Wine Culture and Information - Volume 13
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  Editorial Issue 19, May 2004   
The New Season of WineThe New Season of Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 18, April 2004 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 20, June 2004

The New Season of Wine


 Springtime has finally come - to tell the truth, springtime arrived some weeks ago - and this period of the year always represents a significative moment for every winery of the northern hemisphere of our planet. In fact it is right in this season that wines produced in recent harvests are being released and in particular white wines and red wines destined to an immediate consumption. The results of the new vintage is always anticipated by the releasing of nouveau wines in November, an event which is not always reliable for assessing the wines produced with “canonical” methods and released for consumption, more or less, with the arrive of springtime. It is not by chance that right in springtime and in the month of November is concentrated the majority of wine fair trades all over the world.

 This is probably the best period, just like summertime, for appreciating new wines and in particular whites. Like we said so many times, white wines truly suitable for the aging in bottle are very few and most of the times one ends up to uncork a white wine when it lost its best characteristics. This is particularly true for all those whites which have been fermented and aged in inert containers, such as stainless steel or concrete, and therefore purposely created with the explicit aim of offering qualities of freshness and youth. Wines having fresh aromas of flowers and fruits, fragrant and pleasing, capable of giving their best in their best time which certainly is represented by youth. So, is there a better period than this to take advantage of this opportunity? With the coming of warm days it will certainly be pleasurable to have some aromatic and crisp wine in the glass which will certainly make joyous both meals and leisure moments.


 

 Moreover, because of the non truly enthusiastic result of vintage 2002, where few areas was capable of giving wines worth of remarkable quality, the curiosity to know and see how the last year will do - the 2003 - will certainly contribute for the preference of the new wines. Premises seem to be certainly promising, ready to deny the non truly good vintage 2002, in which many wineries have even decided not to release their wines, in particular red wines. This certainly is a remarkable behavior which is worth of esteem, first of all for the respect and loyalty these producers shown for their consumers and, last but not the least, even for keeping the prestige and the qualitative level of their best wines. Other wineries, in order not to completely compromise the work of the year 2002, have decided to lowering the class of their best wines, while realizing that year did not contribute to have wines that could worthily represent them, and therefore they decided to sell those wines at lower prices and reclassified with different names or in categories belonging to lower appellations. No matter of what it was, this certainly is an appreciable behavior which shows respect and honesty for their consumers.

 What about red wines? The wines to be drunk young and aged for few months are usually released for consumption with the arrive of springtime, just like for whites, whereas for appreciating reserves - including the ones of the year 2002 - it is to be waited one more month - June usually represents the releasing of such wines - or probably the end of summertime and the beginning of autumn. In other words, full bodied and alcoholic wines which announce the end of the warm season and welcome the cold one, or better to say, less torrid. However the arrive of the warm season - announced by the arrive of springtime - is happily accompanied by those young and light red wines, which are well suitable for the service at more summertime and cool temperatures. Even rose wines find in the warm season their best moment: released for the consumption with the arrive of springtime, they are happily appreciable at cool temperatures and therefore extremely pleasing - aromatic and agreeable - in this moment of thoughtless youth.

 The end of wintertime and the beginning of the mild season is also the moment in which takes place the last phase of the production of classic method sparkling wines: disgorgement. After a short and proper period of aging which follows the adding of the so called liqueur d'expédition - or dosage - classic method sparkling wines are ready to meet - as well as pleasing - the hot days of summertime. What is better than a nice glass of classic method sparkling wine, cool, crisp, pleasing and joyous, to please a good summertime meal or leisure moments spent to the shadow of the heat of sun? Of course sparkling wines produced with the Charmat method are not to be forgotten, these wines are widely used, not only drunk alone, but also as a base ingredient for the hundreds blended drinks in which both wine and sparkling wines represent a fundamental component. Moreover it is right during warm seasons which is particularly liked the aperitif, a drink which finds in sparkling wines - both classic method and Charmat - excellent and good allies. However the too much frequent habit of serving sparkling wines as aperitifs should not be exaggerated because at the end this could make people believe - and this is probably happened already - this is their main role and it certainly is not like that. It must not be forgotten their brilliant role in the table for the matching of a meal, something that sparkling wines can do magnificently well.

