29/MAY/2017 in Wines
How to approach a bottle of wine? From the cellar to the table, here are a few tips for a more conscious experience.
Like for extra virgin olive oil, is there a minimum price if you speak about quality of wine? Wines produced from grapes grown in the hills with slopes that challenge the laws of gravity and with low yields can not cost like others coming from massive and mechanized productions. For example, in some vineyards you are forced to use the helicopter if you want to bring the grapes to the closest road that you can reach by car. Cost of the helicopter? Thirty euros per minute. Therefore, before defining a wine as “expensive”, you’d rather read the information written on the label (perhaps integrating it with other info coming from the internet), imagining what and how much work there is before and after putting the cap on that bottle.
At the same time, it is true that a high price doesn’t automatically mean quality. And so? You need to know the territory and the winemaker as much as possible, in order to appreciate the wine you are buying. A bottle of wine has a lot to tell.
And then of course you should taste it as it should be tasted avoiding those mistakes that give us wrong considerations on the product. Frequent mistakes are those associated with sparkling wines’ uncorking. Don’t pop, blow or shot! Opening a classical method in a bad way means literally throwing away many of those flavours that the long work of yeasts and enzymes has made so complex and refined.
Sweet and scented sparkling wines such as Moscato d'Asti can be served in the cup, a glass that – thanks to its retro charm – is ideally associated with champagne (champagne historically is born as a sweet sparkling wine). For all the others: it is ok to use the classical flûte, even better the 'tulip'. Choosing the right glass is always crucial.
The same attention needs to be dedicated to the decantation of aged red wines. If you pour in the decanter a wine that has been closed for a decade in a bottle, you risk to give it a disproportionate amount of oxygen, irreparably ruining it rather than facilitating the best expression of the aromatic bouquet. Therefore often it is more than enough to move the bottle from the horizontal to the vertical position one day before serving the wine, in order to deposit any solid parts in suspension, open it one hour before serving and serve it with care not to scramble the deposits on the bottom.
Clearly, these (minimal) arrangements do not make miracles. If the wine is good, okay. If the wine is not good, it remains like that. Like the Spoon River characters teach us: “sleeping on the hill” nothing changes, you remain what you used to be when you were alive. Isn’t it?