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  • Once your glass is poured, hold it by the stem, so as not to mask the colour of the wine and to avoid warming it up.
  • To evaluate the opacity and the intensity of the color of the wine, hold it up at eye level and to the light, or against something white.
  • Words to describe the colour of white wine: straw, golden, and amber
  • Words to describe the color of rosé wine: raspberry, salmon, and onion skin
  • Words to describe the color of red wine: cherry, ruby, violet, and orange
  • To see if the wine is unfiltered or cloudy, look at the wine from above the glass, place it over a white surface at an angle.
  • Why swirl the wine in the glass before you drink it? To let it breathe a bit more after the initial pouring.
  • Why do I want the wine to breathe before I drink it? Allowing the wine to be exposed to oxygen will bring out the best qualities of the wine after it has been in a bottle for a long period of time.
  • Why decant a bottle of wine? Decanting a red wine will allow it to breathe and bring out all the good qualities of the wine after it has been bottled for a time.
  • Why do I filter a wine? Filtering will remove the sediment that may have settled at the bottom of the bottle over time.
  • Do I need to filter younger bottles of wine? If there are any signs of sediment in a bottle, it is always a good idea to filter it.
  • When do I filter a bottle of wine? You can filter the wine either when you decant it or by the glass.
  • What does it mean when there are "legs" in the wine glass? The legs are an indication of the level of alcohol, viscosity, and general richness of the wine.
  • The more legs to the glass of wine usually mean a higher level of alcohol concentration.
  • Smelling the wine in your glass will reveal the complexity of the wine and may help you anticipate what your palate can expect.
  • The "First Nose" is the first smell without disturbing the glass of wine.
  • The "First Nose" is used to try to determine the grape varietal of the wine, such as cabernet sauvignon, syrah, chardonnay.
  • The "Second Nose" is revealed after the wine has been swirled in the glass.
  • The "Second Nose" will reveal the aromas and the bouquet of the wine.
  • The aromas will help you determine if the wine is herbal, spicy, mineral, fruity, or floral.
  • The bouquet of a wine refers to the smells that develop during the aging in the oak barrel or bottle. Bouquets are described as dried fruit, jam, wood, or earthy.
  • The wine is acidic when it smells of lemon and freshness.
  • The wine is described as complex if it is rich in flavors that are combined in subtle ways.
  • A generous wine is one that is rich in alcohol—it is warm and strong.
  • A high-alcohol wine is considered heady.
  • Wine is described as oaky when there is a taste of toasted oak or wood, a taste of caramel, coconut, or chocolate.
  • A wine is thin when it is light or lacking in body.
  • When a wine is smooth, easy to drink, and low in tannins, it is described as supple.
  • Aerating a wine in a carafe, or decanting a wine, will awaken the aromas of the wine; it will harmonize the overall taste and give the impression of well-rounded tannins; it will help evaporate any unpleasant odors that might have formed in the bottle, and it will reduce the number of sulfites in the wine.
  • White wines should be served between 8 and 10 degrees Celcius.
  • Red wines should be served between 16 and 25 degrees Celcius.
  • Did you know there is a corkscrew museum in Italy?
  • Pinot noir is the main grape in many sparkling wines.
  • Dark chocolate and red wine are a great match. Sweet dessert wines go better with milk chocolate.
  • At a restaurant, ask the sommelier to guide you through a progression of wines by the glass to go with your meal!
  • On tasting his first sip of champagne, Dom Perignon exclaimed, "Come quick, I am tasting stars!" Dom Perignon was a blind monk.
  • The top five major wine-producing countries are France, Italy, Spain, the U.S., and Argentina.
  • "Don't worry if you can't understand wine-speak. Nobody can. It's a language invented by drunk people." -Jay Fedigan, documentary filmmaker
  • Use your cellphone camera to snapshots of your favorite wine labels. This makes a great shopping tool when you are at the wine store.
  • A great gift idea! Choose a local wine and present it with a map that gives directions to visit the winery.
  • Did you know there are over 10,000 different types of wine grapes?
  • Of the 10,000 wine grapes that exist, only 230 are used prominently.
  • Screw-capped wines can age just as well as those sealed with a cork.
  • Looking for an original wedding anniversary gift? Select a wine with a vintage that matches the couple's wedding year.
  • Canada is the largest producing country of ice wine.
  • "I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food." -W.C. Fields
  • A magnum wine bottle holds the equivalent of two traditional-size bottles.
  • Primitivo, aka Zinfandel, is prevalent in southern Italy; it is known for its spicy flavors of plum and other fruit.
  • The best winemakers will tell you that wine is made in the vineyard.
  • Syrah is known for its spicy blackberry, plum, pepper, licorice, and bitter chocolate notes.
  • If you want to learn about wine, you have to experience it, taste it and keep tasting it.
  • Red Bordeaux usually comes from a blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot—two strong red grapes that are ideal for pairing with red meats.
  • All wines contain sulfites; sulfites are naturally occurring sulfur-oxygen compounds from fermentation.
  • Any occasion calls for a special bottle of wine.
  • Younger wines are fruitier, more acidic and more tannic.
  • Older wines are matured, softened, and well-integrated.
  • The process of turning grape juice into wine is called vinification.
  • "There is truth in wine, but you never see it listed in the ingredients on the label." -Josh Stern, author
  • "Wine is bottled poetry." -Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Appellations d'origine controlée is a certification regulated by French law that specifies where wine can originate and what processing methods are acceptable.

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