How To Pick A High Quality Wine

Clearly selecting a specific brand, type and year of wine is a question of individual taste. But, leaving on one side the subject of price, there are several general principles about which most people are in agreement.

Luckily the rise in the number of of vineyards across the world and of wine-related websites means that getting hold of wine is no longer a problem. If you live in Kentucky or Brussels you can buy a New Zealand Syrah not stocked by a local merchant as easily as anyone in Wellington.

Putting aside the matter of pairing particular wines with particular foods, do you want a white or a red wine? Some wine drinkers say that Madeira is far too heavy while other people find that a German Riesling is much too dry. A lot of readily available wines are meant to be consumed a fairly short time after they are purchased, however people who want to drink only the finest wine will need to be patient. Cabernet Sauvignon would certainly be much better after it has had time to age.

A Chardonnay from a cool climate, such as those produced from grapes which are grown in Canada, will be of interest to people who prefer a young acid wine and also to drinkers who wish to experience it's honey and nut flovor which comes from age.

Describing wines according to their class can also be useful. Class 1 wines, sometimes labeled 'Red Table Wine' or 'Light Wine' will have an alcohol content between 7% and 14% when measured by volume. by contrast, Class 7 wines will have an alcohol content of not less than 15% by volume. This type of wine has sometimes had Brandy added to then and might be flavored with herbs with those having the greatest concentration being said to be 'fortified'.

Read the label for a declaration of the quantity of sulfites contained in a wine. Sulphur is often added during bottling to stop the growth of unwanted organisms, but some producers introduce more than many wine drinkers like. Sulphur dioxide is occasionally also sprayed on the grapes themselves as a form of pest control and may find its way into the skin. A few drinkers suffer from a sensitivity to sulphur and will experience an allergic reaction. Concentrations which are below 10 parts per million are generally fine for most people.

If you are tasting a wine you should cool it to the proper temperature of approximately 11C (52F) for white wine and 18C (65F) for reds and use a thin rimmed glass which is free from dust.

Pour out no more than about one third of a glass and pick up your glass by its stem to keep fingerprints away from the rim and to avoid heating the bowl.

What you are looking for is a clear color when you are viewing a wine against a white background with a wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon being a deep violet in color and a Pinot Noir displaying a lighter ruby color. Wines which are made from grapes grown in hot summers and dry falls will be darker in color than wines produced during a cool summer and rainy fall.

The final step is to spin the wine slowly around coating the sides of the glass and let your nose take in its aroma before tasting the wine.

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About The Author, Donald Saunders
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