Wine Making History For Beginners
During the Greek and Roman times, wine making spread throughout Europe. It was so valued, that the Romans ordered all countries in the known world to pull up their vines in order that they may have the monopoly. Wine has always had a religious connection and began to spread throughout the globe via religious orders. One famous monk Dom Perignon who was a winemaker is credited with the discovery of Champagne. Since these early days, vines can be found growing in many countries around the world in various climates.
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Travel with your taste buds across the globe and try some of the best wines online the rest of the world is offering. From Europe to Australia, from South Africa to South America and all foreign countries in between explore a new country’s wine every month. Our selections are chosen by our experts and only their favorites are judged acceptable. One month may bring an Italian Sangiovese and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, while the next brings an Argentinean Malbec with a Tempranillo from Spain. No Passport or Travel Agent required!
There is a whole new world of wine today with wines being made in countries like Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and USA. The wines from these nations are dominating the old world wines from the traditional countries of Europe.
The world of wine may seem mysterious but it really is a question of trying a few different types of wine and then drinking what you enjoy. It is an interesting subject and makes a fascinating hobby, discovering new varieties and flavours or perhaps going on a trip to a vineyard in California or Europe. Above all wine is to be enjoyed and savored. As with all alcoholic drinks, it should be drunk responsibly.
Wine Collecting Equipment For Beginners
Everyone should have some basic equipment to enjoy his or her wine drinking experience – it is all very affordable. Firstly, you need to open the bottle of wine so investing in a really good wine bottle opener is essential. There are many varieties on the market from a simple wine corkscrew to fancy wine vacuum openers. See which one suits you. Next, you will need some proper wine glasses to enjoy the wine from. Red wine is usually served in a larger glass that allows plenty of room for the wine and white wine is served in smaller glasses. There are also narrow flutes for sparkling wine and champagne. The next useful item is a wine balloon preserver.
Very often, if you just fancy a glass of wine or have some left over from a dinner party, the remainder of the wine presents a problem as exposure to air causes oxidisation, which taints the flavour and aroma of the wine rendering it undrinkable. Refrigerating wine for a day or two can work for white wine, but the flavour of red is flattened even when returned to room temperature, which is not pleasant.
Red wines especially lose their flavour and aroma quickly when exposed to air. All wine oxidises as soon as it is in contact with air so to be able to save it and not pour it down the basin is a real benefit.
Wine preservers come in different shapes and forms and use inert gases and various gadgets but the most simple and effective is the Wine bottle Balloon. Unlike the other products on the market, this one is simple and easy to use and provides real results. It preserves your bottle of wine for days at a time using a simple process that is not dependent on creating vacuums or spraying gases. This simple device actually shows you when a 100% seal has been achieved, unlike the other products that leave you guessing. Just look inside the bottle and you can see the Wine bottle Balloon in action doing its job.
The product is simple, a balloon attached to a tube with a hand-operated inflator shaped like a bunch of grapes making it fun to look at and identify the function it is designed for. The balloon will not affect the taste or aroma of the wine; it will be as it was when you first opened the bottle. How great to be able to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner over three or four days without impairing the flavour in any way.
The Wine bottle Balloon invention works by inflating a balloon inside a bottle of partly finished red, white, or rose wine. The bottle balloon is inserted into the wine bottle and inflated using the hand pump until there is around an inch and a half of balloon touching the sides of the bottle and the bottle balloon is touching the wine. This of course you can clearly see through the glass so know it will work. Double check to make sure the balloon is touching the wine. An extra couple of squeezes on the hand pump will give an extra couple of day’s freshness.
The bottle balloon seal will stay intact for three to five days and your wine can be kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Always store the bottle upright and not on its side. Like all knowledgeable wine buff people Wine Balloon recommending drinking your wine within three days to preserve the true flavour and aroma of the wine.
To drink the wine, simply deflate the bottle balloon using the valve on the hand pump, remove, and rinse in warm water. Note that if you are removing the balloon directly from a bottle that has just come out of the refrigerator, it will take a little longer to deflate.
The Wine Balloon comes in an attractive box and comprises of the bottle balloon and attached fitting. Simply attach this piece into the tubing supplied and the Wine Balloon is fully assembled. When not in use, the Wine Balloon can be stored in a handy bag that comes with the kit.
