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How To Select A Fine Wine

Fine wines are what romance is made of. They’ve been sung about, written about, waxed eloquent about. Although the choice of a particular type, year and quality of wine changes from person to person, there are some guidelines that help reach an agreement, in conformity with the price.

With the development of vineyards and wine-related sites all over, it is simple to buy any kind of wine anywhere in the world. A person in California or Caracas can today buy a New Zealand syrah as easily as anyone in Auckland even if they local wine merchant does not stock it.

When it comes to pairing wine with food the question is which one? A full red or a light white? Madeira is too heavy for some whereas a German Riesling is too dry. The most easily available wines are to be had soon after buy. But those who want to taste the best must know that patience eventually does pay. The Cabaret Sauvignon would be a better choice than a Pinot Noir for those willing to let the wine age.

Those who like a young wine with a bit more acidity would certainly delight in a cool climate Chardonnay, such as those from Canada. But the nutty honeyed character is also appreciated by some who want to experience the flavor which comes with aging.

Categorical descriptions can be very useful. The Class 1 wines, also called ‘Light Wine’ or Red Table Wine have an alcohol content of about 7 to 14% by volume whereas Class 7 in comparison has an alcohol capacity of not less than 15% by volume. Flavored herbs and brandy are blended into the latter. If they have higher concentrations, they are labeled ‘fortified’.

Sulfur is frequently added in the process of winemaking to avoid the growth of certain unwanted organisms. So remember to look for the sulfites on the mark as sometimes it could be a bit too much for a person’s tastes. There are people who are allergic to sulfites too and sometimes don’t know it so they could be prone to unpleasant reactions. At times sulfur dioxide is used as a spray on the grape in order to avoid pests and this could leach into the skin. One must therefore check on the mark for a confirmation of the amount of sulfites. Most are fine with the concentrations being below 10 parts per million.

During the process of wine testing, cool the wine to the right room temperature i.e. about 52ºF for whites and 65ºF for reds. Use a thin rimmed glass and ensure that it is free of dust. Washing and carefully drying the glass with a lint free cloth can do this. Fill no more than 1/3 of a glass that should be held by the stem so as to avoid fingerprints and keep the glass from warming up. Check for a clear color by looking against a white background. A Pinot Noir would generally have the glow of a ruby. A Cabaret Sauvignon would be more violet. The ones made from grapes grown during hot summer and dry fall will show a darker color whereas those from a cool summer or a fall that’s had rain will be much lighter. Now gently swirl, sniff, savor the taste and delight in.

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