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