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  • How long can I keep a bottle of wine?
    When it comes to aging, every bottle has a different potential. Certain grapes, such as Nebbiolo and Cabernet Sauvignon, are generally suitable for longer aging, thanks to their tannic structure. But this is all dependent on vintage and producer as well. Your local wine clerk, sommelier, or the wine producer should have a clearer, more concise answer with regard to specific bottles that they are familiar with.
  • Why do you call some wines by region and other wines by grape verietal?
    This gets tricky, because every country has a different system which they use to classify wines, including everything from which grapes are used to bottle labeling laws. Generally speaking, though, most Old World bottles will be labeled by region and New World bottles will be labeled by varietal.
  • Is it weird that I like my red wines slightly chilled?
    Definitely not. We constantly say that we should be drinking reds at “room temperature,” which is true — except that this phrase was invented prior to the days of central-heating, when room temperature was actually 50 to 60 degrees. That’s your ideal cellar temperature. Your reds should be consumed a bit cooler!
  • What makes a Chardonnay buttery?
    The “buttery” sensation you get in your wine could be one of two things. Oak aging in wine can impart soft, creamy sensations to a wine’s feel, similar to that of butter, but is often more associated with vanilla and baking spice flavors. Buttery tastes could also come from diacetyl, a byproduct of malolactic fermentation, which is the process of introducing lactic bacteria to a wine to convert tart malic acid into creamier lactic acid.
  • Why does red wine make my mouth feel dry and white wine doesn't?
    Red wines are generally more tannic than white wines. The juice used for red wines is macerated with the skins, stems, and seeds of the grapes for a certain period of time, which extracts tannins. Juice used for white wines is generally immediately pressed off the skins, resulting in minimal tannins.
  • What is the correct cellar temperature, and do whites and reds need to be different?"
    Classic cellar temperature is about 55 degrees. We keep reds and whites at about 57 because we find that it’s a good starting point for serving both. Most reds are served too warm and most whites are served too cold, especially at restaurants. We might want to chill our whites a bit more or warm our reds by leaving them on the table as we sip them, but 57 is a good starting point.
  • What is the best way to save leftover wine?
    Leftover wine can be saved. The key point here is to keep oxygen away from the wine. When wine oxydizes, it degrades quickly and can soon turn into a good salad dressing vinegar. Find a small container that will hold the wine that is left over to the point were the container is virtually overflowing. Cap the container with a cork or plug so that some of the wine does spill out. (A 375 ml wine bottle works well.) This way, you will have NO air bubble in the container. Store the container in your refrigerator. When you are ready to drink it again, remove the container and let it warm-up to the desired drinking temperature, depending on whether it is red or white wine. You can store your wine this way for about 5 to 7 days. But I would not store it much longer than this. Another idea for cooks is to freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays, then transfer to air-tight freezer bags to use in sauces, etc.
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