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What To Know About Wine

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Fact #: Mis En Bouteille Au Chteau

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We briefly touched on this subject in the point above, but, to refresh your memory, this means that the grower bottled the wine. The term château doesnt necessary mean a castle-like property. Even the shabbiest farm can put mis en bouteille au château on their label.

It all started with Chateau Mouton Rothschild in the 1920s. The young Baron Philippe de Rothschild persuaded all the other top producers to promote this practice, with the goal of taking control of all the wine-making elements from the field to the bottle.

Although it required greater investment, as the bottling lines are not cheap, producers all saw the benefits in terms of quality control. Today, even small producers tend to bottle their wine on the estate, renting mobile bottling facilities for the purpose. This practice is essential otherwise how can you guarantee that your wine is not mixed by accident with someone elses?

Sweetness In Wine Is Not From Added Sugar

Your sweet wine isnt sweet because sugar was added. The sweetness in wines is from residual sugars from grapes while fermenting.

Other factors such as the variety, harvest time, noble rot, fortification or frozen grapes all impact the sugar content too. The only times sugar might be added are during a certain production method of sparkling wine to help fermentation as well as on the rare occasion if grapes have not ripened as the winemakers wanted.

Everything You Need To Know About Wine

Whether youre at dinner with clients, picking up a bottle on the way to meet your new new mother-in-law, hosting a wine-tasting party, or simply scratching your head at the wine shop, it helps to have a solid understanding of the beloved libation. Since the world of wine is about as complex and expansive as it is delicious, we tapped Colorado-based sommelier and writer Ashley Hausman-Vaughters to give us a primer on buying, drinking, and talking about wine. So, pour yourself a glass and scroll on!

1. Does white or red wine have more alcohol? Although theres no hard-and-fast rule, red wines tend to be higher in alcohol than white wines. This also relates to the wines body, or weight: If you like lighter styles, aim for red or white wines at or under 13 percent alcohol. If you prefer something richer, bump that up to 13.5 percent or higher. Sweeter styles, like dessert wines, have the lowest alcohol by volume, typically under 10.5 percent.

2. What are tannins? Tannins are mostly responsible for that bitter taste that leaves your mouth feeling dry after you take a sip of a super tannic wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon. They mostly come from the grape skins, seeds, stems, and oak, and get stronger the longer the skins are in contact with the juice as it ferments. The same thing is also found in tea, and its what makes your drink bitter if you let it steep for too long.

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What Are The Four Key Wine Descriptors

Sweetness. Needs no explanation. The opposite of sweet is dry. A wine can also be medium-dry or off-dry .

Acidity. We already talked about this. Acidity is a big deal for white wines, and it makes them refreshing and crisp . Lower acidity makes a wine taste fat.

Tannin. Another one weve already covered. Its all about the tannins for red wine. High tannin wines are astringent, maybe even bitter and inky. Lower tannin wines are smooth and soft, and depending on your tastes, more drinkable.

Body. This refers to the perceived weight and viscosity of the wine. A full-bodied wine feels thick, coating the sides of the glass as you swirl. A light-bodied wine is almost like water. A medium-bodied wine is in-between.

The best way to wrap your taste buds around the four primary wine descriptors is to make yourself a strong cup of tea. Sip it black, without anything added. Thats what something very tannic will taste like . Now, add a squeeze of lemon juice and taste it. Thats acidity joining the party. Combined with the tannic taste, it should taste astringent. Now, stir in some sugar for some sweetness. This mellows everything out to make it taste soft.

There’s a fifth thing to be aware of when describing wineflavor. Unlike the four key descriptors, flavor encompasses every descriptor under the sun and is far more subjective.

Hot tip: Pair oaky wines with salty food. Salt cuts the bitterness of oak in much the same way that salt makes shots of tequila go down smoother.

Why You Need To Know About English Still Wine

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English still wine is not a new category. Sure, its more bubbly sister may be increasingly popular here in the States, but the still counterpart is beginning to gain momentum among consumers in the U.K. and it may soon just be riding on the coattails of its seemingly sexier sibling across the pond.

In June 2021, Majestic Wines one of the U.K.s largest wine retailers noted a 99 percent rise in English still wines sales over the course of the last year, with a whopping 200 percent growth in rosés alone. Its been a long time coming. Successful viticulture in the U.K. started around the mid-11th century, but it hasnt been until the last couple of years that English consumers, critics, and journalists have started to pay attention.

When it comes to styles and grape varieties, English Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Bacchus from East Sussex in the south, up to Yorkshire in the north are being recognized around the country for their quality, complexity, and ability to showcase vineyards characterizing microclimates. And natural wines? But, of course. Finally, English still wines are on the map albeit mainly domestically. So whos paving the way for the English still wine market? And which winemakers should you be looking out for?


