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WSET ® Level 2 Wine > Storage, Service & Faults > Flashcards

Flashcards in Storage, Service & Faults Deck (28)
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List some places in your home where wine should NOT be stored.

  • Kitchen, especially on top of the refrigerator
  • In direct light (sunlight or bright artificial lights)
  • Near a radiator or heating vent
  • Bathroom


What happens to wine when it is stored improperly?

  • Sparkling wines can lose their bubbles
  • Wines can taste cooked (maderized)
  • Wines can taste old/stale (oxidized)


Bottles with cork enclosures should be stored on ___.

Bottles with screw cap enclosures can be stored ___.

Cork: on their sides to keep the cork moist

Screw cap: standing up


If a bottle of wine with a cork enclosure if left to age standing up (instead of being on its side), what can happen to the cork and the wine?

The cork will dry out and shrink because it hasn't remained in contact with the wine thereby allowing unwanted oxygen into the bottle and damaging the wine.

The oxidized wine will lack freshness and taste stale, dull, and older than it should.  The wine could also turn a brown-ish color from the oxygen exposure.


What is the optimal serving temperature for sweet wines?

Well chilled, 6º - 8ºC (43º - 46ºF)


What is the optimal serving temperature for sparkling wines?

Well chilled, 6º - 10ºC (43º - 50ºF)


What is the optimal serving temperature for light- to medium-bodied whites and rosés?

Chilled, 7º - 10ºC (45º - 50ºF)

e.g. Albariño, Sancerre


What is the optimal serving temperature for medium- to full-bodied and oaked white wines?

Lightly chilled, or 10º - 13ºC (50º - 55ºF)

e.g. Sonoma Chardonnay, white Burgundy, Condrieu


What is the optimal serving temperature for light reds?

Lightly chilled or room temperature, 13º - 18°C (55º - 64°F)

e.g. Beaujolais


What is the optimal serving temperature for medium- to full-bodied reds, oaked or unoaked?

Room temperature, 15º - 18ºC (59º - 64ºF)

e.g. Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, red Bordeaux


When chilling down a bottle of wine, is it best to use just ice or an ice bath?

It's best to use an ice bath.  

If it's just ice, there are air pockets between the cubes and the bottle won't chill well or evenly; if water is added, then the entire bottle surface is in contact with the cold bath.


What is the best material for glass polishing?

Linen as it will not leave particles on the glass.


What is the optimal glass for sparkling wines?

Typically flute glasses are best for sparkling wines as they allow a continous perlage, and the small aperture helps focus gentle and subtle aromas.


What is the optimal glass size for whites and rosés?

Typically medium-sized stemware is best for whites and rosés as the smaller size can capture and focus fresh fruit characteristics and delicate aromas.


What is the optimal glass size for red wines?

Typically larger-sized stemware is best for red wines as the roomy globe allows for more of the wine to come in contact with air, and there is a larger surface area that can release aromatic molecules.


What is the optimal glass for fortified wines?

Typically a small glass (4-6oz capacity) is best for fortified wines because of their high alcohol content.  There should be enough space in the glass for sniffing and swirling.


One of the best ways to extend a wine's life after it has been opened is to put it in the ___.


Placing its original cork (or any cork) back into the neck of the bottle and keeping it in a cold, dark fridge will slow the aging/oxidizing process and prolong its life for a few days.


Name 2 wine preservation systems used to extend a wine's life after it has been opened.

Vacuum system

  • Removing air from the bottle with a pump and campatible rubber stopper

Blanket system

  • Nitrogen or Argon gas is pumped into the bottle creating a barrier between the remaining wine in the bottle and oxygen

Either can be used in addition to or instead of the fridge.


Why would you never apply direct heat to a wine to warm it up?

Because heat can damage the wine's flavors and aromatics.

If moving the wine from a cold cellar, it's best to place the bottle on your kitchen counter for a few hours to bring it up to room temperature.  Never apply direct heat to wine.


Before serving guests, you should pour yourself a taste of wine to ensure it's ready for service.

What are the 3 things to do to check the wine?

  1. Appearance: is the wine hazy?
  2. Appearance: is there anything floating in it?
  3. Aroma: does it smell the way it should?  Or, do you smell any faults (e.g. cork taint)?


Name 3 common wine faults.

  1. Cork taint
  2. Oxidation
  3. Heat damage


What causes cork taint?

What does cork taint smell like?

A chemical compound called TCA (Trichloroanisole)

Cork taint smells like musty, wet cardboard.

A wine affected by cork taint will taste as though the fruit is hiding and the flavor has dulled.


What does an oxidized wine smell like?

What happens to the appearance of an oxidized wine?

An oxidized wine's aromas will vary depending on the amount of oxygen it has been exposed to, but it includes anything from slight loss of fruitiness to complete loss of fruit.  Oxidized notes include bruised apple, almonds, honey, and caramel.

An oxidized wine will look darker than it should, possibly even amber or brown in color.


What does a wine smell like that's been damaged by heat?

A heat-damaged wine will smell old, dull, and stale, and will lack freshness and fruitiness.


When opening a bottle of still wine, how many times is the neck of the bottle wiped with a cloth?


  • First after the removal of the capsule
  • Second after the cork has been removed


When opening a bottle of sparkling wine, do you twist the cork or the bottle?

Twist the bottle

One hand remains firmly on the cork at all times after the wire cage has been loosened (but not removed), while the other hand holds the bottom of the bottle and gently twists back and forth, slowly.

The hand holding the cork must apply some pressure to control the cork as it will want to pop out quickly.  Slowly allow the cork to release by pushing back on it.  The desired sound is a slight hiss.


When decanting a wine off its sediment, should you agitate the bottle or keep it as still as possible?

What are some of the steps taken to decant a bottle of wine?

Keep it as still as possible

Removal of capsule and cork should be done as gently as possible.  Be sure to wipe the neck twice, the second time wiping inside the lip of the bottle's neck to remove any sediment.

Decanting should be done with a light source on the table and the bottle's shoulders held a few inches above the light source so you can watch for sediment as you pour.  Decanting should be done carefully; the wine should not glug-glug rapidly out of the bottle.

Once the sediment reaches the neck of the bottle, gently stop pouring and tilt the bottle back upright.


What are some of the negative impacts of alcohol?

  • Can be addictive
  • Can adversely affect health
  • Can affect behavior