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Life without a stem

Question from Charlie: What’s the deal with steamless wine glasses? My sister has asked for wine glasses for Christmas and I’m tossing up between stem or no stem…

In a nut shell: The only disadvantage of steamless wine glasses is that the wine inside the glass (especially if chilled) will heat up quicker than if you’re holding the glass by the steam. But one awesome advantage of stemless wine glasses is that you can chuck them in the dishwasher!

In a clam shell: Australia fine-glassmaker Riedel revolutionised the wine glass in 2004 with the introduction of the tumbler and wine drinkers have been divided ever since – to stem or not to stem?!? Read more

Wine has legs?

Question from Cassy: I’ve got a wino friend who goes on about the wine’s ‘legs’ whenever I’m with him. I have no idea what he’s talking about but I’m under the impression it’s got something to do with how good the wine is? What are wine ‘legs’ and why do they matter?

In a nut shell: Nooooooooooooooooo! It has nothing to do with the quality of the wine and to be perfectly honest wine ‘legs’ don’t matter at all! Whatever he’s telling you is absolute rubbish. Wine ‘legs’ (the droplets that form on the inside of the glass as you move it around) indicate a higher level of alcohol or a higher level of sweetness. That is all. Full stop!

In a clam shell: So ‘legs’ or ‘tears of the wine’ as the French call it are the droplets or streaks of liquid you see streaming down the inside of the glass after swirling it around. Read more

Drinking Champagne on a beer budget

Question from Shannon: Hi Lauren, I love Champagne but have no idea what to look for in a good drop. And why is Champagne so expensive? I’m saving at the moment and can’t afford to always pop the Dom. What do you suggest?

In a nut shell: You’re in luck! It’s hard to get a cheap Champagne (for all the reasons I’ve listed in ‘in a clam shell’) but if you know what to look out for it’s super easy to get a cheap Sparkling that tastes like Champagne! Here’s my hot tip – when buying Sparkling wine (rather than Champagne) make sure it’s made in the Traditional Method (which is the same way Champagne is made) and it will have those delicious yeasty, creamy flavours you like in the French drop. Read on because there are details below that you want to know and I’ve suggested a few delish bottles to try too.

In a clam shell: So when you said you loved Champagne I’m assuming you meant the French sparkling wine from Champagne – which you want to drink more of for less – but we all know it’s hard to get a cheap bottle of Champagne! Right? Right! Read more

Cracking a bottle and keeping it

Question from Emily: How long can I keep a bottle of open wine for?

In a nut shell: Without going into the detail I’m going to say you’ve got three days but it all depends on how you’re preserving the wine. With a few handy tricks you can keep it for around five days (max).

In a clam shell: Initially, when you crack a bottle of wine, oxygen is a good thing. It softens the flavours and opens up the aromas of the wine (and that’s why we decant wine) but then things start to get ugly. As oxidation continues the wine begins to taste unpleasant, losing fresh fruit flavours until it ultimately turns into vinegar. Read more