How should I store my wine?
Storing your wine incorrectly can have a huge impact on quality. Ideally wines should be stored in a cool and preferably dark environment as too much heat and UV light can degrade a wine prematurely. If your wine has a natural cork, it’s also best laid horizontally to keep the cork in contact with the liquid and therefore stop the cork drying out.
How long can you keep a bottle of wine once opened?
There are all sorts of devices available these days to help store your wine for longer, but if you’re simply popping the cork or screwcap back on, then these guidelines will help.
Sparkling wine: 1-3 days in a fridge with a sparkling wine stopper.
White and rosé wines: 3-7 days in a fridge with a cork/screwcap.
Red wines: 3-5 days in a cool, dark place with a cork/screwcap.
When should I use a Decanter?
Using a Decanter serves two purposes…
- It helps remove sediment for aged Vintage ports and red wines, Over time, the tannins in the wine will bond with oxygen to form tannin polymers which fall out of the liquid and settle as a deposit in the wine. In order to remove this sediment, the bottle should be kept upright for at least 30 minutes prior to opening, then the wine should be carefully poured into the bottle so you can see where the sediment is and prevent it entering the Decanter. Using a muslin cloth when decanting can also be useful in preventing any sediment escaping. Older reds shouldn’t be decanted too far in advance as they can be fragile and vulnerable to spoiling.
- Decanting a wine can also help aerate young, lively reds or even a full-bodied white. Getting some air into the wine will really help the aromas open up. This can simply and effectively be done just before you serve the wine.
This can be tricky, but here are a few tell-tale signs that all is not well…
- Cloudy…if a wine starts out clear then turns cloudy, then this is a sign that some microbial activity is happening in the wine.
- Unexpected tiny bubbles (so not sparkling wines!). This maybe the result of unplanned secondary fermentation in the bottle. It tends to be more common with low intervention wines where no sulphur is added to stabilize the wine.
- Looks a little brown and tastes like vinegar…like a chopped apple left out in the kitchen, a wine will also lose colour on contact with oxygen, so this maybe a sign that the wine has been oxidised. Browning will occur in aged red wines, so it’s not always a bad sign, but if it has been oxidised it will also have a sharp, vinegary taste.
- Smells of musty wet cardboard…if a wine's aroma is mouldy or smells of wet dog, then the wine may have cork taint. The wine will have very little fruit and be dominated by the musty character.
- Smells a bit like rotten eggs…used as a preservative, Sulphur can sometimes smell a little like rotten eggs, but decanting the wine or stirring with a silver spoon can really help to eliminate these aromas.
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) is widely used in winemaking (and most food industries) for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. SO2 plays an important role in preventing oxidization and keeping the wine fresh. It’s also used as a cleaning agent for barrels and winery equipment.
Under EU law, any wine containing more than 10mg/l of sulphur dioxide must be labelled as ‘containing sulphites’. Maximum permitted levels are controlled by EU law.
What is tannin?
Tannins are naturally occurring polyphenols that are present in grape skins. They’re a textural component of the wine and if you swirl a red wine around your mouth, you can feel them on your teeth and cheeks. In young wines and wines produced to age, they can often feel a bit dry and grippy, but they mellow and soften over time and are hugely important for adding complexity and structure.
What are wine legs?
Without going into too much detail on the chemistry, higher alcohol wines collect a higher concentration of droplets on the side of the glass when swirled than low alcohol wines, thus producing thicker and slower moving tears. Sugar in a wine will also have the same effect.
What does Brut mean on a sparkling wine?
Brut is a term to describe how sweet a wine is. To put this into context, many Champagnes fall into the Brut category with less than 12 g/l of residual sugar.
Brut Nature: < 3 g/l residual sugar
Extra Brut: < 6 g/l residual sugar
Brut: < 12 g/l residual sugar
Extra Sec: 12-17 g/l residual sugar
Sec: 17-32 g/l residual sugar
Demi Sec: 32-50 g/l residual sugar
Doux: > 50 g/l residual sugar
Isn’t all wine vegan?
While made from grapes, many producers use traditional fining agents to clarify a wine, including casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein). That said, more and more producers are switching to fining agents such as bentonite, carbon and limestone to meet the demand for vegan friendly wines…and we’ve got a great selection available at Taste Argentina!
I’m having a party, how many glasses do I get per bottle?
A 175ml serving will give you around 5 glasses per bottle, but it depends how big your glasses are and how generous you’re feeling! For a party of around 50 people, we’d follow the following calculation…
50 guests and a 4-hour party: 50 guests x 4 hours x 1 glass per hour = 200 glasses
200 glasses/5 glasses per bottle = 40 bottles
You could then decide to split these into 18 red, 18 white and 4 rosé
I’m getting married, can you advise on wines and quantities?
Of course, we’d love to help you out with your wines for the big day! Please drop us an email and we can discuss your requirements firstname.lastname@example.org.