Wine Questions & Answers

The history of wine goes back to around 6,000 BC and is a widely consumed alcoholic veberage. Wine come in many flavors that ten to vary greatly between wineries and vineyards. It’s no wonder so many of our readers often visit our “Wine Questions & Answers” page.

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Wine Advice

The pages listed here contain general wine advice written by the AskDeb team. We will expand this section as more wine questions are submitted.

Recent Wine Related Blog Posts


The following are recent wine related blog post we feel are relevant to our readers.

How to Taste Wine

Wine is a deliciously sophisticated drink enjoyed all over the world. It invokes the concept of romance and elegance along with a little class. Wine is used for celebrations, upscale dinners, social functions, or just an evening with a special someone.

How Do You Build a Wine Cellar?

Wine collecting is usually seen as an ‘exclusive” hobby requiring vast amounts of space and an unlimited supply of cash.

Why Are the Roofs and Walls
of Wine Cellars Black?

Like any food product, wine has certain storage conditions under which it is best kept. Some of these storage conditions are a no brainer.

How Do I Know How to Pair
which Wine with Which Cheese?

The idea of pairing wine with cheese is to improve the flavor of the cheese as well as the wine. By creating a good wine pairing, the flavor profiles of the wine will pop out easier, as will the texture and flavors unique to the cheese you’ve chosen to serve.

What Should I Serve
at a Wine and Cheese Party?

My brother’s anxious voice on the other end of the telephone let me know just how serious he was about the question. He’s graduating with his PhD soon, and is having quite a soiree to celebrate.

When Is the Best Time of Year
to Visit Wine Country?

The California wine country is one of the top vacation destinations in America. From honeymoons and anniversary celebrations to graduation trips and wine tours, every year hundreds of thousands of people from around the world flock to the California wine country.

What’s the Right Way
to Open Wine Bottles?

With so many gadgets on the market these days aimed at easing the pain of opening a wine bottle, it is easy to forget that once upon a time there was just one preferred method.

Why Are Wine Bottles Stored
nn Their Sides?

Some peculiarities of the wine world can be chalked up to tradition. The storage of wine in bottles, for instance, is really a holdover from a time when glass bottles were the best storage method.

How Do You Buy Champagne Flutes?

Champagne flutes can be the trickiest wine accessory to purchase. A proper or improper glass can make or break the Champagne or sparkling wine experience.

What Are Some Things You Can Do
with Empty Wine Bottles?

Those of us with a serious wine habit find we have a stockpile of empty wine bottles — personally, I end up with 5 – 10 empty bottles per week, depending on the season. During celebration seasons, such as Christmas-New Year’s or around my birthday, I can have many more.

What Occasions Are Appropriate
for Champagne Gifts?

I ask myself this question whenever an event comes up. Some events are surefire excuses for gifting Champagne — a wedding, an anniversary, or a fancy Christmas party.

How Do You Buy Wine Glasses?

When you start to get serious about wine, you realize that the glass you drink your wine from can really influence the experience.

How Do I Start a Wine Tasting Club?

My greatest interest these days is wine — tasting, purchasing, collecting, studying . . . I want to do it all, and I want my friends and family to share in the experience.

What Is a Wine of the Month Club?

A wine of the month club is the perfect way to experience new wines without ever leaving your home.

When Did the California Wine Industry Begin?

California has a long and interesting tradition of wine making, or viticulture. The wine industry in California claims its beginning in 1769, when the first grape vines were planted at Mission San Diego, by the Franciscan missionary Father Junipero Serra.

How Can I Make a Wine Gift Basket?

If you have someone special in your life who loves wine, a gift basket featuring a few bottles makes a perfect present.

What Is a Wine Auction?

A wine auction is exactly what the name implies — an auction held in the interest of selling wine. What sets a wine auction apart from some other auctions is that wine auctions tend to deal in extremely valuable (“auction quality”) wines.

What Is the California Wine Club?

Formed in 1990 by wine lovers Bruce and Pam Boring, the California Wine Club is a well known wine of the month club dedicated to digging through the thousands of labels produced in California every year and providing the best of the best shipped right to consumer’s doors.

What Is Wine Spectator?

Wine Spectator is a magazine and online resource for the world of wine. While the main focus of the magazine is almost exclusively on wine reviews and tasting notes.

How Do You Gift Wrap a Wine Bottle?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m pressed for a gift idea. A wedding or birthday party springs up that I’ve forgotten about, or maybe I’ve just been invited to an event on a whim.

How Do You Remove Wine Labels
from Bottles ff Wine?

An excellent bottle of wine is one of my true joys in life. There is nothing more relaxing to me after a hard day of work than to meet up with a good friend and a bottle of one of my favorite wines.

What Is a Syrah Wine?

Americans are drinking more wine now than a decade ago. The gradual increase in wine drinking may have something to do with our health concerns — after all, it is widely believed that a few glasses of red wine a week have a significant heart health benefit.

Who Attends Wine Tours, and Why?

There are any number of events and tourist destinations geared toward wine lovers. From winery visits and wine tastings to wine lover’s cruises and tours of wine regions, people who appreciate wine have a variety of options when it comes to entertainment that caters to their tastes.

Is Home Wine Making Legal
or Illegal?

There are many benefits to making your own wine at home. For starters, it is a fun process with a potentially delicious and cost effective end result. Another benefit for the wine enthusiast is that you can learn to create wines that will perfectly suit your taste.

How Do You Make Your Own Wine?

In most states in America, it is completely legal to make a restricted amount of wine right in your own home. Not only is homebrewing a popular hobby but it is not as difficult a task as some might think, and does not have to be a particularly expensive hobby.

Why Is Napa Wine So Expensive?

Friends of mine ask me many wine related questions. Some of them have no answer — “Why do some corks get tainted and others don’t?” or “What is the best wine with a steak?”

Wine Tips

Whether you’re looking for reds, whites or blush our wine tips will guide you through the wine selecting process and hopefully make it a simple and fun task.

When a recipe calls for dry white wine as an ingredient what type of white wine do you suggest?

I would use Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc or a good, dry, white Vermouth.

What is the proper temperature for wine to be served?

Rich tasting white wines like Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris should be served near cellar temperature – around 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Light, crisp wines like a dry Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, rose and sparkling wines should be served a bit cooler. Red wines are best served room temperature.

If you have refrigerated your wine, let it sit out at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes for best results.

How can I pick the right wine to compliment the food being served?

Pick a wine that you enjoy since it is common to have wine before and after the meal as well. The best rule of thumb is to use common sense. If the meal is light, pair it with a light wine. If the meal is rich, go for a heavier wine. Here is a listing of wines to help you with your choices.

Selected dry and off-dry white wines, lightest to weightiest:

  • Soave, Orvieto, Pinot Grigio
  • Off-dry Riesling
  • Dry Riesling
  • Muscadet
  • Champagne and other dry sparkling wines
  • Chenin Blanc
  • French Chablis and other unoaked Chardonnays
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • White Bordeaux
  • White Burgundy
  • Pinot Gris (Alsace, Tokay)
  • Gew├╝rztraminer
  • Barrel-fermented or barrel-aged Chardonnay (United States, Australia)

Selected red wines, lightest to weightiest:

  • Valpolicella
  • Beaujolais
  • Dolcetto
  • Rioja
  • California Pinot Noir
  • Burgundy
  • Barbera
  • Chianti Classico
  • Barbaresco
  • Barolo
  • Bordeaux
  • Merlot (United States)
  • Zinfandel
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (United States, Australia)
  • Rh├┤ne, Syrah, Shiraz