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Wine Questions: What are Some of the Most Common Questions Asked on Google?
With Guidance for Winery Visit Questions...Restaurant Sommelier Assistance.
I was in wine country Texas last weekend with some Fredericksburg, Texas wine fans. They were asking me all sorts of questions on wine writing, how I got started my WSET certification journey, and then just some basic wine questions. So I went to Google and decided to write address some of the “most asked” questions and the ones I get asked most frequently.
I thought I might address in this article four primary questions that consumers frequently ask about wine:
· What are the most Googled wine questions?
· What should you ask when attending a wine tasting at a winery/vineyard?
· What questions should you ask a sommelier or wine director at a restaurant?
· What are the questions I personally get most often get when speaking or writing?
I will answer these questions, and then I will then close with some recommendations for terrific summer wines: refreshing whites, white blends, rosé, a pinot noir, and a blanc de blanc Champagne.
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Most Googled Wine Questions Answered
· What are the most Googled wine regions? Answer: Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Napa Valley.
· What are the most Googled wine magazines? Answer: Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, Decanter
· What do you call someone who is dedicated to wine service? Sommelier (pronounced saw-muhl-YAY.)
· Is there a fear of wine and what is it called? Yes, there is a name: oenophobia.
· What wine goes with Salmon? I like a dry rosé or a Blanc de Blanc Champagne (made purely from Chardonnay grapes.)
· How many ounces of wine are in a glass? – Depends on the size of a glass. A serving is 5 ounces.
· Can wine get you drunk? Yes, but it varies person to person. The Italians say if you are feel like you are drinking too much, you are probably not eating enough!
Questions to Ask When Wine Tasting at a Winery/Vineyard
· What is the history of this vineyard/Winery?
· Which grapes are grown at this vineyard?
· How are the wines fermented?
· What grapes (varietals) are used in your wines? Recommended food pairings?
With these questions as a start, you may discover that the winery has early beginnings with other grapes that are not grown now. Did they become out of fashion? Did they find other varietals that work better in the climate? How has the current climate change affected their growing decisions? For most of you who are wine geeks, here is an interview I did with Richie Allen, Winemaker, Rombauer Vineyards, “Rombauer Vineyards: Chardonnay Giant, But Don’t Forget the Reds.”
How are the wines fermented? Do they use native yeast? Is there oak aging? What kind of oak? French or American? Do they ferment their white wines at a lower temperature to help retain freshness and aromatic qualities? Do you make blends of either white or red grapes/wines?
Finally, what are the optimal food pairings with these wines? Ask about pairing for both casual (pizza, tacos, hamburgers) as well as a fine dining meal pairing.
Questions for a Sommelier or Wine Director at a Restaurant
· Can you recommend a good value wine for the choices of dinner we are making?
· Can you offer me a sample of the wine first (if it is by the glass)?
· I love Pinot Noir in the US, but I want to try Burgundy. Can you suggest a well-priced Burgundy?
· I love Cabs from Napa Valley, but I want to try Bordeaux. Can you suggest a good mid-price Bordeaux?
· I am in a Chardonnay rut. Can you suggest another similar-bodied white wine?
Wine Questions from Speaking and Writing Engagements
I gave a speech at a DAR Meeting, McKinney, Texas (Daughters of the American Revolution, for all you non-Gilmore Girls fans. FYI, I am a DAR.) I thought the topic was worthy for the DAR ladies: Thomas Jefferson and Wine. It was all about several factors of his love of wine: his large wine collection at the White House; the vineyards at his home at Monticello, Virginia; and his ambassadorship to France visiting many French wine regions.
The Q&A session at the end surprised me. No questions about Thomas Jefferson! Instead, the main question was, “How long can I keep an open bottle of wine before it goes bad?” My answer, “Well, I rarely have an open bottle left ... but seriously, if I want to only drink one special glass of wine, I use my Coravin. That way I can safely enjoy an aging bottle of wine. I also use some wine stoppers called Repour if I want to the bottle to last several weeks. I put wine in the refrigerator to slow the spoiling. And, yes, you can also freeze wine. This question scenario happened several times, so I am more prepared and sometime bring my Coravin along to the speaking engagement.
Delicious Summer Wine Recommendations
2022 Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc, North Coast California, $16
James Suckling, 90 Points – This is one of the wines I count as my “house wine.”
2021 Lagar da Condesa O Fillo da Condesa, Albariño from Rias Baixas, Spain, $16
James Suckling, 90 Points
2020 Clos des Lunes Lune d’Argent Bordeaux White Blend, France, $20
2021 is James Suckling, 92 Points
Chateau De Berne Inspiration Cotes de Provence Rosé 2021, Provence, France, $22
Wine Enthusiast, 92 Points
2021 Stoller Dundee Hills Pinot Noir , Willamette Valley, Oregon, $29
James Suckling, 91 Points
Billecart-Salmon Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Champagne, France, $105
Wine Enthusiast, 94 Points
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