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Wine Flavors: What’s Right? What’s Wrong?

Learn where wine flavors come from, how to smell them, and what flavors to expect in Cabernet, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Understanding the flavors in wine starts with a seemingly simple question:

Where do wine flavors come from?

Imagine yourself the size of a single atom floating on the surface of a glass of wine. Down at this level, the surface of wine is quite turbulent.

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Ethanol molecules lift off from the surface of the liquid during evaporation, carrying with them a slew of other aromatic compounds. These compounds float into our noses and give wine its many flavors.

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But this doesn’t explain why Pinot Noir juice smells nothing like Pinot Noir wine.

Wine flavors are created by chemical reactions during fermentation (when yeast turns sugar into alcohol). Fermentation creates hundreds of flavor compounds.

If cherries aren’t an ingredient in wine, then how come some wines smell like cherries?

At the atomic level, aromatic compounds in wine look identical to – or are mirror images of– smells you already know. When you sniff cherry in wine, you are smelling the identical aroma compounds that also waft from a freshly baked cherry pie. (Egads, now I’m hungry!)

Here are common wine flavors by category:

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FRUIT

Red wines typically smell like various berries, cherries, and plums.

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White wines typically smell like citrus fruits, tree fruits (peaches, apples, pears), and melons.

FLOWER / HERB

Both red and white wines can have subtle (or not-so-subtle) aromas of fresh flowers, roses, green herbs, leaves, green vegetables, and/or stems.

OTHER

Don’t be surprised if you get whiffs of cheese, bread, milk, butter, bacon fat, petrol, nail polish, potting soil, or petrichor (smells like freshly wetted asphalt in the summer – side note: I’m addicted to this smell…).

AGING / OAK

Some wine smells come specifically from aging wine (or oaking it) and include vanilla, baking spices, pie crust, caramel, Maillard Reaction (the “brown butter” smell), tobacco, cedar, coffee, leather, creosote, and chocolate.

 

Cabernet Sauvignon Flavors

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Shiraz Flavors

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Chardonnay Flavors

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Sauvignon Blanc Flavors

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If I smell cherries and you smell pepper, who’s right?

Look at your nose. Now imagine (or look at) someone else’s nose. (Don’t stare!) They look pretty different right?

Vin Cartel wine-noses-illustration-winefolly

Differences in our physical attributes, along with how our brains process smells, partially explain why we each pick out different wine flavors and smells.

That said, each wine does have a “base set” of aromas that most people agree upon (who aren’t asnomiacs.)

BTW, if you have trouble picking out wine flavors, I highly recommend watching this video with a glass of Pinot Noir.

Get out and use your snout!

Next time you pick up a glass of wine don’t drink it! (Well, at least not at first). Take your time to pick out 3–5 wine flavors BEFORE you taste it. That’s the secret.

 

This, my friends, is how you become an amazing taster. Salut!

 

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Reference :  https://winefolly.com/review/wine-flavors-whats-right-whats-wrong/

Vin Cartel Wine Vault

Why is Wine So Expensive?

If you’ve ever found yourself standing in the wine aisle gawking at the prices, you may have also found yourself wondering,
“Is there really a difference between cheap and expensive wine?”

And,

“Is more expensive wine better?”

To figure this out, let’s take a look at what it costs to make a bottle of wine.

Vin Cartel why wine is expensive

How much the grapes cost in a bottle of wine in California.

 

The Cost of Wine Grapes

Grapes are one of several costs that go into producing a bottle of wine. So, to put real numbers behind this cost, I crunched some data from the 2017 California Grape Crush Report.

Here’s what I learned:

$5 (for the actual wine part) affords one pretty decent quality juice.

There is a substantial price variance between different grape varieties. (Merlot offers superb value!)

Napa Valley is, by far, the most expensive place to buy wine grapes. Napa Cabernet Sauvignon costs $12.34 / bottle (weighted average).

Some California producers spend as little as 49 cents a bottle for grapes from the Inland Valleys. Of course, grapes aren’t the only costly thing that goes into making wine.

