What is wine?
The taste of wine is inevitably bound upwith the grape variety. The fundamental balance of sugar, acid and tannin is particular to each variety.
Red Grapes (红葡萄)
Cabernet Franc—Medium, blackcurrant, grassy, sometimesearth and raspberry.
Dark,tannic, blackcurrant, cedar, mint, green pepper, chocolate, tobacco, olives
It is the most recognizable and most versatile of the red wine grapes. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape with its thick skin thrives in warm climates and is grown throughout the world. This grape is late ripening, which makes it the slowest wine to mature. It needs time to agein oak or bottle and is at its best blended with Merlot. In Bordeaux the percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot may vary from Chateau to Chateaubut the influence of the grape is always predominate. A very good example of this grape is Chateau Cos d'Estournel.
—Light to medium, strawberry, peach, pepper,going to farm yard earthiness, and Pinot –like strawberry jam.
梅洛-Full,soft, blackcurrant, honey, raisin, mint, plum.Similar to Cabernet Sauvignon but with more plum and rose thanblackcurrants, more spice and rich fruit cake with less mint.
The basis for many fine, very aromatic wines. Merlot is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is less tannic and hasless intense blackberry flavor. It produces a softer, plumper, juicier, earlier maturing wine. Merlot's homeland started in Bordeaux where the most sought after Merlot based wines are from the Pomerol and St-Emilion regions in France.Either used as a blending partner or on its own, Merlot is very much a wine of our times and enjoys enormous popularity throughout the world. A very good example of this grape is Summerfield Merlot.
Shiraz or syrah
设拉子或设拉---In Australia it is Shiraz and it tends to taste richer, riper and more full-bodiedthan France's Syrah blended wines such as Chateauneuf du Pape from Rhone, eventhough they are the same grape. Very few Australian producers do not make a Shiraz wine of some sort. It is the country's most planted wine grape variety.This is a wine that has early drinking appeal and yet has the ability to age for many years. Bridgewater Mill's Shiraz from the South Australia is an award winning Shiraz showing off Australia's rich side of Shiraz.
Black pepper, chocolate, raspberries,blackberries, spice, leather, game.
马尔白克---An almost black skinned grape that is known as cot in much of southwest France,Loire Valley and parts of Bordeaux. In Argentina where it is the dominant redwine grape for production, it is known as Malbec. The Malbec grape thrives inwarm climates where it can create deep colored, intensely ripe and attractivegamy wines which are well worth aging . The vines are also grown in Chile,Australia, California and northern Italy. A perfect example of this lush grapecan be found in Bodega Norton's Malbec from Argentina.
Flavor characteristics:Green pepper, blackcurrants, cherries,spices and tobacco
黑皮诺---The red grape of Burgundy and Champagne is sweeter, less tannic, richer in texturethan Cabernet Sauvignon and therefore can be enjoyed far younger. Pinot Noir israrely blended except in Champagne. In Burgundy, achieving sufficient ripenessis always a critical factor. In California and Australia, producers suffer the opposite problem: over ripening. These grapes thrive in cool coastal areas with just enough sunlight so they can develop their fruity flavors and rich textures. In Champagne, Pinot Noir has proven itself to be the ideal black grape for making top quality sparkling wine. Oregon, Washington and northern California, where the climate is cool, come some of the best New World Pinot Noir's such is the case with Villa Mt. Eden located in Napa.
Flavor characteristics:Raspberries, strawberries, cherries,cranberries, violets, roses, and game.
内毕罗---Nebbiolo is the great grape of the Piedmont region in Italy. It is the grape of Baroloand Barbaresco wines. This grape when made into wine has a range from smoothand fruity to full and robust. It ages superbly. The Nebbiolo wines are fussy about both site and soil in which they are grown. They produce best when they are grown in hills where they are allowed to ripen shrouded by autumn fog or Nebbia, which may have inspired its name. This makes some of Italy's most luxurious, most vigorous, silky, incisive and memorable red wines. A perfect example of a lush rich Barolo is made by Marchesei Di Barolo.
Flavor characteristics:Bing cherries, leather, tobacco, dried herbs and chocolate.
杉济奥维瑟----Itis Italy's most planted red wine grape, the central grape in a majority ofItalian red wines most notably Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino as well as RossoPiceno. The best of the Sangiovese are full, firm, dry and slightly spicy winesthat age well. The true essence of the grape can be found in Compagnola's RossoPiceno or the Gineprone Chianti from Col D'Orcia.
Flavor characteristics:Bitter cherries, spices, tobacco,raspberries and dried fruit
仙芬黛---The origin of this grape is still a mystery, Zinfandel is California's very own grape variety. The grapes can produce wines that range from pale pink and slightly sweet to serious oak aged, full-bodied wines that are rich with ripe berry and spice flavors. Most of the Zinfandel wines are ready to drink early,but the deep red wines have staying power and will age at least 10 years. Sohigh is Zinfandels profile in California that these grapes have been planted in many other warm wine regions around the world. For something slightly sweet that is best chilled and can be enjoyed anytime Beringer's White Zinfandel fits the bill.
