Monday, 30 March 2015

What is a Corked Wine?

Every wine enthusiast has had their favourite tipple ruined by cork taint at some point or another. The IdealWine Company asks; what is a corked wine and why do you need to know about it?

A flaw that can damage even the finest of wines
When people hear the term ‘corked wine,’ their minds immediately leap to the stopper that traditionally sits in the neck of their bottle of choice. They imagine little bits of cork floating around in their Pinot.

In reality ‘corked wine’ refers to a specific flaw that can damage the quality of even the finest wines. The flaw is caused by a chemical compound known as ‘cork taint.’ a.k.a 2,4,6 Trichloroanisole (TCA). You’ll spot cork taint straight away because the minute you open the bottle you’ll be greeted by a distinct, unpleasant aroma.

How is cork taint caused?
Cork taint is thought to effect between 2% and 10% of wines. The reason it’s called ‘cork’ taint is because it’s believed that the common flaw is caused by the cork itself.

Experts believe that TCA is created by some varieties of airborne fungi. They infect the cork. Therefore when the wine is corked, this fungi comes into contact with the vintage, disseminating through its depths until the wine is completely infected.

Is it possible to recover a corked wine?
A corked wine won’t harm you, but it will provide you with a vintage that’s impossible to drink. This leads us to ask; is it possible to recover a corked wine and render it drinkable?

Possibly. Some wine aficionados believe that you can use cling film to remove TCA from wine. The theory goes that if you put a wadded piece of cling film into a bottle of wine and leave it for an extended period of time, the cling film will absorb the compound and filter it out of the drink. Tests have shown that the results of this method are mixed at best.

Don’t drink a corked wine
A corked wine has the ability to ruin your vintage. If you ever find yourself confronted with a corked bottle, don’t drink it. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Does Wine Really Get Better With Age?

Most people believe that the quality of a bottle of wine only improves as it ages. Is this this case? The Ideal Wine Company asks; does wine really get better with age?

Wines don’t necessarily get better as they age
The Ideal Wine Company is here to supply you with a variety of luxury wines at a price you can actually afford. We have a number of older vintages on our product list. We even have wines that date back to the 70’s such as the Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1974. Does the age of such a vintage increase its quality?

It depends. Wine doesn’t always get better as it ages but it’s a little more complicated than that. The more superior the bottle, the more likely it is to improve as it gets older. Therefore wines that are produced and consumed locally won’t get better but higher end wines from the supermarket and fine wines will improve as they age.

How to store your wine
Yet that isn’t the end of the story. You can’t just purchase a fine wine and expect its quality to appreciate as it ages. You need to store it correctly if you wish to improve its flavour, as improper storage can have a detrimental effect on any wine.

To store a bottle of correctly so that it has the best chance of improving as it ages you should:

·        Keep it cool: Heat is the enemy of good wine so you need to store your bottle in a cool place like a cellar if you wish to protect its quality.

·     Keep it still: Experts believe that if you shake a bottle of wine it could damage its quality by speeding up some of the chemical reactions in the liquid. Keep a steady hand when placing your wine into storage.

·         Keep it sideways: Tradition dictates that wine needs to be stored sideways. This is so the liquid wets the cork and prevents it from drying out. Most fine wines are corked so if you want to improve the quality of a fine wine as it ages, ensure you store it sideways.

·     Keep it closed: It’s like the genie and the bottle. Once you open a bottle of wine there’s no closing it. Opening a bottle of wine is the quickest way to render it undrinkable in the long-term.

Store your fine wine properly
Therefore some wines do get better with age but others don’t. Fine wines like the ones available here from the Ideal Wine Company are the vintages that are most likely to appreciate as they get older, as long as you store them properly.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Shipwrecked 150 Year Old Wine Tastes Mostly of Salt Water

The Ideal Wine Company were slightly amused to learn recently, that experts were dismayed to find that a 150 year old wine recovered from a shipwreck turned out to taste mostly of salt water.

Wine needs to be stored properly
As suppliers of fine wines from some of the most famous wine making regions on the planet, the Ideal Wine Company has never, not for one minute, underestimated the importance of storage.

No matter how old your vintage, you need to store it properly if you want to ensure it provides you with the out-of-body experience so common of fine wines, when you finally crack it open. As a recent discovery proved, store wine incorrectly and you’ll end up with a bottle destined to turn your stomach.

More than a hint of salt water
The Telegraph has reported that experts were disappointed recently when they cracked open a vintage they found in the wreckage of the Mary-Celestia. They suggested that the bottle, which produced a cloudy yellow liquid, had a bouquet which consisted of sulphur whilst it left a distinct aftertaste; laced with more than a hint of salt water.

The Mary-Celestia was a steamship that sank off the coast of Bermuda in 1864, at the height of the American Civil War. That means that this vintage was 150 years old when it, along with five other bottles, was discovered and retrieved by two divers back in 2011. 

Why did a 150 year old bottle of wine taste so bad?
This leads us to ask, why did a 150 year old vintage taste so bad? We’ve often been told that the older a wine is, the better it is. Furthermore, Paul Roberts, the master sommelier at the ceremonial uncorking of the wine in Charleston, the capital of the US state of West Virginia, noted that he’s had shipwrecked wines before that have retained their heady flavour.

Yet this particularly bottle was discovered inside a locker positioned in the bow of the ship. Essentially it wasn’t stored properly. That allowed sea water to seep into the vintage, ensuring that its taste soured as it aged.

