reason is to air it out to improve its flavors and aromas. ‘Aerating’ a wine can help open it up, soften its profile, and make it more ‘drinkable’. Young wines that have hard tannins can benefit from decanting. Old wines that have become stuffy and closed up with age can also benefit from decanting. The difference is the duration and personal preference.
What do wine ‘legs’ mean?
‘Legs’ are the long lines that slowly trickle down the sides of a wine glass after you give it a swirl. You’ve all probably heard about how the legs can give an idea about how good and grand a wine is. That is false propaganda. Legs can tell you a lot about the wine, that part is true, but they have nothing to do with how great the wine tastes. It’s more of a scientific phenomenon. Wine legs can tell you the alcoholic level of the wine, it’s sweetness, it’s body, etc. For instance, a wine with higher alcohol will have more legs, and a sweeter wine would have slower flowing legs.
I hope this post has answered some of your pestering questions and made wine less intimidating in the process. If you have any more questions, leave them in the comments. And if I new ones, maybe I’ll put them all up in a new FAQ post in the future.
See you soon with another glass of red!