Merlot

Merlot is a popular red wine grape used as varietal wines and in blends. The most widely planted red grape in Bordeaux region of France, Merlot has enjoyed an increase of popularity in many countries in recent years, including the United States, South America, Italy and Australia. Merlot is now considered one of the world’s most planted grape varieties.

Merlot is a close relative to Cabernet Sauvignon. However it has certain distinctions: it is lower in tannins and produces softer wines. It lacks depth of flavor and ageability typical of its relative; this is why it is often blended with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon. This contribution of the lacking qualities to Merlot makes a very successful wine product.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major red grape varieties in the world. It is a related variety of Cabernet Sauvignon and can be either used alone or in blends with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Blending with Merlot is considered traditional. In a blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc softens the tannins and adds complexity and definition to the overall taste.

Cabernet Franc is thinner-skinned, earlier-ripening and has lower overall acidity. Cabernet Franc vines tend to survive cold winters better than Cabernet Sauvignon. However they are less resistant to Spring frosts.

Cabernet Sauvignon

The “King of Red Wine Grapes,” Cabernet Sauvignon is the most commonly grown red wine grape in the world. Whenever someone is unsure about the choice of wine, he/she is likely to resort to this type as to something traditionally and unfailingly good.

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are small, thick-skinned, and produce wines of deep color and tannin. It is considered relatively easy to cultivate, and due to their thick skins they are quite hardy. However, in order to achieve maturity, this type of grape is said to require warmer growing conditions in comparison with other varieties.

Types of Red Wines: Introduction

When you come to the fine restaurant and the waiter hands you the wine list, you are likely to start feeling a little uncomfortable. When you need to purchase a bottle of wine as a present or for a special occasion, you find yourself marooned in the decision-making process and end up buying the cheapest (or most expensive) wine, depending on your budget. When you are asked about the taste of wine you are having at a dinner-party, you are likely to say something like “It’s nice, not very sweet… Is it Italian?”

Sommelier

Of all the unusual and rare professions people might pursue, that of a Sommelier seems to be one of the most intriguing and sometimes misunderstood. Sommelier is not only a beautiful word of French origin to denote someone who performs the duties of a wine steward. Sommelier is often a highly trained professional who has a much wider scope of duties: from creating a wine list for the restaurant to extensive traveling to numerous vineyards where the grapes are grown.

Rioja

After my trip to Catalonia, whenever I needed to purchase a bottle of wine, I found myself browsing supermarket shelves for Rioja wine. Rioja wines are wonderful, and remind me of jamon, paella and Mediterranean. They come from a famous wine-producing region in Spain. If you’ve been trying to find some wine which is great value for money, - look no further.

Wine Fridges

Wine fridges, wine cabinets, and other wine cooling equipment designed for proper wine storage have enjoyed an increase in popularity over the past decade. It used to be a specialized niche market, but now it is already a mainstream, with a range of companies offering basic models of wine fridges as well as specially designed deluxe wine fridges.

You should be aware of the fact that wine changes its nature as time goes by, and it is important to store the wine in conditions which are favorable to its maturing, however they shouldn’t be speeding up the process. For instance, storing wine in high temperatures may lead to faster maturing and reduced complexity levels, which in its turn will inevitably affect the wine’s taste.

Plastic Champagne Flutes

Flutes (or tulip glasses) are the most commonly used glasses for drinking sparkling wines, such as Champagne. A flute glass is very elegant: a tall, narrow bowl on a long stem, the shape resembling of the beautiful spring flower indeed.

The stem enables the drinkers to enjoy Champagne without affecting the perfect temperature of the drink, and the narrow bowl preserves the carbonation in the sparkling drink. The reduced surface area at the opening of the straight-sided flute prevents bubbles from attaching to the flute sides and breaking.

Roussanne

Roussanne is a white wine grape variety grown originally in the Rhone region of France. Other names of Roussanne are Barbin, Rebelot, Bergeron, Greffou, and Picotin Blanc. Today, Roussanne is an important component in the wines of Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, and Saint-Joseph. It can also be found in the white wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and in some white wines from the Cotes du Rhone AOC. There are plantings of Roussanne in a few other French regions besides Rhone, as well as in Italy, Australia, California and some experimental plantings can be found in Washington State.

Gaining an Insight into Food and Wine Pairing

Wine is an integral part of fine dining, and food and wine pairing rules look like knowledge-on-demand nowadays. The right wines can accentuate the good flavors of a meal, bringing out certain flavors and nuances. A good match enhances the characteristics of both the food and the wine. The wrong pairings can ruin the dining experience altogether by making foods taste bitter, overly sweet, or metallic.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional sommelier to be able to make right choices about the wines to serve with your meals. There are some basic food and wine pairing rules, but other than that, there are suggestions and recommendations rather than strict principles. Moreover, rules are quite often broken, as there is no universal way of matching food and wine, and experimentation is often the key to success.