Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week

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2016 Lusco Albariño ($25)

This 100% Albariño by Lusco is from Rias Baixas, in the Galicia region of northwestern Spain, located along the Atlantic coastline.

Imported into the U.S. by González Byass, this wine is fermented with natural yeasts produced by the grape. After its fermentation, the wine remains on lees for six months. This results in a more rounded and balanced wine.

It has great tropical flavors of pineapple and grapefruit with good acidity that is quite refreshing.

This is another nice wine to enjoy on a warm spring day or during the summertime. One sip and it will win you over!  Enjoy this one!


Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission: I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sample Provided by Donna White Communications

The Factors that Make a Wine More Capable of Bottle Aging

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We've now worked our way through how a wine gets its flavor - from the grape, the skins, seeds and stems, fermentation, barrel aging and last time we touched on bottle aging. There we learned that most wines are not meant for long-term bottle aging. But, what does make a bottle of wine age worthy?

It may seem obvious, but the color and the type of grape are very important. Red wines are best at bottle aging because of their natural tannin from the grape skin, seeds and stem as well as from barrel aging. This is most common in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.  White wines generally don't age well and should be consumed young.

The vintage, or the year the grapes were grown, can significantly affect a wine's ability to age well. The balance of tannin and acid in a particular year may lend the resulting wine to better aging prospects.

Where the wine is from can also affect its ability to age. There are key regions, such as Bordeaux France and Napa California that produce very age-worthy grapes.

And finally, storage conditions are also key. Wines must be stored in cool conditions (~58 degrees F) and away from light.  Even a great wine will quickly be damaged by heat and light.

Next time, we'll take a look at specific regions and wines for their age worthiness. You may be surprised by some of the guidelines. Until then, Cheers!

 

Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week

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2017 Beronia Rioja Rosé ($13)

This wonderfully refreshing Rosé comes from the Rioja region of Spain, is produced by Beronia winery and distributed in the U.S. by González Byass wines.  It's a nice blend of 40% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo and 30% Viura (a.k.a. Macabeo) which is also used in the production of Cava.  

This is a dry rosé (13% ABV) that is pale pink in color with bright strawberry aroma. It has refreshing acidity that results in a nice fresh finish.

This is a great choice for picnic outdoors or just enjoying its refreshing flavors on a warm day in the backyard. Pair it with Spring!  Look for this delicious rosé. You will enjoy this one!


Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission: I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

 

Sample Provided by Donna White Communications

Wine Flavors from Aging in the Bottle

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As we continue exploring wine flavors and where they come from, let's take a step back to last time.

As was noted, barrel aging can impart many wonderful flavors to wine. Additionally, barrel aging imparts tannin. And, tannin is very important to a wine’s ability to age in the bottle.

But, not all wines are meant to be bottle aged. In fact, most are meant to be consumed immediately. Only a small percent of the world's wines are made to be aged.

As a wine ages in the bottle, it is important that it be kept in a cool environment (~58 degrees F) and kept away from sunlight. Both warm temperatures and light can quickly damage a wine.

So, if a wine is age-worthy, its flavor will indeed change in the bottle over time. The tannin will become softer (less astringent) making the wine have a smoother mouthfeel. The fruit flavors will also soften. And, over time, the color will change from red and will take on an orange hue. This all results in a wonderful wine experience.

But, aging a wine in the bottle is not always for the better. A favorite line that I read some time ago was "The cellar (or wine refrigerator) is not a hospital; it will not make a bad wine get better."  And, that is so true. You must ensure you are aging good wines.

One simple rule is if a wine does not naturally have tannin from the fruit and does not get any appreciable tannin from oak aging, it's not going to be age worthy. And, once it has gotten beyond three to five years old, it likely will have oxidized and be beyond its prime period for drinking.

So, what other factors make a wine age worthy?  We'll get into that next time. Until then, Cheers!