Q. What is a port-style wine?
A. The term port-style refers to sweet red dessert wines that have a composition and taste character similar to port wines made in Europe. European port wines are made by adding brandy before the wine is bottled.U.S. wines like the General Potter’s Fort from Seven Mountains Wine Cellars are termed port-style. Legally, only a wine made within the European Community can be labeled as a port.
Q. What is a sparkling wine?
A. Sparkling wines are effervescent or “bubbly” from carbon dioxide, produced naturally by yeast. Different methods can be used to retain carbon dioxide to add the bubbly texture. One way is to ferment the wine in large, tightly sealed bottles, instead of barrels or tanks that allow carbon dioxide to escape.Sparkling wines include, but are not limited to, champagnes. An example is Black Tie,a semi-dry champagne from Seven Mountains Wine Cellars.
Q. Where can I find a reference to wine terms and tasting descriptors?
A. There are many good references on the Web to general wine terms. One is Wikipedia’s Glossary of Wine Terms. Extensive lists of tasting terms are posted online as well. Wikipedia also includes a glossary of wine tasting descriptors.
Q. When I buy a bottle of wine, is it true that I need to let it age for years before it reaches its best quality?
A. In general, no. Most wines are ready to drink by the time they are made available for retail purchase.They have already been aged enough by the winemaker to have the desired flavor. Although some high-end wines are in fact made to age in the bottle before reaching their peakquality,a retailer selling those wines should also be knowledgeable enough to tell you that at the time of purchase. You will probably know it in advance if you purchase a wine that needs to be aged in-bottle.