Which glasses are best for what type of wine?
Some glasses do offer advantages. Glasses with bigger, tulip-shaped bowls improve red wines by capturing and showing off the aromas. Whites are served cooler, which can tamp down aromas, and are fine in the smaller, narrower glasses with less of a tapered rim.
But you don't need tulip-shaped glasses to enjoy wine. You can drink wine from any glass, even a paper cup if that's all you have. It's like anything else, though--as your interest and experience levels increase, you tend to seek out some of the fun toys that improve on the experience.
How much should you pour?
Five ounces is considered a serving for both white and red wine. But people tend to fudge, particularly when they're pouring into enormous glasses. Leave enough room to swirl, about 2/3 of the glass, so you don't end up tossing wine all over yourself.
What about those bistro glasses?
Those work fine, particularly with pizza or something rustic and fun. But it is interesting to notice the way that a wine's aromas are captured in tulip-shaped glasses. (See above.) You can try it yourself as an experiment: drink the same wine out of a bistro glass and then a tulip-shaped glass. You will discover how much more aroma, and therefore flavor, there is with wine served in the traditional tulip-shaped glasses.
Do I need to bring out new glasses every time I open a different bottle of wine?
Not unless you have someone doing the dishes for you. Admittedly, it can be a nice touch if you're entertaining. But if it's just a typical dinner with wine and you're not trying to impress anyone, toss a splash of the new wine into the glass, swirl it around to clean it out a bit and then drink it down.
What's the best way to store wine?
It really depends. If you have half a bottle but you know you'll drink it the next day, just put a cork in it and store it on the counter. But if you know it's going to sit there for several days, you can do a few things to preserve it--because once the bottle is exposed to oxygen the wine begins to deteriorate.
- Pour the remaining wine into a smaller container. A plastic water bottle works fine, and you can crinkle the edges to eliminate more air.
- Vacuum pump it to draw out the air.
- Cork it and refrigerate (which slows down the chemical reaction) but be sure to take red wines out in time to bring them back to room temperature.
What is the life span of re-corked or refrigerated wine?
Wine can last a while re-corked in the fridge or put into smaller containers that eliminate oxygen--at least a couple weeks.
But if you only drink a glass or two on the weekends, consider investing in a vacuum pump--available at wine merchants and some supermarkets. Vacuum pump the air out of the bottle and store it in the fridge. Take red wine out of the refrigerator on Thursday to enjoy it the following night.
It's good to remember that you're never going to drink the same wine twice: too many flavor compounds are busy at work, changing, improving in many ways but then deteriorating once they're exposed to air.
Can you freeze wine, say in an ice tray?
Yes! That's something else to do with leftover wine. Freeze it in an ice-cube try and then use the cubes to add depth to sauces, soups, and stews.
Also, consider finishing a sauce with the same wine you're drinking with dinner--the sauce builds a tasty flavor bridge between the food and the wine.
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