Wine 101

Lay the Ground Work

‘ice cold’

e. g. Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Cremant, etc.
Put the bottle in the freezer one hour before opening.
The fancier the wine, the warmer it can be.
38-50°F | 5-10°C

‘fridge cold’

e.g. Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner etc.
The lighter and zestier the wine, the colder it can be.
Oaked white wines are better warmer.
44-57°F | 7-14°C


e.g. Crenache, Pinot Noir, St. Laurent, Zinfandel, Burgundy, etc.
The fruitier the wine, the warmer it can be.
Put the bottle in the fridge 30 minutes before opening.
53-63°F | 12-17°C

‘slightly cool’

e.g. Bordeaux, Chianti, Cabernet Sauvignon, Melot, Shiraz, Rioja, Douro Reds
High tannin wines smooth out a bit at warmer temperatures.
Remember, it’s easier to warm your glass than cool it.
63-69°F | 17-21°C

Once and For All

Sparkling Wine

1 – 3 DAYS
in the fridge with a sparkling wine stopper

Light Wine and Rosé Wine

5 – 7 DAYS
in the fridge with a cork

Full-Bodied White Wine

3 – 5 DAYS
in the fridge with a cork

Red Wine

3 – 5 DAYS
in a cool dark place with a cork

Did You Know?

How many glasses in a bottle of wine?

5 glasses

Bottoms Up

On average, 2 people can Finish a full bottle of wine in 2.5 hours.
A 750 ml (0.75 L) bottle of wine is 25.36 oz.
If you drink one bottle of wine a week for your entire adult life, you will consume about 2,970 bottles of wine.
If you drink one glass of wine a night every night of your adult life, you will drink an equivalent of 4,160 bottles of wine.
A bottle of wine has an average of 750 calories (the range is 460 – 1440 depending on style).
Dry wine has zero fat and 0 – 2 grams of carbs.
Sweet wine has zero fat and ranges from 3 – 39 grams of carbs.

Bet Your Bottom Dollar

Don’t get frazzled when you’re shopping for wine. Browsing and buying wine should be a fun, positive experience.

Remember these helpful hints when you hit the wine shop:
No one in the world knows everything about wine.
Smart people aren’t afraid to ask “dumb” questions.
The purpose of wine is to be enjoyed.
Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean I’II enjoy it more.
I am my own best judge of wine quality.
Most wines are good wines.
Experimentation is fun.
Advice is free for the asking.
Every bottle of wine is a live performance.
I’ll never know … until I try it!

Where It’s At

What is wine?

Wine is the fermented juice of wine grapes.
Sometimes grapes are fermented with the skin on, making red wine.
Rosé, the blush-colored wine, is made by including the skin for just a very short time.
Sometimes grapes are fermented without the skin, creating white wine.

Wine Serving Order

Champagne First.
Then White, Then Red, Then Sweet, Try Not to Tweet!

How Much Should I Open?

The usual rule is that one guest will drink an entire bottle of wine (3 – 4 full glasses) throughout a proper meal.

Wine Do’s and Don’ts …

Don’t store wine in hot places or in the sunlight.
Don’t keep wine in the trunk of your car.
Don’t store your wine standing up (keep the cork moist).
Don’t fill a wineglass more than halfway (so you can swirl it)
Don’t serve wine in new, unwashed glasses.
Don’t serve a white wine too cold, or reds too warm.
Do ask questions when you don’t understand wine terminology.
Do enjoy what you drink regardless of political correctness.
Try not to judge wine on first taste.
When opening a sparkling wine, twist the bottle slowly and pull on the cork.
When tasting wines, taste from dry to sweet.
Ratings are opinions and not necessarily facts.
An opened bottle of wine can be refrigerated if corked for up to 4 days.

Step by Step Tasting Wine


Observe the color and clarity of the wine by holding your glass lip to a white background (a placemat or tablecloth) in a well-lit room.

White wines can appear anywhere from light green, clear, straw yellow, and gold to brown in color. As white wines get older they gain color.
Red wines may be purple, ruby and brick red to brownish red. As red wines mature, they lose color and take on a brick tint.

By swirling the wine in the glass, you allow for oxygen to release more of the bouquet of the wine.


Much of our sense of taste is actually our ability to smell. Flavor is the combination of taste (sweet, acid, bitter, salty) and smell. The experience is mostly smell.

Watch for “off” smells in wine:

Vinegar – Too much acetic acid in the wine.
Sherry – Wine has been oxidized.
Cork – Wine absorbed the taste of a defective cork. The smell is similar to a musty cellar or wet cardboard.

Allow the wine to coat your tongue and palate to get all the sensations of the wine.


After swallowing your first sip of the wine, begin to evaluate it. Ask yourself these questions:

Did you like the wine? Identify what you liked or disliked and why.
Was it light, medium, or full-bodied?
Is the wine in balance? Do the components of aroma, acidity, tannin and the appropriate sweetness level work together?

Hungry? Thirsty?