The story of wines
Knowing wines is not about elitism or image, it’s about personal pleasure and interest. It is not only the viticulturist, enologist and sommeliers who have a passion for wines, but ordinary lovers of different wines do too. Wine is not consumed only as a drink or to quench thirst, it is drunk to be sensed and truly enjoyed in. There is a saying that not knowing wines is the same as not knowing colours. We need to let our senses of smell and taste develop and thus distinguish between the greatest variety of aromas contained in one drop that enriches us and our lives.
This certainly does not mean that you should know everything about all wine varieties, but it certainly does not hurt to know the details of your favourite ones. Whether you are a lover of red, white or rosé wines you should bear in mind a well-proven fact about beneficial influence of wine on human health. French scientist Pasteur was the first to say that wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages. It contains twenty known antioxidants preventing diseases and slowing down the aging process. French live healthier and longer life by cherishing their wine culture, and they gladly share their secret of longevity and vitality: one glass a day for women and two a day for men. Apart from French, wine is daily consumed by the population of Italy, Spain and other countries with a distinctive wine tradition.
If you wish to enjoy wine with your friends and family or you seek a recommendation from a sommelier in a restaurant, there are few expressions the meaning of which you should be aware of in order to be able to select wine that suits you most. Tart-rough wine is a description for young red wine, full of tannin; woody wines are those that have aged for a long time in wooden barrels with pronounced aromas of wood; the expression bouquet is reserved for aged wines with aromatic substances, and heady are wines that are high in alcohol. Balanced wines are characterized by harmony of flavours, and spicy wines are enriched by flowery and fruit aromas. The choice is yours, of course. On the other hand, if you prefer light wines, then you might be interested in wines low in alcohol and with a small amount of extracts, but if you favour strong wines, your choice shall be one of dry wines with no residual sugars. When pairing wine and food you may also have a dilemma that you can easily solve if you follow basic guidelines which will help you reach a perfect combination according to your habits and taste. The basic rule is that light dishes pair well with light wines; heavy dishes pair well with strong wines, sourish dishes match with fresh wines. White wines are recommended with boiled fish, red wines with shellfish, crabs and red meat, whereas sweet dishes go best with dessert wines and champagne.
One of the most famous wines in the world is Cabernet Sauvignon.
Autochthonous variety, usually consumed three or four years after aging, very often even after twenty years. It is considered to be the king amongst wines, and it pairs excellently with game, mushrooms, cannelloni, lasagna and aromatic chesses. It is distinctive for its taste that may remind us of black currant flavour.
There are numerous reasons to be a wine lover, therefore taste it, experience it and talk about it.
Cheers to all wine lovers!
The Legend of Ice Wine
Origins of presently extremely expensive ice wines (eiswain) can be traced back to the late 18th century and to one of Frankish Empire numerous states. In the autumn of 1794, winter came so unexpectedly fast, temperatures dropped below zero and grapes froze. Unpleasantly surprised and disappointed, people didn’t give up the planned vintage and at dawn, at a very low temperature, they harvested and crushed frozen grapes. By chance, this very decision had an influence on discovering the way of making top-quality predicate wine.
In vino veritas!
The truth is that grapevine can be found in all parts of the world; we are all mutually connected by it and numerous wonders are hidden in wine barrels. Ripe, aged wines of excellent vintage represent a materialized past, providing a unique insight into summer long passed, reminding us of sun and excellent vintage, and refreshing our silenced memories. Hence, an excellent wine, made with great care and love whether it is white, red or rosé, is the most perfect piece of art, requiring a full wine-cellar of words to describe it.
White wines! For some people, not necessarily sommeliers, the colour of wine is of extreme importance. For example, Chinese businessmen would never reach for white wine since they consider it a feminine drink, but nevertheless this wine has its lovers, regardless of gender. It is characterized by its crystal clear colour with gentle golden and yellow-green tones, harmony of freshness and subtle flowery aromas. These wines are almost always made from white grape varieties, however some expert wine makers can create it from certain red grape varieties, such as Pinot Noire. They are usually made dry and semi-dry, or even sweet. The most popular white wines are Chardonnay, Rhine Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
Red wines are made from black grapes and they are mostly red or blue ink in colour, depending on fruit pigmentation as well as on maceration and fermentation processes. Apart from the colour, the major difference between white and red wines is a powerful substance -tannins. They are the main cause of numerous dilemmas when it comes to ordering wine, and they are perhaps the reason behind the saying that wine turns people into gods but also into devils. Tannins are contained in fruit skin and they are transferred into wine during maceration of alcohol fermentation when grape skins and seeds are mixed with grape juice. The increased percentage of tannins in red wines, originating from the skins and seeds, may make wine taste a bit too astringent and peculiar to the palate. Red wine should be kept in ordinary or barrique oak barrels that will smoothen and balance these tannins, make wines harmonious and add pleasant punch and vanilla taste in addition to its recognizable grape variety aromas. Contents and balance of tannins in red wines are an important factor of their quality. Still, it should be emphasized that components originating from the skins and seeds of black grapes, amongst which the resveratrol is the most important one, and their anti-oxidant activity are the most beneficial for numerous proven positive effects of red wine on people’s health, especially cardio-vascular system.
Rosé wines! Whether it is rosé, Rosado, rosato or blush, the name of these wines points out to ostentatious notes, smooth delicate wines whose colour varies from gentle pink to light ruby red. Rosé wines are made from dark grapes using a technology almost identical to the production of white wines. The intensity of pink colour of these wines depends on the variety of black grapes and duration of cold maceration of crushed grapes which usually ends after 12-24 hours. Due to quick removal of skin and seeds, the content of tannin in rosé wines is minimal and these wines are mainly delicate with intense flowery aromas, very often significantly different from red wine aromas, obtained from the same grape varieties. These wines can be made semi-dry or semi-sweet, i.e. dessert wines, however the best traditional European rosé wines are made dry and are successfully combined with numerous light dishes.