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WINE 101 BY AURORA CELLARS

Common Wine Questions

At Aurora Cellars, situated in the scenic landscape of Lake Leelanau, Michigan, we believe that enjoying wine is all about understanding its rich history, diverse types, and intricate production methods. To help you unravel the world of wine, we’ve compiled a handy FAQ guide that should answer some of your pressing questions.

Aurora Cellars Wine

What are Some Popular Red Wine Types?

Red wine also presents a vast variety, from light and fruity to bold and tannic. Some popular red wine types include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Blaufränkisch and Zinfandel. These wines are often characterized by their rich flavors, varying from fruity to spicy. At Aurora Cellars, our selection of red wines, like our 2018 Cabernet Franc and 2021 Pinot Noir, offer a taste of Lake Leelanau, Michigan in every sip.

Is Red Wine Good for Your Health?

In moderation, red wine has been associated with certain health benefits, such as improved heart health and reduced risk of heart disease. This is primarily due to the presence of antioxidants like resveratrol. However, excessive consumption can have negative health effects. Always drink responsibly!

What are the Characteristics of Blaufränkisch Wine?

Blaufränkisch is a dark-skinned variety of grape originating from Central Europe. Wines made from Blaufränkisch are typically deep in color, with flavors and aromas of dark berry fruits, pepper, and sometimes a hint of licorice. They often have a bright acidity and moderate tannins. Our award-winning Blaufränkisch is produced from estate grown Lemberger and with strong aromatics of blueberry reduction and cracked black pepper, making it an exciting food pairing with wild game or lamb dishes.

What Is Rosé Wine, and How Is a Bottle of Rosé Made?

Rosé wine is crafted from red grape varieties and gets its pink hue from the skins of the grapes, but the contact is much shorter than for red wines. This results in a lighter, often fruitier wine. Our award-winning Brut Rosé is a testament to the finesse of rosé wine production.

Why are Some Rosés Sweet and Others Dry?

The sweetness of rosé depends on when the fermentation process is halted. If fermentation is stopped early, residual sugars remain, giving the wine a sweeter profile. On the other hand, if fermentation is allowed to complete, most sugars are consumed, resulting in a drier wine.

At What Temperature Should a Rosé Wine Be Served?

Rosé wines are best served chilled, typically between 45-55°F (7-13°C).

What Are the Basic White Wine Types?

White wine comes in a variety of styles ranging from light and zesty to rich and creamy. Some of the popular types of white wine include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Blanc. At Aurora Cellars, we pride ourselves on our array of exquisite white wines. Try our award-winning 2021 Grüner Veltliner or our 2022 Sauvignon Blanc, which was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2023 TEXSOM Awards.

Is White Wine Sweet or Dry?

White wine can be both sweet or dry, depending on the grape variety and the winemaking process. For instance, dry Chardonnay has minimal residual sugar, while some Rieslings can be very sweet.

What Type of White Wine is the Smoothest?

Chardonnay aged in oak barrels tends to be smooth and buttery, often described as having a velvety or creamy texture.

What Is Sparkling Wine, and How Is a Bottle of Sparkling Made?

Sparkling wine is made by inducing a secondary fermentation in the bottle, leading to the creation of bubbles. Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that specifically comes from the Champagne region in France. We use the traditional method of making sparkling wine, similar to the process used in Champagne, for our Blanc de Blanc, which has won a Gold Medal in the 2023 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

What is the Process of Bottling Sparkling Wine?

Bottling sparkling wine involves a meticulous process known as disgorgement. The wine, after secondary fermentation in the bottle, is chilled to freeze the sediment formed (usually in the neck of the bottle). The cap is then removed, and the pressure within the bottle forces out the frozen sediment plug, leaving behind clear sparkling wine. This process is used in the creation of our Blanc de Noir.

What's the Best Way to Open a Bottle of Sparkling Wine?

To open sparkling wine safely, chill the bottle, remove the foil, and wire cage, hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, grasp the cork, and slowly twist the bottle while holding the cork stationary. This will allow the cork to gently release, preventing any accidents or spillages.

How Do You Pick a Good Sweet Wine?

When picking a sweet wine, consider the grape variety, the region it’s from, and the winemaker’s reputation. Look for balanced wines where the sweetness is complemented by acidity, ensuring the wine isn’t overly cloying. Check out the sweet wines we offer at Aurora Cellars.

What Foods Should You Pair with a Sweet Wine?

Sweet wines pair beautifully with desserts like fruit tarts, chocolate, and cheesecake. They can also complement spicy dishes or salty cheeses, providing a lovely contrast.

What Does it Mean When a Wine is Described as 'Award-Winning'?

Wine awards are given by various competitions and organizations based on a wine’s quality, as judged by wine professionals. An award-winning wine, like our Jefferson Cup-winning Brut Rosé or our Gold Medal-winning Blanc de Blanc, has been recognized as exceptional by industry experts. Check out all the award-winning wines at Aurora Cellars.

What's the Significance of Wine Bottle Sizes?

Wine bottle sizes can range from the standard 750ml to larger formats. Larger bottles are not just for show; they are believed to age wine more slowly and potentially improve its quality. Explore our collection of standard and Magnum wine bottles for a fitting selection for any occasion.

What is the Best Way to Store Wine?

Wine should be stored on its side (to keep the cork moist), in a cool, dark, and humid environment, ideally in a wine cellar or wine fridge. Stable temperatures around 55°F (13°C) are ideal.

Should I Decant Wine Before I Drink It?

Decanting can help aerate the wine, allowing it to express its flavors and aromas more fully. It’s particularly beneficial for older wines, which might have sediment, and robust red wines that can benefit from oxygen exposure.