Wines 101


Our desire is to impart an understanding of wine and introduce you to many of the basics about wine. The most important piece is to remember is to slow down, listen to what your nose and taste buds tell you, savor and have fun. The sound of a cork being pulled from a bottle should bring a smile across your face. 



  • Uncork a Wine BottleRemove the capsule. Most wines have a covering over the top of the bottle called a capsule. You can use the sharp part of the cork screw to score the top part of the capsule. After removing the capsule, wipe clean the top of the bottle with a damp cloth. Remove the cork. The type of corkscrew you are using determines how you will remove the cork from the wine bottle. The most common corkscrews are: Wing-type Corkscrew, Screwpull corkscrew, Two-prong corkscrew, and the Waiter's corkscrew.


  • Breath Your Wine – Most reds, especially young red tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignon require time to breath to reach their full potential. A general rule is one hour of breathing for young redsto mellow. Simply pulling the cork out won't do you much good as the volume of air is so small, a decanter is ideal as it has a greater volume and the pouring of the wine aerates it and helps soften or mellow the tannins, pour the wine into the glasses about ten minutes before drinking.


  • Serving Wine – The temperature at which wine is served is primarily a matter of individual preference, but by popular opinion the various wines are best served at the following temperatures: Dry White Wines, 46°F to 58°F; Red wines, 60°F to 70°F.


  • Storing Wine– If you are serious about keeping wine, you must keep the wine in very specific conditions. The temperature must be below 60°F (15°C) and must be constant; fluctuations of more than a few degrees are harmful to aging wine. The humidity must be above 75% year round and the storage location must be free from vibration.




The Pairing Game


Think of good food and wine pairing as a successful partnership. Both bring somthing to the table, but neither dominates. Selecting the right pairing for your meal starts with familiarizing yourself with these grape varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.



The ABCs of Wine Pairing


We do get questions from time to time about how to pair our wine with meals. Here's a quick guide that's easy to remember -- Just think: ABC!



A: Acid/Alcohol. For rich textured, heavier foods, you may need a heavier wine or wine with a higher percentage of alcohol. As a basic rule, red wines tend to be higher in alcohol than whites. Consider any sauce components or finishes to cooked meats or seafoods, too. Acidic, tangy wines can cut through rich, heavy sauces and refresh the palate between bites.


B: Balance/Body. Simply put, this principle means light-bodied wince with light-bodied dishes, and fuller bodied wines with heavy or rich dishes. The idea is to balance each element so that neither the wine nor the meal is drowned out by the other.


C: Contrast/Compliment. The best matches are based on either complements or contrasts. "Complement" simply means linking up common traits so that neither gets over powered and the character of each can shine. For "contrasting" mathces, pairing up disparate flavors in the food and the wine can showcase the complexity of each.