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Finding A Wine You Will Love

Understanding the Style attributes of Wine Understanding what you like in a wine, and being able to describe it in a store or restaurantthe Holy Grail, right? After this video you will be able to do that. Awesome!

Whats YOUR Wine? You meet all kinds when it comes to wine at a bar. Check out the larger-than-life palate profiles I met on my last girls night. It was the dawning of the Age of Oak-uarius, Earth Day and an Acid Trip, all in one visit. Luckily, I was saved by FAVE, and met my true match!

Tasting for Body Just like skim milk feels less rich and mouth-filling than whole milk because it is lighter in body, the different body styles of wine are sensed as differences in weight or richness in the mouth.

Tasting for Sweetness Many wines, including some that people think are dry, actually have a touch of sweetness that rounds out the ripe fruit taste and pairs beautifully with foods with a spicy kick. Taste along with a spicy snack to see for yourself!

Tasting for Tannins Tannin, a texture component of red wines, can range from silky to gritty.

Tasting for Acidity Bright, crisp acidity or soft and lush? This tasting will help you understand the differences.

How Is Natural Wine Made

Natural wine starts with “organic biodynamic” farming practices with no pesticides, the use of native yeast for fermentation, and minimal to no-added sulfur, Den Haan says. Conventional wines often contain commercial yeast and sulfites, which act as a preservative and prevent oxidation. Natural wines also tend to be unfiltered and unfined, and do not contain added sugar, chemicals, or other elements.

Still, there’s no official certification process or specific designation for natural wine, however, Den Haan points out.

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Tannins In Wine: What Are They And Where Do They Come From

The all-important question. Tannins are bitter chemical compounds that live in nature. Youll find them in everything from wood, to plants, walnuts, to grapes.

In wine, tannins come from the grape skins, pips , stems, or even the wood barrels that are used during aging. And theyre what gives wine its texture.

Tannis are the textural, almost dusty or gritty element of a wine that you can feel on the inside of your mouth, explains Christina.

Some wines will have less tannins than others. For example, white wine tends to have less tannins than red. This is because the wine-making process is different for each style of wine. During red wine production, theres a great deal of contact between the juice and the crushed grape skins and seeds . But for white wine, the juice is separated from the grape skins and seeds immediately after the grapes are crushed, which means less tannins are released.

What Differentiates Natural Wine From Regular Wine

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For conventional winemakers, the business of wine has led many to take “shortcuts” in the process, like using synthetic pesticides, hybrid grapes, cultured yeast, and additives to increase production and increase consistency, says Darren Scott, sommelier and general manager at Estate Wine Brokers.

The shortcuts have, in some cases, “stripped wine of its character, but at the same time, exponentially increased production and flooded the market with these sort of insipid wines that lack any sort of regional typicity or character,” he adds. Scott sees natural wine’s popularity as a reaction to the mass production, and compares natural and some conventional wines as “the difference between fast food and farm-to-table.”

Den Haan, meanwhile, links the growing interest in natural wine to people’s concern about where their food and drinks come from.

“Everything has its moment, and I think natural wine is having one,” she says. “I’m happy because I really believe in itstylistically, for the planet, just the whole philosophy behind it. Minimal intervention. I just love that.”

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Wine Is Best Paired With Friends And Loved Ones

Few things are more enjoyable than drinking a nice glass with friends and loved ones. Talking about what you’re tasting in the glass while unwinding at the end of a hectic day. Rosé is great, but enjoying rosé on the beach with friends is better.

At In Good Taste, we are proud to help connect friends, family, and colleagues scattered throughout the country while they indulge in their love of good wine.

Understanding Wine Makes It Taste Better

Studies have shown that more complex descriptions of red and white wine actually make those wines taste better. Intuitively, this makes sense. If you have more vocabulary to describe what you’re imbibing, your brain is better able to discern subtler flavors.

So we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to different wine types that will break down the basics of what makes different wines, well, different, and the key descriptors you need to know to get the most out of whatever wine you’re drinking.

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How Do You Drink Wine

The wine guide takes you through the process of tasting wines.

