Monday, 26 June 2017

Some Basic Facts About Cabernet Sauvignon

Country of Origin
The country of origin of Cabernet Sauvignon is Bordeaux, France.
Areas where it is grown?
Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in United States, Chile, Argentina, France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Color of the wine?
The wine color is dark ruby red.
Characteristics of Wine?
A typical Cabernet Sauvignon wine  is a medium to full body with strong tannins. It is dry (low on sweetness), with medium acidity. The wine is generally characterized as dark and dense whereas the wine coming from cool climate has flavours of Asparagus whereas medium climate wines has mint and eucalyptus flavours.
Serving and Storing
The ideal temperature for serving this wine is around 17-19 degree Celsius. If the temperature at which the wine is served is above the optimum temperature, wine will not produce the desirable taste. The wine needs to be opened 3-6 hours before serving which is due to presence of high level of tannins, it needs an additional time to open itself and time to breathe before being savoured.  
Type of Glass used?
A Bordeaux glass is most suitable to serve Cabernet Sauvignon. As it has wider opening it helps in releasing more flavours in the wine after the wine gets in contact with the air.
Food Pairing
Cabernet Sauvignon wonderfully pairs with steak and with dark chocolate. Steak is rich in proteins and fats and Cabernet Sauvignon acts as a scraper which removes the proteins and fats present on the tongue and compliments it well. The wine can also be paired with beef, game and hard cheese. Is normally paired with multi-flavoured dishes as it has sweetness in it.
Oldest Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard
The oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard of the world is Kalimna Vineyard - Block 42 in Australia. The vines were planted around 1886 which makes it more than 125 years old. The vineyard is owned by Penfolds, Australia’s famous wine brand.
Most Expensive Wine in the world

1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon is the most expensive wine in the world sold at an auction at a price of $500,000 in the year 2000.

Friday, 16 June 2017

The Famed Sherry Wines- A Type of Fortified Wine

What is Sherry?
A wine is a sherry if it meets the following conditions-
It is a fortified wine which means it is made by adding distilled liquor like brandy to the wine
It is made from white grape which is grown close to Jerez de la Frontera town in Spain

Phoenicians introduced winemaking to Spain in 1100 B.C. and Jerez was the central town for the winemaking activities. Distillation was introduced to the region by the Moors in 711 A.D. During that period, the town was known by the name of ‘Sherish’ and is the origin of names ‘Sherry’ and ‘Jerez’. Under the rule of Alfonso X of Castile, the production of sherry and its distribution throughout Europe increased remarkably in 1264 and by sixteenth-century Sherry was famous as the ‘world’s finest wine’.

Types of Sherry
Fino – Palest and driest among the varieties. Has 15-17% alcohol
Manzanilla – Lighter variety of Fino Sherry. Has 15-17% alcohol
Manzanilla Pasada – This variety is derived when the ageing is extended for Manzanilla variety or if it has undergone partial oxidation
Amontillado – This variety is aged under ‘flor’, which is a yeast like, that prevents the oxidation but later exposed to oxygen it develops into a Sherry darker than Fino but lighter than Oloroso. Has 16-17% alcohol.
Palo Cortado – On ageing like Amontillado for 3-4 years it develops a character like Oloroso. Has 17-22% alcohol.
Oloroso – Ageing period of this variety of sherry is longer than Fino or Amontillado which produces darker and richer wine. Is often termed as most alcoholic sherries. Has 17-22% alcohol.
Cream – Sweet Sherry, made by blending Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso. Has high sugar content and 15.5% to 22% alcohol.

Making of Sherry
After fermentation of grapes(primarily Palomino grape), the next step is to fortify the wine with the help of Grape Spirit (one of the substitutes of brandy) to raise the alcohol level of the wine. If the wine is to be developed into Fino and Manzanilla then the wine is fortified further until it reaches a level of 15.5% alcohol by volume. These wines are then barreled and develop a yeast-like substance called ‘flor’ which prevents the excessive oxidation of the wine. From this point, wines which are to be aged as Oloroso are fortified until they reach a level of 17% ABV(alcohol by volume) but this time ‘flor’ is not developed and these wines get oxidised and get a darker colour.


Sherry is aged through Solera system. Group of containers of different ages of sherry, a usual difference of one year apart with each other, are kept. Contents of the container having the most aged sherry are taken out for bottling and are filled with second most aged sherry and the same process is repeated to all  the containers till the youngest which is filled with the new sherry. This way the final product obtained is a blend of different ages.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Know Your Fortified Wines- The Port Wine of Portugal

Port Wines is a fortified wine produced in Douro Valley in Portugal. Outside Portugal, it is produced in Canada, Argentina, France, United States, Australia, and India.

From where did Port Wine get its name?
Port Wine got its name from ‘Porto’ port on the Douro river, which was the place where the port wine used to be exported to other countries in Europe in 17th Century.

Grape Varieties
Tinta Cão, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional are the grape varieties from which Port Wine is produced. Touriga Francesa is the most widely grown port grape.

Preparation of Port Wine
Port Wine is produced from the grapes grown especially from Douro region of Portugal. 

During the making of port wine, it is not allowed to complete fermentation. Incomplete fermentation leaves the residual sugar behind and fortification is done by adding grape spirit ‘Aguardente’ which increases the alcohol content after which the wine is stored in barrels and aged before bottling.

Types of Port Wine
·         Tawny Port is made from red grapes. Gradual Oxidation and evaporation in wooden barrels’ results in a golden-brown color wine with a nutty flavor. Consumed as a dessert wine. Tawny port goes best with Stilton, King of English Cheese, Jalapenos and Cheddar. Also pairs well with Apple, Cream, and Almond tarts.
·         Ruby Port is the cheapest and most widely produced port. Does not generally improve with age. Pairs well with Dark Chocolate truffles.
·         Rose Port is fermented like rose wine but during fermentation little exposure to grape skin imparts it rose color.
·         Colheita Port is aged in tawny style for at least for 7 years.
·         White Port is an excellent choice to create cocktails.
·         Crusted Port is a blend of port wine from several different vintages.

Port Wine in Australia

In Australia, according to a change in Wine Australia Corporation Act 1980, ‘Port’ word is no longer used with the Port Wine, which is used especially port wines coming from Portugal, but rather called ‘Vintage, ruby and tawny fortified’.