Cautionary tale
Use this story as a cautionary tale. If you buy a fabulous Burgundy or a scintillating Australian wine from the Ideal Wine Company and you plan to keep it for a long time, store it properly. Who knows what’ll happen to it otherwise. 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Exceptionally Early Vintage Presents Problems for Wine Makers in South Australia

Reports recently came to the attention of the Ideal Wine Company that there has been an exceptionally early vintage in South Australia this year. This has presented a number of problems for wine makers in the region.

Some wonderful wines are made in Australia
Because we strive to supply you with fantastic fine wines from regions across the world, we couldn’t not feature a range of Australian luxury wines on the Ideal Wine Company product list.

Australia has long been an up and comer in the world of wine production. Today it’s recognised as a wine maker to equal newer entrants to the industry such as Argentina and California, as well as wine making stalwarts such as France and Italy. The country is known for producing high quality Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Semillon vintages, among others.

Early vintage puts pressure on wine makers
Yet reports have recently revealed that the land down under’s lucrative wine industry has come under pressure. According to ABC News, this year’s wine vintage arrived a month earlier than normal in South Australia.

The region’s Winegrape council executive officer, Peter Hackworth, went on to point out that this has put pressure on wine makers in South Australia. It means that they have to readjust to a much tighter picking schedule and this means that some grapes may not make it to the winery, which would spur a loss for the South Australian wine industry.

The grapes can’t get to the winery
Speaking of the significance of the early vintage, Hackworth said that "what it's meant is a lot of the varieties that normally would ripen distinctively apart have tended to come in at the same time." The executive elaborated that "areas such as the warmer inland areas are ripening at the same time as the cool climate areas, so everything is tending to come in at once. It puts a lot of pressure on winery infrastructure."

He went on to explain: "It's extremely difficult for growers - that can create problems because the grapes will ripen and get to an optimum quality… But if they can't get into the winery, the sugar levels increase and the wine goes beyond its optimum and starts to decline. So that has big implications in terms of pricing for grapes too."

South Australia can meet this challenge
Therefore this early harvest could affect South Australia’s 2015 vintage in a number of ways. Yet South Australia is known for the quality of the bottles it produces. We bet the region has what it takes to overcome this challenge and deliver a stellar 2015 vintage. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

What Causes Wine to Give You a Headache?

We’ve decided to try taking on the mother of all wine-related questions on the Ideal Wine Company blog. What causes wine to give you a headache?

Everyone’s had a wine headache 
We’ve all been there. Because we’re a provider of luxury bottles from wine making regions around the world, many of us at the Ideal Wine Company have certainly been there.  What can we say, we love our product!

You wake up after a having a few glasses of your favourite vino the night before only to find you have a headache. A roaring headache. Nobody knows exactly why drinking certain wines can give you a headache but everyone has wondered at some point or another why they wake up with a banging head after a few glasses of their favourite Burgundy.

Sulphites do not give you a wine headache
People generally fall into two camps. They either believe that wine gives you a headache because it contains sulphites or because you drank too much of it.

Let’s clear up a common misconception right now. Wine does not give you a headache because it contains sulphites. People associate sulphites with wine headaches because some people react badly when they drink wine with sulphites in it. However they react badly because they’re allergic to sulphites, not because they’re particularly known to cause headaches.

Can wine give you a headache if you drink too much of it?
Now let’s tackle the other theory. Wine can give you a headache because you drank too much of it. Is there any truth to this claim?

Some. Basically wine, like all alcohols, dehydrates your body. That’s why you feel ravenously thirsty whenever you’re hung over. One of the side effects of dehydration is headaches. Ergo sometimes you may be prone to develop a headache after a few glasses of wine if you’ve not had any water to rehydrate your body afterwards.

Drink wine in moderation
Truthfully no-one is exactly sure why wine can give you a headache sometimes. However it seems pretty safe to say that the best way to prevent such a headache is to drink wine in moderation. ‘Everything in moderation’ is the key to living a healthy life. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

Luxury Travel Operator Launches Fine Wine Academy

Ideal Wine Company has learned that a luxury travel operator has decided to launch a fine wine academy to teach holidaymakers everything they need to know about their favourite tipple.

You never know everything there is to know
Wine is a complex drink. As a provider of fine wines from around the world at prices you can afford, the Ideal Wine Company has come to realise that you never know everything there is to know about wine.

There’s always something new to learn. There’s always some upcoming wine region to explore, stunning emerging vintage to sample or innovative new viticulture technique to comprehend. Therefore we were excited to hear about the opening of a new wine academy.

Belmond open fine wine academy
According to Breaking Travel News, luxury travel operator Belmond has decided to open a new fine wine academy. The feature will be available to guests travelling exclusively on Belmond in France’s fleet of first-rate barges in Burgundy.

Specifically the academy will be made available to charter groups measuring four travellers or more, who have booked any cruise aboard four Belmond ships going along various routes. These ships are the Belmond Afloat, Belmond Fleur de Lys, Belmond Hirondelle and Belmond Amaryllis.

What will be included in Belmond’s wine academy?
Travellers aboard these ships are in for a fantastic experience. Breaking Travel News reported that the Academy, which can be added to a bespoke itinerary, includes several amazing activities.

The event will be centred on an immersive programme of talks designed to inspire the exploration of Burgundy and it’s most precious asset; wine. The talks are set to be headed by Pascal Wagner, a wine master and the company in France’s resident wine expert. Other activities offered with the academy include Cremant tasting and an optional hot-air balloon ride which carries guests over 230 hectares of the finest vineyards Burgundy has to offer.

Buy your favourite Burgundy from the Ideal Wine Company
As such the opening of this new academy is set to provide holidaymakers with a wonderful opportunity to learn about the fantastic vintages Burgundy has to offer. Take this opportunity, then when you come home you will know everything you need to know to buy the right Burgundy wine for you from the Ideal Wine Company!