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Here are some popular wine FAQs.

How long can I keep wine after it is open?
What is the right temperature for serving wine?
Natural corks  vs synthetic corks or screw caps?
Why decant?
What does organic mean?
What are sulfites?
What’s the best way to store wine?
 



How long can I keep wine after it is open?

  • Once opened, both red and white wine should be kept in the refrigerator. Be sure to take the red out of the refrigerator at least one hour before serving to warm it up.
  • Once wine has been re-corked, and stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for up to 2 or 3 days.
  • Use an Epi-Vac Pump to remove the oxygen from the bottle and increase longevity. Your wine will stay fresh for up to a week.

 

What is the right temperature for serving wine?

  • We drink our white wines too cold and our red wines too warm.
  • If you over-chill your whites the flavor becomes dull and muted. The best serving temperature is between 6 — 10° Celsius.
  • Red wines should be served at a temperature between 12 — 16° Celsius. Lighter, fruitier reds are best served lightly chilled, for example, Beaujolais.
  • Here's a simple solution: red wine 20 in the fridge before serving, white wine 20 minutes out of the fridge before serving. 



Natural corks, synthetic corks or screw caps?

 But here are a few facts you should know about the cork forests of southern Europe.

  • To make cork, trees are not cut down. It is only the outer bark of the cork oak that is used.
  • The outer bark is removed in nine-year cycles. Nature cannot be hurried and it takes 9 years to replenish the outer bark.
  • The demand for natural corks has allowed the cork oak plantations to be sustained rather than being replaced by development or grazing lands.
  • Many producers continue to use natural cork because synthetic corks are non-biodegradable and can present an environmental hazard.

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Why decant?

  • Decanting allows astringent elements (tannins) to oxidize and hence, soften. It also accelerates the aging process, making a young, robust wine become more approachable.
  • Certain wines, as they age, form sediment in the bottle. Old wines can be separated from the sediment by pouring the wine, slowly, into a decanter.

 

What does organic mean?

  • In its simplest form, organic wine is made from grapes that are grown in a healthy environment and without the dependency on fertilizers and chemicals. An organic vineyard is a living vineyard; everything from the soil, to the animals living among the vines to the wine you put into your body is alive, constantly evolving and healthier. Vines grown organically are stronger and healthier. The quantity of grapes an organic vineyard produces is lower, however, the resulting wine tastes better and is safer. Not everyone is going organic so you may have to do some research on your own or trust your wine merchant’s advice…not such a bad thing considering we make our living selling wine. Most importantly, we want our customers to be repeat customers, something that's only possible through organic vineyards and wine, a healthy planet and a healthy you. If you care about Mother Earth you'll spend a little more time seeking-out wine producers who are going organic. We’ve started the research for you…click here for a list of organic products in our inventory.

 

What are sulphites?

  • Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) is used as a cleansing and preservative agent in winemaking. Sulfites are the result of simple reactions between this compound and other molecules present in the grapes. Some argue that sulfites cause headaches, but the jury is still out on this one! It is important to realize, though, that sulfites are naturally occuring compounds and are present in almost every bottle of wine whether sulphur dioxide has been added or not.



Storing Wine
 Purchasing a good wine and not looking after it properly is like buying a sports car and leaving it outside all winter. Good wines repay handsomely if cellared under proper conditions. The size and design of your cellar is up to you; it is only relative to the money you are willing to invest. We recommend you sample one bottle of wine at a time and then decide if it is worth cellaring.

Storing wine is relatively simple:

  • Keep it in a dark place and at a temperature of 12° - 15° Celsius.
  • Avoid changing temperatures. Small fluctuations are acceptable but must never exceed 22° Celsius.
  • In any case, it is better to have a cellar too cool than too warm since warm temperatures accelerate aging.
  • Any area of your basement away from heat sources will do.
  • If you do not have a basement, use a cool, dark cupboard.
  • Allow enough space to lie the bottles down in order to prevent the cork from getting dry; shrinking corks let air into the bottle.
  • Champagne can either be stored upright or lying down.
  • Once your space has been selected, you can build your wine racks: use cardboard wine boxes, wooden wine boxes or build custom cabinets.

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Do you have a question? The De Vine Truth has the answer!

 •Contact questions@kensingtonwinemarket.com and we will respond as quickly as possible.