The cheat’s guide to total wine snobbery

  • Share this story
The cheat's guide to total wine snobbery

There’s no such thing as a stupid question but, when it comes to wine, no-one wants to risk sounding like an idiot. So raise a glass to Platter’s for publishing this handy book that asks – and answers – all those questions for you.

To what level should you fill a wine glass?
It’s fine to fill it up to the level you want. But there are many reasons not to over fill your glass, including the risk of spillage. Wine can be a shy beast and some wines “come out” of the glass a bit over time and with some room to move – they basically show more of themselves if they have space in the glass. So give them room. Pour to about four centimetres below the rim. And twist the bottle as you lift it to impress your guests. (Fewer drips.)

Must I change glasses when I serve a new wine? Not every time. If you’re drinking white and open another bottle of a similar blend, you can keep the same glass. If you are about to drink a red, keep the same glass as it’ll overpower the white you had earlier. However, if you tried a red first and now want to switch to white, use a fresh glass. Similarly, if you have a very special wine, you will want a clean glass so that nothing messes with the flavour.

How can I keep bubbly after I’ve opened it? Urban legend has it that inserting a teaspoon into the neck of an unfinished bottle of bubbly and keeping it in the fridge will keep it fizzy. Various myth- busting sites have reported different results about this, with a few saying it works for at least a day because the cold metal of the spoon cools the air faster, making it denser and preventing gas from escaping. Others say it makes absolutely no difference. We say finish the bottle, but if you really can’t, invest in a proper bubbly stopper and keep for another day or so.

What’s the difference between Shiraz and Syrah? Same same, but slightly different. It’s one of those jokes in wine, laughing at someone who proclaims, “I hate Shiraz, but I love a good Syrah.” Most of the time someone making a statement like this would look like a bit of a fool because Shiraz and Syrah come from the same grape so technically they are the same, right? Sort of. Shiraz is typically what New World winemakers call the wine. Shiraz from the New World is generally fruity, bold and “in-your-face”. When a New World winemaker believes they’ve made a style of Shiraz more like the French version, they tend to call it Syrah. French Syrah is usually less big, bold and obviously fruity. Rather, it’s peppery and lean, like a weathered old farm chicken.

Learn more at

Psst! For four days only, get 20% off any two still wines at Woolworths, plus an extra 10% off when you buy a case of 6 online. In-store offer valid from 14 – 17 June 2018. Online offer valid from 13 – 16 June 2018. T&C apply.

Includes all still wines and boxed wines. Excludes sparkling wine and champagne. Alcohol not for sale to persons under the age of 18. While stocks last. Offer valid on full-priced items only.
In-store offer valid from 14 – 17 June 2018. Online offer valid from 13 – 16 June 2018. The extra 10% discount for online wine by the case is limited to the Western Cape and Gauteng only and valid for 6 bottles of the same wine. Please note: as not all stores carry the same ranges, offers may not be available in all stores. Subject to availability. Ts and Cs apply.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

Social Media

You might be interested in...