Q & A with the Winemakers
Q & A: ASK THE WINEMAKERS
Because of the inquiries we receive regularly from you about our wines, foods, and famous South Coast Hospitality, we’ve put together a section here to answer some of them so you all can enjoy. Better still, we’ve added a special page to our web site where you can actually ask your questions and provide your feedback to our winemakers and chefs. Mark this page as a Favorite and then give us your questions when they arise. We'll write you back AND possibly put you in print. Meanwhile, here’s the selection of favorite questions we felt might best help you with your busy holiday entertaining needs.
My parents aged a bottle of wine when I was born so we could enjoy it when I turned 21. I want to do the same for my daughter. Do you recommend a certain wine that will age for many years? - Chris
A: Dear Chris:In response to your question about saving a wine for your daughter.
Q: What pairs well with your Extra Dry Sparkling & Brut Sparkling?
Q: I have a bottle of South Coast Winery Black Jack Port. Once it is opened, how long will it hold? Should I refrigerate it once opened?
A: Obviously you want your guests to have a good time, and if there are any “leftovers” you can always serve them the next day with few to no complaints. The average bottle of wine is 750 milliliters. This equates to about 25 ounces. Figure most wineglasses to hold around 6 to 8 ounces. Since most people don’t fill a wine glass to the top and then walk around the party sloshing it all over themselves, you can plan for about 5 glasses per bottle. Most people start to slow down their consumption after about 2 to three glasses. Thus by using some simple algebra and Pythagorean’s theorem, you can calculate a party of (8) X 3 glasses = 24 glasses. Divide that by the 5 glasses per bottle and that leaves you needing almost 5 bottles. Count on the “sloshage” factor (about 0.345 ounces per glass served) and your crazy uncle’s knack for sneaking a bit extra when no one’s looking, and 6 to 7 bottles should do the trick. Again, leftovers are always welcome.
Q: What’s the best temperature to serve my wine?
A: Everyone seems to have a different idea about what is best for which wine they are drinking. Many people prefer sparkling wine ice cold, which is great for keeping the bubbles in the wine, but the colder temperatures tend to deaden the nerve receptors on the palette, thus not allowing for all the flavors to be perceived. Likewise, the aromatics of a wine can be lessened and the full bouquet is then not realized either. So, rule of thumb, cellar temperature is best----which is about 52 degrees Fahrenheit, (if you have a cellar that goes about 50 feet into the ground, otherwise about 20 minutes in the fridge can get you there). This temperature will allow for white wines and red wines to show their stuff, and not come across with too much chill to swill. Many people will find the wine warm, if they are use to drinking ice cold whites, rosés or sparklings, but think of all the enjoyment they would have been missing. With red wines, this slight chill gives the palette a chance to “pass” a few of the tannins and the red wine will not seem as tannic or bitter.
Q: How do I know which wine to serve? We are having cocktail weenies in BBQ sauce, deviled eggs and smoke salmon on crackers. Guacamole and fried artichokes.
A: Well, with an eclectic menu, a few choices would be wise. Many people have favorites, ie. white, red, sweet, dry. The real secret with pairing food and wine, is that the wine should complement the food’s flavor and give some release to what the food is showing. By that I mean for instance, hot spicy salsa laden foods tend to work well with lighter wines that have a bit of residual sugar, subtle tartness and little to no tannins. This style helps to cut through the heat and spice. Foods with a bit of grease---that is something fried or has meat, work better with wines that have a bit of weight. Something like a sausage roll would pair nicely with a Syrah or Merlot, unless it is a spicy sausage roll and then an off dry Rosé would be better suited. White wines pair with cheeses very nicely, or even some types of dip. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier are great choices here. The main thing to keep in mind is that if you have choices for the hors d' oeuvres, main course or whatever, then a selection of three or four wines would be nice as well. Remember, leftovers are not a bad thing. Unless it’s fried spam sticks with nacho cheese sauce. Not pretty, regardless of the wine.
Q: How do you deal with a day after a night of too much imbibing?
A: From time to time the question comes around about what to do when you’ve had a bit too much. Most hangover cures are not reliable, but the one thing that I have found is an ounce of prevention. Or make that several ounces. Try to drink a glass of water for every glass of wine, beer or other alcoholic concoction. The body metabolizes alcohol into aldehydic compounds which are ultimately responsible for giving you that throbbing pain in your skull the next day. Water helps to flush these compounds from the system. The other answer if you forgot to drink water along the way, is a good greasy hamburger and a cold beer the next day. Followed by a nap.