The Wine Balloon has been independently reviewed by an independent world-class sommelier and well received by the industry as a simple and effective way to preserve wine in a common sense way.
What is Wine?
Wine is an alcoholic beverage produced through fermentation of fruit containing natural sugar (mostly grapes). During the fermentation process, yeasts will convert sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol, primarily ethanol and other chemicals that add to the depth of the wine. Different flavours result from the color of the grapes, the variety of the grapes and the ripeness of the grapes. Grapes are high in ferment-able sugars making them ideal for wine production.
Wine is an amalgamation of grape aromas and flavours, fermentation bouquets and flavors, wine treatments such as oak fermentation and aging in oak or the bottle. There are only two times to drink wine: Now – young and refreshing type wines or Later – mature wines collected for later drinking.
The colour of wine comes from grape skin. The grape whether it is a red or white variety will produce juice that is white or clear. In order to make a red wine from red grapes, the skin is left in contact with the juice during fermentation. The pigment from the skin leeches out of the skin and tints the wine. When red grapes are pressed but the skins are omitted from the process confusingly, a white wine and is called a “blanc de noir” meaning a white wine from a red grape.
White wines do not have the skins left in during fermentation. Rose or blush wines are made by leaving the skins in the fermenting juice for a short time). This method is not always consistent so the main production method for this kind of wine is to add an amount of red wine to an already finished white wine.
Types of Grape Varieties and Wine For Beginners
Sauvignon Blanc – Sauvignon Blanc also known as Fume Blanc is a white wine with a grassy, herbal flavour and is a great wine to drink with fish and seafood dishes. dishes.
Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) – The low acidity of this white variety produces rich, lightly perfumed wines that have more colour than other whites do. The best have pear and spicy notes.
Chardonnay – Chardonnay is a white wine, which can range from clean and crisp with a hint of grape variety flavour to rich and complex oak-aged wines. Chardonnay typically balances fruit, acidity, and texture. This wine suits most food types; fish and poultry to cheeses, and spicy foods.
Muscat – The white Muscat grape produces spicy, floral wines that actually taste like grapes. Muscats can range from very dry, fresh to sweet, and syrupy. This is mostly known as a dessert wine and is served with the pudding course of a meal in a small glass.
Gewurztraminer – Gewurztraminer is a white wine with very distinctive flavours and may be either dry or sweet. It is strong enough to be drunk with Asian cuisine and pork sausages. It smells and has flavors of vanilla, grapefruit, and honey.
Riesling – Rieslings are white wines that are very scented with a floral perfume. Depending on where they are made, they can be crisp and bone-dry, full-bodied and spicy or luscious and sweet. The flavour is very fruity and you can pick up notes of peach, apricot, and apple. It drinks well with robust flavoured food like roasts, duck, and some game.
Pinot Noir – Pinot Noir is a red wine of light to medium body and delicate, smooth, rich complexity with earthy aromas. It is a great red wine for a beginner as it is less tannic than other red wines. Pinot Noirs have an interesting plum, cherry and chocolate depth in the flavour.
Zinfandel – Associated with California, (though originally from Croatia), Zinfandel is a red wine with light to full body and berry-like or spicy flavours. The Zinfandel grape is also used in a blush wine known as White Zinfandel. The Red Zinfandel pairs well with medium-spiced dishes and casseroles.
Syrah (Shiraz) – Syrah produces big red wines with strong tannins and complex flavours including berry, plum, and smoke. It is also known as Shiraz in Australia and South Africa.
Petite Sirah – Petite Sirahs are red wines with firm, robust tannic tastes, often with peppery flavours. Petite Sirahs may complement meals with rich meats.
Merlot – Merlot is a red wine with medium to full body and herb flavours. Merlot is typically softer in taste than Cabernet Sauvignon. Its flavours and aromas include blackberry, cherries, and plums – it is very smooth drinking.
Cabernet Sauvignon – Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine known for its depth of flavour, aroma, and ability to age. It is intense and full-bodied, with cherry, currant and herbal flavours. Cabernet Sauvignon may have noticeable tannins.
