Wine expertise made simple

Our Winer and Diner Editor Aleksandra  Kąckowska is sharing her wine expertise with you.

Are you stuck selecting a bottle of wine in a restaurant or as a gift? I had the same problem before I attended a wine course. I will post important tips each week separate into lessons. I will try to help you how to make a good wine choice.

Lesson number one: Wine myths debunked!

 Wine authorities are experts

Remember one thing: No one can tell you precisely about the taste of wine until they open the bottle and take a sip!

Simple rule: White wine goes with fish, red wine goes with meat!

First of all please remember that the old adage of serving red wine with red meat and white wine with fish is too simplistic. I would like you to enjoy your favourite wine and make a selection based on the “weight” and texture of the dish. There is nothing wrong in drinking red wine while eating fish, but we have to remember that its delicate flavour requires rather soft wine like Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.  If your date is ordering a steak, but enjoys white wine you can suggest a heavier one like Chardonnay.

Not all of the wines have the same alcohol content; there are full body, medium body and light body wines (full-bodied wine is the most powerful one J, above 15.5%).

Old wines are good wines

Contrary to popular belief, age isn’t everything when it comes to choosing a wine. While some bottles improve with age, not all do. Taste of a red wine improve with a bit of aging when it comes to whites they it doesn’t make a huge difference.

Red – hot, white – chilled

Do not be surprised when red wine comes a bit chilled, putting Beaujolais or Côtes du Rhône in the fridge for 30 minutes before opening gives a refreshing change.

Red wine causes more headaches than white wine.

Any alcohol can result in a headache, which is caused by Sulphur dioxide (SO2) used in winemaking, which is often blamed for the ill effects of drinking wine. In fact white
wines contain more SO2 than red once as they are more susceptible to oxygen.


Corked wine means that bacteria infiltrates the cork and gets into the wine. That is why while degustation of wine we can feel strong smell of the cork; remember that there is nothing wrong to ask a waiter about other bottle.

Champagnes don’t age well

Champagne does age well! Depending on the particular year, vintage Champagne can age especially well. The trick, though, is that Champagne demands excellent storage. If kept in a cool, dark, humid place, many bottles can age for decades, especially in the great vintages.

Experience is everything. The more wines you try, the more patterns emerge and the more you’ll be able to predict the ones that you’ll like.


Aleksandra Kąckowska


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