The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine
July 1, 2018
When I read a book I have the habit of highlighting certain passages I find interesting or useful. After I finish the book I’ll type up those passages and put them into a note on my phone. I’ll keep them to comb through every so often so that I remember what that certain book was about. That’s what these are. So if I ever end up lending you a book, these are the sections that I’ve highlighted in that book. Enjoy!
Burgundy and Bordeaux are the top tier
Wine is the fermented juice of grapes or fruit
Three colors of wine, white, red, and rose
Better wines cost more because they are more expensive to make. Inexpensive wines cost so because the basic procedures in making a good wine are not expensive
Red wines should be served slightly below room temperature, white wines served chilled, but not over-chilled.
You can keep an open bottle of wine in the refrigerator for several weeks without losing much flavor
The aroma of wine can give you a good idea of it’s condition
Corks get crumbly and hard to open usually when wines are not stored on their side
80% of Wines are best enjoyed 2-3 years after bottling, most vintage wines aren’t any better quality
The ideal temperature to store wine at is 55 degrees
The 100-point system used by most wine publications and’t be reliable or statistically accurate, primarily because it’s based on the organoleptic evaluation of human tasters
Try to avoid house wines
Most restaurants gouge the consumer on wine prices. A fair price for a $6 retail bottle of wine is $12 in a restaurant. A fair price for a wine selling for $25 or more in a wine store is full retail price plus $5
You may be able to bring your own bottle into a restaurant by paying a corkage fee
You can take a bottle of wine home in Wisconsin. Assembly Bill 619 allows unfinished wine to be taken from restaurants if the cork is reinserted even with the top of the bottle and the cork is not reinserted between the hours of midnight and 6AM. (see note 2)
Beaujolais is a very good complement to egg dishes
Wine tastings can be vertical or horizontal. A vertical tasting is one that features several vintages of the same wine. A horizontal tasting features wines of s single vintage from several different properties usually of a similar type such as 1993 California Chardonnay
Keep your wine storage place dark, cool, humid, and between 50 and 70 degrees
Dry cheeses go very well with red wine. So does goat cheese
Smelly cheese overwhelms red wine
Salty cheeses, particularly blue-veined types, can overpower red wine. These are best served with a Port or similar wine.
Soft or double and triple cream cheese go well with a red wine like a Burgundy or a white wine like a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio
Questions to Ask a wine merchandiser:
- What is the difference between a Bordeaux and a Burgundy?
- Why is a bottle of French Burgundy more expensive than a comparable bottle of French Bordeaux?
- Ask about a few wine and food combinations
- Specify your wine needs (such as a bottle of dry wine for under $10, or a domestic sparkling wine for under $16 to go with roast chicken) and see what the merchant suggests
Rules for choosing your sequence of wines are as follows:
- Light wine before heavy wine
- White wine before red wine
- Dry wine before sweet wine
- Simple wine before complex wine
Guidelines to decide on a wine to serve with fish:
- If you serve red wine with fish, choose one that is young and fruity.
- Choose a high-acid wine, either white or red
- Stay away from oaky whites and tannic reds
- Simple fish dishes work with light whites and light reds
- Use only very light reds with shellfish (Better yet use white)
- Avoid red wines with fishy or oily fish
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