Wine Storage
Wine is best stored at a constant temperature no more than 72 degrees, preferably lower.  Temperature fluctuation will shorten the shelf life of your wine and in some cases ruin completely.  A garage, for instance, is not a good location as the temperature can vary too much.

Care of Your Bottles
When empty rinse well with hot tap water 2 - 3 times (do not use soap or put in the dishwasher).  Remove labels (see hints below) and shrink caps.  Let dry thoroughly and store upside down in a box lined with paper towel on the bottom to soak up any remaining moisture.  The tiniest bit of dirt or mould can ruin your wine.  Virtually all labels are now peel and stick and are best removed by simply peeling off.  Soaking them in water can cause the glue to gel and become more difficult to remove. If the labels are not peeling off nicely, fill the bottle with really hot tap water and let sit for a few minutes to loosen the glue before trying to peel off.

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Guidelines to Wine and Food Pairing
Match your wine to the strongest flavour on the plate. Balance the weight of the wine with the weight of the food. A full flavour requires a full bodied wine; a simple dish requires a simple wine. Fatty, greasy or rich dishes, need a dry wine with good acidity to clean the palate. Salty dishes need a slightly sweet wine, with full fruit flavours, and little to no tannins. Hot, spicy dishes pair well with fruity wines having refreshing acid, and food featuring cream sauces and butter require wines of good fruit with creamy character, or contrasting sharper acidity to cleanse the palate. A dessert wine should be sweeter than the dessert. Rare cooked meats need young, tannic reds, whereas well-done meats need older or fruity reds with little to no tannins.

Tartrate Crystals
Tartrate crystals, also called “Wine Diamonds”, are a natural product of wine. In Europe, these crystals are accepted as a sign that the wine is made in a natural way without over-processing.  “Wine Diamonds” are absolutely harmless, although a superficial glance can alarm people who may think that they are pieces of glass. For these crystals to form, the wine temperature has to be low. Also, the higher the alcohol content, the more likely the appearance of the crystals. Decanting is an easy way of solving the problem of “wine diamonds”. Put the wine in the refrigerator standing up for a couple of hours, the tartrate will drop to the bottom. Carefully pour it into a different container to serve. Some of our higher end wines, mostly the Cellar Craft Crushed Grape Packs, may develop tartrate crystals.

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