Wine 101

I’m thinking of starting a wine cellar. How shall I stock it?

As with any aspect of collecting wine, what goes into your wine cellar is entirely up to you!

Do you prefer red wines more than white? White more than red? What about rose or sparkling wines?

How large do you want to build your cellar, and for what reason? Are you going to entertain guests often, or do you wish to collect wines to later give out as gifts? Or, do you happen to live in a remote location and so only visit your favorite wineries once per year?

All of these factors play into the decision making process of stocking your wine cellar.

If you’re set on a particular wine and love it to death, great! Buy a few bottles, or even a case. Set it aside and forget about it. It’s a foundation wine and will help you build a stock in your cellar. Next, try new wines. Try new wineries. Visit new tasting rooms. Expose your palate to new options and you may realize that you don’t want to limit yourself to a cellar full of just a few good wines. Instead, perhaps 2-3 bottles from a given winemaker is sufficient, and you want to then move on to another.

The size of your cellar is going to be based on amount of space, your budget, and your intended use for that cellar. If you do run out of space, you always have the option to trade wines with your friends, or simply create more space by enjoying some of the wines you’ve been collecting.

November 17, 2017 / by / in
What are some of the believed wine health benefits?

This topic is slightly controversial. It seems every few years, new data is released through various media outlets purporting new research, new medical discoveries, and of course new government-related warnings about the benefits and harm of wine consumption.

First of all, we at OregonWines.com want to press the point of in all things, moderation. Overdoing any type of food or beverage, especially those containing alcohol, can be harmful to your health.

“Moderate consumption” is difficult to define, and varies literally based on the government and medical professionals in each culture on the planet. It also varies based on a person’s gender, age, and physical condition.

Some of the reported benefits are related more to red wines than white wines. This is because red wine contains a much higher concentration of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant derived from the skins of red wine grapes. Additional phenolic compounds from grape stems and seeds, and other tannin contributors, also play a lesser but still notable role.

Everything from lowering blood pressure, to increasing “healthy” blood cholesterol, to enhancing metabolism, have all been reported in various tests performed on groups of moderate wine drinkers. In conjunction with a “Mediterranean” diet focusing more on vegetables and fruit, whole grained breads, more seafood and fish and less red meat, and with “smarter” fats like olive oil, are also a factor in some of these studies, as wine tends to go hand in hand with such foods.

All that aside, a glass of really great wine at the end of a stressful work day can have a powerful psychological effect on a person, and the simple act of stress reduction in and of itself can be a powerful benefit.

Disclaimer: This article is not written by medical professionals, and we do not advocate the use of any alcohol to improve your health. We’re simply commenting on things we’ve read over the years.

November 17, 2017 / by / in
Do wines contain antioxidants?

All wines contain some antioxidants. Antioxidants are believed to provide health benefits, though when consumed with alcohol, some or many of those benefits may be lessened or completely nullified.

Red wines contain a much higher concentration of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant derived from the skins of red wine grapes.

Additional phenolic compounds from grape stems and seeds, and other tannins, also contain some antioxidants.

 

November 17, 2017 / by / in
What are some tannin health benefits?

Tannins are compounds found in a wide range of plants, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, and fruits like grapes and cranberries. Tannins health benefits are reported to have a wide range of impact on the human body, some good, others not so good.

Lowered blood pressure, improved immune response, and blood sugar balance are all some of the reported benefits of tannins. Impacted liver function and increased blood pressure are some of the reported dangers of certain tannins.

Disclaimer: This article was not written by medical professionals.

November 17, 2017 / by / in
Can red wine reduce cholesterol levels?

Red wine is reported to assist with boosting “good” cholesterol levels. When consumed as part of a health, balanced, Mediterranean diet, some research points to a reduction in “bad” cholesterol levels. It is unclear as to whether people can consume wine to reduce cholesterol levels.

Disclaimer: This article was not written by medical professionals. Please consult your doctor if you have questions about consuming wine and its effects on your health.

November 17, 2017 / by / in
When tasting wines, should I rinse the glass after each taste?

Rinsing your glass depends largely on personal preference. If you rinse, try to remove as much water as possible from the glass, as a few drops of water can adversely affect the flavor of the next wine, more than a few drops of the previous wine you tasted.

OregonWines.com staff normally do not rinse when tasting just whites, or just reds – but if we are going to taste both whites and reds in one session, we will rinse our glasses after we have finished tasting the whites, before we move on to the reds.

November 17, 2017 / by / in
What is meant by “mouthfeel”?

Mouthfeel refers to how the wine feels in your mouth. The sugars, acids, alcohol, tannins, and various other components in the wine will affect the way it coats and interacts with your mouth.

Sweeter wines, such as dessert wines, will have a softer, syrupy mouth feel more than a dry wine. A full-bodied red wine, higher in tannins and alcohol, with have more of an edge – almost a bite – as it hits your taste buds, and moves around on your tongue.

Generally speaking, wines with a softer or smoother mouthfeel tend to have a longer, lingering finish, and the wine will evenly coat your tongue, just as it will your throat when you swallow it.

November 17, 2017 / by / in
What is a buttery wine?

A “buttery wine” refers to a wine containing lower amounts of acids, which result in a smooth, silky, even creamy feel in the mouth. This can be the result of ageing methods. For example, a Chardonnay wine, aged in an oak barrel, often imparts a buttery flavor.

As implied, a buttery wine rolls over your tongue as would liquid butter.

November 17, 2017 / by / in
What are wine legs? What are tears?

Wine legs and tears are caused by wine dribbling down the sides of a wine glass. They are most often visible after tasting a wine, when the glass has been tilted on its side, and then righted.

Some of the wine will have coated the inner sides of the glass, and will begin dripping back down into the bottom. This is caused by alcohol in the wine evaporating, breaking the surface tension on the upper edge of the wine, causing the watery components to fall away back into the glass.

The shape and size of the legs are a sign of the wine’s viscosity (which in turn is affected by the amount of glycerols and alcohol found in the wine).

A wine with low viscosity will have smaller, more watery legs. A wine with higher viscosity will have larger, slower legs.

November 17, 2017 / by / in