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Tips for Winelovers

HomeTips for Winelovers

10 KEYS TO IDENTIFYING WINE

What are the characteristics of DO Catalunya?

DO Catalunya extends throughout the Catalan territory that has traditionally cultivated vines. It allows wines to be produced with freedom, innovation and flexibility. Winegrowers and bodegas act as creative agents, easily adapting to what consumers want. DO Catalunya is the Catalan DO that bottles the most wine, and is a major player in exportation markets.

What is the difference between a reserva and a crianza?

The difference is in thetime and ageing process.

  • In the case of reserva, ageing will take 3 years (combining a crianza minimum of 12 months in oak barrels, and 24 months in bottle).
  • The term gran reserva may also be used, which implies a total minimum ageing process of 5 years (2 of which are in oak barrels, and 3 in bottle).
Is a bottle with a screw top instead of a cork a lower-quality wine?

No, it is simply an alternative sealing system to a cork. Screw tops are completely airtight, but for wines which spend a long time in bottle, there is the risk that they become reduced (they get a “closed” flavour).
For rapid turnover wines, consumed between 1 and 3 years after bottling, it doesn’t usually lead to problems.

 

For top range wines, which are the product of long ageing processes, a cork is the ideal seal.

What is the proper temperature at which to serve a red wine in summer?

The temperature should be the same throughout the year:

  • For young wines: between 14 and 16°C.
  • For wine that was aged in oak barrels: between 16 and 18°C.

In the middle of summer, if the temperature is around 25°C, it is best to cool the wine in an ice bucket until reaching the recommended serving temperature (around 10 minutes is enough).

How do we know if we are pairing wine well with a meal?

The basic pairing rule consists of selecting a dish and a wine so that one doesn’t dominate the other. The most sophisticated pairings can include seeking a synergic effect between dish and wine. We can drink white wine with a beef dish, for example, as long as the flavours are not so intense that they override the white wine.

In the same way, we would strive to ensure that red wine does not eclipse fish dishes.

Why is it necessary to decant wine? How is it done?

It is not always necessary to decant wine. There are two reasons to do it and, normally, they are associated with wines that have been in the bottle for many years:

  • The wine seems “closed” after having spent a long time without air contact
  • There is sediment

How do you decant wine?

  • The wine should be transferred from the bottle to a decanter, a type of glass pitcher with a wide base which promotes contact between the wine and air, accelerating its oxygenation.
  • When moving wine to the decanter, you have to be careful so that the sediment that is in the bottle is not transferred to the decanter.
How do we know if a wine is 'correct' when we sample it in a restaurant?

There are two main reasons to reject a bottle of wine:

  • The smell or taste of “mould“, that some bottles may suffer due to contamination of the cork.
  • Other defects, caused by microbiological variations, such as a “vinegar“, taste, characterized by an excessive presence of acetic acid in the wine, and “brett“, recognizable due to its intense smell, which is similar to stables or horse sweat.
How should wine be stored?

If the bottle is sealed with a cork, it should be stored in a horizontal position,, so that it remains damp through contact with the wine, and prevents the cork from drying out.

It is also important to avoid dramatic changes in temperature, an excessively dry atmosphere, or too much light.

Once opened, how long can wine be kept in the fridge before it loses its organoleptic properties?

It will depend on the wine’s typology and its alcoholic content, but it is unlikely that the initial properties will be maintained for more than 3-4 days, with refrigeration.

  • Wines with higher alcohol content and with more structure will fare a little better.
  • The volume of air that is in contact with the wine is also a factor: a mostly empty bottle will have a lot of air, and this can affect the wine, oxidizing the aromas and encouraging spoiling.
Is drinking a glass of wine a day healthy?

Various scientific studies have shown that moderate consumption of wine in healthy persons is beneficial to health.

Which is the best-known compound in wine that offers these benefits?
Polyphenols.

In which types of wine are they found?
They can be found in the vast majority of rosé and red wines.

How many glasses of wine are healthy?
Depending on sex and body weight, it would be between one and two glasses a day, shared between more than one meal.