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Wine Basics and Grape Varietals
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Wine Basics and Grape Varietals

Wine Basics and Grape VarietalsWhat is wine?-Wine is fermented grape juice.

- Fermentation is the process by which the sugars from crushed grapes are eaten by yeast to create alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2).Three Major Categories Table Wine: Ranging from 8 to 15 percent alcohol

Sparkling Wine: Ranging from 8 to 12 percent alcohol plus CO2 Fortified Wine: Ranging from 17 to 22 percent 3Who are the top producers?1. France2. Italy3. Spain4. United States5. Argentina6. Australia7. South Africa8. Germany9. Chile10. Portugal10. Portugal4The most important factors in winemaking:Geographic locationSoilWeatherGrapesVinification (actual winemaking process)

Soil5Problems in growing grapes & winemaking ProblemResults InSolutionsNot enough sunUnder ripe, vegetal, high acid, low sugarAddition of sugar to the must (fresh grape juice-during fermentation)Too much sunOverripe, high alcohol, prune characterAmelioration (addition of water to must)Too much rainThin, watery winesMove vineyard to drier climateFrostReduced yield of quality grapesProtection methods: wind machines, flaming heatersPhylloxeraDead vinesGraft vines onto resistant rootstockMildewRotSpray with copper sulfateHigh alcoholUnbalanced wineDe-alcoholize(reverse osmosis)Age or Not to Age?Most wines are made to be consumed within that first year. Less than 1% of the worlds wine should be aged more than five years. (Which still represents quite a bit. Thats more than 35 million bottles each vintage.)Factors that make a wine ageable:- The color and the grape- The vintage- Where the wine comes from- How the wine was made (vinification)- Storage conditionsTasting Wine5 Basic Steps in Wine Tasting

ColorSwirlSmellTasteSavorColorThe best way to determine color of your wine is place the glass at an angle - over a white background. (Napkin or blank sheet of paper)Color will tell you:If its an older wineDifferent grape variety give different colorsIf the wine was aged in wood

SwirlSwirling the wine allows more oxygen to the wine.This action also releases the wines aromas and opens up the wine.

SmellSmelling the wine is the most important part of wine tasting.The nose will identify more scents than the tongue will pick up tastes.When smelling:Smell your wine at least three times. This will give you more information each timeThink about what you smell. Is it fruit, wood, metallic, mold, spice?Every descriptor leads you to finding out what youre drinking.TasteWhat to look for when tasting: Sweetness: On the tip of the tongue- it will be sensed right away.Acidity: On the sides of the tongue, cheek area, and the back of the throat- white wines tend to have more acidity.Bitterness: Tasted on the back of the tongue.Tannin: More of a sensation than an actual taste. This will be more apparent in red wines and wood-aged white wines. It can sometime dry out your mouth when theres a heavy presence.Fruit Characteristics: These are smells, not tastes. The weight of fruit will be felt in the middle of the tongue. Aftertaste: How long does it last? Is it quick or does it hang out for awhile?SavorReflecting on the wine and your impressions of the wine:Was the wine light bodied, medium, full?Did you enjoy what you tasted? Was it worth the price?What foods would go well with the wine?Was there balance throughout your experience?Is this style something you would purchase again?

Wine & FoodA few pairing guidelines:Make the wine the superstar. The wine should never have to fight with the food.Never pair bitter with bitter. High tannic wines pair well with fat and savory dishes not bitter veggies.The wine should be sweeter. When choosing your dessert, make sure its not any sweeter than the wine youve chosen. It will cause more tartness in the wine.The wine should be more tart. There should be more acidity in the wine than the food. Otherwise the will taste bland.Red Grape VarietalsPinot NoirCommon flavors/aromas: cherry, cranberry, raspberry, tobacco, cola, caramel, vanilla, clove, mushroomClusters are small and difficult to ripen evenly.Yields light to medium bodied wineTannin: Medium LowAcidity: Medium HighUsually sees French oakGreat places for Pinot Noir: France (Burgundy), U.S. (Oregon, California), Northern Italy (aka Pinot Nero), New ZealandFood Pairings: duck, salmon, roasted pork, ham, mushroom risotto

GrenacheCommon flavors / aromas: strawberry, black cherry, raspberry, citrus rind, cinnamon, aniseTannins: MediumAcidity: MediumWas used in the 17th century to blend with Pinot Noir before it was illegalYields medium to full bodied winesGreat places for Grenache: France, Spain, and U.S.Food pairings: roasted meats and vegetables, heavier stews, higher alcohol Grenache can help tame spicy foods.

