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Wine FAQs
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by: Celebrity Recipes Magazine

Do you have questions about wine? Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) and the corresponding answers.

What is wine?

Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes and the juices of fruits. Its effect is intoxicating and stimulating when imbibed. Making wine is probably one of the oldest human activities as it was already well developed during ancient times. In fact, ancient Greek paintings (on walls and vases) already show how important wine-making was then.

Where are wines made?

Almost every country in the world makes wine. Nonetheless, Mediterranean countries are known to make the most number and variety. The countries of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece are known wine producers. Lately, even California (US) and Australia have made exciting forays in wine production. Even the Philippines has it’s own wines made from fermented rice, sugar cane juice, and the sap of the coconut flower.

Where do the best wines come from?
Most wine-producing countries have their partisans. Nonetheless, France seems to have the upper hand with the regions of Burgundy and Bordeaux leading the rest. Of the wine-producing regions, the wines of Burgundy seem to be “stronger” since they have higher tannin content. On the other hand, those of Bordeaux are said to be softer and fruitier in taste.

Why are there different wines crystal glasses for different wines?
Wines have different bouquets. As such, the shape of different wine glasses aid wine drinkers in differentiating and savoring the distinct aromas. For example, brandy snifters have large bottoms that taper towards the rim to enable drinkers to heat the brandy and thus release its bouquet. Some shapes however, are meant to keep glasses longer. Champagne glasses for instance, are flute-shaped to do just that.

Should wines be chilled?

Sometimes. Red wines should at least have a temperature of 60º to 65ºF (less than room temperature), while white wines should at least be 45º to 50ºF.

Should wine glasses be filled to brimming?
Not really. Brandy snifters for instance should at least be only 1/3 full. On the other hand, red and white wine glasses should at least contain the equivalent of a half-cup of the respective wines. The exception would be champagne glasses. They should be at least ¾ glass full, especially during festive occasions.

How should wine be stored?
Wines should not be drunk immediately when bought. They should be given time to settle so that whatever “deposits” they contain (especially for old wines) can rest. The best place for storing wine is a wine cellar. How ever, since having a cellar is not the norm in the Philippines, make sure that wines are stored in darkness at 10º to 13ºC. Do not store wines where sunlight can get to it, they might turn to very expensive vinegar.

Should wines be stored standing or on the side?
Store wines on their side. Doing so would enable the cork to remain moist and swollen. Thus, the corks help keep air out of the contents, while stopping wine from seeping out.

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September 19, 2017

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