DO'S AND DON'TS FROM A WINE PRO

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By Maggie Walters

With all of the wine information available to us at our fingertips from the interweb, wine can seem a little overwhelming at times. Whether you’re entertaining a crowd or cracking open a bottle to enjoy on a quiet evening, wine should always be a good experience! At Colonial Wines and Spirits, we’re here to make life a little easier with these pro tips. These do’s and don’ts are great references no matter the occasion. Enjoy responsibly!

1. Don’t leave your leftover wine sitting out overnight.

I feel like this is a myth that gets busted quite a bit! If you buy a bottle of wine to enjoy over the course of several days the best way to preserve the wine is in the fridge (yes, reds too!). If you’re enjoying a glass of red wine after refrigerating, just pour a glass, let it come up to room temp and return the bottle to the fridge to preserve. Cooling down the temperature of the wine will slow the oxidation process and leave you with fresh wine that can be revisited. Ever wonder why a bottle sitting on the counter for a week just doesn’t taste right? Oxidation is the culprit. A good rule of thumb: once you pop a cork on a bottle, you've got 3 days for white wine and 5 days for red wine (with refrigeration). Don’t worry if there’s a forgotten bottle of chardonnay that’s been in your fridge for a couple of weeks, it’s still fabulous to cook with!

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2. Do take time to decant your wine!

As convenient as it is to open a bottle of wine, pour and sip, there are huge benefits to be had if you choose to decant your wine first. Aside from a dependable corkscrew, decanters ring in at #2 for must have accessories for any wine lover. Allowing your wine to breathe allows flavor, textures and aromas to emerge that would have otherwise been muted. Give a minimum of thirty minutes breathing time in a decanter for heavy reds, but you don’t have to stop there! I’ve decanted a red wine for up to 6 hours before pouring! The longer you decant = the softer the wine will become.  

3. Don’t over swirl your bubbles!

Swirling your wine can release aromas into your glass and make your wine experience more enjoyable. When Champagne is being served, don’t get over zealous with your swirling! The more your glass of bubbles is swirled, the faster the carbonation will leave your glass. Bottom line, it will go flat if it’s swirled too much! Instead, enjoy the mousse of the wine and persistence of the bubbles in your glass. It’s a sight to behold!       

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4. Do pull your cold wine out of the fridge to warm up before serving.

There’s nothing that will mute your wine more than over-chilling. If your wine isn’t ideal, maybe it could benefit from it being super cold; in general, if you want to enjoy more out of your wine that’s typically served chilled, let it sit at room temperature briefly before pouring a glass. It could make all the difference! A good rule of thumb is to serve white wine between 49-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Standard temperatures for a fridge run about 34-39 degrees F. To sum it up, refrigerators chill your wine down a little too much.   

We hope your wine experience is always a positive one! If you ever have any questions or need help picking out your next bottle of wine come see our experts in store! We’re always happy to assist no matter your needs. Whether it be a bottle for a special occasion, for couch surfing, or tips for handling and storing wine, we’ve got you covered! Cheers!

Check out Do's and Don'ts Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

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