MerlotCommon flavors/aromas: plum, blueberry, cherry, cedar, vanilla, mochaTannin: MediumAcidity: MediumMost planted grape in FranceGenerally yields more of a softer and more supple wineCommonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add more bodyGreat Places for Merlot: France (Bordeaux), Italy (Toscana), United States(Washington, California), Australia(South),Chile, and ArgentinaFood Pairings: herbed chicken, roasted tomato pasta, pork

SangioveseCommon flavors/aromas: tart cherry, red plum, tomato, fig, roasted pepper, smoke, dried rosesTannin: HighAcidity: HighTypically sees light oak agingGrand majority is planted in ItalyFood Pairings: Rich roasted meats, pizza, cured sausages, and hard cheeses

Cabernet SauvignonCommon flavors/aromas: black currant, blackberry, black cherry, licorice, vanilla, black pepperTannin: Medium(+)Acidity: Medium(+)Know as King Cabernet of red grapesCabernet grapes love warm climates and tend to be ideal for aging.Great places for Cabernet: France, Chile, United States, and Australia Food Pairing: charred mushroom burger, high fat and umami dishes, braised short ribs

SyrahCommon flavors/aromas: boysenberry, blueberry, pepper, mint, chocolate, licorice, herbs, allspiceMedium to high usage of oak agingTannin: Medium(+)Acidity: Medium(+)Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape. The U.S., France, and other countries its Syrah. In Australia its called Shiraz.Great Places for Syrah: France, Australia, Spain, Argentina, South Africa, United StatesFood Pairing: blue cheese, bbq, roasted vegetables, roasted game

MalbecCommon flavors/aromas: blueberry, blackberry, violets, plum, raspberry, mocha, tobaccoTannin: MediumAcidity: MediumOften used in blending other reds(such as Merlot and Petite Verdot)Argentinas signature grapeGreat place for Malbec: Argentina, France, United StatesFood Pairing: leaner red meats, buffalo burgers, dark meat poultry, semi-firm goats milk cheese, roasted vegetables

White Grape VarietalsPinot GrigioCommon flavors/aromas: lime, green apples, lemon, nectarine, almond, honeysuckleAcidity: Medium High-HighAlso known as Pinot GrisGreat places for Pinot Grigio: Italy, United States, GermanyFood Pairing: Tilapia, Scallops,poultry, fresh vegetables and salads

RieslingCommon flavors/aromas: apricot, pineapple, lemon, peach, apple, lime, honey, petrol, citrus blossomAcidity: HighAging some Rieslings will give off rubber/petrol/diesel aromasRarely blended with other grapesAlso known as Rhine Wine being that its most planted in the Rhine Valley, GermanyGreat places for Riesling: Germany, Australia, United States, FranceFood Pairing: chicken, shrimp, crab, spicy dishes, roasted vegetables

Sauvignon Blanc* Common flavors/aromas: pear, kiwi, passionfruit, white peach, nectarine, gooseberry, grass, basil (If oak aged-vanilla, pie crust, coconut)* Acidity: Medium-Medium High* Sauvignon Blanc is commonly blended with Semillon and Muscadelle inWhite Bordeaux.* Great Places for Sauvignon Blanc: France, New Zealand, Italy, United States, Chile*Food Pairing: poultry, pork, cod, redfish, halibut, goats milk cheese, sauted green veggies

Chenin Blanc* Common flavors/aromas: passionfruit, pear, peach, apple, mango, honey, hay, burnt sugar (If oak-aged: butterscotch, buttered popcorn, nutmeg* Acidity: Medium High- High* Ranges from dry- sweet* Great Places for Chenin Blanc: South Africa, France, Argentina, United States* Food Pairings: veal, trout, chicken, turkey, pork chop,triple-cream brie, herb-crusted goat cheeses

Moscato* Common flavors/aromas: apricot, peach, nectarine, meyer lemon, orange, perfume, jasmine, honeysuckle* Acidity: Medium* Yields highly aromatic sweet wines with lower alcohol levels* Also known Muscat or Muscat Blanc*Great Place for Moscato: Italy, United States* Food Pairing: Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, bbq pork, poultry

Gewurztraminer* Common flavors/aromas: grapefruit, pineapple, cantaloupe, rose, honey, ginger* Acidity: Medium Low* Only about 20,000 acres planted worldwide* Great Places for Gewurztraminer: France (Alsace), United States( California)* Food Pairings: duck, chicken, roasted vegetables, soft cows milk cheese, dried fruits

Chardonnay* Commons flavors/aromas: pineapple, guava, mango, citrus, green apple, celery leaf, beeswax,(If oak-aged: vanilla, baked tart, butter, crme brulee* Acidity: Medium low (oaked-warm climate), Medium high(unoaked cool climate)* Some Chardonnays taste creamier because of malolactic fermentation.* Malolactic Fermentation is the process inwinemakingin whichtart-tastingmalic acid is converted to softer-tastinglactic acid.This takes place after the primary fermentation. * Great Places for Chardonnay: France, United StatesFood Pairing: chicken, turkey, pork loin, soft semi softcows milk cheese and goat cheese

Thank You!David NicholasBeer/Wine ManagerFairfield Market28550 HWY 290Cypress, TX

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