Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Effect of terroir on grapes and wine

Effect of terroir on grapes and wine
The word 'Terroir' comes from root 'terre' which means earth or soil. But in the world of wines, the terroir concept is more than just soil. Where some classify terroir as an interactive cultivated ecosystem in a given place including soil, climate, and the vine; some define it as a combination of natural environment plus biological and human factors. We can say that the terroir concept is based on an assumption that the key wine characteristics attribute to a fixed geographical area where the grapes and the wine are produced.                                     
How to study a terroir?

The terroir is one of the most widely-discussed subjects in winemaking and is highly accepted in established regions, be it any part of the world. Since many factors related to both the plant and the physical environment are involved in defining a terroir, it is advised to opt a pluridisciplinary approach for studying a terroir.

Is terroir responsible for wine's sensory attributes?

Yes. To understand the concept of terroir and its influence on wine composition along with sensory attributes, the spatial and temporal variability of key wine aroma compounds should be known. These are ­­3-mercaptohexanol (‘tropical’ and ‘grapefruit’ notes), 1,8-cineole (‘minty’ and ‘eucalypt’ aromas), and rotundone (‘peppery’ and ‘spicy’ notes). Various studies on these aroma compounds suggest that the environmental and biological interactions along with biotic factors like vintage and winemaking procedures, play important roles in shaping a wine's composition and its sensory attributes.

What takes for a grape to express the terroir?

The precocity of the grapevine variety is the first condition for a great terroir expression. It should match with the local climatic conditions in such a way that full ripeness of the fruit is reached by the end of the growing season. The second condition is that the vines should experience a factor which limits the yield and vigour. For example, water deficit stress or low nitrogen availability in the soil. Please note, even a single wine region may have varied terroir. Sometimes, a single wine grape variety grown on a specific block in a single
vineyard may produce different tastes than the one (with same variety) grown in another block. This is enough to tell how wide the concept of terroir is.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Expensive Wines vs Cheap Wines

What makes a wine expensive and why a wine sells at less price? These two questions might have come to your mind many a times while buying wines, be it cheap or expensive. Another question that hooks is that whether it is possible to find quality wine traits in an inexpensive wine? Let's get deep into this and explore the truth behind expensive wines vs cheap wines. The following tips will help you seek a better wine.

There are three main factors that play a major role in developing the taste and determining the price for a wine.


Oak barrels are used to age a wine and evolve it with nutty flavours. The most coveted winemakers in the world prefer using new oak barrels to add in vanilla and baking spice flavours. On the other hand, wines that are aged in old oak barrels develop less characters than the wines aged in new oak. Also the new oak barrels, especially the French ones, are in huge demand, hence they come costly when compared to American oak. That increases the value of the wine by $2-4 per bottle.


It is generally assumed that the wine gets better with time. It does, in some reds, but it is equally important to know that ageing wine actually changes the taste of fruit flavours, and reduces tannins and acidity in the wine. Some wines taste better when holded for 10 years but the point here is that holding wines for years takes space and money both. This adds more cost, probably $1 to $5 per bottle (depending on the time for which the wine has been holded) to the wine. As far as white wines are concerned, most of them taste better when enjoyed young and fresh.


A wine’s journey begins in the vineyard, and a vineyard’s site plays a very important role in determining the value of the wine. For producing premium and fine quality wines, winemakers focus at making their vines low-yielding. The location of the vineyard also matters. For example, a vineyard located at hill with low nutrient soil tend to produce quality grapes when compared to the fertile soils of a river delta. Also, the variety of the grape grown in a particular region might add to the value of the wine. Take example of Shiraz from Barossa Valley and a Riesling from Clare Valley. Both places have earned a reputation worldwide for the respective varieties. So, even if you have a low-priced varietal from a region where it is best grown, it might be worth trying.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Wine on Tap vs Wine in Bottle

Wine on tap must be gaining popularity, but is it really a great taker on wine in bottles? Let’s find out!
Wine efficiency
Those who are new to trying wines may not find any difference at all. However, wine connoisseurs can immediately notice the difference between the wine served from a bottle and the one served through a tap. Bottled wines open up much faster than a wine on tap. The nose is especially more noticeable and opens on the bottled wines, enhancing the flavours on the initial sips. The wine on tap takes some time, opening after a few minutes of swirling and breathing in the glass. On the palate, both wine pouring styles have a similarity. However, that totally depends on specific wines. Ultimately, the choice is yours, whether you want to enjoy wine to the fullest or partially!

