Wine is definitely a fine luxury of life, this is why a lot of jet setters know way more about it -especially the more expensive kinds- than most people. In this three parts’ article (second and third parts coming in a few days) we will be sourcing interesting and essential information about wine, to brief you on what you need to know in few minutes reads!
How is wine made?
Wine is made by picking, crushing, fermenting and ageing grapes.
The process begins by picking the grapes, before they’re taken to the crushing pad. Here, a destemmer will remove the stems from the bunches of grapes and will lightly crush them at the same time. The next step differs between red and white wines when it comes to removing the skins. White wine is pressed and the grape skins discarded, while red wine is made from grapes that are fermented with their skins still attached.
Next is the fermentation period, where yeast is added to the vats of grapes in order for the sugars to convert to alcohol. When producing red wines, carbon dioxide is released, which causes the grape skins to rise to the surface.
The ageing step comes next and it’s here where creativity and flavour profiles really come into play. Wines can be aged for anything from a few months to several years. Some white wines are ready to be bottled after only a few months while most dry red wines benefit from being left up to two years. Wine can also be aged in new oak, used barrels or stainless steel, in American oak barrels or in French oak barrels, or in charred barrels, like those used when ageing Bourbon.
The different types of wine:
Cabernet Sauvignons are rich, robust red wines coming from the Napa Valley. These wines are full-bodied and are made up of dark fruit flavours mixed with spices and earthy aromas. It’s one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties and is most commonly aged in French oak.
Chardonnay is the most popular wine varietal in North America and is characterised by its medium to full body and its buttery mouthfeel. It combines crisp flavours like apple and pear with citrus aromas and hints of vanilla.
Malbec is known for its plump, dark fruit flavours and inky dark colour. Its grapes grow mostly in Argentina although it was originally produced in France. Malbecs have moderate tannins and are typically made up of ripe flavours like plum, black cherry and blackberry.
Merlots have milder flavours and lower tannin levels than other varieties of red wine. Although still a type of dry red wine, they’re sweeter than Cabernet Sauvignons and are made of dark blue-coloured wine grapes. Merlots are a fruit-forward wine with plenty of flavours, with spicy and sweet notes that come from ageing in oak barrels.
Pinot Grigio is a popular Italian white wine, mostly known for its prominent crisp flavours of apples and pears. It’s a zesty white wine that’s best served cold. In France — where this type of wine also originates from — it’s known as Pinot Gris and its grapes have a greyish blue hue, which is what gives them their name.
Pinot Noir grapes are notoriously hard to grow, which makes finding a great Pinot Noir something of a victory. It’s a medium-bodied red wine that was born in the Burgundy region of France and has flavours of ripe red berries and sweet black cherries. It’s known for its strong, lingering aftertaste and goes well with all types of food.
Riesling is known for its aromatic grape variety that produces wines with an almost floral, perfumed aroma. It’s a white wine that’s sweet and acidic and is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling is one of the top white grapes in the world and is Germany’s flagship wine.
Most Sauvignon Blancs are left as dry white wines, with a few brands preferring to leave a small amount of residual sugar for a richer consistency. It’s a crisp and light wine with flavours of citrus like green apple, lime and vanilla.
Also known as Shiraz, Syrah is a bold and rich red wine that’s grown throughout the world. It offers dark fruit flavours like sweet blueberry and peppery spices and is responsible for some of the most full-bodied wines on the market. It’s an almost meaty red wine with plenty of depth and character.
Zinfandel — sometimes called Primitivo — is a sweet or semi-sweet red wine with a slightly higher alcohol content. It’s the only type of grape thought to be indigenous to America and is grown exclusively in California. It’s a bold, fruit-forward red that’s commonly aged in American oak to bring out its earthy flavours. It can also be made into a rose wine called White Zinfandel.
The list above displays the well known varieties of wine every jet setter needs to be familiar with; there are many others for those who like to get into wines in deeper details.
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-Source of info and graphics: luxe.digital