Friday, 31 January 2014

How Can You Make Sure you’re Drinking Wine Responsibly?

Wine is one of the most versatile and popular drinks on the planet. Saying this how can you make sure that you get the chance to enjoy your wine responsibly?

Wine is a drink with a decent alcoholic content, indeed this is one of the reasons many people enjoy wine. However, you drink too much and you can be left with a nasty hangover.

Hangovers can act as a deterrent. If you get one too many hangovers or a hangover strong enough, you might swear off wine and this would be a mistake. It would mean you would miss out on all the complex flavours and experiences that wine can bring.

So it makes sense to make sure that everybody drinks their wine responsibly; this means that they get the chance to appreciate it and enjoy it’s palette of many flavours. But when wine goes down so well, it’s hard to remember that it can leave us with a nasty hangover. So how can we make sure we drink wine responsibly?

The first way may seem obvious but it’s one that we at the Ideal Wine Company really can’t stress enough. Take your time. It isn’t a race and you can only really appreciate a wine if you let it dance on your tongue. You need time to really take in the unique combination of flavours and slowing down means you’re less likely to go over your limits.

Another solid piece of advice is to never mix. Mixing types or even brands of wine can have an adverse reaction on your body and make any potential hangover worse. Plus if you mix you get the wines tastes mixing on your tongue and that means you might not get the full impact of the flavour.

It’s also a great idea to pour a small glass of water and keep it by your side whilst you’re drinking. This not only allows you to keep a clearer head, but it also allows you to refresh your palate, so when you take your next sip you get the chance to enjoy the full impact of the grape all over again.

Lastly you need to line your stomach. There’s nothing worse than drinking when you’ve had nothing to eat. The alcohol goes to your head quicker giving you less chance to actually enjoy your wine. Plus there are so many dishes out there that compliment specific types of wine it’d be a crime not to pair them up.

Wine is a drink that we all want to not just enjoy, but appreciate. As long as you use your common sense and drink responsibly, you’ll get the chance to fully embrace the rich complexity of flavours presented in the bottle before you. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

What do You Need to Know to Become a Wine Buff?

Wine is a drink that is appreciated all over the world. As such many people out there aspire to become a wine buff, but they don’t know where to start.

At the Ideal Wine Company we’ve established a reputation in the luxury wine trade. We’ve built this reputation by knowing what makes a good luxury wine. We understand that in order to choose the wine that’s right for you, there are some basics you need to know. That’s why we thought we’d share this knowledge with you.

So what do you need to know to become a wine buff? There are a few basics that you need to get comfortable with first, things you might have overlooked before, but that are essentials in sourcing out true quality luxury wines.

Start with the bottle. It may seem redundant, but a bottle will tell you all you need to know about the wine in question. They’ll tell you about the quality, vintage, alcohol content and brand of the wine in question.
Bottles first list the producer, then the variety of wine, then the region it was produced in and grape variety used, then the vintage year and finally the alcohol content. The alcohol content is what many look at, but you should be looking at the vintage year, grape variety and producer to determine the quality of the wine.

Next you need to know about serving temperatures.  Most people know the basics, that white wine is chilled and that red is served at room temperature However to become a wine buff you need to know the specifics.
Red wine should be served at room temperature, around 20 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius. Rose wine has to be served slightly chilled; the best temperatures for this are between 7 degrees Celsius and 13 degrees Celsius. White wine should be served chilled at around 5 degrees Celsius.

You also need to know about how to serve wine, which glass.  The rules for this vary depending on the wine, but a good rule of thumb is to use larger rimmed glasses for red, as they allow the wine to breathe and slimmer glasses for white. Also always use a flute for champagne.

You also need to know about tasting. To be a good taster first hold the glass by the stem and swill gently, this allows the wine to react with the air and improves the quality. Then lightly sip, swill it around your mouth letting it fall by the sides of your tongue, then spit.

This is only the beginning; wine is a complex field and there’s a lot you need to know to truly become a wine buff. However these hard rules will help you on your way. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Oregon: An Example of Extreme Weather Patterns on Viticulture?

With a cold snap sweeping the Northern US at the moment Oregon is experiencing temperatures it hasn’t seen in years. What the Ideal Wine Company wants to ask is, will this extreme weather stifle a growing wine industry in the Beaver State?

When we think of American wine making a hundred images flit into our head. A new world of adventurous sun soaked vines lying in the heart of California wine country. This image means that we tend to ignore other wine making ventures in the countries developing industry.

However Oregon itself has a fledgling wine industry, all originally made possible in the Beaver state due to changing weather patterns.

Wines have actually been produced in the region since its pre-statehood days back in 1840 when it was a territory. However its industry only gained significance in the 1960’s, today boasting an international reputation for the excellence of the wines they produce. These typically include Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, amongst others.

However, as we’ve discussed in an earlier post, changing weather patterns are altering the face of the international wine making industry. Rising rain and heat levels could one day move the industry north of its traditional areas. This has been most prevalent in Europe.

However Oregon hasn’t escaped the wine changing weather. Naturally the cold snap the US is experiencing right now is a part of it. These are winds that have come down from the arctic itself. Such cold temperatures are likely to do some damage to the Oregon wine making industry.

However the Beaver State has already undergone a weather pattern change. In late September of last year, the regions vineyards experienced heavy rainfall. This occurred at the height of the wine grape harvest season.

This caused fear amongst industry experts. It seems that this fear is founded as a report on the final product labeled Oregon wine for that year “definitely not for the faint of heart.” This is a disappointment for what has been an increasingly successful industry over the years.

So what does this mean? Right now, it simply means some re-branding most likely as companies scrabble to sell products with bad reviews. However it could be indicative of a greater shift in the Beaver state that may see it decrease its wine production.

It’s clear that these weather patterns are having an effect on everyone and everything, wine is certainly no different: only time will tell where the Oregon viticulture industry will go from here.