Ask a Patch Pro: Wine

Who's thirsty? Ryan Sadowski of The Wine Shop and Duane Wienke of The Liquor Barrel are here to answer all of your questions about wine.

The world of wine can be complicated.

Enthusiasts who study the subject for years may still ask themselves if they are indeed an "expert."

But not to worry, we have asked a couple of local wine aficionados to make things easier by answering your questions.

Ryan Sadowski is the owner of , a specialty retail store in Minnetonka. Wine has been a passion of his for the past 15 years, and he has traveled and studied to increase his knowledge of wine. Sadowski took several courses at the Culinary Institute in Napa Valley, completing Levels 1 and 2 of Wine Fundamentals through the International Sommeliers Guild, and he is currently enrolled in the Sommelier Diploma Program.

Sadowski has also completed the Level 1 course through the Court of Master Sommeliers, along with countless hours of research and education to pursue his passion.

Duane Wienke opened 25 years ago in Golden Valley. Wienke is a wine enthusiast and leads Golden Valley's Wine Society, a group that he often partners with to do wine tastings in his store. Liquor Barrel carries wine from all around the world.

So go ahead and ask away! Leave your questions in the comments area below, and our Patch Pros will check back regularly to answer them.

Liquor Barrel September 06, 2012 at 11:08 PM
The Australian wines that tend to be middle to low priced are usually pretty fruity without long lingering finishes. There are defiantly higher quality Australian wines out there but they will not have the same characteristics of some of the high quality wines you find from other regions. For example: An Australian Cabernet Sauvignon compared to a California Cabernet is going to be much lighter in body and will not have a long lingering finish. Even though they have had some bad press in the past, like Ben had said, you can still find quality for great everyday value. Good question!
Liquor Barrel September 06, 2012 at 11:09 PM
I would love to see Minnesota wines succeed. At this time I’ve seen the cost of bottling, and producing make Minnesota wines not as cost effective as wines from other regions. Not having consistent a weather environment, makes it hard for Minnesota winemakers to continuously create great wines. It is an expensive issue for winemakers and until the market increases enough to have good turn over, this could be an ongoing issue. I have had some awesome Marquette wines from Minnesota and we are excited to see more of it on our shelves!
Ryan Sadowski September 07, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Thanks for the question Chris, as far as true corks go they have definitely seen a decline in their usage over the past 10-15 years. Why you may ask? There is always talk about a cork shortage, if you didn't know corks are made from the bark of a cork tree, over 50% of cork trees are in Portugal. There seems to be a debate over why more wineries are using either synthetic corks or screw caps, some claim its prevents "corked" wine, others say it's better for the environment, others say it's more economical and the most popular idea floating around is that there is a cork tree shortage. My belief is that each idea probably has some merit. I truly do not believe there is a cork tree shortage. The bark is used only, it is not necessary to cut down the tree to harvest the cork. I think the economics is the true driving force, which is fine. I feel like the US market has accepted it. The main duty of a cork is to allow air to reach the wine at such a slow rate as to mellow the tannins and to allow the wine to develop. Screw caps and synthetic corks are non-porous, so no air is allowed to reach the wine, which is great for a young wine that is to be drunk young. Many people love how easy it is to open a screw cap wine. My thoughts are that true corks are here to stay. The wine industry is well steeped in tradition, especially the old world producers. As long as the wines that need aging have real corks, everything will be great. -Ben (Wine Shop staff)
Mark Wackerfuss September 08, 2012 at 06:28 PM
"What , me worry? "... Don't know if I want to be seen as a "regular" at the local wine shop, although it appears you are a frequent customer. :0)
Jennifer September 10, 2012 at 03:05 PM
If you are searching for another good wine option by Woodbury - try Swirl in Afton, great selection, service, prices and food


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