Frequently Asked Questions About Wine!

Since wine is a hobby of wine, I get asked a lot of questions about wine on a weekly basis.  So I thought, it would be a great opportunity to share those most commonly asked questions and my opinion of the answer.  Please keep in mind the blog is called ‘In My Opinion’ and if you were to ask someone else, they may have a different answer.

What makes a good wine?

This is by far the most popular question I get asked.  And my answer is always the same  “Any wine you like is a good wine”.  I remember being in the Napa Valley in 2001 and asking that question to the guy doing my wine tasting at the vineyard belonging to Francis Ford Coppola.  And he said those same words to me, and I remember feeling a little jilted on the answer.  But think about it.  My friend Anthony doesn’t like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay.  I love both Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.  So if someone were to offer him a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, he wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I do.  So to him, it wouldn’t be a good wine, but I may love it.  Wine is like food – some foods you love, some foods you like, and some foods you don’t like.  People’s opinions of what makes a good wine will vary – and no one is wrong.

What Temperature should I serve my wine?

Sadly, many people won’t try Red wines because they don’t like the warm taste to their lips.  Many people, including most restaurants, serve the red wine too warm.  I was having a glass of wine with friends last night at a wine bar downtown.  The red wine was served too warm, and I was a little disappointed because this place specializes in wine.   Coffee should be warm, not red wine.  This myth about ‘room temperature’ started back in the day when it was meant for the room temperature of the underground wine cellars. Even in the 1800’s homes around the world were not heated to a cozy 72-degrees.  Most red wine should be served between 15 – 17 degrees Celsius, 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  Some bigger wines, like a Shiraz, can be served at 18 degrees and some lighter wines at 13-degrees.  White wines should be served between 9 degrees for a light wine and 11 – 13 for a big bodied white.

Does a screw cap bottle mean it’s a cheaper wine?

NO!   It’s funny, we were sitting around last night and a friend of mine said she doesn’t buy bottles of wine with screw caps because it doesn’t feel right to her.  More and more this perception is going away as more quality vineyards start replacing cork with screw caps.  Here’s the deal.  10% of wines with cork get brought back they are bad – corks provide an irregular seal because of things like temperature swings.  Only 4% of screw cap wines get bought back.

How long does a Wine last once it’s opened?

This question should have probably been Number 2!  Like most of us, we would love a glass of wine at times, but wonder if the remainder of the bottle will go bad.  The answer is no.  The first thing you should do is seal and refrigerate the wine.  Wine breaks reacts with oxygen when its warm and in smaller amounts, like a couple of hours, can really have the wine open up and enhance it’s flavor.  Not for a couple of days though.  So go to a Kitchen store and invest in a re-usable cork or wine seal.  And put it in the fridge.   When you go to drink it again, take out a glass, or the bottle for 20 to 30 minutes before you intend to drink it.

Why does some wine give me a headache?

Anyone who has ever gotten drunk on red wine knows it is the meanest of hangovers.  Although most people blame it on the Sulphites, there are actually more Sulphites in white wine than there is in red.  Chances are it’s the histamines.   Histamines are found in the skins of the wines, and since so many red wines involve the skins, red wine gets  a bit of a bad rap.  Ease into red wine drinking.  And take it from someone who has been down this painful road, don’t mix red wine with other drinks.

Next week we will continue with the frequently asked questions.  And please, by all means, send me your questions.  I will do my very best to answer them.  Next week we will answer all your questions, plus touch on the subject of “How do I know if a wine is gone bad’?  And ‘the first time I tried this wine I liked it, the second time – not so much… why is that?

Till next week, thanks for reading.  I appreciate all feed back




  1. “Anyone who has ever gotten drunk on red wine knows it is the meanest of hangovers”

    Surely not – a port hangover is worst of all! As a fortified wine, port actually contains within itself the very combination of wine and spirits which supposedly leads to the worse type of hangover.

    The Sediment Blog

    1. darmyers says:

      Thanks so much. I don’t drink port, so I never thought of that, but you make a great point. That would be one wicked hangover. Thanks for sharing your comment, and thanks for reading. I appreciate all feedback.

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