Looking to expand your wine knowledge? The best way to learn more about something is to ask questions, which is why we’ve compiled a list of five commonly asked questions about wine.
Wine selecting and tasting can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. If you’re just looking to enjoy a great glass of wine, there are a few things you should probably know about your specific tastes and requirements before you buy a bottle. There’s nothing worse than choosing an expensive bottle of wine only to find out that it’s too sweet or too dry for your liking.
Asking certain questions about a wine will help you get the most out of your wine tasting experience and allow you to better understand the different aspects of wine.
It can take years to become a master of wine, but by answering some of the most commonly asked questions below, we’re giving you a jump start on your way to becoming a wine expert.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wine
1. How Many Glasses of Wine are In a Bottle
When preparing for a dinner party, it’s important to make sure that you have enough bottles of wine to cover all of your guests. The last thing you want to do is leave someone’s glass empty. But how many glasses of wine are in each bottle?
A standard 750ml bottle will contain 25 liquid ounces of wine. Of course there are larger bottles and smaller bottles, but in most cases, the standard bottle is 750ml. A typical wine glass holds 5 liquid ounces.
So in a typical bottle of wine you should get 5 glasses.
2. Is Wine Gluten Free?
With everyone focused on living healthier and keeping track of what they put in their bodies, it’s important to know what is in the food and drinks we’re consuming.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley that can have negative effects on people with celiac disease or intolerances to gluten.
The good news is that in most cases wine is, in fact, gluten free.
Wine is made from grapes, which are gluten free, and the fermentation process, using yeast, is also gluten free. However, there are parts of the process that can allow gluten to enter the bottle.
This usually happens during the “fining process”, which is the process used to help eliminate particles and debris within the wine that can cause a cloudy look. By removing these elements, the wine becomes crystal clear, which is more desirable than a cloudy glass of wine.
During this process gluten is sometimes used as a fining agent, but not by all winemakers. Without further research, or explicit labels on the bottles, it’s hard to know which winemakers use gluten as a fining agent.
But don’t fret, studies have shown that even when a winemaker uses gluten as fining agent, the gluten remaining in the bottle is less than 20 parts per million, which is the maximum amount of gluten allowed in a product to still be labeled “gluten free” by the FDA.
So even if a winemaker uses gluten during their wine making process, it would still fall under the gluten-free banner according to the FDA, and should not have any negative effects on people with moderate gluten sensitivity. However, if you suffer from celiac disease, you could have an adverse reaction and should do your research regarding the wine you are consuming.
3. Does the Type of Wine Glass You Use Matter?
Most people know that wine glasses come in different shapes, but does the shape of a wine glass really make that much of a difference?
The simple answer is no. The shape of your wine glass is not going to enhance or change the flavor of the wine you’re drinking. What will change the flavor is the wine itself. So do not worry about not having the “correct” wine glass for a certain type of wine, it will all taste the same.
The reason there are so many different wine glass shapes and sizes that supposedly go well with certain types of wines is merely a marketing gimmick put into place in the early 1970’s by the Riedel glassware company to sell more wine glasses. There is no scientific evidence that the shape of a wine glass has any effect on the taste of the wine.
4. How Long Does an Open Bottle of Wine Last?
We’ve all been there. You open a bottle of wine thinking you’re going to finish the entire bottle, only to realize that you aren’t feeling as ambitious as you thought. You don’t want to throw away half a bottle of wine, but you’re unsure as to how long it will still be good for now that it has been opened.
Unfortunately, there’s no clear answer as to how long you can keep an open bottle of wine before it’s no longer palatable. Once you open a bottle of wine and exposed it to air, the oxidation process begins and the wine begins to degrade.
If you want to ensure your wine holds its flavor for as long as possible, the key is to minimize the amount of air the wine is exposed to.
Putting the cork back in (or screwing the top back on) after every pour is a good star. Using a pump and stopper to remove some of the oxygen from the bottle before storing it in a cool dark place (like the fridge) will also help maintain the flavor.
If you’ve done all you can to prevent further oxidation of the wine, you should be able to enjoy that bottle the next day, or even for a couple days, but there is still no set amount of time the wine will last. You’ll have to rely on your sense of smell and taste to determine if the wine is still good.
If you’ve left a bottle of wine out on the counter overnight, without capping the top, then you’re most likely going to have to pour the wine out, but by storing it properly, you have a better chance of enjoying it the next day.
5. What is the Difference Between Sweet and Dry Wine?
We have discussed what makes a wine sweet and dry in the past, but this is still one of the most commonly asked questions we get.
In short, the amount of sugars left in the wine after the fermentation process is complete will determine how sweet or dry the wine is.
Dry wines will have little to no residual sugar left in the wine, where sweeter wines will retain some of that sugar, thus giving it the sweeter taste.
If you’d like to learn more about this, check out our full post about what makes wine sweet or dry.
These are just some of the common questions that we get asked about wine. Wine can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it, but the most important thing is to understand enough so that you can find something that you truly enjoy.
A lot of people pass over wine because they’ve tried a couple sips of one or two wines and didn’t really care for it, but every winemaker has their own way of doing things which can impact the taste and flavor profile of each bottle. By educating yourself, even just a little bit, on what to look for in a bottle of wine, we’re sure you’ll be able to find something you can enjoy!