Flavor characteristics:Blackberry, spices of clove and cinnamon and freshly ground pepper
莎当妮（霞多丽)---Classicwhite grape, from the Burgundy region of France, now used widely throughout theworld. Chardonnay is the world's most fashionable & famous grape variety.Wine makers like Chardonnay because of its wide range. It is used in Burgundyand Champagne and is capable of producing some of the world's greatest wines.Wine drinkers like Chardonnay because it has no hard edges or aggressive acidity. Columbia Crest offers a taste of one of the Pacific northwest's finest Chardonnay from Washington state.
Flavor characteristics:Apple, pear, citrus, melon, pineapple,peach, butter, honey, vanilla, butter scotch, spice.
白苏维翁---Thename derives from savage meaning wild, which could well describe its grassy orgooseberry flavor. Sauvignon Blanc smells & tastes remarkably similarwherever it is planted. In France its strong hold, the twin appellations of Sancerre & Pouilly-Fume, produce superior examples. Sauvignon Blanc is alsowidely planted in Bordeaux. In Australia fine examples have emerged from the Adelaide Hills. California produces a distinct, full bodied, often oak-agedversion sometimes called Fume Blanc. Beringer's Sauvignon Blanc is not only highly rated but an award winning wine with superb California style.
Flavor characteristics:Fresh cut grass, gooseberries, currant,green beans and asparagus.
薏丝琳(雷司令)---Rieslingis the classic grape of Germany and produces wines with crisp fruit flavor. The wines can range from pale green & fragile to sharp & golden with luscious exotic flavors; from dry to sweet. Riesling thrives in the cooler climates of Australia & California. This is a wine that can be drunk quite young butalso has the potential to age for many years. To understand the influences that soil and climate have over a grape compare the Ries lings from Petaluma in Australia to Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington and taste the difference.
Flavor characteristics: Crisp green apples, spiced baked apples, orange, lime, passion fruit, honey andtoast.
瑟美戎---In France, Semillon, is responsible for Bordeaux's greatest dry whites, as well asmaking many of the world's greatest sweet wines and is planted in virtually allof the worlds wine regions. Semillon is used on its own and quite often it isblended with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. A very good example of this grapeis Ginestet AOC Bordeaux Blanc, just click on the wine label for tasting notes and pricing.
Flavor characteristics:Grass, citrus, honey, toast, lanolin.
Acid:Presentin all grapes and necessary in preserving wine. Acid is perceived in wine by acrisp, sharp characteristic.
After-taste:The taste of wine lingering in the mouth after the wine has been swallowed. See FINISH.
Aromatic:Describesa simple, often fruity smell or flavour present in young wine. See BOUQUET.
Astringent:Mouth-puckeringsensation; the result of tannin being present in the wine.
Balanced:A positive term describing a wine that flavour, acidity and dryness or sweetness are properly and harmoniously proportioned.
Body:The feel of a wine in the mouth, either full or thin. Expressed as Full-bodied,medium-bodied, or light-bodied.
Bouquet:Complexand multi-layered smells or flavours of a wine which develop as they arebottled & aged.
Clean:A wine with no noticeable defects; no off-smells or tastes.
Complex:A complimentary term, which suggests that the wine present many, layers &flavors. Wine makers strive for complexity in fine wines.
Corked:Distinctive taste or smell in wine resulting from a moldy or tainted cork.
Crisp:Positively refreshing, perceptible acidity (Especially whites).
Cuvee: Blend of grapes or special selection.
Delicate:Positive term to describe a light wine or medium wine with good flavor that is well-madeand elegant.
Fermentation:Process by which sugar is converted by yeast into alcohol & carbon dioxide by whichgrape juice becomes wine.
Finish:Also called after-taste referring to the length & impression the wine leaves.Full or thin? Short or long? Sweet, acidic, tannic or fruity?
Firm: Good perceptible tannin or acid.
Fresh:Lively,clean with fruity flavor, an important characteristic for young wines.
Fruity: Awine with strong fruit flavor and aromas.
Full or Full Bodied:A wine with a considerable amount of body.
Green:Tasting of unripe fruit, very agreeable in Riesling & Gewurztraminer.
Hard:Firm, resulting from high acidity or tannins.
Length:Refers to the length of time and wine lingers after swallowing, the longer thebetter.
Light; Light-bodied:A wine with relatively little body.
Mature:Ready to drink.
Mellow:Softin the mouth, sometimes an euphemism for sweet.
Mouth-Feel:The physical impact of nose. The smell of a wine, also called aroma and bouquet.
Non-Vintage:A wine without a fixed year usually blended with many.
Nose:The smell of a wine; also called aroma and bouquet.
Oak/Oaky:The smell and taste of oak in a wine derived from contacting with barrels.
