HOW MANY GLASSES IN A BOTTLE?
One standard bottle of wine (750ml) will provide enough for roughly five 5-ounce glasses. You will have to estimate the amount of wine you think your guests will consume depending on whether you’re serving wine with appetizers or a sit-down dinner, or serving both red and white wine, etc. And always remember, of course, that some guests will be driving.
SHOULD I CHILL IT?
REDS: Most Reds are served at cool room temperature (65-68°) in order to enhance their bouquet, although some people prefer very slight chill in the refrigerator just prior to serving and/or in warm weather months.
WHITES: Fruity, dry whites, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer, should be served well chilled at 40-45° straight from the fridge, while more full-bodied whites, such as Chardonnay and Viognier, should be served a little warmer.
WHICH WINES AGE BEST?
SPARKLING WINES: Champaigns and sparkling wines should generally be consumed relatively soon after you purchase them, except for a very rare (and expensive) few. These are typically “vintage” Champaigns.
WHITES: The vast majority of white wines are ready to drink soon after they are released. Wines that are barrel fermented such as most Chardonnays, can usually withstand a few years of aging rather than wines that are aged in stainless steel, which are not intended to be aged more than a year or two beyond vintage date.
REDS: Lighter-style reds, such as Pinot Noirs and many Zinfandels, are like whites: drink them soon after release, typically within three years of vintage date. Full-bodied reds, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah should be aged only if you wish to soften and mature the flavor profile. The rare and more expensive reds will mature for many years to come.
Never buy wines that you do not intend to drink yourself unless you are building a cellar for your heirs.
COUNTING CARBS OR CALORIES?
CALORIES: Five ounces of wine (red or white) contains approximately 100 calories.
CARBOHYDRATES: Carbohydrates (in grams) for a 5.0-fluid-ounce serving of:
Red Wine – 3.6
Rosé Wine – 7.5
White Wine – 3.0
* Carbohydrate counts approximate
NEED TO CHOOSE A WINE WITH DINNER?
The old rules have definitely changed. Chardonnay, with its full body and rich flavors is ideal served with many veal and pork dishes, while ligher reds such as Pinot Noir are wonderful with salmon and tuna. Basically if all else fails, drink what you like. For more pairing ideas see our Pairing Charts.
VIEW OUR PAIRING CHARTS
WILL OPEN WINE KEEP?
When you remove the cork or open a screw cap, you expose the wine to oxidation, which begins to break down the flavor components down. If you open a white or rosé wine, you can recork the bottle or reclose the screw cap and keep it in the fridge for a few days, slowly losing its vivacity and brightness. With red wines, you can also refrigerate (cold temperature slows down the oxidative process), but we don’t recommend it, as temperature changes can be rough on the wine. Simply recork or reclose and drink the remainder of the bottle in the next day or two.
IS QUALITY ASSOCIATED WITH VINTAGE?
There is no sure way to tell the quality of a wine by its vintage date, although some vintages, both in California and the rest of the world, produce superior grapes in certain years than others. This is principally due to climatic influences, which include the degree of heat during the growing season, the presence (or preferably absence) of rain during harvest, and other such influences. As a general rule, California vintages tend to be more consistent than French and Italian, due to the hospitable climate of California.