1) Alcoholic strengthAs a rule of thumb, wine has an alcohol strength of 9-14%. According to EU law, a wine must have an alcohol strength of 8.5% in order to be called wine. Wine is generally classified in three levels
- light = less than 10%
- medium = around 12%
- heavy = more than 14%
2) OpticsHowever, the wine legs are not the only thing that can be read just by looking at the wine in the glass. If we take a classic red wine, the color of the wine alone provides us with countless information:
- Red wine
- White wine
3) SmellOkay, this is a little tough on the rookies. Have you ever heard an expert blurt out hundreds of adjectives just by smelling them? I always thought it was just bragging at first. But with a little practice and some help, you can actually recognize one or the other scent. And if not, then just guessing and imagining the many aromas is incredibly fun. The most important grape varieties and their aromas can be found in the info box below.
4) TasteNow for the best part: tasting the wine. Take a normal sip, let it rest in the palate and move it back and forth a little with your tongue. How does it feel? Velvety, smooth or rather “scratchy”? Full-bodied or thin? Soft or angular? Lively or flat? Observe how the wine behaves in the finish: is it long-lasting and the taste remains on the palate for a long time and can still be felt through the oesophagus-stomach or is it gone immediately? All these are indicators of the quality and history of the wine.
5) What wine can tell us…The history of wine comes to life when you watch it from beginning to end. Especially interesting are wines that change from the nose to the tip of the tongue, through the palate and on to the finish, thus telling the many facets of the wine. When you consider that many, many hard-working hands take decisive steps for the quality already in the vineyard, many sun-rain storm hours affect each individual grape, mature over many years until it is in the bottle and the craft of the individual winemakers makes each wine unique, each sip takes you on a very special journey.
The right wine accompaniment to a mealNot every wine goes well with every dish. In principle, heavy wines should not be drunk with fatty dishes, but rather acidic wines. These help to balance the fat content and thus create a well-balanced aroma profile, e.g. a Blaufränkisch for Sunday roasts. A strong, fruity and spicy wine such as Zweigelt or Cabernet is best suited for grilling. Fish requires a discreetly aromatic wine, for example, a Veltliner, Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc. In general, it can be said that wine should never whitewash the food unless of course, the wine should be the main focus.
Barbera: plum, violet blossom, sour cherry, tar
Blue Zweigelt: Plum, cherry
Cabernet Franc: red berries, violets, pepper, smoke, liquorice, truffle, green pepper
Cabernet Sauvignon: red berries, cassis, plum, green pepper, blueberry, pepper, liquorice, leather, vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, tobacco
Merlot: cherry, plum, cassis, blueberry, caramel, leather, mushrooms
Nebbiolo: violet, cherry, plum, liquorice, truffle, smoke, tar
Sangiovese: violet, blackberry, leather, vanilla, cherry, plum, elder
Pinot Noir: red berries, cassis, cherry, violet, spices, smoke, leather
Syrah: cassis, raspberry, blackberry, violet, cedar, pepper, leather, liquorice, tar
Chardonnay: exotic fruits, apple, pear, peach, nut, vanilla, butter, wood
Pinot gris: apple, pear, honey, pineapple, grapefruit, raisins, almonds, smoke
Grüner Veltliner: apple, citrus fruit, pepper
Müller-Thurgau: apple, lemon
Riesling: apple, grapefruit, peach, quince, herbs, honey, petroleum
Sauvignon Blanc: cassis, gooseberry, lemon, flint
Pinot Blanc: apple, pear, quince, apricot, babae, lemon, grapefruit, banana, nutSource: www.ps-wein.de