Al interviews our food and wine consultant, Rob Wade, to answer these questions and understand what is really important when buying and drinking wine
Rob holds the WSET level 3 award in wines and spirits, and in 2012 was awarded the Magnum d’Or by the Champagne Academy.
Al: I have got a question for you that I have always wanted to know the answer to know the answer to. Are price and the label you see a guide to the quality of the wine?
Rob: Yes and No. If you have got nothing else to go on then the more expensive wine, generally speaking, should be the better quality wine. The best thing you can do is to spend the most money you can but on a wine from a cheaper region. So if you spend £10 on a bottle from the Cotes du Rhone region, you will always get a better bottle than if you spend £10 on a Burgundy.
Al: Apparently, I am supposed to be smelling leather there! Is that really possible?
Rob: Yeah it is. It’s not very strong and it doesn’t smell exactly like leather but it’s the closest smell you could associate with it. Whatever you taste in the wine is what’s there for you and everyone’s different
Al: Does wine need to breath?
Rob: No, most wines don’t need to breath but some do. Some give off a lot more flavour and open up really nicely when they’ve had a bit of exposure to the air
Al: So, if I needed a wine to breath, would I just pull the cork out a bit early?
Rob: No, it doesn’t breath in the bottle at all. You’ve got all that wine and then just a tiny bit of exposure to the air at the top. If you really want to let the wine breath, the best thing to do is to pour it into the glass, give it a swirl, drink it slowly and give it a bit of time