Sommelier and wine educator Benita Johnson offers these tips for wine lovers
If you plan to purchase wine for your own holiday enjoyment or as a gift, sommelier and wine educator Benita Johnson can help. The owner of the subscription wine service, The Vine Wine Club, offers the following seven tips to make your experiences easier and worthwhile.
- What is the best serving temperature for wine? 52-55 degrees is ideal for both reds and whites. It allows you to taste the full flavor and experience all of the wine’s nuances unmasked from the extreme cold or room temperature warmth.
- Red wines at room temperature? I keep my house at 74 degrees. That makes for a warm beverage. Adopt the rule of 20. If the wine has been out, put it in the fridge for 20 minutes. If it’s been in the fridge, take it out for 20 minutes. Perfectly enjoyable!
- What’s the real deal with food and wine pairings? Many wine and food experts suggest great pairing choices that consider acids, tannins, fruit-forwardness, levels of sweetness, fats, char, etc. And they are right. But so are the choices that you make when you pair wine and food. The bottom line is preference. If you like it, drink it. It if doesn’t taste great with your food, eat first, drink later.
- How many glasses can you get out of a bottle of wine? (How big is the glass?) Seriously though a typical pour is about 5 ounces. If you keep it there, you will get 5 glasses of wine out of the standard 750 ml bottle of wine. Cheers!
- Screw caps are not indicative of a lessor quality wine. Gone are the days when you could assume that a wine was good because it had a cork. Screw caps started to emerge with a vengeance is 2006 and 2007. The screw caps keep out air and provide you a better chance of enjoying the wine that is still fresh. So don’t frown…get down with the Stelvin closure also known as the screw cap.
- Are White Zinfandel and Zinfandel made from the same grape? Yes! The white (or pink juice) has had much less contact with the skin thus rendering the pinkish hue. So if you ask for a glass of Zin, don’t give me the side-eye when I pour red. Specify! Zinfandel is red!
- Just what are you looking at? Color does matter! There are many color charts that will help you to identify the way wine should look. I remember ordering a Pinot Grigio once and the color was almost bronze. Before tasting it, I sent it back. Wine classes will help you to discern bad wine from wine that simply tastes bad to you. There is a difference.
Do you have wine questions? Visit TheVineWineClub.com and send it directly to Benita through the contact form. Cheers!