4 Basic Wine Elements

When I was doing my wine course, my instructor had said – “remember these four basic elements in a wine – if these are present then the wine will have the potential to age”.

His words since got imprinted on my wine memory. Today, I feel happy to share these with everyone in form of a short presentation.

Hope you appreciate it and benefit from these. Questions / views are welcome.

Check out the clip on YouTube too and do subscribe to the channel.

https://youtu.be/KN9DV93TWIA

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Coravin Screw Caps

Coravin is the magical contraption that allows you to draw wine from a bottle without opening the cork. This way you can pour limited portion of wine without worrying that the balance will go bad. Certainly an oeonological boon, is it not ?

However, can Coravin be used for screw cap wine bottles as well ?

To the delight of wine lovers, it does (However, this innovation is only available in Australia and new Zealand for the moment)

How Coravin Works for Screwcaps

1 Grab your favourite bottle of expensive wine that’s sealed with a screwcap
2 Remove and discard existing screwcap
3 Immediately replace with Coravin Screw Cap
4 Push the hollow needle of the Coravin System through Coravin Screw Cap
5 Continue to use Coravin as if it was bottled with a cork.

After pouring, remove the needle, and the Coravin Screw Cap will re-seal to protect the wine from oxidation.

Source : The Wine Wankers, read the full article at http://bit.ly/2xGoG5F

Video Clip :

https://youtu.be/ufePcdaEX0g

No price is too high for a wine passion

India EU wine taxIndia-EU FTA Summit : Negotiating Free Trade in Wines

INR 9K for Barolo !!  I exclaimed so loudly in my mind that I’m sure the lady next to me in the wine retail shop, heard it. Not sure whether she actually did, but I could sense in her the same predicament which most of Indian wine consumers have (I’m sure you do too) – which is “money is not a constraint but dishing out exorbitant amount for a bottle of imported wine is just not fine by me – even it is my favorite one”. It’s a different matter that more often than not, we end up buying it – often justifying it to our spouses jokingly by saying – “Shauq bari cheez hai” which means  “No price is too high for a passion”. I bought the Barolo too.

Well, one does have to spend a fortune to buy a good quality international wine in India. And if it happens to be a Bordeaux or a Barolo that you are eyeing, then the damage is exponentially higher. Like me, I’m sure you also wonder WHY !?

Now, post liberalization, Indian consumers have had an easy access to various imported goods and services. Globalization has ensured availability of international products in domestic markets at competitive prices. Despite this, the availability of imported wines into India has been restricted and these still come at exorbitant prices. The end sufferer due to this is the humble yet observant Indian wine consumer, who is forever expectant of good quality international wines at a reasonable price.

Free Trade Agreement    India – European (EU) negotiations on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were launched in 2007 to boost bilateral trade. As part of FTA, EU has been actively engaging the Indian government for elimination of duties on wines and spirits. If this happens, it could open the proverbial flood gates for European wines into Indian markets at a reasonable price. Presently, the custom duty on import of wines into India are as high as approx. 150% – and this along with host of other taxes and levies make imported wines very expensive to the end consumer. The 14th India-EU Summit which concluded on 06 October 2017 at the national capital promised to carry these negotiations forward –  and this does keep the aspirations of Indian wine consumers alive – of accessing quality European wines at a reasonable cost. Hope that happens soon.

 

 

 

So, you want to throw a wine party ?

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X-Factors for a successful wine party

Parties are integral to the wine eco-system. Be it wine-tasting, wine promotion, wine social or a formal black tie wine dinner, it often becomes incumbent upon a wine enthusiast to attend these. While some of such wine parties are commonplace and soon forgotten, there are others which by their excellent conduct, become memorable and much talked about in the wine circles.

“How to organize a perfect wine party?” is an often asked question, and much googled too, amongst wine aficionados. What’s the big deal one could say…procure the wines, cater good food, invite people and you are on!! Well not quite so. Any wine literate person knows that a wine party is not just another party but it is one which requires a meticulous planning and execution.

So what goes into throwing a successful wine party? Some of well-established suggestions would include selecting good wines as per theme (like old/new world wines, varietal wines etc), correct food pairing, proper wine glassware, serving wines at correct temperature, synchronized wine-food serving etc. But is that enough? Well it certainly is, going by the book, however there always are certain additional “X-Factors” which add value to a wine party and make it successful.

X-FACTORS IN A WINE PARTY

Wine Ambassador           Every wine has a story it is often said. If that is true, then a wine ambassador is the story teller. He’s the one qualified to speak about all aspects of the wines being served. An adept wine ambassador can much enhance the sensory experience of a wine by relating it to the land from which it comes, it’s people, customs, traditions besides the technical and commercial aspects.