Vin Cartel Why Wine expensive

American oak barrels cost about $600, whereas European oak typically starts at $1,200 per barrel.

 

The Cost of Oak

Oak barrels range in price from about $600–$2400 a barrel, depending on the type of oak and quality level.

That means you can expect at least a $2 bump in cost per bottle if the wine uses oak. (BTW, it’s possible to do it cheaper using oak chips).

In case you didn’t already know, oak is most commonly used for red wines, although you’ll find oak ageing used for a few bold white wines too (like Chardonnay, White Rioja, etc).

While oak barrels are used over and over again, the strongest oak flavor compounds of vanilla, clove, and baking spice come from new barrels.

Vin Cartel Why Wine is Expensive?

The Cost of Packaging

Presentation is everything!

Next up comes the packaging. Any pragmatist realizes that packaging isn’t important as long as it works. It’s what’s inside the bottle that matters, right?!? Still, it doesn’t stop us from being influenced by the way wine bottles look.

Here are some things you should know about packaging:

  1. The Punt: You know, that thumb-sized divot in the bottom of a wine bottle? It doesn’t really matter. If you find a bottle with a deep punt, it just means the bottle was more expensive.
  2. Screwcaps: We’ve been testing cork alternatives since the 1960s. What we’ve learned is that they work, and in many cases, are more consistent than natural corks.
  3. Low Shoulder vs High Shoulder: Low shoulder bottles (e.g. “Burgundy Bottles”) are the “it” bottle these days but don’t fit in most wine racks or stack on top of each other. To a collector, they’re a bit of a pain in the ass.
  4. Heavy Bottles: Some bottles are so heavy that they make up 60% of the weight of the unit. The weight isn’t bad until you realize it costs extra fuel to transport heavy bottles. That being said, they do feel impressive…
  5. Glass Color: Clear glass doesn’t protect wine from light strike, and green glass doesn’t do that much better. Surprisingly, brown glass is an effective UV protector, but hasn’t quite caught on yet. Brown glass is affordable.

In researching packaging costs, I learned that increased spending on bottles might be better treated like a built-in marketing cost.

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It turns out, little things like grape prices, choice of oak, and packaging costs really add up.

 

Adding It Up

As an experiment, I took the average prices for wine grapes from the higher quality growing zones of California and created two examples. Of course, this experiment doesn’t include the cost of winery labor, facilities expenses, and what not, but I still found it illuminating.

Merlot vs. Cabernet Franc

Using Merlot grapes with American oak and value packaging ended up costing around $5 a bottle.

The increased prices for Cabernet Franc grapes, fancy French oak barrels, and prestige packaging bumps the cost up by three times, making it around $16 a bottle.

So, is cheap wine better than expensive wine?

Apparently, it really depends on your desire to drink outside the box.

But wait… there’s more!!!

 

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Reference :  https://winefolly.com/tutorial/why-is-wine-so-expensive/

What is Syrah Wine

The Secrets to Syrah Wine

In a world where bigger is better, Syrah is the ideal choice.

It’s darker than Cabernet Sauvignon and contains high amounts of health-invigorating antioxidants. Discover the details of Syrah wine in this guide and learn the differences between New World and Old-World Syrah.

Guide to Syrah Wine 

Vin Cartel what is Syrah

Syrah Wine Profile
FRUIT: Blackberry, Blueberry and Boysenberry (tart to jammy) OTHER: Olive, pepper, clove, vanilla, mint, licorice, chocolate, allspice, rosemary, cured meat, bacon fat, tobacco, herbs and smoke OAK: Yes. Usually medium to high usage of oak aging (of all kinds). TANNIN: Medium (+) ACIDITY: Medium (+) AGEABILITY: Yes. 5-9 years (most) & 12-25 years (age-worthy examples) COMMON SYNONYMS & REGIONAL NAMES: Shiraz, Sirac, Marsanne Noir, Entournerein, Serène, Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Cornas, Côte-Rôtie, St. Joseph

 

 

 

Syrah Wine Regions

~460,000 acres worldwide (186,000 hectares)

France (169,000 acres)  Côtes du Rhône: Cornas, Hermitage, St. Joseph, Côte-Rôtie

Australia (105,000 acres)  Barossa, McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast

Spain (49,000 acres)  Priorat, Montsant, Toro, Yecla

Argentina (32,000 acres)  Mendoza, Salta

South Africa (25,000 acres)  Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek

United States (23,000 acres)  Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Napa, Sonoma, Columbia Valley (WA)

Italy (17,000 acres)  Tuscany, Sicily

Chile (15,000 acres)  Colchagua Valley, Maipo Valley

Vin Cartel What is Syrah?

