Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
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  Editorial Issue 15, January 2004   
A Good Wine to Warm WinterA Good Wine to Warm Winter MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 14, December 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 16, February 2004

A Good Wine to Warm Winter


 We would like to begin this new issue of DiWineTaste by wishing a happy 2004 to our readers, continuously increasing from the day when, in the now distant September 9th, 2002, we decided to publish the first issue of our e-magazine. To you all, dear readers, old and new, we wish a happy, rich, prosperous and profitable 2004 with the hope that DiWineTaste and its services will be always of your satisfaction and enjoyment. We would also like to send our best wishes for a happy and profitable 2004 to all the producers that honored us with their trust and that allowed us to express our opinion about their wines. The year which has just passed, the 2003, has been for us a rather significant period, it has been the year in which we published our new WEB site, consolidated what we did in the past and started new services.

 We tried to make DiWineTaste a more versatile publication and service, more efficient than it was in the past, as always, another little but significant step forward, in the hope it will be appreciated to the ones that inevitably give a sense to what we do: our readers. Even for the 2004, the new year which has just begun, we have new ideas and new ambitions: we plan to consolidate what we did in the 2003 and to increase the quantity and the quality of the services we are currently offering. As always, your help, your support and your comments are always welcome: your opinions, either positive or negative, are valuable helps that allow us to understand what we did and what we need to do. To all of you who in the past have expressed their opinion about our publication and our services go our best and sincere thanks. We wish to continue to receive your comments and your opinions about DiWineTaste and for this we thank you in advance.


 

 We imagine that most of the people reading this editorial will have ended the 2003 and celebrated the arrival of 2004 with the usual celebrations common in our cultures: we mainly like to think you said goodbye to the old year and welcomed the new one holding a glass of good wine. After all the cold season invites, like to say, to have a higher interest in the richer and bodied beverage of Bacchus, well matchable to the foods, rich and tasty as well, of winter. Sparkling wines, uncorked at the midnight of new year's eve, will have certainly accompanied you towards the new year together with your dears, together with your families. It is a known fact, in this period, wines with bubbles are very fashionable and everywhere there is a repetition of joyous “pops”.

 Moreover winter is also the period in which one goes downstairs to the cellar and take those bottles of “important” wines, the wines that could be magnified with a succulent and tasty food, in short, those wines that as soon as they are poured in a glass, they make winter to seem warmer and, apparently, they help standing to the cold. Winter is also the period in which sparkling wines have a dramatic increase in selling, the repetition of the holidays between the end of December and the beginning of January, seem to be more cheerful and carefree when in our glasses we find a festival of bubbles neatly run after one another in a joyous golden wine.

 What about white wines? Are they really missing our glasses in this period? Probably not. Indeed, for the rich banquets prepared in occasions of the days preceding the two main holidays of this period, of course main in some countries of the world, Christmas and New Year's Day, tradition suggests that foods are to be sumptuously and richly made of fish, an ingredient recalling that famous saying “white wine goes with fish”. This “dogma”, slavishly obeyed in order not to disappoint the companions of the banquets, leaves little space to the exploration of new enogastronomical experiences, and only the most brave and curious ones are prone to some glasses of red wine while being perplexedly watched by the less braved ones. Perhaps it is in this period that many could take advantage of the richness of the tables and consider a glass of good sparkling wine matched to the many foods, instead of seeing it solely as an aperitif or the companion to be matched to desserts.

 This aspect inevitably makes one think about the old polemic about the matching of sparkling wines with desserts, a polemic that does not take into consideration the indisputable personal preferences, of course. Nevertheless the consumption of dry sparkling wines, or using a more appropriate term for these wines, brut sparkling wines, matched with desserts is rather and inexplicably common. We would like to know the name of the first one who launched the fashion of matching a dry wine, as well as sparkling, with a sweet food. Nevertheless it seems very obvious that for a dessert would be chosen a sweet wine, sparkling wines included. Of course the choice in these occasions is not limited, including the most renowned of sweet sparkling wines, Asti Spumante, which is well matchable with desserts, in particular with the ones made of creams, and which is certainly more appropriate of a dry sparkling wine, no matter what it is.