 In short, there is enough to meet every taste and every occasion. The arrive of the warm season always finds every year the lovers of the beverage of Bacchus with a glass in the hand and a providential corkscrew in the other, ready to enjoy the results of the new vintage. We certainly wish the 2003, in which many hope and believe to be a good one, will be capable to let us forget the 2002, which certainly was not rich and generous like the 2001 but it was however capable of giving some, and certainly not many, remarkable bottles. Like always the verdict will be the one expressed by the judgment and the test of the glass, sometimes harsh and however inevitable, with the hope that the 2003 will be capable of giving us new and brilliant emotions. It is however important to remember that behind, or better to say, inside every bottle of wine there are the efforts and passions of men and women who believe in their job and in the dream of making the millenary beverage of Bacchus, who try every year to produce the best they can in the respect of what nature, in everything and for everything, was capable to offer them year after year.

 



   Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 19, May 2004   
The New Season of WineThe New Season of Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 18, April 2004 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 20, June 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 frequently go for picnics and and I usually like to bring some bottles of wines for the meal. I noticed that after 3 or 4 hours of traveling in the car, the taste of wine gets worse. I understand that in some aged red wines the presence of the sediment in suspension affects taste, however I noticed that after some hours of traveling by car the taste of both young wines and aged wines are different and worse. Why?
Hyun Suk Kim -- Pusan (South Korea)
Like you rightly observed, transporting aged wines, because of the effects of shaking, has as a consequence the suspension of sediments produced after some years of aging. The suspension of sediments, besides worsening the appearance of wine by making it turbid, also affects the sensorial perception of its organoleptic qualities, in particular the ones of tactile nature. This problem, like everyone knows, can be easily solved by allowing the wine to rest in order to have sediments to deposit on the bottom and therefore they can be separated by a proper decanting. indeed the problem which cause the change of the organoleptic qualities in a wine because of transportation is mainly because of the temperature variations to which the bottle is subjected to. In a car the temperature is usually higher than the ones generally acceptable both for the service and for the keeping of wine. If it is true that four hours spent in a car do not irremediably compromise the keeping and the integrity of a wine, this is however enough to change the sensorial perception both of aromas and taste. In case it is necessary to transport bottles of wine to be consumed after the end of the journey it is good to make use of a thermal container - just like the ones used for picnics - capable of keeping the wine at a constant service temperature and - in case of need - with the help of ice bags or cooling elements.



The adding of sugar and yeast in wines for the production of classic method sparkling wine, in order to start the refermentation in bottle, besides producing carbon dioxide, contributes to the increasing of alcohol as well?
Antonino Raimondo -- Cislago, Varese (Italy)
Base wines used for the production of classic method sparkling wines are made according to the chemical and organoleptic changes which take place during the process of the making of a sparkling wine. The base wine - called cuvée which can also be represented by the blending of many wines and according to the disciplinary or the tradition of the place where the sparkling wine is being produced - must have a pretty high quantity of acid and a low percentage of alcohol. The high quantity of acid is needed for the balance of the sparkling wine when at the end of the process is added the dosage - or liqueur d'expédition - made of variable quantities of sugar and other ingredients. To the base wine is added the so called liqueur de tirage, a blend of sugar, base wine and yeast, in order to start the production of foam and the so called prise de mousse. During this phase, yeasts start a second fermentation, thanks to the presence of sugar, whose main goal is the production of carbon dioxide - responsible for the bubbles in sparkling wines - and alcohol which will raise the alcoholic percentage in the wine. The increasing of alcoholic percentage during the refermentation in bottle is generally equal to some units and this is considered as a side effect of the classic method, as the main goal is the production of carbon dioxide to be solubilized in the wine.



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  Editorial Issue 19, May 2004   
The New Season of WineThe New Season of Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
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