Sommelier Q&A is a giant collection of wine questions asked by consumers,
answered exclusively by certified sommeliers.

All posts by: Maisie Lyman

How to Tell When Wine Grapes are Ready for Harvest | When are Wine Grapes Ripe for Harvest? |

How Do You Tell When Wine Grapes Are Ripe and Ready for Harvesting?


How do you know when wine grapes are ripe for harvest? What sort of testing is done to ensure that they are ripe from both a visual and scientific perspective? How do underripe and overripe grapes affect the final outcome of a wine? Does this change with vintages? Each harvest presents a daunting question: ..

How To Get Into the Wine Industry | Getting Into Winemaking |

Winemaking 101 – Part III: How To Get Into the Wine Industry?


Getting Into the Wine Industry Part 3: The Road Map We all knew this moment was coming. You’ve seen your vineyard, you’ve walked through the cellar, and now it is time. If you’re ready to take the dive and get your hands dirty (and your feet wet, to be honest) then this is your post. […]

Winemaking 101 – Part II: Fermentation — Crafting the “Juice”


The Juice We explored how wine is grown in our last discussion. Now we’ll explore how those gorgeous bunches of grapes turn from orbs of promise to barrels of wine. From red to white, sparkling to fortified, winemaking follows a fascinating process of craft and chemistry that mankind began refining ..

Winemaking 101 - Part I - Growing Vines in the Vineyard

Winemaking 101 – Part I: Growing Vines in the Vineyard


Taking the Dive: Winemaking & Wine Growing Part One: You Gotta Grow it First So, you like your bottles and glasses, and they like you back. But you want more. From pet vines (tastier than succulents, easier than orchids) to getting your hands wet in the cellar, the world of wine growing and making ..

What Does Sur Lie Mean? Sur Lie Aging Definition | Maisie Lyman

What Does ‘Sur Lie’ Mean When Aging Wine?


Sur Lie If you’ve ever found the aroma of freshly baked croissants in your glass of Champagne, then you’ve found the mysterious Sur Lie (Suhr Lee, for my fellow Americans). While this winemaking marvel happens in a great number of wines, it’s most pronounced in a classic glass of bubbles from France’s ..