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The Quick Wine Poll: 6 Questions On Wine You Want Answered

We asked you to tell us what wine-related question you needed an answer to right now. Here are the top 6 questions. Keep them coming!

What does ‘terroir’ even mean?

Terroir is a French word for terrain (coming from the word terre meaning land). It refers to a number of elements that nurture the grapes from which the wine comes from. These elements include the climate, soil and sun exposure, among others. The terroir is one of the major factors considered when differentiating between wines of different regions (and let’s face it, using the word “terroir” just makes you sound like you know what you are talking about).

I’m hosting a party for my coworkers, what wine should I serve?

It’s always good to start with a good red and white wine (feel free to add rosé to the mix). When it comes to quantity, it’s safe to assume that every person is likely to have 3 drinks. A bottle generally serves 6-8 drinks based on how generously you pour – so you can do the math. There are a few other considerations to keep in mind when buying wine for a party. The rule of thumb is to go for wines that generally don’t overwhelm the food, and are lower in alcohol (possibly below 13.5%). You can also match wine to foods you’ll be serving on the day by using our search engine.

Why should I decant my wine?

Decanting wine helps on two fronts: separating sediment, and opening the flavor through aeration. The idea is to have the wine sit for a while to allow any solid particles that have formed in the wine to fall to the bottom, making for a clearer, sediment-free elixir you can enjoy. Contact with air also allows stronger tasting wines to mellow out and tones down tannins, making room for the flavors of the wine to shine.

Are the aromas and flavors added to wine?

No, the flavors in a particular wine is the magic formula created through the process of fermentation. The breakdown of sugar in the grapes releases a number of elements which we taste and which resemble things that we’ve tasted before. It is quite normal for any two people to taste different things in the same wine, and that is partly due to previous exposure and your unique palate.

Why does wine make my mouth dry?

Not to be confused with the “dryness” used to describe wine, the feeling of having a dry mouth is caused by the concentration of tannins in wine. Tannins are organic substances found in the grape and grape skin that have a slightly astringent, bitter taste (just like in tea). In wine, tannins give complexity and add balance. That said, not all wines have the same concentration of tannins, and that is partly why they vary in effect – from waking up your palate to causing it to pucker up.

How long will my wine bottle last once opened?

Once opened, a wine bottle would last a day or two. The best way to preserve the wine is to refrigerate it and use a vacuum to pump out the air, since the more oxygen is kept to react with the wine, the quicker the wine turns. Rich, red wines may actually taste better after a day of airing as opposed to white wines, which tend to go flat the next day.

Have any more questions you’d like answered? Feel free to send them in to

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