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Wine Storage Blog

Custom Wine Cellars & Wine Storage Insights

Tasting Wine

  1. All Good Wines Take Time

    All Good Wines Take Time

    Serving wine is a ritual for the senses, similar to having British tea. There’s the artful process of wine selection followed by bottle presentation, uncorking, pouring, relishing the initial aroma of the nose, taking the first sip followed by a lengthier taste to judge both body and finish, and so on. The process of serving wine is not meant not...
  2. Pin the Tail on the Wine: Blind Tasting with Pleasant Surprises

    Pin the Tail on the Wine: Blind Tasting with Pleasant Surprises

    Bottle Shock, a highly amusing film from 2008 featuring a well-cast Alan Rickman, introduced moviegoers to the concept of blind wine tasting.  Based on actual events, the climax of the film occurs when an American wine from California scores higher than a haughty French wine during a blind horizontal taste test. You can use some numbered bags...or just wrap bottles...
  3. All the Pretty Colors

    All the Pretty Colors

    Though much of the emphasis of wine tasting is placed on scent and taste, appearance has an important part to play, too.  Like being able to tell the age of a horse by studying the appearance of its teeth (their shape, number of permanent teeth, angles of incidence, and disappearance of cups), visually evaluating a wine is equally informative.  A wine’s appearance...
  4. Cool Your Wine!

    Cool Your Wine!

    Eurocave Elite Though you may have a “good” bottle of wine on your hands, serving it at an inappropriate temperature can completely ruin it.  As a rule, a wine should be served at a temperature where its flavors and aromas are most exposed.  This “ideal” temperature, of course, varies based on the wine.  Here are a few ballpark numbers: Warm...
  5. Wine by the Bar: an iPhone App

    Wine by the Bar: an iPhone App

    In a rush to get the info for a few new bottles you're looking at?  Having dinner in a place where it is improper to spend time entering wine information on your phone?  Have no fear; Wine by the Bar is here!  Wine by the Bar, a nifty app for the iPhone, makes use of your phone’s camera to...
  6. Dine with Open Wine!

    Dine with Open Wine!

    Want to learn the basics about decanters and decanting? Check out our Decanting article in the Wine Storage Education Center! There’s something refreshing about properly-decanted wine, especially when served with the main course!  Some savvy restaurants practice the art of decanting so that your wine will open to its fullest by the time your meal arrives.  The arts of cooking...
  7. Look at Those (Wine) Legs!

    Look at Those (Wine) Legs!

    With appropriately-matched, quality wine glasses like Riedel Sommelier Wine Glasses or Riedel Vinum Extreme Wine Glasses, it is not only easier to notice the characteristic fragrances and tastes of your selected wine, it is also easier to see the beauty of your delicate beverage.  With a clear wine glass, the clarity, color and depth of your wine are highlighted like...
  8. Riesling: The Chameleon Grape

    Riesling: The Chameleon Grape

    Rieslings are fantastic wines that wear many hats.  Often referred to as being a “chameleon grape”, Riesling grapes really do play many roles.  In fact, the wines they produce range from those that are completely dry to wines that are insatiably sweet!  While “Zinfandel” makes us think of California, “Riesling” instantly brings Germany to mind, though good Rieslings can be...
  9. Decant, and Taste the Difference!

    Decant, and Taste the Difference!

    In a previous post, Dine With Open Wine, we discussed some of the benefits of decanting wine.  While it’s one thing to read about what decanting does to a wine, experiencing it is another matter.  And what better way to experience the dramatic impact decanting has than to conduct your own comparison of decanted and non-decanted wine at home, or...
  10. Little Wine, Who Rated Thee?

    Little Wine, Who Rated Thee?

    Whether or not we like to admit it, wine tasting is a subjective experience.  We all have different palates when it comes to food, music, movies, and entertainment, and we're certainly not built alike when it comes to enjoying wine.  Confessing you dislike a 92 point wine is no crime, and it does not label you a philistine.  It’s important...
  11. Wine in a Box? How Fancy!

    Wine in a Box? How Fancy!

    If you've seen the film Grumpier Old Men, what was your reaction when Walter Matthau introduced Sophia Loren to wine in a box?  While boxed wines used to be cheap and über sweet White Zins (or fruit-flavored abominations!), today there are some boxed wines that are pretty decent.  I've been pleasantly surprised by a few at recent tastings, those...
  12. Should You Decant Port?

    Should You Decant Port?

    “Do you decant Port?” is a question that often arises in whispered tones.  Though literature on the subject of decanting this special wine is extensive, most folks aren’t aware of it, and those who are are often scared off by the seeming complexity and effort such decanting--and timing-- entails. The other night I enjoyed a fantastic glass of Dow's Late...
  13. Corkbin Version 2.0.2

    Corkbin Version 2.0.2

    Almost a year ago, we wrote a blurb about Corkbin, an easy-to-use app that lets you make tasting notes and share them with your friends.  Originally for the iPhone, the app now works with all iPhones, iPod Touches (iOS 3.0 or later), and Android phones. The latest version supports new features for friending: “share your wines with your friends and...
  14. Vivino: a Free Wine App

    Vivino: a Free Wine App

    Happy Labor Day! Hope you're all enjoying your day off. We'll be sipping some wine and enjoying the remaining summer sun. Right now, though, we're reviewing an app that will let you keep a few notes on the bottle you're enjoying without taking up a lot of time. If you want a quick, simple way to remember a good wine...
  15. Death to Breath Mints

    Death to Breath Mints

    While good food and wine pairing is always to be encouraged, even the best wine can be reduced to ruin on one’s tongue under certain conditions.  Here are six things to avoid before sipping on what would be a delicious glass of vino: 1. Breath mints.  We all want to have fresh breath, especially on dates, but sucking on or...
  16. French & American Oaks for Aging Wine

    French & American Oaks for Aging Wine

    Aging wine in oak barrels is expensive.  A single, 55-gallon barrel can easily cost more than $1,600.  Barrels made from oak found in the forests of Allier, Nevers, Limousin, and central France are worth even more.  What makes these barrels so costly?  Are wineries paying for the quality of wood, craftsmanship, or both?  The answer is: both; wineries pay for...
  17. Don’t Blame the Oak

    Don’t Blame the Oak

    Oakiness: you read about this quality on some wine bottles, along with acidity, tannins, and sweetness. How long a wine ferments in oak barrels does impact its taste, nose, and texture, but a lot of winemakers don’t like to discuss this part of the aging process.  In recent years, they've become afraid people will jump to conclusions that their wines...
  18. The Importance of Champagne Flutes

    The Importance of Champagne Flutes

    Did you ring in the New Year with a flute of Champagne? Honestly, we wouldn't blame you for hiding your nice flutes from rowdy NYE party-goers, but for quieter occasions there's no substitute for a lovely flute. Aside from simply looking elegant, drinking from the right glass enhances your experience of the wine.  Because Champagne and sparkling wines are served...
  19. Dare to Mix Red and White Wine?

    Dare to Mix Red and White Wine?

    Before reading further, please understand that wines like rosés are not just mixtures of red and white wines.  They are made by a process similar to red wine, but the skins of the grapes are removed before they fully turn the wine a deep shade of red.  (Read more about the process of making rosé wine in our previous post...
  20. How to Swirl and Sniff Wine Like a Pro

    How to Swirl and Sniff Wine Like a Pro

    At tastings, many newcomers to the world of wine are unsure about the proper etiquette surrounding swirling and sniffing wine.  Is there a right way to do it?  Or is it a little like the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup slogan: there’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s? Since wine’s scent and taste are both key elements of any tasting, swirling...

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