 Winter is also that period which generally makes us more enterprising and more prone to the pleasure of the table, and with that the pleasures of wine as well, and it is the period when people is more prone to stay in their houses in company of friends and of their families. In short, the good occasion to celebrate the good time spent together with a glass of good wine. Either white or red, or any other style, it does not matter, maybe it is just in wintertime we recognize to wine the socializing role that also ancient people recognized to it. Therefore let's make a toast to 2004 in the hope it will bring in every place and in every person peace, serenity and the improvement of the conditions of life for every human being and in every place of the world, in particular in the most forgotten places. Let's make a toast to 2004 because it may finally see the end of arrogance of men, of hypocrisy and poverty of the ones who think they are better and superior than others. Let's make a toast to 2004, raising our glasses, in the hope it will give us a better world for everyone. It would be truly wonderful if a “modest” glass of wine could make all that. A happy and good 2004, to everyone.

 



   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 15, January 2004   
A Good Wine to Warm WinterA Good Wine to Warm Winter MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 14, December 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 16, February 2004

MailBox


 In this column are published our reader's mail. If you have any comment or any question or just want to express your opinion about wine, send your letters to our editorial or fill in the form available at our site.

 

I recently watched a TV show about wine where they talked about bottles to be refilled, because of ullage, and this could be the cause for oxygen to get into the bottle. This condition, it seems, can have negative effects on the qualities of wine during its aging process. Is that true? Thank you.
Stefano D'Angelo -- Milano (Italy)
Dear Mr. D'Angelo, what they said in the TV show you watched some time ago is absolutely true and right. During its stay in the bottle, a phase in which takes place the so called “refinement”, the wine undergoes a development and transformations thanks to a series of events of chemical and physical nature. Its development inside the bottle strongly depends on the keeping conditions, in particular humidity and temperature, and they contribute to accelerate or to slow down the aging processes. Among the components sensible to these conditions there is the cork, that in absence of a proper percentage of moisture, tends to shrink and therefore it lose its best hermetical properties, therefore the wine spills out from the bottle. For this reason bottles should be kept in places with adequate humidity, usually around 70%, and particular care should be paid in order to ensure the wine to be in contact with the cork in order to avoid its shrinkage. In general terms, after a variable period between 15 and 25 years, the cork tends to deteriorate and therefore this is the cause of the spilling of wine. The space freed by the wine is occupied by air, therefore oxygen, that will favor an inexorable oxidization and spoilage of the content of the bottle. Even the continuous changes of the temperature influence the diminution of the content of a bottle: high temperatures make the wine expand and therefore it will spill out of the bottle, whereas the subsequent lowering of the temperature will be cause of depressions that will favor the introduction of air inside the bottle. For this reason, after many years of aging in the bottle and as a consequence of keeping conditions that favored the diminution of the volume of wine, the bottle is opened in order to refill it and to diminish the space occupied by oxygen, at the same time the cork will be replaced as well. Many wineries which produce wines destined for long aging, offer this type of service to their customers and they usually do the proper refillings with the wine of the same vintage.



Why casks used for aging wine have different sizes? Does the size affects the finished product?
Kevin Ballard -- Fresno, California (USA)
Cask is a tool often used in enology during the production of a wine. The cask, generally made of oak, is used for the aging and storage of wine and, sometimes, also for the fermentation of the must. The size of casks usually vary according to the place where they have been made and their size directly affects the aging of wine and, mainly, the quantity of aromatic components and tannins passed from wood to wine. Another factor affecting the organoleptic change of wine is represented by the technique used for the making of the cask and, in particular, for how long the wood has been toasted before being used for the aging of wine. Moreover the cask is used in enology because it favors the clarification and stabilization of wine, it makes the color deeper, makes the tannins of young wine less “rough” and adds aromatic and gustatory complexity. The aging of wine in cask also favor a slow and beneficial oxidization, sometimes needed for the aging of certain types of wine. The influence of the aging in cask depends both on the way it is used and on its specific characteristics. No matter the cask is a tool rather used in the wine making, this does not mean the cask is indispensable, anyway it is wrong to assert its usage is useless, indeed, the magnificence and the elegance of many wines is often because of the aging in cask. However it should be made a proper distinction between the “intelligent” use of cask from its abuse, that is when wood aromas are practically the only ones to be perceived in a wine. It should also be remembered there are many wines, both red and white, having an indisputable high quality and remarkable elegance and they are not aged, because of a precise choice of the producer, neither in cask nor in any other wood container.






   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 15, January 2004   
A Good Wine to Warm WinterA Good Wine to Warm Winter MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
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