February 22, 2024

12 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know

“If you like a wine that you drink, now with your phone, it’s so easy. Just take a picture of the label. You learn about it. You learn where it comes from and what the soil is like and why you like it. And that’ll lead you to another wine” –

Padma Lakshmi

1. How long can I leave a bottle of opened wine in the fridge for?

My advice wine lovers, is, open a bottle and drink it all, or use left over wine for cooking. If however you have no other choice, decant the leftover wine into a container that’s small enough to accommodate the leftover wine. This way, the wine will not spoil. Sparkling wine should be drunk when opened as loss of bubbles results in a flat wine. Red and white wine can be kept for 2-5 days, with luck.

2. Is bottled wine more superior to boxed wine?

Interestingly, and in my opinion, Yes and No. Yes, in that, bottled wine is more intimate, as in the number of pours and wines ranging from basic to premium quality can be found. No, because the quality of boxed wine has increased over the years to the extent of some premium wines being boxed. Think about a party and how a boxed wine will be convenient when serving a larger number of people with the same wine.

3. For how long can boxed wine be kept open?

Boxed wine can be kept for anything between four and six weeks, as long as it’s still within the expiry date, which is indicated on the box.

Basic sweet wines are added with sweet grape juice during the fermentation process, to make them sweeter. The finer sweet wines are made as a result of concentrated sugar in the actual grapes

4. What happens if I leave a bottle of wine, in the heat, in a car, all day?

Please don’t put wine bottles in such harsh situations. The wine will fast deteriorate.

5. Is it fair for me to take back a bottle of wine left in a hot car all day, back, to a wine shop?

It is definitely unfair, as wine storage is important for this delicate beverage. Wine should always be kept in cool temperatures.

6. When I order wine in a restaurant, why does the waiter/waitress show me the label and give me a taste pour?

Firstly, the label is for you to verify that the wine ordered is the wine you’re being served with and secondly, the taste pour you’re given is to enable you to taste the wine, to ensure it is a fresh wine in case the wine is spoilt. A good wine should always have a clean smell.

7. I drink beers and spirits and would like to start drinking wine, which wine would you recommend I start with?

I’d say, give both red and white wine a try, but perhaps starting off with the lighter bodied wines like sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Unwooded pinot noirs and dry Rosés.

8. What is a vintage year?

It is the growing season in which a particular wine was produced and a vintage wine is wine made from the harvest of a single year.

9. What is a Non-vintage (NV)?

When a wine is classified as a non-vintage, it means grapes from two or more vintages have been used in the production of that wine.

10. Which wine is better, red or white wine?

I love this question because it is one of those questions you as a wine lover answers individually. The taste of a wine is determined by your palate, so go on, tell me which wine is better for you wine lovers.

11. I care about my wine and would like to know how much artificial sugar is added to wines

This is an important question, as I too, love looking after my health. All sugars in wine are from the grapes, classified as residual sugar. I know a lot of people are suspicious in that ‘sugar’ has been added to some sweet wines.

Basic sweet wines are added with sweet grape juice during the fermentation process, to make them sweeter. The finer sweet wines are made as a result of concentrated sugar in the actual grapes. These include Late Harvest, Noble Late Harvest and several other types all over the world. The only and rare times sugar, not from grapes is added, is to increase the final alcoholic strength of the wine before or during fermentation, rather than to sweeten the wine.

12. I am confused between a Merlot and a ‘White’ Merlot? Please explain.

I totally understand, as Merlot is a red grape. Remember, most grapes, whether red or white, have white juice, apart from a few. A ‘white’ Merlot is wine made from the juice, but, with no skin contact.

Once you start a wine journey, questions are a huge part of it. Thank you wine lovers for allowing your questions to enrich more wine lovers than just you.

Let’s keep them coming in. With a wine cheer to all wine lovers, set your palates free and explore the world of wines.


Alicante Bouschet is a French grape variety that has red juice.

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