  • Take a look at the label of the bottle This will give us an understanding of the source of the wine such as type of grape and how old is it .
  • Pick the right glassware Make sure you choose the right one for sparkling, white and red wines.
  • Hold the glass appropriately A wine glass should be held by the stem. This will prevent heat and smell from your hand interfering with the wine aromas.
  • Pour and Swirl Pour about one third of the glass and gently swirl the wine in the glass. Swirling wine in the glass will increase the amount of oxygen in the glass thus intensifying the wine aromas mainly in the reds.
  • Sniff the glass of wine You will get aroma intensity depending on the complexity of wine. Simple wines will have primary aromas of fruit, however complex wines will additionally have secondary aromas generating from the winemaking process. Lastly, tertiary aromas of vessel ageing such as oak will be present in wines subjected to ageing.
  • Taste the wine. Sip not swallow, swish the wine around in your mouth to absorb the flavors. Take time to assess the intense flavor and then swallow to get the finish. A good finish will linger on your palate for quite some time. In professional tasting, you spit out the wine to compare and analyze different wine styles.
  • Size And Shape Matters When It Comes To Glasses

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    Believe it or not the shape and size of glassware can change the way we taste. Its definitely not necessary to own a wine glass specifically for each varietal of wine but its interesting to note that the shape of the glass effects the aroma we smell, as well as how the wine flows into the mouth hence how we taste it too.

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    Why Do Some Wines Taste More Tart Than Others

    Now that you know what wine is and where it comes from, find out what are the basic characteristics of wine? Some wines taste tart. The tartness of wine is called acidity. Some wines will warm/burn the back of your throat, which is the alcohol level. Finally, some wines leave a lingering bitter/dry taste in your mouth which is called tannin. Learn the basic wine characteristics so you can better describe what you like.

    Different Countries Name Wines Differently Because Theres No Internationally Agreed

    One element that perhaps contributes most to why wine is confusing: Every country regulates wine differently and names its wines differently so theres very little consistency across the world.

    Most people who drink wine probably think of wines in terms of the grape varietals, such as malbec, chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot grigio, merlot. But 51 percent of the worlds wines are produced by three countries: France, Italy, and Spain. And in European countries which are known as the Old World in wine, because they have been producing wine the longest they dont name wines after grapes, they name them after regions: A burgundy and a chianti are from their namesake regions in France and Italy, respectively. So your average American wine consumer, if they want to make more informed choices at the store, has to learn about grape varietals and has to understand the wine-producing regions in France, Italy, and Spain, all three of which have so many different regions and appellations that mere mortals could not possibly keep track of them.

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    So we have a label disagreement of whether we call it by the grape variety or the place. Is it orange juice? Is it strawberry juice? What am I drinking? Or do we call it Florida orange juice?

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    People Taste To Discover More

    Other than the fact that wine tasting is cool, people get into wine tasting to discover more about wine. Those who appreciate homegrown crops are one crowd that might be interested. Many people get into wine tasting to understand wine harvesting. These individuals may hope to have wineries of their own or are just fascinated by the process. In short, this style of wine tasting is for informative purposes.

    Wine And Food Pairing Guide

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    Can’t remember which wine pairs well with salmon or your restaurant’s chef special? Well these tips cover all the basics on what you should and should not do when pairing wine with food.

    These tips will help broaden your horizons on the impact wine can have on the dinning experience.

    Red Wines and Red Meat

    One of the most basic tips that is easy to remember and will help you make quick recommendations.

    The reason that red wine pairs well with red meats, such as steak, is because of its ability to soften the proteins in the meat and help enhances the flavors of the fat. The softening of the meat occurs because of the tannin, a chemical compound found, found in red wine.

    White Wine and Light Meat

    White wines pair well with fish because the acids in the wine enhance the taste of the fish, making it taste fresher. Similar to how lemon is squeezed over fish to enhance the taste, white wine can have the same impact because of it acidity.

    If the same adjective can be used to describe the food and wine it is likely a pairing that will work. For instance, sweet wines go great with sweet food. A great example is fruit based desserts or tarts and sweet wines. There are a few exceptions and we discuss them in detail below.

    Ultimately drink what you enjoy, but also don’t miss out on the ability to explore.

    Wine Pairing Methods

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    How To Taste Wine: Look Smell Taste Conclude

    Nope, its not as simple as squinting at the glass, giving it a sniff and then swallowing it! Without allowing the wine to swirl around into all the crevices in your mouth you arent actually able to fully taste a wine. Sensory evaluation is the process of evaluating a wine through the senses and is broken down into three steps: Looking, smelling and tasting.

    When observing take note of the color, clarity, concentration and viscosity of the wine. Inhale deeply after bringing your nose into the opening of the glass and try to identify singular aromas as well as overarching smells in more mature wines.

    Lastly, pay attention to how the wine feels in the mouth, the dryness, acidity, intensity, finish and of course its flavors. Sensory evaluation can be practiced by anyone enjoying wine and in time will help you appreciate and understand the nuances in this beverage.

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