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The Woodinville Insider: Wondering about wine?

  • Written by Sandra Lee, Woodinville Wine Country

In researching a consumer inquiry we came across two of the most well-known wine critics and journalists, Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher from the Wall Street Journal. Here are a few of the most common reader questions. We have adapted the answers to reflect a Woodinville Wine Country perspective.

• What is the best glass? You’ll notice in our Woodinville Tasting Rooms most winemakers use a thin, 20-22 ounce stemmed glass. This allows for swirling and brings out the best of the flavors and aromas.

• Where are the best values these days? Our suggestion is to search for case deals. Many of our Woodinville wineries offer a generous discount when you buy more than one bottle. So come out and stock up on your favorites.

• What wines should I serve at a party (or to any large gathering)? At parties you have a room of different palates and levels of wine sophistication. Almost every winery in Woodinville has a more reasonable table wine that pairs well with cocktails or any dinner. Not only are most under $20 a bottle but with your case discount you will be able to have an amazingly solid wine without breaking the budget.

• Should I decant? Generally, our advice is to try it first and if it seems a bit tight then do decant for about 30 minutes. However, most reds open up nicely in your glass.

• Do I have to store my wine in a temperature-controlled cellar? And at what temperature? Wine is best when it stays at a consistent temperature, 55-57 degrees. If you simply want to keep a mixed case of wine around the house for a short time — and you should — find a place in the dark with a fairly constant, moderate temperature.

• I love X wine; what do you think of it? Wine, like art, is subjective. It doesn’t matter what others think,  if you enoy it. In Woodinville most wineries pour 3-5 wines in their tasting rooms. Much like a music album, there will be a song that resonates. Wine is the same — the structure, aromas and finish will vary person to person.

• Why does wine give me headaches; sulfites, right? Wrong. Sulfites cause very severe allergic reactions in a small number of people, which is why there’s a warning on the bottle, but sulfites don’t cause headaches. It has to do with histamines and all sorts of other complex science.

• But wines in Europe don’t have sulfites, right? Wrong. All wines contain sulfites (it’s a natural byproduct of the winemaking process) and almost all wines contain added sulfites, all over the world.

• I’m going to a wine region; what wineries should I visit? Every region has the iconic or more well-known brands. We encourage people to start at one of those, but then venture out to new discoveries. In June Woodinville Wine Country will launch a robust itinerary builder but in the meantime — don’t hesitate to ask the tasting room staff. The locals know the hidden gems, what others are pouring and most often are your best resource to guide your next stop.

• I have this one old bottle; how much is it worth? Open and enjoy. Some bottles are priceless because of what they hold inside — not the wine, but the memories.

Memories begin in Woodinville Wine Country
Woodinville Reserve Event Friday May 6

Spring Release2

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