Where does the time go? Holidays, work, wine certification exams and simply thinking about new ways to sharpen my scintillating wit and verve can tap the ol’ brain cells. Which is why I am making one of my readers do all the work this week.
Chicas y chicos, allow me to introduce you to my esteemed fellow wine blogger, Ernesto, author of the wine-tastic blog, Whine and Cheers for Wine. Ernesto has been a vino aficionado for nearly 30 years. He began taking wine classes three years ago and subsequently landed the prestigious position of wine steward for a national grocery store chain. All that and he’s a Cubano, too! Ernesto, take it away!
I have to admit I like the title. I think it makes me sound younger. Señor Vino? Nah, maybe in a few years…. As a big fan of Señorita Vino and her very entertaining and educational writings, I was surprised and honored recently when she asked me to do a guest post. I guess I could have been Señorita Vino for a Day but in my eyes, those shoes (OK, pumps) are too big to fill.
Latino wine lover? I never really thought of myself as such but I must admit the title fits; my parents migrated here from Cuba in 1961. I work in a community that is over 60 percent Hispanic. On a daily basis my customers come from Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras, Perú, Jamaica, México, Trinidad, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and the list goes on.
As each Hispanic customer—and most are Latinas—brings their heritage into the mix, it’s great to see that we all have a lot in common, in particular, a love of vino! Sometimes they buy wine just for the pleasure of drinking it, but other times they get together with their amigas and learn about the wine to better understand its heritage and what it is about a particular varietal that they enjoy the most. One of my biggest pleasures is having a customer return to share a wine experience that they have had after learning more about wines through one of our meetings.
So, with this I present Vino 101 Tidbits, information that I have found educational along the way and can be great tools for sharing with others over a glass of vino in any social setting, including Girls’ Noche Out.
Aroma is derived from the grape. Bouquet comes from fermentation, wood (oak), aging. Eighty percent of what we taste is attributed to our sense of smell.
What is BODY? Body is the weight of the wine on the palate. A good measuring trick would be the following scale: Light (skim milk), Medium ( 2 percent to whole milk), Full (whole to half & half).
White Wine Styles: CRISP unoaked, refreshing, higher in acidity. ELEGANT seamless balance of acidity with an oak component. OAKY lush, round, creamy, buttery and lower in acidity. SWEET usually fuller in body, lower in alcohol and acidity.
Red Wine Tannin Levels: EASY DRINKING no drying sensation, smooth. SOFT mostly aged wines, barely noticeable. RIPE not overpowering but definitely detectable, in balance with fruit intensity. FIRM: drying sensation is apparent, most prevalent in higher end young wines.
Tempranillo grows in the Rioja region of Spain. In Portugal Tempranillo is known as Tinto Roriz and is one of the grapes used in making Port/Porto.
Burgundy (except for Beaujolais) is mostly made from Pinot Noir.
When in doubt, Beaujolais goes with practically everything.
Chardonnay and Riesling are white wines that can age.
Chardonnay is a component of Champagne, Burgundy and Chablis wines.
Wine most sold in USA: White Zinfandel
STELVIN: a screw top bottle closure
And finally, a rhetorical question for you all: If a bad wine with a cork closure is referred to as CORKED, would a bad wine with a screw cap be classified as SCREWED?