There are countless wine brands out there, each claiming they offer the perfect pairing for their food. How can you know which brand you should buy? And since wine is such diverse, why would anyone choose one over another?
Wine has long been associated with good living. In addition to providing pleasure, it also brings us closer together – whether at home or in a restaurant. Whether you want to impress someone special, have a romantic evening, or simply enjoy some delicious food and drink, choosing the right wine is essential.
The great thing about wine is that it comes from grapes. While wine does vary somewhat depending on where it was produced (e.g., California vs. Bordeaux), its flavor profile largely is affected by the type of grape it is made of. There are hundreds of varieties with thousands of possibilities (depending on factors like weather conditions, and location).
The art of choosing and serving the perfect wine has become an important aspect of dining out. There are thousands of variations of wines available today. While some types are easier to pair with food than others, they all share similar tastes. Here are a couple of factors to have in mind when choosing the perfect wine!
1. Harvesting method
This is an obvious choice since the majority of this drink is made using grapes. If you want great-tasting wine then you should choose a grape mixture that is suited to dry weather conditions, ideally grown near the coast, where temperatures are cooler than inland vineyards.
Wines that are harvested later are richer in alcohol content and therefore have less sugar in them. This means they need to spend longer in the barrel before bottling and may take longer to mature. When selecting a grape varietal, look at the acidity level. These two characteristics determine whether the wine will age well or not.
2. Fermentation temperature
Fermentation temperature influences how long yeast cells live, and thus affects the amount of carbon dioxide they produce. In general, lower fermentation temperature produces drier wines, whereas warmer temperatures lead to sweeter ones.
Low temperatures keep the yeast alive much longer, producing a longer-lasting headspace gas (carbon dioxide) and leading to a richer flavor profile. Warm fermentations mean rapid consumption of sugar, resulting in quick levels of residual sugar remaining after fermentation, giving a sharper taste.
As a result of the faster consumption of sugar, these wines often require shorter time spent in oak barrels. Higher fermentation temperatures increase the risk of acetic acid formation (vinegary taste), which explains why some whites turn harsh if fermented at higher temperatures. Other elements affecting the taste of wine are grape ripeness, sulfur compounds, and water activity.
Generally speaking, ripe fruit gives a sweet and fruity flavor; sulfurous notes are associated with a strong minerality, and acidic wines are those with a balance between acidity and sweetness.
3. Grape type
Variety is everything! This is particularly true for red varieties, as they give the greatest range of flavors, depending upon their characteristics. Red varieties come in many types, including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay.
White varieties consist mainly of Riesling, Muscat Canelli, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Semillon. While each variety has its particular strengths, they share similarities in terms of flavor profiles. Most white varieties have a crisp character with citrusy and mineral tones, whilst reds are fuller-bodied with more concentrated fruits and spices. One thing to bear in mind though is that different countries use different varieties.
For example, Australia uses Shiraz for its red wines, whereas Napa Valley California prefers Cabernet Sauvignon.
The climate of the area you plan to grow your grapes determines how the grapes respond to the environment and the way they develop. Areas with a humid continental climate (such as France, Germany, Italy, and Spain) experience warm, wet summers and cold winters. Dry climates tend to favor cool nights combined with hot days. All major viticulture countries follow this pattern. The ideal location for wine-making varies from country to country. French region is known for its full-bodied, highly aromatic wines, whereas German winemakers favor fresh, bright, unoaked styles.
5. Wine style
Wine style refers to the techniques and processes employed during winemaking. There are three main categories: enology, vintages, and aromas. Enology focuses on the science involved in wine production, such as the percentage of sugar and acids present in the final product. Vintages involve determining the vintage year – the year in which the grapes were picked. Finally, aroma describes the bouquet, or smell, of a certain wine.
6. Alcohol %
Alcohol by volume («V) is the measure of the alcoholic content of a beverage. Pure ethanol contains exactly 100% ABV. However, any non-alcoholic ingredients, such as water, reduce the total amount of pure ethanol in the mixture. You should aim to avoid drinking anything over 14% ABV, as it could prove harmful to your liver. This factor is very easy to see if you prefer to buy liquor online because next to each drink is indicated what percentage of alcohol it contains, if you visit this site you can see what % alcohol your favorite wine contains.
Sustainable winemaking involves protecting the environment without compromising the quality of the product. Sustainable practices can help to preserve the delicate ecosystem of the vineyard and prevent environmental damage or pollution caused by pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Common sustainable practices include planting native species and avoiding the use of herbicides, insecticides, or fungicides. Another option is biodynamic farming, a practice that originated in the early 20th century in Germany. Biodynamics encourages biodiversity, increases crop yield, enhances fertility, and promotes wellness.
In conclusion, there are so many factors to take into consideration when choosing a wine. It is important to know what you like before buying a bottle. If you enjoy a dry wine, then look for one that does not contain much sugar. On the other hand, if you love sweet wines, choose something with plenty of sweetness. When tasting a wine, be sure to swirl it around in your glass first. This will allow you to appreciate all the different aromas and flavors. Now would be the right time to pour yourself a glass and enjoy the flavors. Cheers.