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Drop the Elitist Attitude but Keep the Wine Slang


Drop the Elitist Attitude but Keep the Wine Slang

If you ask us, wine is about connection and celebration. We gather and toast accomplishments, unwind from long days with close friends and gift it to show our gratitude for the ones we love. But hold up, then why is it wine is also associated with pretentious behavior and an elitist attitude? One of the big problems we see is wine language

Wine is about connection and celebration.

In our effort to keep wine a pleasurable experience for all, we bring you a breakdown of common wine slang starting the series with a free glossary of terms to help you navigate the basics of tasting wine.  Ok, time to breakdown the BS!


Wine’s sweetness comes from residual sugar (RS) that stays in the wine after the alcohol is created during fermentation. Typically, sugar is not added to wine to make it sweeter. There can be any level of sugar remaining from bone-dry (dry meaning no sugar) to super sweet.  


Andrea McBride holding red wine grapes

Acidity is what makes lemons sour and your mouth water, but it’s also what makes wines racy, vibrant and refreshing!  The acids in the grapes determine the level of acidity you detect in the wine. It’s presence is necessary to balance the overall taste, especially of sweet wines.


Andrea McBride holding red wine grapes skins at the vineyard.

Tannins are found in red wines and come mostly from the skins of red wine grapes.  You have to think of tannins as more of a feeling than a flavor. High tannins can feel mouth-drying or gritty and can create a bitter sensation in the back of your mouth. Wines that are high in tannins are also usually served with food.  Softer tannins can give richness and body to the wine.


Higher alcohol wine will have more of a “burn” as it goes over the back of your tongue. We refer to this feel as a wine being HOT! Sweeter wines (more residual sugar) tend to have lower alcohol content. 


Robin McBride drinking well balanced wine.


A wine is considered well-balanced when all of these characteristics are in harmony and do not overpower each other. It may be the last on our list, but this feeling is exactly what we seek when we are tasting wine! 


Have a #wine related question for us? Leave us a comment and check back every #WineTipTuesday on Instagram and Twitter





To Decant Or Not To Decant Red Wine…And For How Long?

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To Decant Or Not To Decant Red Wine…And For How Long?

Do you notice when you open a bottle of red wine and pour a glass, the wine gets better over time, especially the second glass (not a trick question!)? You start to notice the wine smells better, the fruit flavors become pronounced and the tannins are softer? That’s because the wine has “opened up” due to the increased contact with the air. Decanting introduces oxygen, which releases aromas and flavors in all red wine.

So how long should you decant wine?

Most tannic red wines will take about 2-3 hours and typically last 12–18 hours after being decanted.

Red Wines

  • · Zinfandel: 30 minutes
  • · Pinot Noir: 30 minutes
  • · Malbec: 1 hour
  • · Grenache Blend: 1 hour
  • · Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot: 2 hours
  • · Petite Sirah: 2 hours
  • · Tempranillo: 2 hours
  • · Sangiovese: 2 hours
  • · Syrah/Shiraz: 2–3 hours
  • · Nebbiolo: 3+ hours


Chances are you probably dropped some serious dough for an 20+ year old, dry, bottle of red wine. These types of  wines show best decanted immediately before serving. If you wait to long, all the amazing aromas and flavors would have disappeared!

What happens if you decant a wine for too long?

High levels of acetic acid (the same acid found in vinegar) increases and a repugnant, vinegar-like smell then emerges, which is a very good indicator that the wine has gone bad.

Trick of the trade: You don’t need to spend top dollar on your house party wines. Decant the cheap bottles of red before your guests come over, we promise you they will taste double the price you paid!  



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