Paul /

I had a chance to chat with Tim Snyder, Manager of Fine Wines with Republic National Distributors to get the do’s and don’ts on wine buying and serving to save you time and money this holiday season.

Q: Top three picks, red and white?


Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Rouge 2007
St Francis Red 2007
Northstar Merlot 2006


Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Acrobat Pinot Gris 2009
Ferrari Carano Chardonnay 2008

Q: Best sparkling whites or champagnes for the New Year?

Pol Roger Brut
Poema Brut
Lamberti Prosecco

Q: Red wines; are there really some that are best served chilled?

Some lighter reds such as Pinot Noir and Beaujolais taste better with a little chill on them.  You can even serve them with salads and seafood.  They work great as a chilled apertif.

Q: Does wine-specific stemware really matter?

Yes – for example, Pinot Noir has a large amount of complex aromas.  The over-sized tulip glass works very well to capture and expand all the flavors and scents of the wine.

Q: Screw-top v. cork…are there advantages/disadvantages in regards to one over the other?

Screw-caps work well for picnics, banquets – any place where it is difficult to bring an opener or you need to serve large amounts of people.  The amount of spoilage with a screw cap as opposed to cork is actually less.  It is very good for short to moderate term storage.  Cork still works best for wines that you are laying down for many years provided they are stored properly.

Q: Wine in a box…faux pas or chic?

Chic – there are a plethora of new box wines out these days that feature specific varietals (Cabernet, Shiraz, Chardonnay, etc).  The quality of these box wines is much better than 5 years ago.  Box wine is portable, convenient, easy to store, and getting better by the day.

Q: Let us imagine that there is some leftover wine…what is the best way to store it?

Red wine – put the cork back in the bottle and leave it on the counter.
White wine – re-cork and put back in refrigerator.

Tim Snyder is based out of RNDC‘s Washington, D.C. office. You can reach him by phone 202.388.8208 or by email at tim.snyder [at] RNDC-USA [dot] com

Food Uncorked: Best Wines and Top Wine Tips From an Expert