Monday, 29 May 2017
Friday, 26 May 2017
|source: Wine Folly|
Alcohol is an organic compound found in alcoholic beverages. In Chemistry, Ethanol is a type of alcohol and which gives the person the feeling of ‘drunkenness’ after consumption. It is colorless, volatile and has a characteristic odor.
Wines are known to be an alcoholic beverage because during fermentation the sugar in the grapes break down and forms ethanol. Wine has around 9%-16% alcohol. Whereas other alcoholic beverages like Beer has 2%-12% of alcohol, Vodka has 35%-50% alcohol, Gin has 40%-50% alcohol and Whisky has 48%-68% alcohol.
Alcohol is measured in terms of Alcohol by Volume or ABV and this form of measurement is used worldwide. It is the no of milliliters of pure ethanol in 100ml of the solution at 20 degree Celsius. The simplest way to calculate alcohol content in wine is with the help of hydrometer. It helps in calculating the difference in the density of the solution before and after fermentation which helps in determining the volume of alcohol in solution.
There is no standard criteria across various countries to classify wines are low, medium or high alcohol on the basis of their alcohol content. We also have Zero-percent alcohol wines. Therefore, if you do concern about the alcohol percentage in wines or other liqueurs, it is important to know what is the classification which is generally used in a city or country. Generally, wines containing up to 10% alcohol are classified as Low Alcohol., between 11-15% are Medium Alcohol and more than 15% are High Alcohol. There is a further classification into low alcohol red and low alcohol white wines, and likewise for medium and high alcohol ones.
Grapes having lower levels of sugar but which are fully ripe tend to produce low alcohol wines during fermentation upon the action of yeast. By making small alterations in the winemaking methods, the amount of alcohol produced can be controlled during the fermentation process.
Wines coming from cool climate regions and the wines coming from warmer regions present at high altitudes tend to have low alcohol content.
Monday, 22 May 2017
Friday, 19 May 2017
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
The journey of Mount Langi Ghiran Wines started with Fratins, an Italian immigrant family. They cleared the land which they had and the three brothers Don, Lino and Serge Fratins replanted the vines paving the way for “Langi” Old Block Shiraz vineyard. Their Initial years to produce wine was successful but the 1980 vintage was far from perfect. In search of someone who had comprehensive knowledge of winemaking, they found Trevor Mast, leading wine consultant at that time. His skills proved useful for the success of Fratins 1981 vintage. Later, Trevor and his wife along with Ian Menzies purchased Mount Langi Ghiran. It was in 2002 that Rathbone family wanted to purchase a winery to expand its wine business. They were looking for a winery that specialized in one specific grape variety and which was located at a premium wine region when they came across Mount Langi Ghiran. It satisfied all their requirements and the winery was soon purchased by them.
In 2004, Dan Buckle took the position as the chief winemaker but was soon replaced by Kate Petering. Currently, Ben Haines is the Chief Winemaker at the winery. Previously he has worked at Mitchelton Wines and Yering Station Winery.
The vineyards are located at the base of Mt Langi Ghiran which is 350m above sea level. Total vineyards are spread over 80 hectares, 80% of which is Shiraz and the remaining includes other grape varieties Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon in red and Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris in white grape varieties.
At the winery, to prevent plant diseases, Sulphur is used to protect vines from the attack of powdery mildew. Special moisture monitoring technology is employed with which moisture of the soil can be calculated and irrigation is done thereafter to reduce water wastage. The grass is grown around property and trees planted to conserve the natural habit around the winery and ‘billabongs’ (water body) created to conserve aquatic life.
· Mast – These wines have been awarded highly by wine critics like James Halliday and Campbell Mattinson. 2012 vintage scored 98 points by Halliday.
· Langi – 2014 Langi Shiraz scored 98 points in 2017 James Halliday Wine Companion.
