I am sure you’ve never stared at a wine list like they are hieroglyphs but some have and some are currently panicking, at least internally, while sitting in an ultra-posh restaurant somewhere because they have no idea which wine to get.
If you are the kind who have tasted expensive wine and thought that it is nothing out of the ordinary, this article is for you. If you have no idea what minerality means, this is for you too.
I asked my sister some of the questions we have compiled over the years. These questions were asked by a number of people we have net while introducing our wine brand Basi del Diablo.
Sissel: Why is it necessary to aerate wine?
Sigrid: Introducing air to wine will help you notice its flavours. Air basically opens up the wine.
Sissel: Is swirling enough?
Sigrid: Some will use a decanter first before actually pouring wine into your glass but swirling, in my opinion, should be enough.
Sissel: Will it taste different after aeration?
Sigrid: Yes but technically, it is more for your nose. The smells you get will be sent to the brain which will then help you determine if the wine you’re about to drink has notes of citrus or lavender, etc.
Sissel: Minerality has always confused me. What is minerality in wine?
Sigrid: If the minerality is high or strong, you’d be smelling leaves or even soil. This is applicable to the Basi Puro, our native recipe.
Sissel: What about tannins?
Sigrid: What about them? [laughs] Tannins are compounds that can make the wine bitter and dry. Tannins are not bad though because they add complexity. Tannins also help preserve the wine.
Sissel: Should I always chill my wine? Or do I follow the rule that says I should chill white wine and leave red wine at room temperature?
Sigrid: That is the rule of thumb but some of us have this tendency to over-chill white wine while under-chilling reds. It is interesting that an over-chilled Basidina won’t release much of its flavours. The optimal temperature for white wine is 10°C. For reds, leaving it at room temperature is okay but you can chill it a little if it is too hot outside. 16°C is a good temperature for reds.
Sissel: Do you ever get annoyed whenever someone pops a bottle of champagne?
Sigrid: Not really but it’s not supposed to make a huge sound. That’s just a waste of good champagne. If it is opened gently, it will have more bubbles and the wine will definitely taste much better.
Sissel: What does corked mean?
Sigrid: It means your wine now has bacteria introduced by the cork. You know all about this because we can smell it from far away [laughs]. Smells like wet cardboard to me.