Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we have screw tops now, are they not inferior to corks?

Screw top closures have recently been introduced by some wine producers to combat the common problem of cork tainted wine. Indeed, natural cork provides an excellent seal, and has done for many years, especially for wines that are age worthy, and it is still under debate whether or not cork or screw top is the better in this instance. Although, to completely eliminate the problem of cork taint, wine producers are beginning to use screw top closures. "Corked" wines become apparent when the wine comes into contact with cork that has become infected with bacteria. We sell many wines with screw tops, they are proving increasingly popular, and they are also much easier to open than the traditional cork!

When should I drink my Lafite 1996?

Chateau Lafite 1996 is a remarkable wine, and was given the top score of 100 points by the American wine critic Robert Parker. So, when to drink is a big question because of the following points: The value of this wine has increased dramatically due to the 100 point score and could increase further. This is an investment wine, and if you own a sealed case, it will be very desirable to wine collectors. According to Robert Parker, this wine requires at least 10-15 years of aging, and should be approachable to drink from 2010-2014. We recommend that before drinking you check the price it may change your mind!

What can you recommend as a good value everyday drinking wine?

We have a good range of house wines which are very popular with our customers as everyday drinking wines. We try to provide something for everyone please click here to see our house selection BCFW House Selection.

When should I use a decanter?

A decanter should be used to separate the sediment deposit, which is mostly found in wines of the age of 10 years or more. Traditionally, decanters are used when preparing to drink vintage Port, as a heavy deposit is often present in the wine, which makes it appear cloudy and unpleasant to drink if not decanted first.

What wines are best paired with cheeses and dessert?

Sweet white wines are wonderful with blue cheeses and non chocolate based desserts. Port is also excellent with cheese and chocolate desserts. Have a look at our food and wine matching section for more great pairings.

Can I buy wines by the bottle from this website?

At Bon Coeur Fine Wines Ltd we sell wines by the case of 12 bottles, as we have a wholesale licence. However, you can make up your own mixed cases so you don't have to have 12 bottles of one wine. Click here for our  BCFW Shop.

What is En Primeur?

The term 'En Primeur' refers to the purchasing of wines whilst they are still in barrel at the Chateau. The prices of wines bought 'En Primeur' are often much cheaper than when the wines are finished and bottled. We have been selling En Primeur wines for many years - click here for further information - BCFW En Primeur.

What are the ideal wine storage conditions?

The ideal conditions for storing wine are dark, cool areas that are free from vibrations and temperature fluctuations. The best storage temperature for wine is a constant 15 degrees Celsius. Dampness actually has a positive effect on corks as it inhibits them shrinking and thus creates a better seal. The only negative effect of dampness is that your wines labels will become faded and crumbly over time. Further information can be found in BCFW Storage and Cellar Management.

What does the term 'In Bond' mean?

A term applied to the status of merchandise admitted provisionally to a country without payment of duties - either for storage in a bonded warehouse or for trans-shipment to another point, where vat and duty will eventually be imposed. For more information on In Bond wines, please click here.

How long must I keep a wine before it is ready to drink?

Most wines are ready to drink when purchased, although wines such as vintage port, vintage Bordeaux Chateau wines, and vintage Champagne can be kept for many years in the right conditions. It is worth reading what the wine critics advise for drinking dates.

Is it really true that red wine is good for your heart?

Medical evidence does suggest that moderate amounts of red wine in particular can decrease the chances of coronary heart disease. This is because red wine contains a chemical called 'Resveratrol'. We would not recommend over indulging though, as liver disease and many other alcohol associated illnesses are a risk for those who do not adhere to the Department of Health's alcohol consumption guidelines.

What are investment wines and how much do they cost?

Investment wines are ones which are likely to increase in value over time. The best wines for investment are 'blue chip' Bordeaux 1st growth wines such as Chateau Lafite, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau d'YQuem. The cost of these wines varies depending on the vintage and wine critic score.