As you grow in your passion for collecting wines, you’ll encounter more and more questions about the beverage. These questions – believe it or not – are more common than you think. Finding the right answer to these questions helps you become a better wine collector and an improved sommelier.
Wine Storage Room Expert Answers the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Vino
Whole Cellar is an expert at proper wine storage solutions. Besides building ideal wine rooms for residential and commercial clients, we have also been asked about wine collections and tasting events. We’ve gathered the top five most frequently asked queries about vino and answered them accordingly.
1. What is the Difference Between Syrah and Shiraz?
This question is on the top of our list! Surprisingly, it the most commonly asked question. And, the answer is NONE. Syrah and Shiraz are wines made from the same grape variety. Syrah is a type of grape produced in the northern portion of the Rhone Valley in southeastern France. When the grape arrived in Australia, Australian winemakers chose to call it Shiraz instead.
Over the years, the two terms have taken more meaning. Although Shiraz and Syrah are made from the same grape variety, some winemakers tend to use Shiraz to indicate a fruiter style with a richer flavor. Syrah, on the other hand, is used to refer to the version that is more complex in character and has more earthy aromas. However, there continues to be a lot of inconsistencies among wine experts regarding the use of these two terms.
2. Will this Wine Taste Better When Aged?
This is quite a difficult question to answer because there are numerous variables to consider, in order to determine whether a wine should be cellared to age or not. A few of the factors to consider are the type of wine, quality of wine, the producer of the vino, and storage conditions.
The fact is that not all vinos are meant to be cellared for a long time, but most wines you can find in the grocer are meant for early consumption. For a list of wines that we recommend aging before drinking, click here!
Proper storage conditions have a huge impact on whether a wine will taste good after being allowed to age. If you plan to include in your collection wines that need to be aged for a few months to more than a year, you need to invest in the construction of a dependable custom wine cellar.
3. Does the Price of a Wine Bottle Reveal its Quality?
This is a persistent myth among wine collectors that we’ve repeatedly and consistently tried to debunk. Although price can sometimes be a good indicator of quality, a $300 wine does not necessarily have to taste better than a $20 one.
There are a number of wines that are priced high not because of their quality, but because they’re produced by famous winemakers. These popular winemakers have earned their reputation because of the many high-quality vintages they’ve released throughout the years. But, this does not mean all the wines they produce will please your taste buds.
4. What Do the Terms “New World” and “Old World” Mean?
These two terms are often used in the wine industry, and the difference between them can be interpreted in two ways: the first is region. New world wines are those made in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Old words wines refer to vino produced in Western Europe. The second difference between the two terms is style. Old wines are perceived as more restrained and balanced in flavor. They also have a lesser alcohol content, higher acidity, and more earthy notes. New wines, on the other hand, are fruitier and have higher levels of alcohol.
5. Can I Still Enjoy a Bottle of Wine Long After It Has Been Opened?
Wine is bottled and sealed immediately after being produced, in order to prevent oxygen from getting in contact with the beverage. When the compounds in wine interact with oxygen, chemical reactions take place that will ultimately lead to the deterioration of its quality. As soon as you open a bottle of wine, you can expect that changes in the wine have begun to happen. For the first few hours, the changes are welcomed. Hard and tannic wines become softer as the liquid intermingles with oxygen. But, if the wine is kept unconsumed for a much longer time period, its flavor begins to fade away and its acidity becomes stronger. This is why, ideally, you shouldn’t open a bottle of wine if you and your guests are not ready to drink it all.
There are situations though where you just can’t down an entire bottle of wine, and it just feels awful to throw away a good vintage. In cases like these, you can try a few ways to prolong the lifespan of your opened wine. One way is to store the wine in a vacuum-sealed storage space. A vacuum-like structure will create a barrier between the wine and the oxygen. Another method is the old trick of placing the wine in the fridge overnight. This works because a cooler temperature slows down the oxidation process. You might also consider using the leftover wine for cooking, the subtle flavor remains after the alcohol evaporates.
These, though, are only “Band-Aid” solutions, and not cures. Don’t leave a bottle of wine unconsumed for longer than a day or two. If, even after you’ve tried these suggested temporary fixes, you find that the opened wine tastes like vinegar, throw it away!