Rich:Having generous, rich, pleasant flavors.
Round: A wine with balance, flavor & body with non-dominating orabsent, no hard edges, ready to drink.
Sediment:A natural by – product deposited in wine during bottle aging.
Soft:Smooth without much tannin.
Tannin:Derived from the skins, seeds, stems & oak barrels, found mostly in red wine,tannins give wine its mouth-puckering fee but also acts as a natural preservative& helps wine develop and age.
Tart:Sharp tasting due to high acidity.
Variety:The type of grape used in making a wine.
Vintage:The year in which the grapes were picked and the wine made.
Ideal temperature: 10-13°C. (理想温度10-13摄氏度)
Darkness: Bright light can damage wines,particularly whites and Champagne.
Stillness: Lay the bottle, and it would bebetter to make the top a little bit lower than the bottom.
The glass should be thin, transparent and crystal.
It should be clear. Clean it before wine tasting to avoid lipstick,fingerprint, dust and water mark.
Try to prepare different glasses for red wine and white wine.
The wine in the glass should be no more than 2/3 of the whole volumeof the glass.
Some Principle for wine tasting (品尝葡萄酒的一些基本原则):
It is wise to prepare beforehand which kinds of wines we are goingto taste.
Light before strong, white before red, dry before sweet, young before old – this is the simple principle for wine tasting.
Why we need check the label of wine before drinking(为什么要在品酒前察看酒标):
It is said that one look at the label is worth 30 years blind tasting.
National and international laws set out basic levels of information that labels must convey. The label will tell you the vintage, alcohol level, vine yard,region and the classification (e.g. AOC or Vin de Pays) of this wine.
In addition, lots of wines have back labels which tell you when todrink, how sweet it is and what sort of food it will go with.
Why do we need to swirl the wine(为什么要晃动葡萄酒杯):
Most of what we perceive as taste is in fact smell? By doing this, you can release the volatile aromas in the wine. Well, this is how you persuade the wine to start telling you about itself.
Three feelings your should use while tasting (评估葡萄酒要运用的3种感官).
Sight:The color of the wine should be bright. The colour and depth will tell you a good deal about the wine: whether it comes froma cool country or a hot one (hot country wines have a deeper colour, on thewhole), a frailer grapes tend to have a paler colours, and the age of the wine.Tilt the glass against a white background, preferable in daylight and definitely not under neon light. That way you can see the range of colours of the wine,plus any lighter rim that comes with age. Sometimes the colour is so beautiful it’s worth gazing at for a while to heighten your expectations.
Smell:Which is also called aroma. It is very important for wine tasting. Swirl the glass gently, and take a good steadysniff, as if you'd leant over to smell a rose in the garden. Those initial split seconds of inhalation may reveal all kinds of familiar or unfamiliar smells. Always interpret them in words which mean something to you. Use similes from everyday life: if the smells remind you of honey, or chocolate, or curry and carrots, fresh apples or rubber tires, fruit, flower, plant, mineral,toast, animal, chemical, spice and woody, etc. If those or any othersmells you get-they are sure to be rightfor you because it is your nose doing the smelling. Another person mayi nterpret the smells differently. That's fine.
Taste:Sweet, acidity and astringent (which is the result of tannin)
To get the full taste of wine, one should take a reasonable draught of wine-so that your mouth is maybe one-third full and then (if you are by yourself or with your friends) fell free to pull a few faces and makes lurping noises. Enjoy all kinds of fumes in the wine. Another reason is to make every parts of your tongue get good contact with the wine because the tip of your tongue is sensitive for sweet, while two sides for acidity and end forbitter. A best wine can lead people to an ideal world of the harmonious balance of all kinds of feelings.
Misunderstanding about Wine(对葡萄酒的一些误解):
Hazy:it may be caused by a chemical problem-butif it’s one bottle of mature, fine wine you may just have shaken up thesediment. See what it tastes like.
Tartrate Crystal:Tartratecrystal is a harmless deposit that separates from wine during fermentation and ageing. Tartrates is a natural component of wine. One of the reasons why thiscrystal separates from wine is that the wine has been exposed to low temperatures.This is not harmful to the wine.
Winemakers deliberately leave more tartrates in wine designed for long ageing so that they are able to develop more complexities in flavour and bocquet. The classic example is the heavy deposits in aged vintage ports.
Distinguish faults in the wine(如何鉴别坏酒):
Oxidation:The commonest fault of wine, which usually shows as staleness, flatness, on the nose and plate. It means the wine has been exposed to too much oxygen. A little oxygen is necessary for wine to mature;too many leads to oxidation.
Corked:Corked wine is recognizable by its moldy,stale smell-it’s caused by a chlorine infection in the cork-and the smell is unmistakable once you’ve suffered it.
Too much sulphur:Which smells like spent matches. (A little bit of sulphur is needed to prevent oxidation.)
Refermenting:The wine fizzes when it shouldn’t, and has a yeast smell.