Awards and Recognition
In 1990’s, ’94 vintage of Langi Shiraz got wide recognition when it, along with Penfolds Grange and Henschke’s Mount Edelstone Shiraz, was showcased on the cover of Wine Spectator Magazine. Another outstanding achievement for Langi Shiraz was when it was included in Langton’s Classification.
Monday, 15 May 2017
Shaw and Smith M3 Chardonnay 2013 wine received the Best Chardonnay of 2016 award at 2016 Adelaide Hills Wine Show.
Thursday, 11 May 2017
Stella Bella wines is reputed for its fine wines. The people behind the brand have worked hard to make it popular country-wide. Stella Bella Serie Luminosa Chardonnay is a well-known wine.
Wednesday, 10 May 2017
What do Fortified Wines Mean?
Wines are classified in many ways. On the basis of grape varieties used to make wine, these are classified as Red, White or Mixed. On the basis of ingredients which give it a special character, these are classified as Sparkling and Fortified. These are also classified on the basis of taste, such as Sweet or Dry. Then there are Dessert wines to be consumed after the meals. Among these varied classifications, it is the fortified wines which are made by addition of another type of alcohol to the wine. In these wines, brandy is added to the wines and this makes it different from the others.
How did it all began?
Fortification in wines, or addition of ethanol (brandy) to the wine, began around the middle of the 17th century. It is said that this addition happened due to some accident. Fortification helps in preserving the wine for a long period of time. Ethanol has antiseptic properties and this is what prevents the wine from getting damaged. But, this knowledge is unlikely to have contributed to the making of fortified wines because the antiseptics were discovered about a century later.
Is only brandy used in making of Fortified wines?
Brandy is the most common and also the most preferred item to be added to the wine to make it fortified. But, it is not the only item which can be added. The spirit to be added can be derived from a number of products, such as grapes, sugarcane, sugar beet or even grains. However, the local laws determine which spirit is to be used in making of fortified wines. So, you would find different flavours of these wines from different regions of the world. It is always interesting to know how different wines are fortified.
With respect to the flavour of these wines, it can be said that besides the nature of spirit, another important factor which determines the flavour is the method of distillation used. Generally, two methods are used: column still and pot still. Column stills are used for continuous and sustainable distillation process whereas pot stills are used for distillation in batches. These impart different flavours to fortified wines. Regional laws determine which of these would be used to make it.
What are some of the famous fortified wines?
Madeira (produced in Madeira Islands), Marsala (produced from Sicily), Mistelle, Moscatel de Setubal and Port Wines (from Portugal), Sherry (from Jerez region of Spain) and Vermouth are some of the world renowned fortified wines. These vary in flavour and style.
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
Biodynamic wines are in trend. These wines are formed by using the grapes that are grown on the principles of bio-dynamism. Biodynamic agriculture is practiced in consonance with the happening or the non-happening of certain cosmological events. This type of farming is based on the principle that cosmic processes and events have an influence on our being. These cosmic events could be anything from a lunar cycle to a solar cycle. In most of the farms where this type of farming is practiced, it is the lunar cycle calendar which is drawn up for aligning different activities with different phases of moon.
It is to be noted that the cycle of moon and its gravitational pull exerted on earth do have a bearing on life processes of earth, from humans to biological agents. This force is responsible for creation of tides- high or low and the effect can also be witnessed in human bodies which comprises of 70 percent water. The same can be true even for plants, and particularly so for the grape vines. And, the same is also true for biological agents. But, is it only the lunar cycles which shall be considered? There are other forces present in the universe which also have a bearing on our lives. Do these have to be counted as well? Well, solar phenomenon and its cycles are one of these. Will these have any impact on the biodynamic farm practices and on wines made from these? Surely yes, but why are elaborate calendars of same not prepared in same way as lunar cycles.
Apart from these, do we have any other phenomenon which is to be considered? Even if these are to be considered, what farming activity shall be aligned with which of these. How will all of these together be taken into account? This would require an innate knowledge of astronomy as well as farming in order to know which farming activity does well under what all cosmic phenomenon.