Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Big Names Don't Always Mean Better

In life, manipulation and corruption are typical human factors. You can find great deals in little wine shops and small vineyards. In general, the new world that we live in is working on eliminating competition, downgrading quality and making a bigger profit. The powers that be, have eliminated numerous chocolatiers in Europe, Armagnac distilleries in France, etc. They buy their fame and sell their hype, because they can afford to do so. Think about this for a moment, especially those of you who have traveled out of the USA, are over thirty and can look back upon your worldly experiences objectively. For instance, in France, how much difference in quality can there be between a smaller, less known vineyard that is next to one of the "big names", that has the same soil, grapes, same weather conditions, follows the same strict laws, etc.?

Realistic Wine Drinker

Proper Steps For Tasting Wine

You can read all the books (and there are plenty) written on wine to become more knowledgeable on the subject, but the best way to truly enhance your understanding of wine is to taste as many wines as possible. Reading covers the more academic side of wine, while tasting is more enjoyable and practical. A little of each will bring you the most good.
Wine Tasting can be broken down into four basics steps: Color, Swirl, Smell, Taste.

The best way to get an idea of a wine's color is to get a white background and hold the glass of on an angle in front of it. The range of colors that you may see depends, of course, on whether you're tasting a white or a red wine.
The white wine can be : Pale yellow-green, straw yellow, gold, yellow-brown, brown.
The red wine can be : Purple, ruby, red, red brown, brown.

Why do we swirl wine? To allow oxygen to get into the wine : Swirling aerates the wine and releases more of the bouquet and aromas.

This is the most important part of wine tasting. You can perceive four types of taste - sweet, sour, bitter, and salt - but the average person can identify more than two thousand different scents, and wine has more than two hundred of its own. After that you have swirled the wine and released the bouquet, you can smell the wine at least three times. You will find that the third time will give you more information than the first one did.
The best way to learn about your own wine preferences is to "memorize" the smell of the individual grape varieties.

To many people, tasting wine means taking a sip and swallowing immediately.
Tasting is something you do with your taste buds. You have taste buds all over your mouth, on both sides of the tongue, underneath, on the tip and extending to the back of your throat. If you do what many people do, you take a gulp of wine and bypass all of those important taste buds. When you taste wine you should leave it in your mouth between
three and five seconds before swallowing.

Alexandre Barrellier
Wine and Cellar Concept

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Great Quote Of The Day

Fine wine was up; beer and liquor were down. There's not a lot of mystery in a bottle of Jack Daniel's.

Bob Gibson

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Stay Away From Cheap Corkscrews Attached To Nouveau World Corks

I began to sweat when I was preparing to open a beautiful bottle of wine at someone's house when the unexpected unfolded.
The corkscrew had a rubber cork attached and it would not unscrew; it came undone when I attempted to twist off the cork. I relaxed and took this new world experience in stride and cut off the cork carefully from the corkscrew and opened up the beautiful wine. From here on, I carry a backup corkscrew just like a backup gun. This is what you call a twisted experience!

Stressed Out Wine Drinker

Poem About Wine

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,I look at, and I sigh.

William Butler Yeats

Monday, February 4, 2008

Explanation On How The Weak Dollar Raises Wine Prices

A recent survey of WineAccess customers taught us that our buyers are spending more and more on everyday wine, with the average purchase for most customers topping $20/bottle. It's easy to see why, given the dollar's plunge and the growth of the international market for fine wine. But, just because people are spending more than $20 doesn't mean they're happy about it.
It's not getting any easier. According to a survey we recently conducted, the average WineAccess customer is now spending more than $20/bottle for an everyday bottle of wine. It's not hard to figure out why. The dollar has dropped 60% against the Euro since the new European currency came into play. Typically, when you buy a wine from a local store, that bottle has touched two, three or even four companies before it arrives on the shelf, so a 60% increase at the source could mean an 80-90% increase in the store! Looking in California? Grape prices from quality vineyards in the better appellations (Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara County) are at all-time highs, making it nearly impossible to produce good wine for less than $30/bottle. Oregon? Washington? It's much the same.

Wine Access

Remember: Water = Poop, Wine = Health

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine... and those who don't. As Ben Franklin said: In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria. In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop. However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine, because alcohol has to go through a filtering process and then fermenting. Remember: Water = Poop, Wine = Health. Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit. There is no need to thank me for this valuable information: I'm doing it as a public service.

Smart Wine Drinker

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Wine test: $5 bottle gets tastier when it’s $45

Apparently, raising the price really does make the wine taste better.

At least that seems to be the result of a taste test. The part of the brain that reacts to a pleasant experience responded more strongly to pricey wines than cheap ones — even when tasters were given the same vintage in disguise.

Antonio Rangel and colleagues at California Institute of Technology thought the perception that higher price means higher quality could influence people, so they decided to test the idea.

They asked 20 people to sample wine while undergoing functional MRIs of their brain activity. The subjects were told they were tasting five different cabernet sauvignons sold at different prices.

However, there were actually only three wines sampled, two being offered twice, marked with different prices.

A $90 wine was provided marked with its real price and again marked $10, while another was presented at its real price of $5 and also marked $45.

The testers' brains showed more pleasure at the higher price than the lower one, even for the same wine, Rangel reports in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In other words, changes in the price of the wine changed the actual pleasure experienced by the drinkers, the researchers reported.

On the other hand, when tasters didn't know any price comparisons, they rated the $5 wine as better than any of the others sampled.

"We were shocked," Rangel said in a telephone interview. "I think it was because the flavor was stronger and our subjects were not very experienced."

He added that wine professionals would probably be able to differentiate the better wine — "one would hope."


The Associated Press