…THAT YOU WONDER ABOUT IN YOUR HEAD
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The answer is very simple: it's the maceration of the skins in the juice that gives it's colour to the wine. But why are there colour shades between the different red wines?
Two different reasons:
After this maceration process, the juice will be extracted and the fermentation can then begin.
Rosé wine is made just like red wine. The difference comes from the fact that once the grapes are pressed, the contact between the juice and skins is very short. To give you an idea, it is common that a juice destined to be red will macerate in contact with the grape skins for 2 or 3 weeks. For a rosé, there will undergoe a maceration of sometimes only 12 hours. The skins don't have a lot of time to color the wine. The maceration vat will then be emptied to extract this rosé must.
How to spot a corked wine?
After opening the bottle, smell the cork that was in contact with the wine. If you smell moldy cork, rotten wood or must, these are the first signs it could be corked. If this feeling is confirmed during tasting, there is no doubt, the wine is corked. This wine's defect is caused by a molecule you find in barrels, wineries or cork used in the cork plugs. The latter, even if they are seldom questionned, have given their name to this defect.
AOC? AOP?IGP? Getting through the maze…
AOC Wine: controlled appellation of origin. It's a French label created in 1935 in order to ensure the quality and origin of the product. It applies when the different manufacturing, production and processing steps are concentrated in the same geographic area. This is our selection
AOP wine: Protected designation of origin. This is equivalent to the controlled appellation of origin but at European level. This label, created in 1992, allows for the protection of products in the European Union. This is our selection
IGP wine: protected geographical indication defends the name of a region, a specific locality in the origin of a product. They are the previously known local wines. Unlike AOC (CAO) or AOP (PDO) this label applies to when at least one of the stages of development has taken place in a precise geographical area. But in no case is this label less demanding or applies to products of a lower quality. Created in 1992, it is recognized in the whole Euopean Union. This is our selection
Why different bottle shapes?
The bottle shapes are the expression of the traditions and regional knowledge, sometimes even technical constraints.
The most common designs are:
Where does the bottle's hollow base come from?
Originaly, making a perfectly flat bottle for the first glass-blowers was too complicated. Thanks to this hollow part, they assured the stability of the bottle. This technique appeared around the IVth century and was applied to all the bottles except one, The Cuvée Cristal de Roederer. Indeed, the Tsar Alexander II was concerned that this might be a hole to place a bomb, so he required the bottom of the bottle to be completely flat.
Since August 2009, the "Vins de Table" (Table Wine) designation has disappeared in favour of "Vins de France", a new category without Geographical Indication (WGI). They regroup "freer wines": Wine producers can blend grape varieties from different origins or regions and from different vintages (85% of the grapes must, however, have been harvested during the considered year). If the "Vin de Table" label was often associated with a mediocre wine, the "Vins de France" appellation has become a guarantee of quality and expressiveness.
True or false? A tea spoon can preserve the bubbles of an opened champagne bottle?
Who has never had a friend tell them to"put a tea spoon in the bottleneck of an opened champagne bottle if you want to preserve the bubbles"?
Let's take a look at this tip once and for all: A champagne looses it's bubbles within the hours following of opening. After many tests, this miraculous solution has proven to be just a myth.
Indeed, a rigorous study testing all variables concluded that no factor including the material, the shape or structure of a spoon, can stop the gas from escaping a bottle. The solution is to close the opened bottle with a specific conservation cork. It's use allows to keep the champagne up to one week in the fridge after opening. Of course, you need to have some left...
If you forget to close it and your champagne has no bubbles left the next day, don't throw it away! You can use it to prepare delicious meals!
There you go! For your next dinner with friends, you'll be able to show off!
Can white wine give you a headache?
The answer is… NO ...except if you are sulphite intolerant.
What are sulphites?
They're antioxidants and antiseptics that stabilise the wine. It prevents oxidation and keeps the wine from starting the fermentation process again in the bottle because of yeast or bacteria. White, rose or red, all wines contain sulphur. Only the quantity changes. A white wine, wether it's dry or sweet, contains more sugar than a red wine. So it might start fermenting once bottled, sulphites are then added to it so it can avoid this phenomenon. It's the same for rosé wines.
Sparkling wines have them too but at smaller doses: the carbon dioxide they contain provides conservation. In short, the less sensitive wines, the ones that have fewer sulphites, are the ones that have a high percentage of alcohol.
« Can you drink white wine after red »?
There is no real rule and no relation in terms of digestion.
These are two origins of this expression:
What is decanting for?
For an old wine, the decanter allows decanting: in order to perfectly separate the deposits at the bottom of the bottle.
They have to be served at the last moment so the wine doesn't get oxidised too much before tasting.
For the young wines, decanting allows to air and oxygenate the wine which will thus gain in aromas.
But in any case, it is useless to decant those wines with little tannin like Burgundy or Beaujolais wines.
An opening and a bottle serving one hour before tasting is usually enough.
Last point: decanting is also not recommended for old and fragile wines: you will just need to open them 2 hours before tasting.
After the bottle is opened, how long can I keep it?
According to the type of wine: red, white, sparkling, sweet…conservation will be different because the wine is more or less subjected to an oxidation. Here are the basics without the use of a particular cork:
For champagne: it will be a maximum of 2 days
For red, rosé and dry white wines: 2 to 3 days
And for sweet wines, the residual sugar being more important, it extends its conservation because it decreases the oxidation. You will be able to keep it for up to a month.
Is it possible to make an opened bottle last longer?
The first thing to do: cork the bottle. You can use a small pump that preserves it from oxidation, you will then be able to keep it 24 hours longer.
Something else: keep your bottle in the fridge. You won't get as many bacteria.
Same thing for reds. But in that case, take the bottle out at least one hour before tasting.
Why are the bottles 75 cl big?
The craziest ideas can be found: the glass blower's lung capacity, the average meal consumption, or even the legislation…!
The answer is of historical relevance only:
Can white wine be made with black grapes?
Of course! If the grape skins aren't macerated in the juice, the wine will stay white. We can produce a lot of different white wines with black grapes! Except for a few varieties, all grapes have white juice. On the contrary, you can't produce red wine with white grapes.
We often talk about organic wine, but what does it really mean? It's a wine made from organically grown grapes. Beware, an organic wine strictly speaking doesn't exist, only the grapes are organic. The AB label (in France) insures the winegrowers follow the strict production regulations regarding grape growing, on a healthy soil and without chemical treatment. But this doesn't exclude a mechanical harvest and the addition of industrial yeast during the harvesting and wine making process.