By Virginia Switzer
Updated July 29, 2009
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I just returned from a long, relaxing weekend in the Napa Valley area and I’m still trying to sortthrough all the wonderful information I found while visiting numerousvineyards and cellars. My family and I stayed in Yountville, a quaint town with fantastic culinarycuisine located in the middle of wine country. I wanted to share a few basictips I discovered in Wine 101.

Five Wine Tips for Dummies… like myself

1. When you have a freshly poured glass of wine in front ofyou don’t start swirling a swishing it around. Let it sit for a second then takea little whiff around the middle of the glass. Swirl it a bit and smellagain. The aromas are completely different. It’s quite unique.

2. Try to nibble on a little bite of cracker or sip somewater in between the different wine selections. This will help cleanse your palateso you can fully enjoy the next wine.

3. Open a bottle of wine at least 30 minutes before youserve to guests. This will give it a little time to breath.

4. Unless you have awine refrigerator storing wine in the kitchen is a big “no no.” All the energyand temperature fluctuation can ruin a good bottle. Look for a closet in themiddle of your house.

5. If you open a bottle of red and the smell doesn’t matchthe taste then it’s bad. But don’t just throw it out make red wine vinegar!