Ruby red, scarlet, light red, fuchsia, brick red, garnet, pale red. There are so many shades of red when it comes to red wine! But what does it mean? Do the colours make any difference to the taste? Does a deep ruby red wine taste different than a rusty red wine?
The answer might surprise you. Yes, the colour of a red wine can make a difference to the way the wine tastes but maybe not in the way you think.
“This wine doesn’t taste the same!”
Have you ever heard those words coming out of your mouth? It usually happens after you’ve been to a wine tasting or restaurant, or perhaps you’ve been to a party. The wine you’ve been served is absolutely fantastic and you can’t wait to buy a bottle and open it up at home!
I have fallen in love with Pierre-François Terrat – as a winemaker of course!
For the last 15 years, Pierre has been making wine in his winery Domaine les Béates just outside of Aix-en-Provence, France, where I have had the privilege of meeting and talking to him in person several times over the past year.
Ah... Merlot! I love that grape for wines!
It’s funny but a lot of people say “I hate Merlot wine”... which is usually just before or after they say “I hate Chardonnay” (but that’s another blog post). I can never figure out why... because to me it’s like saying “I hate the colour blue... or red... or yellow... or green.” Just as there are so many different shades of colours, there are an incredible number of different “flavours” of Merlot.
What’s the difference between wines from Europe and wines I buy from other places?
This is a question that our clients often ask me.
And you know what? That’s a really good question. What exactly IS the difference between fine wine from Europe and anywhere else? Who cares where a wine comes from – if it’s Cabernet Sauvignon from France isn’t that the same as Cabernet Sauvignon from Niagara or California or Australia?
Well the answer to this wine question is like the movie title said: “It’s Complicated.” But only if you choose to make it complicated.
The biggest difference between “old world” and “new world” wines, believe it or not, is the set of regulations that go around producing the wine type. In the “old world” (that is Europe), wine production has been around for thousands and thousands of years. Over those centuries, people began to create standards for wine production—and in French wineries, for example, that ultimately resulted in the appellation system. So when you buy a French wine and you look at the label and it says the wine was made and bottled in Bordeaux, you know where and how that wine was made.
During my travels, I have picked up quite a bit of fun wine information and wine trivia. I thought it would be fun to share some of it with all you wine lovers! Try to answer these questions on your own if you can, it's quite fun what you might discover!
Yes, here in the northern hemisphere it’s that time of year again: the daylight hours are very, very short, and the nighttime hours are very, very long. And funnily enough, this is the festive time when we celebrate the holidays – traditionally at the start of the New Year when the days begin to get longer. Myth and history combine to give us all kinds of festivities and holiday traditions to follow.
When it comes to the traditions we choose for this darkest time of the year: we have the Roman Empire to thank for quite a few of them. Most of it, at least for those of us in the West, goes back to the Roman festival of Saturnalia which literally was a celebration of the deity Saturn, held somewhere around the winter solstice. They exchanged gifts at that time just like we do at Christmas.
Our clients often ask what wine should be served with the traditional holiday turkey dinner. I usually chuckle and tell people to serve whatever THEY like and not worry too much about it. After all, big holiday meals are about the family and friends you’re sharing food with, NOT the wine that’s on the table.
Having said that, I understand why you’d want to have the right wine pairing on the table. After all, you put your hosting skills to the test and have gone to a lot of trouble to make that festive feast so that everyone enjoys their time together.
Christmas, New Year’s, Hannukah, Kwanza... whatever and wherever you celebrate this time of year: we’re all looking for ideas for food to serve when friends and family arrive.
About a year and a half ago, I was working in a winery close to home in Niagara, and one of the wines we had available was a wine made out of Cabernet Franc. When wine from Cabernet Franc grapes is made well, it’s absolutely delicious and this wine was made well! It was smokey with hints of cherry and chocolate and even coffee.
When was the last time you had a glass of wine?
Yesterday with dinner? Sunday evening sitting by the fire? Or perhaps you were out to lunch with some friends and decided to splurge on a nice bottle of wine.
Wherever it was, whenever it was, and with whomever it was: I bet you enjoyed that glass!
About this time today... truthfully, EXACTLY around this time in the world of wine... people begin to anticipate the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. The three questions I have heard people ask about this new wine and I have asked myself are:
1. What exactly IS Beaujolais Nouveau?
2. Why is this French wine important and why is such a fuss made out of it?
3. I’m not that crazy about it – why should I bother drinking it?
The first question is an easy one to answer. Beaujolais Nouveau is literally the new French wine from the Beaujolais region in Burgundy. And by new, I mean really, really new. It’s about six weeks old (in other words, very, very, VERY young wine) made from the current year’s wine harvest, and by French law can only be released for sale on the third Thursday of November. This particular young wine is always made from Gamay grapes (although there are plenty of other wonderful wines made from the Gamay grape as well).
I discovered lately that there is an International Tempranillo Day. It was started by TAPAS—Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society. TAPAS has stated that from now on, International Tempranillo Day will be held on the 2nd Thursday in November, so for this year, that means Nov 10th was the day. I know I’m a little late but I’m willing to bet that most people never knew there even was an International Tempranillo Day!