frequently asked questions
Q: Which wine ages longest?
A: Wine is a living beverage that changes with age. Most often Port will live the longest because of its high sugar content and 18-22% alcohol content.
Q: What are the recommended serving temperatures for red and white wines?
A: To maximize the flavor of wine, the appropriate serving temperature of whites should be 45-55 degrees and the appropriate serving temperature of reds should be 65-70 degrees. Often you hear that red wines should be served at room temperature. This is not Texas room temperature in the summer time. It is really referring to cellar temperature which is about 65 degrees. Never hesitate to put your bottle of red in the refrigerator for 20 minutes prior to serving.
Q: How does the Texas heat affect grapes?
A: Grapes love heat. It is what give the grape its sugar and flavor intensity. Texas has hot days and cool nights which is perfect for growing grapes. Most people think of Texas as too hot to grow grapes but in reality cold is the challenge. It is interesting to note that the heat wave of 2003 in France was declared the vintage of the century because heat creates big wines.
Q: What wines are best with veggies and dips?
A: Wines like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewurztraminer are great vegan wines. They make the flavors of vegetables and herbs pop. These would be excellent cocktail wines with veggies and dip.
Q: What wine goes with Chocolate?
A: Chocolate comes in many flavors and textures. Milk chocolate goes beautifully with White Ports and late harvest wines. Darker chocolates go with darker ports and fruitier reds. The darkest chocolates and spicy chocolates go well with big ports and big reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel.
Q: How can wine be used in cooking to enhance food?
A: Wine is a perfect ingredient for cooking. It has great flavor and texture which allows for a healthier reduction of salt and sugar. In addition, it aids in creating the perfect food and wine pairing. If you use the same wine in the dish that you are serving at the table, you have created a natural synergy of flavors.
Q: Do flavors from barrels affect wine and food pairings?
A: Food and Wine pair best based on weights. The food should not overwhelm the wine and the wine should not overwhelm the food. Any flavor that the barrel adds to the wine increases the flavor weight of the wine. For example, if I have a toasty barrel that produces wine with a smoky character, it can handle grilled or smoked foods much more easily.
Q: Are there any serious "do not do's" when pairing wine with food?
A: There are no wine and food police. You should drink whatever you like to drink with whatever you like to eat. The important thing to remember that there are pairings that make you think WOW and those are the ones we want to maximize and duplicate in our lives.
Q: Where is Messina Hof distributed?
A: Messina Hof is available throughout Texas, and in Louisiana, Nevada, and Colorado. It is also available through direct shipment in many states. If you have a question about a specific state, don't hesitate to call our guest center and they can update you on the allowed destinations. The name Messina Hof is becoming more widely known each year. We just interviewed a young man who lived in Texas and wanted to work for us. When asked why he wanted to work at Messina Hof, he stated that when he was visiting wineries in Oregon, they recommended Messina Hof as the winery in Texas to call.
Q: What are Messina Hof's sweetest wines?
A: Messina Hof makes several sweet wines. It is easy to determine the sweeter wines by looking at our labels. If the wine label has a green or black stripe across the front, the wine is sweet. Green stripes mean sweet and fruity. Black stripes mean dessert wines. Green stripe wines include: Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Muscat Canelli, Gewurztraminer, Sweet Sangria, and White Zinfandel. Black stripe wines include: All of the ports, Angel, and Glory. In addition, we make a line of the wines called Tradition Cellars. Every wine in this entire line is sweet. These wines include: Sweet Cabernet Sauvignon, Sweet Chardonnay, and Sweet Mama Rosa Rose', and Sweet Blush.
Q: What % of red wine vs. white wine do you make? What are your best sellers?
A: Messina Hof makes a wide variety of wines with an even distribution of white and red. The best sellers in the broad market are Riesling, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Q: Does price really matter as an indicator of wine quality?
A: The price of wine is based on many criteria. How much are the grapes? How were they harvested? How long did the wine age and in what? What is the supply? What kind of medals did it win? What does the competition charge? If a wine is made from expensive high quality grapes and is aged in the best new oak for a period of years, it should be more expensive than a wine processed quickly without oak.