Wine on tap vs wine in bottle
Cleanliness & handling
Wine on taps requires a lot of attention in terms of cleanliness. If taps or tap lines aren't clean, the gas mix isn’t perfect, the temperature isn't right, or if the pressure is wrong, the wine on tap will end up tasting terrible. The same is not the case with a bottled wine, which just needs to be stored in the right place
Economically, a keg wine or a wine on tap will be efficient for those restaurant owners who have a big footprint of customers and have long queues to tackle and where wine can be sold by the glass. On the other hand, wine in bottles is perfect for restaurants whose customers prefer quality over quantity. Wine on tap can be an economical choice for customers but there will always be some loss of aromas in initial sips when a wine is served from a keg. On the other hand, a carefully cellared wine bottle will preserve and enhance the flavours and complexity of the wine, which is not possible with wine from a tap.
Online wine retailers like Just Wines in Australia have made it possible to buy premium and fine wines from Aussie and New Zealand wineries at eye-opening discounted prices. That means wine on bottles have now become a savvy affair for both retail buyers and bulk buyers. Just Wines also offers free shipping to its Trophy Club members, which cuts the cost of travelling to a wine bar too! Now you can judge which one is more economical!

Monday, 4 June 2018

5 facts revealing Australia's drinking habits

If you are in Australia and company with your lady friends, there is a high chance that you might be
drinking wine. If the guess was right, there is nothing to be surprised about!

Here are few statistics revealing some of the interesting facts about Australian people and their drinking habits -
  1. Total consumption of wine in Australia is 69 million litres for 2013-14

2. Australian women prefer wine over other alcoholic drinks such as beer and spirits as compared to men.


3Bottled wine is the most preferred drink by Australians succeeded by beer and bottled spirit

Alcohol-Beverage-consumed by-Australians

4. Average weekly spend by a household on wine is ~$8.5 as compared to ~$12.5 for beer.


5. Australian’s in the age group of 30+ is more likely to drink wine over other alcoholic drinks.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Effect of climatic change on Aussie wines and wineries

Some of the few burning questions related to climatic change and Australian wine industry -
  • How will Australian wines and wineries be affected by climatic change? 
  • How is viticulture going to be affected by climatic change?
  • How are wineries planning to mitigate climatic change?

Additional solutions for the wineries is to use genetically modified grapes that can withstand high temperatures. Another way is implement canopy management effectively to provide shade or by trellis management so that the vines can remain cool at all times. However, vines should not receive excessive of shade, as it might not good for the produce.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Quick Statistics - Australian wine industry

Australian wine Industry 

Australia is the 6th largest wine producer and 11th highest per capita consumption of wine. Know about the statistics of Australian wine industry such as no of wineries, wine-regions,  grape variety most widely grown in Australia, total wine grape crush by region and wine exports.

Here is a quick summary of the Australian wine industry - 

1.Total wine production in Australia is 1.37 billion liters
2. Shiraz is most widely grown grape variety in area totaling ~40,000 ha
3. South Australia has the highest grape crush among all the wine regions of Australia
4. Australian wine has the highest exports to China accounting  to 33% of all the total exports
(Figures from Wine Australia of year- 2017)

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Pairing wine with vegetarian dishes

Learn About Pairing Wines with Vegetarian Dishes

The very first thumb rule that people learn while pairing food with wine is 'Pair a red wine with red meat and a white wine with white meat'. This rule definitely works when the talk is about non-vegan dishes, but what concept is followed when cooked dishes are purely vegan? Which wine tastes best with tofu, roasted veggies or a spicy vegetarian stir-fry? We scrolled through various websites of wine and food experts and have jotted down some basic recommendations for different vegetarian cuisines. This guide will help you in pairing wine with vegetarian dishes perfectly.

White or Red?

It can be any! The wine world has thrown away the old-school wine pairing concepts through the innovative vegan recipes. Tofu and beans can go well with sparkling wines as well, and that includes a Rose too. Rose wines made from Pinot Noir and Shiraz do not overpower the fresh flavours of veggies, so they are an easy choice for many vegan dishes.

Go Local

Try pairing a wine with the food grown in the particular region from where the wine is. This helps in creating a perfect balance between regional flavours and taste.

Pairing Likewise

Pair elegant food with an elegant wine and a daily food like pasta with an everyday-drinking or sober wine.

Sweet for Heat

Pair spicy and hot Indian and Thai dishes with sweet dessert wines. The ripe fruit and residual sugars in sweet whites help tame the heat and bring out the other flavours in spicy dishes.

Trust your Taste Buds

Don’t overthink, just trust your taste buds. If you liked a particular wine when paired with a dish prepared by you, you should mention it. Who knows, you explored something new that can be cherished!

There’s an entire field dedicated to food & wine pairings. An entire range of books is devoted to wine pairing and food selections, so it is almost difficult to mention each and every little bit of the whole world of food matches with wine here. Just follow these simple tips mentioned above and let us know about your favourite pairing in the comment box below.