Best Wine

What is a dry wine?

The word “dry” can be con­fus­ing at first when used to describe wine. After all, wine is a liq­uid, mostly com­posed of water, so how would “dry” fit in the pic­ture? When some­one refers to dry wine, they are sim­ply com­mu­ni­cat­ing “not sweet”. Wines grapes have vary­ing lev­els of nat­ural sug­ars depend­ing on vari­etal dif­fer­ences, the con­cen­tra­tion of the grape juice used, and how late in the sea­son the juice was har­vested. Dur­ing the wine mak­ing fer­men­ta­tion process, yeast is used to con­vert sugar into alco­hol. Sweet and dry wines are both defined by amount of sugar (or lack of it) left in the wine at the end of the fer­men­ta­tion process. This is called resid­ual sugar.

Wine mak­ers use one of the fol­low­ing meth­ods to make sweet wine:

  1. One method involves pick­ing the grapes while still young (and acidic) then dry­ing them in the sun to enhance sweet­ness before extract­ing the juice.
  2. Another method, famous for pro­duc­ing exquis­ite dessert wine involves freez­ing mature grapes. In so doing, the grape retains the water, while dense, sugar-rich syrup is bled off.
  3. The third method is typ­i­cally used to off­set acid­ity com­mon in grapes grow­ing in cold area. This tech­nique, called chap­tal­iza­tion, involves adding sugar to juice to gain the extra sweet­ness needed to off­set the acid­ity inher­ent in the juice.
  4. But the most com­mon meth­ods of pro­duc­ing sweet wine is to har­vest the fruits late as more mature grapes con­tain more sugar and stop­ping the fer­men­ta­tion before the cycle is fully fin­ished, thereby pre­serv­ing some sugar.

The level of dry­ness of sweet­ness varies depend­ing on the wine mak­ing meth­ods used. A wine is con­sid­ered dry if its resid­ual sugar is less than 4 gm per liter (1 per­cent the wines vol­ume) at the end of the fer­men­ta­tion process. Medium dry ones have about 12 gm of resid­ual sugar per liter of wine while sweet wines have over 30 gm of resid­ual sugar per lit­ter. How to detect “dry” in a white wine

How to detect a dry white wine

Two fac­tors play an impor­tant role in how taste buds per­ceive “dry” in a wine. These are tan­nins and acid­ity. While both white and red can have acid­ity, show­cas­ing it in white wine is a lot eas­ier. It is first detected by sali­va­tion; your mouth imme­di­ately begins water­ing when you take that first sip of white wine with decent acid­ity. On the other hand, your mouth will dry out a bit when you take your first sip of a red wine with decent tan­nin levels.

Sweet and fruity are two words often con­fused in wine ter­mi­nol­ogy. The fruity fac­tor does not refer to the level of resid­ual sugar left, but rather the wine’s aro­matic or sec­ondary fla­vor; hence, fruity wine isn’t nec­es­sary a sweet one. Dif­fer­ent fruity dry whites have dis­tinct fruit like qual­i­ties from mango to cit­rus, light to lush that drive up their “fruity” char­ac­ter. For exam­ple, Sauvi­gnon Blanc may have the fla­vor of goose­ber­ries or Ries­ling may taste of apples.

Very dry white wines

These are wines with less than 4 gm/liter of resid­ual sugar.

Chardon­nays: Per­haps the most pop­u­lar of all dry white wines, Chardon­nay has a taste that is described as “vel­vety” or “full-bodied” with fla­vors such as pineap­ple, lemon, grape­fruits and hints of apple. The wine is aged inside oaked bar­rels to impart a vari­ety of fla­vors such as toast, coconut, cof­fee, and vanilla.

Sauvi­gnon Blanc: This wine has char­ac­ter­is­tic herbal back­ground fla­vors, with hints of bell pep­per and a lit­tle acid­ity. Its dom­i­nant fla­vors are fruitier, with goose­ber­ries, apples, pears, mango, black­cur­rant and melon being dis­tinct. Famous for being the only wine that pairs excel­lently with sushi

Albarino: This is a Span­ish white that is mod­er­ately acidic and flush with cit­rus fla­vors. It pairs excel­lently with sea food which is plen­ti­ful in Span­ish cuisine.

Medium dry white wines

These are wines with as much as 12 g/L of resid­ual sugar.

Pinot Blanc: This white comes from regions like Italy, Ger­many, Aus­tria and the Alsace region in France. It tastes like a lighter ver­sion of chardon­nay. Pinot Blancs are pro­duced by fer­ment­ing in stain­less tell con­tain­ers to retain some resid­ual sug­ars and off­set acidity.

Pinot Gris/Grigio: Light and ver­sa­tile as a food pair­ing, this is per­haps the sec­ond most pop­u­lar wine in the Unites States. The fla­vor is a bit more bodes com­pared to Sauvi­gnon Blanc. Wines from this grape pro­duce n France is called pinot Gri­gio while wine pro­duces else­where, par­tic­u­larly France and Ore­gon are referred to as pinot Gris.

Ries­ling: Pro­duced from a wine grape that thrives in the cooler cli­mates of Alsace and Ger­many, Ries­ling can be sweet or dry. Dry white Ries­lings are easy to detect as they are dis­tinctly acidic with a vari­ety of fla­vors from apples, stone fruits and minerals.

San­giovese wine is an Ital­ian red wine made from San­giovese grapes which are pop­u­lar in Italy from Romagna down to Sicily and Cam­pa­nia. They are how­ever scarce out­side Italy. In fact, the grapes are less abun­dant than lit­tle known wine grape vari­eties such as Mourve­dre despite the fact that they are genet­i­cally fit to grow in most grape grow­ing areas in Europe.

