Ask the Patch Pro: Experts Answer All Your Questions About Wine

Our panel of experts are waiting in the comments to answer all your questions about wine in the latest installment of Ask the Patch Pro.

It's time for another edition of , where each week we tackle a different topic and open up the comments section for questions. Our team of experts stop in to help you out and answer your questions.

This week we're talking about wine. What types of wine are sweetest? Which ones pair best with certain foods? How long should you let red wines breathe?

Whether you're planning a party or just want to learn more about one of your favorite drinks, Patch wants to help you get your questions answered. But we needed some help.

We don't have the answers to those (and your) questions, but not to worry. We've compiled a team of experts to help us out. Meet the experts/wine enthusiasts:

Got a question for our experts? Ask below!

Tamara Duncan September 14, 2012 at 05:37 PM
What's the worst mistake I can make that will mark me as a wine newbie?
Scott Sutter September 14, 2012 at 05:47 PM
An example of a wine newbie comment would be to characterize all white wines as "Chardonnays". Remember that Chardonnay is a type of grape (a very popular one!) and there are many types of white wine grapes, such as: Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Vignoles, Vidal Blanc etc.
Scott Sutter September 14, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Brian, wine pros do have the ability to pick up on certain nuances (aroma, mouth feel etc) that the occasional wine drinker does not. You can find some great wines for $20-$25. Look for a good year from a reputable wine region and a good producer and you will be all set. I'm partial to a nice little cab from Argentina called Crios. You can pick up for $15 and it tastes like a $30 bottle! If you are going to spend the dough on an expensive bottle, make sure that you follow my advice.
Will Stampley September 16, 2012 at 09:23 PM
True to your question, there are things that a person will not notice in expensive wines unless they've been taught (or self-taught) to look for them. That said, where the line is for any given person as to when they will stop being able to tell the change in wine based on its price can vary wildly by person and by type of wine. Everyone's palate is different. Yours might be at $50 like you said, or it could be near $80. Wine, like many luxuries, has a steep curve for price/improvement. The difference between an $8 bottle of supermarket wine and a $25 bottle from a decent winery is huge. The difference between an $50 dollar bottle and a $75 dollar bottle is usually not as drastic. As the price keeps going up and up, you're getting "less" in return, most of the time. Like Scott said below, there are lots of great wines in the $20 range that even wine 'pros' enjoy. I just got back from a week in Sonoma/Napa and many of the bottles I brought back were under $30 (including my favorite from the week).
Will Stampley September 16, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Replying here to Tamara's question... The vast majority of wine enthusiasts are more than willing to share what they know about wine and spread the hobby, especially with people who are just getting started in their love of wine or even people who aren't that interested in the long term and are just trying to figure out which bottle they should have with their next meal. As such, in my opinion, the biggest 'mistake' you can make is to pretend that you're anything other than an interested newbie because it will make people less likely to want to help. Ask questions and you'll rapidly be ushered from the newbie status.


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