What Sets the Alcohol Content of Your Wine?

Making wine starts with grapes and most importantly, ripe grapes. The secret of the grower is to bring the grapes to their ultimate peak of ripeness, given their local weather and geography.  The trick is to pick them as ripe as possible before colder weather or storms that can ruin a harvest arrive. This means the grapes have the most sugar possible and that’s what the winemaker needs to produce a great wine. Continue reading “What Sets the Alcohol Content of Your Wine?”

Using Three Senses to Drink Your Wine

One of the parlor tricks that Sommeliers use to deepen their appreciation of wine is called deductive tasting.  When doing this, they taste a wine without seeing the label on the bottle, or “blind”. Based on the various sensory input, they will deduce the grape, country, region, quality and age of the wine.  If they are a Master Sommelier, they will likely be able to name the estate as well.

As impressive as this performance is, it is really designed to deeply understand a wine and deconstruct it so they can accurately and properly describe it to guest.  While most of us aren’t going to become a Sommelier, we can learn from the deductive tasting method used by these experts to more deeply appreciate out wine.

So how do Sommeliers evaluate a wine?  It’s as simple as eyes, nose, mouth. Continue reading “Using Three Senses to Drink Your Wine”

What Do You Do When You Taste the Wine?

Image result for Tasting the wine

Picture this: The sommelier pours the first taste of a recently opened bottle and stands expectantly, waiting for you to taste it and declare the bottle acceptable. But what are you really supposed to be tasting for? If the wine is well balanced? Too tart? Just right?

It turns out that what you are really supposed to do is quite simple in theory; and a little bit hard to do in practice.  The primary thing you are doing is tasting to make sure the wine is acceptable for your guests and specifically, if the wine is flawed. Now, you don’t have to analyze if the tannins are in balance or if the winemaker had a heavy hand with the oak. You are simply tasting to see if there is a wet dog in your glass. Continue reading “What Do You Do When You Taste the Wine?”