Wine, the drink of choice for those who wants to inherit the buzz with class, good taste, knowing that it’s produced from produce, so it also adds a healthy component as well. Wine is a simple process of drying and fermenting grapes or berries.
Once the fruit of choice begins to ferment, the natural sugar that’s in it begins to turn into alcohol. What the wine then begins to display are it’s own unique color, aroma, and taste, this depending on the type, grade, and the quality of fruit that’s used.
Wine is divided into three distinct categories, table, sparkling, or fortified. Wine is referred to as fortified when a touch of brandy is added which enriches the alcohol. Sparkling wine is considered sparkling once it has the proper levels of C02, while table wine is the beverage as we know it in its natural form.
The delicate selection of grapes is the most tedious process when making fine wine, as what the most preferred contains is the exact balance of sugar and acid that’s needed, which is difficult to find in any other type of fruit.
To produce the best possible wine, what’s needed is the exact variety of grape grown in specific locales and climates, which produces the ideal acidity and color characteristics, while being harvested at peak times.
If the grapes aren’t ripe, the quality of the wine suffers because it loses its delicate balance, usually being too high in sugar content while being too low in acid.
The Manufacture Of Wine
Initially, the select grapes are crushed in a large cylindrical container which removes the skin of the grapes. It’s then fermented through a strict heating process.
The yeast reacts as it helps convert the sugar into alcohol, helping to break it down. What this process does is it initially creates a distinct buttery flavor.
It then goes into a settling process, where the yeast cells and all the unsettled sediment which accumulates and floats to the top of the wine is filtered out.
Then the aging process begins, where the wine is enclosed in a specialized air tight container which can be stored for months, at times for years.
Once the aging process is complete, the mature wine it’s then transferred to the bottlers, labelled, and shipped out to the vendors.
The Bottling Of Wine
The wine is bottled in a way that makes it easily distinguishable to the type of wine it is. Colored bottles are usually preferred, as doing so reduces the risk of oxidation and damage.
The bottles are labeled according to its manufacturer, brand, vintage, and type of grape, which makes it easy for consumer identification and selection.
Once a bottle of wine is purchased, the first step is storing it properly. The most appropriate place is a dark cellar or anywhere that’s damp and cool. Regardless of where it’s stored, the temperature should be around 55F or 12 Celsius.
The wine should never be stored where the temperature fluctuates. A humidity level of around 60% percent is also important, this to keep the cork moist. If the temperature drops too low, it can spoil the wine.
The Art Of Wine Tasting
Most witness wine tasting as sniffing, sipping, swishing, and then swallowing, while the true connoisseur will tell you there’s more to it. Wine tasting is considered an art form, this to distinguish the exact aroma and vintage of the wine.
Wine tasting begins with swishing in the mouth to first experience its taste. Although the front and the rear areas of the tongue contains taste buds, either has a distinct sensation for taste.
What taste buds are easily able to do is detect liquids which are bitter, sweet, or salty. To sense the unique properties of the wine, it needs to be swished around which allows the taste buds to expose its distinct flavors.
Our Smell Senses
What most don’t realize is that over 70% percent of our taste is because of our sense of smell. Whenever we have a cold, for instance, the smell becomes distorted.
Experienced wine tasters will tell you that the true reveal in tasting wine is more about one’s sense of delicate smell, this rather than the taste buds themselves.
The Judgement Of Wine
Most wine tasters will follow a specific guideline which judges the quality of a wine. These same techniques will help you grade your own, provided you follow the taste process.
Begin with inspecting the wine, as it reveals a lot just by looking at it. Pour a small amount of the wine into a glass and then inspect its color. White wine isn’t obviously white or clear, but rather hints of green, yellow, or rose.
Red wines will usually appear a pale red to dark brown. What red wine gets is better with age, while white wines are known to get stale with age.
The Smell Test
This should be performed in two steps. A brief sniff to get the general aroma of the wine, then a longer deeper inhale. The deeper exposure allows you to absorb the flavor of the wine. Experienced wine tasters will sit back and observe the smell before tasting the wine.
Tasting The Wine
To properly taste the wine, take a small sip, swish it in your mouth and then swallow. The swishing process brings out the unique rich and bold flavors. After swallowing, realize the aftertaste of the wine, understanding it’s overall flavor.
Once inspecting the wine, smell, and taste test, you’ll then be able to appreciate the characteristics of the wine, helping you determine its quality and whether it’s been properly stored and aged.
With all things in life, the more that you taste and experiment with wine, the better and more experienced you’ll get, being able to distinguish the nuances of their unique flavors.