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?”
We’ve all seen the ratings of wines in in our favorite wine shop, usually wines with scores in the 80s or even 90s. 88 points! 92 Points! But what do these scores really mean? Are higher scoring wines definitively better? And what does a wine score mean and how are they derived? Continue reading “Making Sense of The 100 Point Wine Scale”
Champagne. It just rolls off the tongue and sounds luxurious, just like you are about to celebrate a special occasion. But wine with bubbles is fun anytime and I’d suggest that we can never drink enough bubbles! Continue reading “You Can Never Drink Too Many Bubbles”
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”
If you hang around wine people, you’ll hear the phrases new world versus old world wines. It seems like a simple phase but it has meaning for taste and other factors when you drink each of these wines. Continue reading “Old World and New World Wines Smell Different”
We’ve all seen it – wine connoisseurs swirling their wine, dipping their noses into the glass and taking a big whiff. But, is this the right way? How do the experts smell their wine? Continue reading “How to Smell Your Wine Like a Professional”
At some business dinners, the wine can make up over 50% of the total bill and that leaves the host to wonder, “how should I tip on the wine?” Should I tip less on the wine and blend the overall tip, or should I tip the Sommelier separately? This is especially true if the Sommelier did a particularly good job.
Continue reading “How Do You Tip on Wine?”
Any time you throw a dinner party, perhaps for your boss or some important clients, you want everything to be perfect. But how do you make sure your wine glasses meet the standard – the right ones, cleaned and ready to enjoy wine out of? Continue reading “How to Clean Your Wineglasses Like a Professional”
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?”
So, how can you tell if the person coming to your table knows what they are talking about? Well, if you carefully check their lapel pin, the color of their pin will tell you what level of certification they have achieved.
Continue reading “What Does Your Sommelier’s Lapel Pin Mean?”