Over the years, San­giovese grapes have under­gone very many dif­fer­ent muta­tions result­ing in many dif­fer­ent vari­eties offer­ing dif­fer­ent tastes. Some of the most notable San­giovese vari­eties include the Mon­te­falco Rosso and the Brunello di Mon­tal­cino. These wines fea­ture del­i­cate flo­ral straw­berry and intensely dark tan­nic wine aro­mas. To learn more about San­giovese wine, below is a detailed dis­cus­sion about San­giovese wine char­ac­ter­is­tics, his­tory, regions and food pair­ing. Continue reading

If you are read­ing this, you have prob­a­bly already been to a wine tast­ing, have had a num­ber of wines, whether at a restau­rant, at a friend’s house or in your own home.  You have seen the per­son across the room, swirling the wine effort­lessly in their glass, fin­gers around the stem, pinky fin­ger out.  They take a sip, make that sort of obnox­ious bur­bling sound, and fin­ish with a click-click-click sound.  You might have rolled your eyes wit­ness­ing such an act, but at the same time, you were a lit­tle intrigued.  Is this how you drink wine?  Well, the last click­ing might have been a bit much, but it is a start.  Though it may sound pre­ten­tious at first, there is a how to drink wine.  If you do not have one already, get your­self a glass of wine. Continue reading

Con­trary to the pop­u­lar belief that all wines get bet­ter as they age, the fact is that about 95% of wines pro­duced today are made to be enjoyed about a year or two after pro­duc­tion. That is usu­ally the case for most of the bot­tled wines that can be pur­chased at your local liquor store for under $50. Aging those wines too long can actu­ally reduce their qual­ity. Continue reading

Most of us pour our favorite glass of wine with­out any more of an objec­tive than enjoy­ment.  Lucky for us, most of us might not be aware that our wine con­tains a few more ben­e­fits than just enjoy­ment.  For cen­turies, wine has been used as a form of med­ica­tion.  For the Romans, it was a safer alter­na­tive to drink­ing what might be con­t­a­m­i­nated water.  They would even add it to water, as the alco­hol would kill any harm­ful bac­te­ria or viruses.  It has been used as a diges­tive aid, an antibac­te­r­ial for treat­ing wounds and as a cure for a num­ber of ail­ments such as diar­rhea, lethargy and even to ease the pain dur­ing child­birth.  It was dis­cov­ered not too long ago that even the Egyp­tians made records in how wine could be used for med­i­c­i­nal pur­poses.  How­ever, there are many other ben­e­fits to be had by con­sum­ing this won­drous liba­tion other than just cur­ing com­mon ail­ments. Continue reading

Cli­mate change is becom­ing a key fac­tor in where and how grapes are cul­ti­vated.  What does cli­mate change hold in store for the wine industry?

The wine indus­try is no stranger when it comes to adap­ta­tion.  Cer­tain vari­etals are planted in regions and loca­tions where they adapt and thrive at their best.  Har­vests are often decided accord­ing to chang­ing weather pat­terns.  A win­ery might have to adapt their wine styles accord­ing to mar­ket­ing and con­sumer demands.  Just the art of craft­ing a wine takes adap­ta­tion, as fer­men­ta­tion at times can be finicky and result in unpre­dictable chal­lenges.  In the past few years, there is one more ele­ment which has many winer­ies and viti­cul­tur­ists chang­ing how they run their vine­yards, cli­mate change.  Continue reading

Remem­ber when you had your first glass of a red wine?  It might have been at a friend’s house or maybe it was at home, when you decided to edu­cate your palate for the first time, maybe with “just-any-wine” you bought from your local wine store.  You poured a healthy amount, almost to the top of your glass, took a sip, and blah!  It started off good, fruity, a lit­tle sweet, and then, whap!  Dry­ness com­pletely took over your mouth.  You decided right then and there you did not like ‘dry wine’. Continue reading

Many of wine enthu­si­asts have been to them.  Many peo­ple who are just dis­cov­er­ing wine per­haps have even been to one.  But in the cir­cum­stances that you are going to visit a wine fes­ti­val near you, or even travel to one, there are a few things you must pre­pare for, whether you are an avid wine fes­ti­val goer or will be going for the first time.  The idea is to have a great expe­ri­ence and have fun, how­ever, this is the world of wine, which at times can get com­pli­cated.  I am going to help you make the most of it!  Here we go! Continue reading

The USDA For­eign Agri­cul­ture Ser­vice in March of 2012 stated that Argentina’s wine grape pro­duc­tion will be at an esti­mated 2.86 mil­lion met­ric tons.  This is up from 2.2 met­ric tons in 2012 which was at a low due to late frost and hail.  As for the Argen­tine wine vol­ume, it is expected to increase as well from 1.3 bil­lion liters to 1.53 bil­lion liters.  With increase in pro­duc­tion there is an also pre­dicted increase in expor­ta­tion to the United States with an ever so slight grow­ing demand.  The con­di­tions of the cur­rent econ­omy is mak­ing the United States and Canada both the largest mar­kets for Argen­tine wine.  Why?  And will this be a con­tin­u­ing trend? Continue reading

Do you dream of start­ing a wine col­lec­tion? Before you build on your wine col­lec­tion or even start, there are some rules you can­not ignore when it comes to your wine.  If you don’t store your wines prop­erly the affects can not only lead to and emo­tional let­down, but could mean a loss finan­cially.  I am going to let you in on some very sim­ple rules to store wine.  It does not always mean you have to break the bank and invest in a large custom-built wine cel­lar. Continue reading