Know All About Your Wine
They say ‘Wine’ is like a bottled poetry. That might have been true a few years ago, when it was associated with roses, caviar, fine living and all the good things in life! However, as more people are learning to appreciate wine, it is becoming more of an everyday luxury that one can indulge in without feeling guilty. Perhaps that’s why a glass of wine is needed after a tiring day at work and the weekend dinner party with friends.
How wine is made?
The science and the art of winemaking has been around for thousands of years. The 5 step technique requires little human intervention.
- Grapes with the right balance of acidity and sweetness are picked.
- They are then sorted, de-stemmed and crushed by feet or mechanically into “must”, freshly pressed grape juice that contains seeds, skin and solids.
- Next, fermentation comes into play. Wine makers add commercial cultured yeast to ensure consistency in the end product.
- Later comes clarification wherein solids are removed and wine is transferred to a barrel (now mostly stainless steel tank). The winemaker may add a substance such as clay so that unwanted particles will stick to and sink to the bottom of the vessel.
- The final stage is to either bottle it right away or allow to age and then bottled. For our consumption!!
Serving wine at the right temperature
Every wine has its own personality that shines through at a particular temperature. Serving a wine too cold will mask its core flavours – making it seem like tasteless alcohol. On the other hand serving it too warm will make it dull and flabby.
- Even simple wines like Chenin Blancs, Sauvignon Blancs and Vingo Verdge have their flavours minimized by over chilling.
- Complex wines like Riesling and Chardonnay have their flavours completely destroyed by over chilling.
- White wine can be cooled in a refrigerator for a very short period of time and then can be brought to room temperature in a glass. The vapour released while being brought to room temperature is essential to release the wine’s aroma and your overall experience.
- When it comes to Red wine, warmth brings out its imperfections. It’s a good idea to keep it in the refrigerator 15-20 minutes before serving. The bottle should feel cool, but not cold. If the wine is over chilled, roll the glass to warm it in your hands and smell its bouquet to sense how it opens.
Tip: It’s always better to have a slightly cold wine than too warm, because cold wine will warm on its own.
Wine and wine glasses
Speaking of which, the glass you use tremendously impacts the intensity and aroma of the wine. You must have noticed red wine glasses having a rounder wider bowl. This is to help the wine oxidize and alter the flavour faster.
- Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz (Syrah) wine glasses have a long stem, broad bowl and narrow opening – primarily to allow concentration of aroma and flavour while allowing the wine to go to the back of your mouth.
- Not only are flute glasses aesthetically appealing, they are designed so for a reason. The long stem prevents your hand from warming the wine, while the tall narrow bowl keeps the wine sparkling longer and allows development of bubbles.
- On the other end of the spectrum, is the short stemmed, tapering mouthed sherry glass. This wide glass is used for drinking port and sherry wine since it enhances the aroma.
Food and wines
Ever wonder why some foods and wines fit just right, and become classic pairings? Like Muscadet and Oysters, Sauternes and Roquefort Cheese, Red Burgundy and Roast beef, and Port and Stillon Cheese. It all depends on the components and how well they contrast each other. Food tastes better with wine because they offer another set of aromas, flavours and textures with wine.
The best levels of enjoyment are not reached when food compliments a wine, but when it contrasts as well.
- While oaky wines go with pork, rich seafood and fowl, they do not work well with spicy food.
- However, light, fruity red wine works with grilled or smoked meats, and tomato/garlic based sauces and dishes.
- Very sweet wines pair well with foie gras.
We know, wines can be a tricky business. But always remember the 5 ‘S’ rules – See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip and Savour. Becoming a wine connoisseur takes years of practice and dedication, but hey, you got to start somewhere!
To enjoy the best wines, come over to Trilogy. You can get some wine lectures from our world class sommeliers, for free, of course!