Champagne/Sparkling Wine – These wines are made effervescent in the winemaking process. Champagnes and sparkling wines range in style from very dry (natural), dry (brut) and slightly sweet (extra dry) to sweet (sec and demi-sec). Many sparkling wines are also identified as Blanc de Blancs (wines made from white grapes) or Blanc de Noirs (wines produced from red grapes).
Wine Tasting For Beginners
A wide bowl glass with narrow opening is used to taste wine. The narrow opening traps the aromas when the wine is swirled in the glass. The hand should hold the stem and the glass should be clear so that the colour and clarity of the wine can be assessed.
When assessing or appraising a wine we use four of our five senses: Sight, Smell, Taste, and Feel.
When you look at wine (Sight), you make two judgements. One is the colour, hue, and intensity. The other is appearance. From these two factors, it is possible to make some judgements about the condition and the age of the wine. The colours of a white wine may be water white, yellow, gold, straw yellow, amber, brown, golden yellow, pale gold or other. Aged white wines will have typically deeper yellows and gold. Red wines may be pink, orange, light red, tile red, brick red, ripe plum and many other descriptions. Aging will show orange and browns. The wine clarity is essentially how clear the wine is (brilliant, clear, transparent, cloudy, dull, or hazy). All wine should be clear and brilliant.
The smell of the wine is divided into its aroma, grape derived odours, and the bouquet, odors derived from the wine-making process. There are many distinctive aromas that can be described, which is why such evocative descriptions are attached to wine. Words such as melon, blackcurrant, blackberry, plum, and cherry are used to describe the smells. The maturation of the wine in oak may give vanilla, caramel and creamy type smells.
Three tastes are dominant in wine tasting: sweetness, acidity, and bitterness. There is also the feeling produced in the mouth. The alcohol in small concentrations can be perceived as sweet. High alcohol wines may feel warm or hot. Fizz or spritz can be felt, and astringent wines can cause dryness or puckering in the mouth. Wines may also feel fat or thick in the mouth. These sensations combined will give an overall mouth feel. A well-balanced wine will leave a uniform smooth and enjoyable feeling.
How to Slurp Like a Professional
1. Fill the glass to one third full.
2. Tilt the glass 45-degrees away from you against a white background.
3. Swirl the wine in the glass several times to raise the wine’s bouquet.
4. Smell the wine with 2-3 full quick sniffs.
5. Make a written or mental note of the smells and your assessment.
6. Now take a generous mouthful, suck air through the wine (try not to dribble!), swirl it around the mouth to cover the mouth with the wine, spit out the wine and record your impressions!
7. Predominant tastes and odours are best detected with the mouth empty.
Health Benefits of Red Wine
Red wine has several health benefits if it is drunk in moderation. Studies have shown that red wine helps in the prevention of heart disease. Middle-aged people should drink a glass of red wine every day – one for women and two for men. It will lower the risk of heart attack by 30 to 50 percent.
Red wine can help of lower LDL or bad cholesterol within the body. This daily glass of red wine can aid lowering cholesterol. More red wine does not mean more benefits though so do not exceed the recommendations if drinking it for health purposes. As a source of anti-oxidants, red wine scores highly and includes resveratrol, which is known to help increase the levels of HDL or good cholesterol. One little known fact is red wine can stop you going deaf! Scientific experiments showed the anti-oxidants in red wine neutralized chemicals that attack the hairs of the inner ear.
Enjoy the journey into the world of wine and exploring the globe tasting different varieties and comparing notes. You can keep a wine journal and keep your personal thoughts about the wines you like or dislike and refer back when you are tasting a similar wine to do a comparison. Once you have gained some knowledge you can hold wine tasting parties or use your expertise to choose an appropriate bottle to take to friends for a dinner party. Why not have a dinner party at home and choose wine for each of the courses from aperitif through to dessert. Remember that wine can be used in cooking and as the basis of punches like the Spanish sangria. Purists would shudder but wine is great to have as a spritzer half wine, half lemonade, or soda water and actually it is quite common in France to drink half water and half-wine so if it is good enough for the French…
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… Above all, drink safely and responsibly and have fun!