• Why don’t wine smells always correspond to wine tastes?
Often they do match, but nose and palate are different tools. Your nose can track at least 10,000 smells, for people up a billion or more. Your taste buds are much simpler: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, savory, some combinations of those. Wine temperature affects mix—warmer wine will provide more aroma but temperature will flatten taste, especially in low acid white wines. The wineglass also makes a difference— red wine in a plastic cup will not provide much aroma, but the berry flavor will come across fine.
• If I use wine in cooking, does it eliminate alcohol?
No. If you bake, simmer, or stir-in wine for 15 minutes, 40% of the alcohol remains. Cook for an hour, 25% of the alcohol remains, cook for 2.5 hours, 5% of the alcohol remains. How much you eat of the dish also affects its effect.
• Is the bar-bet trick that the punt in an average wine bottle holds a one-ounce shot true?
Depends on the bottle, but is is true the dimple (the punt) in the bottom of most common wine bottles hold about one-ounce.
• What is the difference between Sancerre and sauvignon blanc?
Sancerre is sauvignon blanc made in Sancerre region of France’s Loire Valley. Sauvignon blanc is sauvignon blanc from everywhere else.
• What is the difference between claret and Bordeaux wine?
Claret is the name the British gave to red wines from Bordeaux starting in the 1700s. Today, claret is a generic name for Bordeaux-style wines. Bordeaux is red wine made in the Bordeaux region of France. Bordeaux-style wines are Bordeaux-style blends made everywhere else.
• What is the difference between pinot noir and Burgundy?
Burgundy is the name of a wine region in France and refers to wine made there with pinot noir grapes. The term Burgundy is supposed to be limited only to pinot noir wine made in Burgundy. Some wineries have grandfathered permission to use the noun; Gallo Hearty Burgundy is best known. Interestingly, Gallo’s product contains no pinot noir grapes. Pinot noir is the name of the grape and the name of wine made with pinot noir everywhere except Burgundy. White Burgundy is wine made in Burgundy using chardonnay grapes.
Last round: They say you can’t find happiness at the bottom of a bottle of wine. No kidding. Who has ever been happy when the wine runs out?