The Taste of Syrah Wine

Syrah is responsible for some of the darkest full-bodied red wines in the world. It has dark fruit flavors from sweet blueberry to savory black olive.

When you taste Syrah you’ll be greeted with a punch of flavor that tapers off and then has a spicy peppery note in the aftertaste. Because of its front-loaded style, Syrah is often blended with grapes that add more mid-palate, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, to help make the wine taste more complete.

Traditionally in France, Syrah is blended with light-bodied Grenache and even richer Mourvedre to create the classic Côtes du Rhône blend.

Vin Cartel what is syrah wine

New World vs Old World Syrah

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New World Syrah regions include Australia, Chile, Argentina, and the United States.

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Old World Syrah regions include France, Italy, Spain, and Greece.

New World vs. Old World

Old World Syrahs from Italy and France tend to have more acidity and earthy-herbaceous aromas. New World-styled Syrah wines from Australia, The U.S. and South America usually have more fruit-driven characteristics with lots of spice. Visualize the common taste of Syrah wines depending on from what part of the world they originate.

7 Fascinating Facts About Syrah

Hermitage

Some of the most expensive Syrah in the world is from the 340+ acre appellation called Hermitage. The best wines are sourced from a hill close to the village of Tain-l’Hermitage and are noted for their floral and smoky aromas of blackberry and grilled meat.

Name Origin
The word Syrah may hail from “Syracruse” –a city in Sicily. Syracruse was a powerful city during the ancient Greek rule in 400 BC.
Lost blend
Before appellation control in France, the Bordelais blended Syrahinto their red wines to make them richer. Today, you can commonly find Cabernet-Syrah blends in both Australia and the United States.
Parentage
Two very obscure grapes are the parents of Syrah: Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. Dureza is from Southern France, just North of Nimes in the Ardèche department. Mondeuse Blanche can be found in Savoy.
Petite Sirah
Petite Sirah does not mean ‘little Syrah.’ Petite Sirah (aka Durif) is a different grape variety and is the genetic offspring of Syrah and the more rare Peloursin.
Viticulture
Wine growers often say “Syrah likes a view” because the best vineyards are usually towards the top of hills where there is less soil, making the vines produce less (but more concentrated) grapes.
Winemaking
Because Syrah wines have such thick skins and high tannin, it is a common practice for winemakers to cold soak Syrah grapes for days (or even weeks!). Cold soaking (aka extended maceration) increases color and fruitiness in a wine while also reducing harsh tannin and herbaceous flavors.

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Reference : https://winefolly.com/review/the-secrets-to-syrah-wine/

What is Wine?

Wine is an alcoholic beverage made with the fermented juice of grapes.

Technically, wine can be made with any fruit (i.e. apples, cranberries, plums, etc) but if it just says “wine” on the label then it’s made with grapes. (By the way, wine grapes are different than table grapes).

Speaking of differences, the difference between wine and beer is that beer is made from brewed grains that are then fermented. So very simply, wine is made from fruit and beer is made from grains. Of course, there exceptions –that push the boundaries of beer,–but that story is for another time.

Vin Cartel What is wine

What are Wine Grapes?

Wine grapes are different than table grapes: they are smaller, sweeter and have lots of seeds. Most wines are made with a single species of grape that originated in Caucasus called Vitis vinifera. There are thousands of different varieties within the Vitis vinifera species–the most common is Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Origin of the term “Vintage”

Wine grapes take an entire season to ripen and thus, wine is produced just once a year. This is where the term vintage comes from: “Vint” stands for “Winemaking” and “age” implies the year it was made. So, when you see a vintage year listed on the label, that’s the year the grapes were picked and made into wine. The harvest season in the northern hemisphere (Europe, US) is from August–September and the harvest season in the southern hemisphere (Argentina, Australia) is from February–April.

