Uncorked readers have questions.
I have answers.
My wife and I are collecting wine labels from wines we enjoy but also those with uniqueness. What is the best way to save the labels without damaging them?
The easiest and most foolproof method is to take a digital photo with your phone or a camera. But if you want to save the actual label, the process is a bit more complex. The first method is to soak the bottle in hot water with a bit of chlorinated soap for about 15 minutes. Chlorinated soap is available at winemaking-supply stores, and if the instructions on the package are followed, it will help to dissolve the glue. Then gently remove the label. For those difficult labels that soaking in hot water won’t budge, use heat. Heat an oven to 300 to 350 degrees. Then turn it off. Place the empty bottle on its side inside the oven for a few minutes until it gets hot. Using oven mitts, remove the bottle and lift a corner of the label with a knife and it should peel right off.
In what countries can we find some of the best values in wines?
There are many values to be had around the world, but Chile, Argentina and New Zealand continue to top the list. From Chile look for world-class sauvignon blanc and ripe-berry-rich cabernet sauvignon. Argentina continues to offer value especially with spicy full-bodied malbec. And New Zealand has near perfect growing conditions for sauvignon blanc.
I had this [fill in the blank] wine last night at dinner; what do you think about it?
Probably one of my most asked questions is what do I think of a wine someone just enjoyed. The simple answer is it really doesn’t matter what I think if you enjoyed it. So many wine experts create a pretentious haze about wine, but when it comes down to it wine enjoyment is all about taste and preference.
We were dining at a popular restaurant recently and were shocked by the wine service. The waiter was rude and didn’t follow service rules. What should we have done?
I understand the frustration when you are splurging not only for dinner but for the bottle of wine and leave disappointed. The keys to rating service are: the helpfulness of your server in selecting a bottle, the opening and presentation to the guests (make sure the wine is what you ordered), a small taste to be sure the wine is clean, and pour. If you feel these key elements were missing I would wait until the next day to call and ask for management and express concerns.
Keep in mind, too, that it could have just been a bad night/day for that person and your next experience will be perfection.