Dummies For Wine

Volume 1 – The White Stuff

I got a case of wine for my husband…
Best trade I ever made.

It’s no secret that the Sisters love their liquor, and wine is definitely numero uno. You’d think we’d be experts by now, but we don’t get hung up on the highfalutin’ details. I’m tasting grapes and alcohol. Pilgrimages to Napa Valley and the Okanagan are fruitful, and a mecca for wine lovers. I soak up the lingo like a sponge, yet can never remember a fucking thing. Sip happens. At least I’ve learned to swirl the vino around my mouth instead of sending it directly to the back of my throat.

It all began with magnums of Baby Duck, Spumante Bambino, and Lonesome Charlie. This Strawberry Angel had horns to keep her halo on straight. Screw tops were a helluvalot easier than pushing half a cork into the bottom of the bottle. Boxed wines were cheap and informal for piss-ups where quantity trumped quality. Budgets and benchmarks were low, limiting choices to impure whitesserved in red solo cups.


I drink wine because I don’t like to keep things bottled up. The seasons dictate what I’m pouring. A crisp Sauv Blanc breathes new life into a warm spring day. For hot summer nights that call for something sweet, I slip into a slinky Riesling. An oaky Chardonnay compliments fall sweater season. As the snow flies, a fireplace and a robust Malbec warm my soul.

I didn’t become an aficionado a.k.a. wino until my 30’s, when it served as a life preserver throughout the baby and toddler years. I’m told these were the best years of my life. I consider myself a specialist by proxy of the long and winding trail of empty bottles. There is a sisterhood amongst wine drinkers. I am woman, hear me pour. A nice glass is perfectly acceptable on your own, but it tastes better with your favourite bitches. So make like a corkcicle and chill. 


The Fine Details

How long does wine keep:

White wine re-corked and placed in a refrigerator will keep for two to four days (this was a shocking discovery to us, as we have drank wine that is dangerously close to becoming salad dressing). Red wine, when refrigerated, fares better than white and can last for up to 1 week. Remove from the fridge one hour before imbibing.

How many calories are in a glass of wine?

  • 120 calories in a medium glass of red wine,
  • 108 calories in a medium glass of white wine,
  • 113 calories in a medium glass of champagne.


Ways to chill a bottle in 20 minutes or less:

Putting ice and salt in a bucket will chill white wine or Champagne faster than refrigerating.
Wet a clean dish towel and wrap it around your bottle, then pop it in the freezer.
Keep frozen grapes in your freezer for added crispness.

What is the ideal temperature for wine?

Whites: Fridge cold. The lighter the wine, the colder it can be. Oaked whites are better warmer.
Sparkling: Ice cold, put bottle in freezer one hour before opening.
Rich Reds (Cab Sauv, Shiraz, Bordeaux, Merlot): Slightly cooler than room temperature.
Fruity Reds (Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Burgundy): Chill for 30 minutes before opening.
Dessert wine: Varies, but recommend refrigerating and remove one hour before opening.


Sangria Wine Rack

 Mellow YellowAvec Fromage Sexiness
Prosecco/SparklingCashmereTriple Crème, Camembert, Gorgonzola Bubbly
RieslingSun-kissed blondeEdam, Gouda, ColbySweet
Pinot GrigioCandlelight Ricotta, Asiago, Mozzarella Easy
Sauvignon BlancAmber alertParmesan, Gruyere, Sharp CheddarSmoky
ChardonnayMorning urineBrie, Goat, Cambozola Rich

Recommended tunes you should have on your iPod:
Deana Carter ✦ Strawberry Wine
Jess Moskaluke ✸ Cheap Wine and Cigarettes
Billy Joel ✤ Scenes from an Italian Restaurant…bottle of red, bottle of white

Check out this week’s Sister Shout Out
Kensington Wine Market recommendations

Next week: Volume 2 for the Red-heads.


Join the discussion

  1. Jim Boylan

    Great commentary – use a Savino to extend the life of leftover wine – what is leftover wine????

  2. Val MacLean

    Exactly Jim, this new knowledge that there's a shorter shelf life will help me bring my A game every time I open a bottle!

  3. Verna Hucman

    This was very helpful! Unfortunately there is a bottle in my fridge that will have to go. 😛

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