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NON-VINTAGE (NV) WINE

Occasionally, you’ll find a wine without a vintage listed on the label. Typically, this is a blend of several vintages together; and in the case of Champagne, it will be labeled with “NV” which stands for “Non-Vintage.”

Single-Varietal Wine

A single-varietal wine is made primarily with one type of grape. It’s common to see these wines labeled by the name of that grape variety. For example, a bottle of Riesling is made with Riesling grapes. It’s useful to note that each country has different rules for how much of the variety should be included in order to be labeled as a varietal wine.

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Percentage Required to Label as a Single-Varietal Wine

75% USA*, Chile, South Africa, Australia, Greece
80% Argentina
85% Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand

Wine Blend

A wine blend is a wine made with a blend of several grape varieties.

Blending is a traditional method of winemaking, and today there are several famous wine blends produced in classic winemaking regions. Just so you know, most wine blends are mixed together after the fermentation (and aging) is complete. When grapes are blended and fermented together it is called a field blend. A famous example of a field blend is Port wine.

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A wine blend is a wine made with a blend of several grape varieties.

Blending is a traditional method of winemaking, and today there are several famous wine blends produced in classic winemaking regions. Just so you know, most wine blends are mixed together after the fermentation (and aging) is complete. When grapes are blended and fermented together it is called a field blend. A famous example of a field blend is Port wine.

The Taste of Wine

There are several facets that explain wine’s unique flavor: acidity, sweetness, alcohol, tannin, and aroma compounds produced in fermentation.

Acidity: Wine as a beverage lies on the acidic end of the pH scale ranging from as low as 2.5 (lemon) to as high as 4.5 (greek yoghurt). Wine tastes tart.

Sweetness: Depending on what style of wine you drink, sweetness in wine ranges from having no sugar at all to sweet like maple syrup. The term “dry” refers to a wine without sweetness.

 

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Reference : https://winefolly.com/review/what-is-wine/

Vin Cartel Collins Tin

Throw Back Thursday “Ambassador Night”

Vin Cartel Collins Tin
Collins Tin(@collinstin) is here on 30th May 2019! You may come and meet them and the most important is to have photo together with her at Vin Cartel Wine Lounge.
 
Check out our Instagram (vincartel.wine) to get the promo code and get a free Black Mussel Linguine!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vincartel.wine/?hl=en
 
Make your reservation and come and meet her on Thursday only at Vin Cartel Wine Lounge.
 
Chill and Relax!
Date : 30.05.2019
Time : 6.30pm – 12.00am
 
Messenger Reservation : m.me/VinCartel
Call in Reservation: 0124767911

Terms & Conditions Apply

#VinCartel #WineLovers
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#YouOnlyLiveOnce #LiveYourLifeWithWine #tbt
#kylie_lim #collinstin #gennie_py #mssbabezzyumiko

Vin Cartel Kylie_Lim

Throw Back Thursday “Ambassador Night”

Vin Cartel Kylie_lim
Kylie Baby (@kylie_lim) is here on 30th May 2019! You may come and meet them and the most important is to have photo together with her at Vin Cartel Wine Lounge.
 
Check out our Instagram (vincartel.wine) to get the promo code and get a free Black Mussel Linguine!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vincartel.wine/?hl=en
 
Make your reservation and come and meet her on Thursday only at Vin Cartel Wine Lounge.
 
Chill and Relax!
Date : 30.05.2019
Time : 6.30pm – 12.00am
 
Messenger Reservation : m.me/VinCartel
Call in Reservation: 0124767911

Terms & Conditions Apply.

#VinCartel #WineLovers
#WineLounge #WineDineMusic
#YouOnlyLiveOnce #LiveYourLifeWithWine
#kylie_lim #collinstin #gennie_py #mssbabezzyumiko