Although many of us do not inspire to be THAT wine aficionado, talking about the bouquet, tannins, the essence and aromas, it is an interesting subject to know about. Regardless if you are an amateur wine snob, general enthusiast or truly an expert on the topic, nobody wants to experience a bad wine. So how do we make the best choice?
When it comes to the complex subject of wine there are of course several key points to consider.
Firstly, one should understand the difference between Old-World versus New-World wine. Although that may seem somewhat irrelevant, it does factor in a big way when it comes to taste. Simply put, when it comes down to it, if the wine is not from Europe it would otherwise be considered New-World. Mostly that would have to do with growing conditions such as soil and climate, but also centuries old traditions and culture. Old-world wines will generally have a more subtle taste where new-world wines have a tendency to be much more bold and intense. When you look at it from that perspective, it is always best to start with the country of origin when choosing your wine and food pairing. Be it red or white. Keeping in mind old-world sometimes means more expensive, so perhaps price is probably the first consideration you’ll make when choosing your wine.
We all know that wine comes from grapes. Of course these are not the kind of grapes you’ll find at the supermarket but rather the varietals that are grown specifically for wine making. With white wine the peels and seeds are removed whereas with red everything remains. Once crushed, the juices are separated and moved into fermentation tanks and yeast is added. This is where the fermentation process begins and a number of complex chemical reactions start to take place - yeast digests the sugars, carbon dioxide and alcohol are produced. That is a simplified version of what takes place. Then there is the aging of the wine where these complex chemical reactions continue to evolve and potentially improve the wine quality over time distinguishing acids, tannins, aroma, color and mouthfeel and of course overall taste and finish. Not all wines age the same or age well at all for that matter. Much of this will depend on the types of grapes used, vintage, wine making style and the wine region among other factors. The overall delicate conditions including how the wine is stored and bottled will also be a great influence.
Few wines age well past one year, others are best consumed within the first six months. It is estimated that only the top 5%-10% of wines produced improve with age. Many wines are consumed way too old rather than too young. You will note that the older the wine, the higher the price. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the wine you are drinking is more viable and better tasting aged. Some varieties do better aged such as the Pinot Noir. Reds that have a high level of phenolic increasing the chances that a wine will be able to age properly.
There is so much to know about wine and it is a constant learning endeavor. Blogs, books and volumes of materials have been printed over the decades on the subject. There are so many types of grapes, not to mention the mystery of the many blended varietals. Even the glassware becomes fodder for discussion. Then there are the food pairing suggestions and the many reasons behind all the theories.
The bottom line is: Discover and Enjoy!
ENTER THE WINE APP
With new wine apps launching every day––from individual wineries to massive databases––it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
Type the word WINE in the search tab of the Google Play Store or Apple iStore and a plethora of titles are listed.
It is quite a nightmare to choose one app over the others. So, we've done some digging and discovery on the best wine apps for Android and Apple based mobile devices. Whether or not you are a wine snob and refuse to drink a bottle of wine with a screw cap or from a box, we’ve put together this list of the Top 8 Wine Apps for a better knowledge-base understanding of this refined beverage:
Vivino Wine Scanner: One of the best all-purpose wine apps around, Vivino allows iPhone and Android smartphone users to snap a label shot and use the image to look up the wine's tech sheets, ratings, winemaker's notes and more. Tracking your favorite wines and sharing them with friends has never been easier. This app currently recognizes over 500,000 wines.
Hello Vino: Hello Vino is a free mobile wine app that works on any smartphone or mobile device. Available as both a free iPhone app and free Android app, Hello Vino also provides a mobile web app for other devices such as Blackberry and Windows Phones. The free mobile app provides recommendations for wine to pair with food, wine for occasions or gifts, and also suggestions based on personal taste preference.
Nirvino: Nirvino is a wine ratings guide and almost like having your own personal sommelier in your pocket. With more than 1 million wines listed in its database it is highly rated and available for both iPhone and Android. The app will suggest pairing suggestions with the ability to write, read and review ratings.
Taste of Napa: Regional specific and rich in educational, the Taste of Napa app is available for iPhone and Android. This specialized app showcases wine, food and special events in the Napa Valley.
Wine Dictionary: Want to learn more about wine vocabulary and wine regions? Want to know how to pronounce the foreign words on the labels? This Android app is for you. It explains, in plain English, all the fancy words used to describe wine. This dictionary contains the words used to describe the taste of wine, which grapes are used in which wines or wine regions, and much more!
America’s Wine Trails: Available for iPhone and Android, America’s Wine Trails is a comprehensive mobile app of wineries and wine trails covering thousands of wineries coast-to-coast, plus over 270 wine trails. The app will allow you to search by winery, wine trail and your favorite grape varietal. You can even keep a personal journal to keep track of your favorite tastings.
Swirl Pro – A Wine Guide: The Swirl Pro is great for beginners as well as the seasoned enthusiasts offering cellar management tools with integrated Evernote interface. Swirl will give you information about varietals, as well as buying and pairing suggestions. Perfect for when you are at the wine shop. This app is for Android users.
The Wine Coach: The official iPhone and Android App of Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach whose mission is to demystify wine one glass at a time! Laurie is one of the country’s leading wine experts, radio show host and the author of the award-winning book, The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine. This App includes access to a directory of Laurie's Wine Picks, Podcasts from The Sipping Point radio, wine and cooking videos, a grape guide to wine, a mobile wine rack to store your favorite wines and so much more!
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blog posts by Alex Zafer