Red wine ABC – most commonly asked questions


pumpHow long an open bottle of wine bottle lasts? There are couple of ways how to make the wine last a bit longer but normally after 2 or 3 days the wine will change and loses its best qualities. Key is to not leave it out at the room temperature, if possible then use wine vacuum pump to get rid of the extra air in the bottle and like that you could make the wine last for a week. If you don’t have a vacuum pump then use the cork to close the bottle and try to drink the rest within couple of days. Open bottle of wine that has been standing for long is a great one to use for cooking so there is no need to throw anything away.


redWhat gives red wine the red color? Purple or black grapes give wine the red color. Grape skins has pigment and during the maceration process, when skin is left with the wine it gives the wine a color. Depending on the duration of the maceration process color can be lighter or darker. Color also depends on the acids in the wine, if a wine is more acid then with the time the wine turns more brown.

220px-Fruity_section_of_Aroma_Wheel_copyright_A_C_Noble_1990_2002_wwwwinearomwheelcomWhat aromas and notes to look in a red wine?

  • Floral notes are more common in white wines but in a mature red wine of violet is present.
  • Fruits like strawberry and raspberry, blackcurrant and blackberry.
  • Others like bread, smoke noted from oak barrels, leather and spices.

oldHow long to age a wine? It is often assumed all wines can be aged for long but that is not correct. Aging is important for some wines to be able to grow the quality. Wines that have not been in oak barrels are often better to drink within 1-4 years so the wine wouldn’t lose its floral notes. The ones that have been in oak barrels are better to be drunk between 3-10 years. There are only few wines that can be aged more than 10 years, for example wines with low pH have higher aging potential like Pinot Noir and Sangiovese.

wine fridgeWhat is the best serving temperature of the red wine? Depending on a wine, often it helps when you just chill the wine before consuming. Best temperatures for drinking and aging are around 15- 19 degrees Cº. For aging another factor is needed – humidity. Humidity is important to keep the cork from drying, so the best place for a wine is a wine fridge if you don’t have a wine cellar.

corkedHow to understand if wine is bad? Most common wine problems are:

  • cooked wine – wine has been held in high temperature for long time or has been on the sunlight; causes cork to come out from a bottle leaving wine exposed to air, often fresh floral notes are gone and the wine tastes as if it had been cooked
  • corked wine – comes mainly from a cork; wine smells like mold or a wet basement and tastes pretty much the same
  • oxidized – caused by bad wine closure; depending on a wine but often you can feel that wines smells and tastes like vinaigrette
  • volatile acidity – bacteria alcohol and oxygen react and turn wine sour
  • too much sulfur – sulfur is in every wine but if there is too much of it then the wine smells and tastes like burnt rubber
  • re-fermenting – sometimes wine keeps of fermenting, that is caused by a yeast and wine can turn a little bit bubbly so it is an easy flaw to notice

250px-Bottle_of_tannic_acidWhat is tannin? Tannin is a compound found from grapes skins, stems and pips. When wine has a longer maceration process it can be more tannic and also when wine is aged in new oak barrels. Tannins are preservative that keep the wine from aging and gives a wine stucture and texture. Tannins depends a lot of the wine making process and normally in young wines tannins can be felt more as when wine ages tannins get more round.













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