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Wine School


How do you buy wine?

There are several important characteristics of wine, such as how the wine is produced, what the origin of the wine is, and demand for specific grape varieties.

How do you find quality wine?

Price itself is not an indicator of quality. Rather balance and length are the two main indicators of quality. The component parts of the wine all balance each other and the flavor of the wine persists in your palate once it has been tasted.

How important is vintage wine?

There are different styles of vintage. For example, in Bordeaux, the 1997 is a lighter, forward vintage compared to the 1996 or 1995. In marginal climates, vintage variation is more prominent. It can also be an excellent marker of style.

On a label, what does Reserve or Reserva mean?

Classifications such as these are used as a way to grade vineyards or properties in regard to the quality. Terms such as 'Reserveā€ has different meanings depending on which region the wine may come from. Labels are a useful way to get an indication of how the wine will taste, in addition to the alcohol content, vintage and name of the vineyard.

Why would a wine be aged in oak barrels?

Wood is permeable, and therefore allows wine to be subjected to controlled oxidation. Over time, this leads to the tannins softening where the wine becomes more fully integrated. Oak barrels also are used to impart a flavor and taste to a wine when used carefully.

What characteristics determine the type of oak ageing?

  • The size of the barrel
  • The age of the barrel
  • The length of time the wine spends in barrel
  • Where the oak was grown

Which wines benefit from oak ageing?

Many red wines improve with oak ageing. Wines that are made from chardonnay are generally oak aged. Dry or sweet wines made from sauvignon and semillon that are blended together can also benefit. Australian and Californian wines use oak barrels extensively.

In a restaurant, how do you order wine?

A wine waiter or sommelier is extremely helpful if one is on hand. To begin, you first want to choose your food and then decide on your wines. When you receive a wine, there a some important steps to follow:

  1. When the bottle arrives, look for the vintage, name of the wine and the producer.
  2. Next you should make sure the temperature of the wine meets your approval.
  3. Your wine should be opened in front of you. If you order a red wine, make sure the wine is poured at your table.
  4. At this time, your server may invite you to taste the wine. Take your time to look it over and smell it. Then test your wine. If for any reason, you are discontented, do not hesitate to say so to your server.

How much wine should you purchase when planning a party?

The amount of wine you should purchase when planning a party depends on both the size and type of your party. However, a rule of thumb which works well is to allow approximately one bottle of wine per person.

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