Qualified Sommelier      A qualified wine sommelier, if present at the party, would keep his focus on the wines being served and ensure the technicalities of wine storage, decanting, serving etc, to make the wine consumption a seamless and a pleasurable experience.

Dedicated Host    Like any other party, a passionate host is the life-line of a wine party. Proper selection of wines and the paired food, ensuring a judicious mix of guests, effectively engaging the guests during the party in an interactive environment, are some ways by which a good host keeps up the success quotient of the party.

Chef’s Involvement        Generally wines are selected to match the food being ordered. But a wine party is different. Here the wines take the center-stage and the food has to be selected so as to match the wines. This puts the Chef in the center-stage. He has use his knowledge and experience with wines to finalize and prepare proper food as per the wines being served. It is not uncommon these days for the Chef to make an appearance during the party itself and interact with the guests to get a feel of how the food is being relished and offer insights into food-wine pairing.

Winemaker’s Presence Presence of the winemaker/owner of the winery in a wine party is always a plus. He would tell so many things about his wines which one would never find in books and even less so on online platforms. What better to listen about the wines from the person who has produced them.

Innovation and Collaboration    Innovative ideas can add value to a wine party and contribute towards its success. The possibilities here are limited only by the boundaries of the mind. It could be inclusion of a wine celebrity or say a Master Sommelier/Master of Wine in the guest list. It may even be selecting a unique venue for the event. Recent trends also point towards collaborative themes like wine and art, wine and fashion or even wine and entertainment. Only thing to keep in mind that the add-ons should not be over bearing and the central theme should always be the wine – after all its a wine party.

So if you are planning to organize a wine party, do take a cue from above X-Factors to make it a successful and a memorable one. The only caveat being adherence to the prescribed limits for wine consumption so as to make it enjoyable for all. Cheers!

Picture – meetup.com

Tour de France 2017 – and the Chilean Wine Connection

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Picture – https://twitter.com/ConoSurWines

Tour de France, presumably the greatest bicycle race in the world, was held in France from 01 to 23 July 2017. The tournament was won by Chris Froome of Britain. But there’s a wine connection too associated with the sporting event. Read more to find out.

“Tour de France 2017: Britain’s Chris Froome wins yellow jersey for the fourth time – BBC Sport, 23 July 2017”.

But hey, this is a wine blog-post and why should I be mentioning about the world’s greatest bicycle race, you may wonder !!  Well the reason lies in the “Bicycle” itself, as I will bring out a bit later…

Zoom in for a moment to South America – to Chile wine region to be precise. One of the leading exporters of wines from Chile is the Cono Sur Vineyards & Winery. It was established in 1993 as a subsidiary of Concha y Toro Winery and the name Cono Sur means the ‘South America’s Southern Cone’.

Now, Cono Sur signed up as official wine of the Tour de France for three years in 2015. This year too in June 2017, the brand launched Bicicleta Pinot Noir –  marking its status as the official wine of Le Tour de France with a limited edition range.

The wine bottle labels, which have been designed by the renowned cycling artist Eliza Southwood, honor Miguel Indurain (Of Spain) who won the Tour de France for five consecutive times from 1991.  Tacitly, the label also recognizes the contribution of “bicycles” – which are used by the workers who come to work in the Cono Sur vineyards – and herein lies the Bicycle connection which I mentioned above.

With an underlying theme of “inspired by greatness”, the limited edition wine bottles symbolically aim to “unite the wines and the riders” participating in the Tour de France 2017.

So here’s a toast to Britain for being the champions in Tour de France 2017 and a cheer to Cono Sur for being the official wine brand for the tournament.

References –

http://www.conosur.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cono_Sur_Vineyards_%26_Winery

http://www.harpers.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/17033/Chile_s_Cono_Sur_extends_Tour_de_France_partnership.html

http://www.bbc.com/sport/cycling/40695072

 

Cava de paraje –  the Grand Cru of Cava       

Cava, the Sparkling wine wine from Spain has, over recent years, gained much favour amongst wine consumers world over and this along with Prosecco (Italian bubbly) is increasingly proving a viable competition to the French Champagne.

Now, “Cava de Paraje“, the new proverbial ‘grand cru’ of Cava, could become a reality soon –  according to the Spanish agriculture ministry
As per Cava Regulatory Board, the rules for same would include a maximum yield of 8000 kg/ha, 36 months of ageing in the bottle, only vintage wines and only brut styles.
Certainly a reason to celebrate for the Cava fans.

( Read more at  https://goo.gl/qKcCsM

Source – Vinexpo )

The first 12 cava sites, and their owners, are: