Three Reasons to Drink Bordeaux

It’s time to give Bordeaux another chance!Harry Dalian

For centuries, Bordeaux is what the upper class drank. Bordeaux has been mentioned in many diaries from ages ago mentioning certain types of Bordeaux. Even Richard Nixon was known to enjoy a glass of Château Margaux. Recently, it’s been seen that Bordeaux has become the first choice of drink of internet moguls, hedge fund managers, and Chinese billionaires.

Simply stated, Bordeaux as a whole has never been better. The wines from the top 60 produces of red wine originally designated as classé in 1855 are representing a small fraction of the world’s largest wine region by volume.

The result after removing the classified growths from consideration is that most of these wines are actually to expensive for regular consumption. The vast sea of wine, some good, some not so good, and most lie somewhere in between. Recently, there is more good wine than bad.

Most of the wines that you’ll find in markets today are produced in the excellent supper-ripe 2009 vintage, the more structured but still-ripe 2010 or the charming 2011 vintage. Viticulture and winemaking have been improved throughout the region of Bordeaux. There are still however some challenging vintages -2012 and 2013- and for the most part, the days of thin, weedy, harshly tannic wines are over. The Bordeaux wines are surprisingly affordable. There are hundreds of wines from the 2009-2012 vintages that are rated ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ for less than $40.

With the balanced use of oak and moderate alcohol levels and the generally refreshing acids, the Bordeaux wines are impressively versatile at any occasion. In a world of constantly improving on the latest and greatest, it is worth remembering that even a conservative region like Bordeaux changes over time and now is the time to rediscover it’s gifts.

1. Chateau Carignan (Premieres Côtes de Bordeaux): The 2009 is mostly suppleness and warmth, all while the 2010 shows more structure.

2. Chateau Maison Blanche (Médoc): This Merlot-based wine is round and ripe.

3. Chateau de Sours (Bordeaux): An approachable wine marked by ripe fruit and finely balanced oak tastes.

 

How to Taste Test Wine Like a Sommelier

Harry Dalian

The ability to recognize a wine by a blind taste is an extremely coveted practice and one of the most satisfying achievements of any oenophile.

Blind-Tasting is the elusive grail of the professional wine-tasting world, consisting of equal parts talent, training and luck for success.

This practice evolved from a professional need to identify fake wines as bottles did not come with a label in the old days. this type of tasting is considered to still be the best way to measure the true quality of a specific wine. The idea is that when a wine’s identity is unknown, a taster can reach an objective conclusion to the actual worth of the wine. The other type of blind-tasting is practiced by both professionals and amateurs, which is more of a social game rather than serious business.

Daniel Posner, owner of Grapes the Wine Company in White Plains, NY, says “One can follow specific steps to improve the odds of a correct guess,” in regards to blind taste-testing.

However, Sommeliers must be proficient in this skill. A variation of this theme is an important part of the exam that is administered by the Court of master Sommeliers, which is an accredited professional organization. Candidates of the Sommelier program just correctly identify at least four to six grape varieties to pass the rigorous test. The statistics of this test may be shocking, as something fewer than 10% of the candidates actually manage to pass the exam.

Raj Vaidya, head sommelier at Daniel restaurant in new York says, “You can expect certain things in a wine like Chablis—mineralogy, high acidity.” He says, if a wine seems oaky one might mistakingly think it is flawed.

Although sampling wines may seem like the best ways to become better at blind-tasting, one can follow a specific guideline f=of steps to improve the odds of a correct guess. The first step is a visual examination of the wine, something casual amateurs forget to do, as certain wines ar much lighter than others.

The second step involves tilting the glass to check the wines viscosity. A viscous wine means higher in alcohol and higher-alcohol content wines usually come from warmer climates.

Smelling and of course tasting are the third and fourth steps. The aromas will reveal almost everything you need to know to identify the wine.

Blind tasting prove that the professional version can definitely deliver an unbiased opinion as well as aid in the discovery of some very good deals. Casual blind tasting can help you remember and recognize wine sin the future, as well as potentially adding to your connoisseurship. Accurately indentifying wines in a blind tasting isn’t fully about knowledge, but a bit of beginner’s luck, too.

The History of Wine

Dionysus, Greek God of Wine and Pleasure

Dionysus, Greek God of Wine and Pleasure

People commonly enjoy wine today with an Italian dinner, to accompany a romantic evening, for a nightcap before laying down to sleep, or as a vehicle for getting inebriated. We know that wine has been consumed by people for many years, making appearances in ancient mythology, holy texts, and cultural customs that date back to the distant past all over the world. However, the history of wine is rarely talked about, and totally deserving of the wine enthusiast’s interest. If you were wondering where wine was first made, here are some clues…

The Origin of Wine

Archeological evidence suggests that drink made of fermented grapes was created in China as far back as 7000 BC. Soon after, wine became a prevalent beverage in the Near East, Mesopotamia, Israel, and Egypt, gaining deep appreciation in Greek and Roman culture, mythology, and daily life. Under the Roman Empire, the wine press was greatly improved and barrels for transport were developed.

Wine in Religion and Mythology

Wine’s ability to alter consciousness has been appreciated within religious circles since it’s conception. The Greeks god Dionysus, god of the grape harvest, was characterized as a hedonist, libertine, and theatric. His cults carried over into Roman culture as well. Wine has been a part of communion in the Catholic Church since ancient times, representative of Jesus’ last supper. Famously, Jesus turns water into wine in the gospel books.

Origin of American-Made Wine

Since the creation and consumption of wine predates written language, it’s impossible to know for certain when and where wine came into existence. However, it’s been speculated that wine first appeared in modern day Georgia following the development of pottery sometime after the Neolithic era, later spreading south, and eventually out in all directions. Georgia seems the most likely source because of the wild grapes endemic to the region. Whatever the case, wine went on to have a major presence in varied social circles, cultures, and different parts of the world. Standing the ultimate test of time, wine continues to be appreciated today.

Cheers!