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Introduction to Wine


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A great way to deepen your knowledge of wine, at your own paste. Introduction to wine will help you get aquatinted with grape varietals and helpful hints to remember when taste wine.

A great way to deepen your knowledge of wine, at your own paste. Introduction to wine will help you get aquatinted with grape varietals and helpful hints to remember when taste wine.

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  • 1. Introduction to Wine ~ Session 1
  • 2. Weekly Schedule
    Week 1- Introduction to wine, where it all begins, grape varietals, tasting wine like a professional
    Week 2- Understanding a restaurant wine list, how to buy wine comfortably
    Week 3- The process of making wine and champagne 
    Week 4- Understanding France (Burgundy and Bordeaux) 
    Week 5- Wine and food pairing
  • 3. What Makes Great Wine
    Terms to familiarize yourself with
    Sweetness and Dry
  • 4. Integration
    Is a state whereby the components of wine (acid, tannin, alcohol and so forth) are so interwoven that no one character stands out. Integration is more then just balance, it implies that all the components have come together in a harmonious fusion.
    One can not talk about its points of acidity, tannin or oak.
    Wine that possesses integration is a perfect sphere in the mouth. So round, so harmonious that one cannot easily grasp onto any single component.
  • 5. Expressiveness
    Is the quality a wine possesses when its aromas and flavors are well-defined and clearly projected.
    While some wine seems muddled and diffused others beam out their character with almost unreal clarity and focus.
    Example: It’s like watching TV in black and white verse the same show in High-density color.
  • 6. Complexity
    Complexity is more like a force that pulls you into the wine and impels you to repeatedly return for another smell and sip because each time you do, you find something new.
    Its layered, it evolves, its deep and hard to grasp!
    Some critics describe this kind of wine like a film. You keep thinking about it, it beckons you to continue coming back. This is like the difference between watching Inception vs. Rambo; both are good films, one is more layered and thought provoking then the other.
  • 7. Connectedness
    Is perhaps the most elusive of these concepts and the most difficult to understand.
    It is the sense you get from the wine’s aromas and flavor that it could not have come from just anywhere, but rather is the embodiment of a single piece of earth.
    Connectedness is the bond between wine and the plot of land it was born in. This term is also known as Terroir.
  • 8. Alcohol
    Is what results when yeast comes in contact with the natural sugar in grape pulp. Alcohol plays a key role in the process of wine. The more ripe the grapes are, the more natural sugar they contain and the higher the alcohol content will be.
    Example: California Cabs can reach 15% alcohol most wines average 12%.
    Alcohol will also affect the body and texture of the wine. High-alcohol wines will seem hot, full bodied and sometimes chewy. By comparison very low alcohol wines are light in body and transparent almost sheer.
  • 9. Acid
    Is the most important element in the pulp other than sugar and water.
    As a grape ripens the sugar content increases and the acid decreases. It is crucial to harvest when both sugar and acid are at a optimal balance.
    Without acid a dry wine will seem dull and flat and a sweet wine will taste flabby.
    Acid acts as a preservative, without enough acid a wine will brake down over time and loose its structure.
    In warm climates like California and Australia, winemakers often have to add 2-3 grams of acid per-liter of wine.
  • 10. Fruitiness
    Is what the word implies, it’s the amount of fruit like flavors and aromas a wine displays. Commonly found in young wines not as visible in more mature ones.
    Example: Gewurztraminer andGamay.
  • 11. Tannin
    Tannin comes from the skin, seedsand stems; when red wine is fermented.
    In comparison white grapes are crushed, the skin, stems and seeds are removed, and we are left with juice.
    Tannin gives wine backbone. A young wine often tastes harsh and bitter. When wine ages the tannin will start to mellow out, making it seem softertothe pallet.
    Tannin like acid is also a natural preservative.
  • 12. Sweetness and Dryness
    Sweetness and fruitiness are not interchangeable
    Understanding whatfruitiness is, the amount of fruit like flavors and aromas a wine displays.
    If all or virtually all the sugar in the ripe grape was converted into alcohol, the wine is considered dry.
    If only some of the sugar was converted to alcohol, the wine is said to have residual sugar. It’s the sugar left over while the grapes are still on the vine.
    Off-dry iswhen 2-3% residual sugar left. At 5-30% it’s considered dessert wine. 
  • 13. Grape Varietals
    Classis whites
    Chenin Blanc
    Sauvignon Blanc
    Classic Reds
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Pinot Noir
  • 14. Classic Whites
    Chardonnay- vanilla, butter, butterscotch, toasted butter, custard, green apples, tropical fruit, lemon, pineapple…
    Chenin Blanc- pear, melon, apricot, red apple, peaches, fruit cocktail…
    Riesling- fresh ripe peaches, apricot, melon, honey, mineral qualities…
    Sauvignon Blanc/Fume Blanc- straw, grass, green tea, lemon, goose berry, grapefruit…
    Semillon- fig, honey, citrus, lemon, lime, green apples…
  • 15. Classic Reds
    Cabernet Sauvignon- blackberry, black current, cassis, mint, eucalyptus, cedar wood, leather, plum…
    Merlot- blackberry, cassis, baked cherries, plum, chocolate, mocha, leather…
    Pinot Noir- cherries, plums, raspberries, damp earth, mushrooms, cedar, cigars, chocolate, worn leather, dry leaves…
    Syrah- spice, smoke, blackberries, pepper, earth, leather…
  • 16. Important Grapes
    Pinot Blanc
    Pinot Gris
    Pinot Grigio
    Cabernet Franc
    Petit Verdot
  • 17. Tasting
  • 18. Tasting List
    2010 Whiteheaven Sauvignon Blanc
    2009 William Fevre Chablis ChhampsRoyaux
    2007 Domaine De NizasCoteuex du Languedoc
    2009 L’Etoile De Bergey Pessac-Leognan
    *The next four slides show you the geographical wine regions where the wines come from we will be tasting are harvested. See if you canmatch the wines to the region of origination.
  • 19. Marlborough
  • 20. Chablis
  • 21. Languedoc
  • 22. Bordeaux
  • 23. Flavors
    Umami- savory
    *A great exercise to learn where your taste buds arelocated. Use flavored popcorn and fruitsuch as lemon or lime.
  • 24. Tasting
  • 25. Tasting
    See- You are looking for shades of color. White wines get darker as they age, red wines get lighter. The darker the wine, does not mean the more intense the flavor, it will have to do with varietal and age.
    Swirl- Swirling creates tiny air currents in the nose/bouquet that carry aroma molecules up to the nerve receptors and ultimately to the brain.
    Sniff- The nose fatigues quickly in about 6 seconds. The nose can distinguish thousands of smells, it’s one of your most powerful tools. Take short inhales, while breathing look at the aroma chart to discern aromas you may detect in the wine.
    Sip- The first sip is not reliable, take another. When tasting we look for aroma, body/texture (light, medium, full) flavor and finish.
    *Whenever you taste a new wine you will learn to evaluate what you are tasting, this is why I do not consider summarize one of the four S’s.
  • 26. Flavors & Aromas of Whites Wine
    Fruit-apples, apricot, banana, fig, grapefruit, lemon, lime,litchi, melon, pear, pineapple, peach, orange, mango
    Butter and cream- butter, butterscotch, caramel, custard, vanilla
    Vegetables- asparagus, bell pepper, green bean, olives
    Grains and nuts- almond, biscuit, bread dough, hazelnut, roasted nuts, yeast,
    Spice- cinnamon, cloves, ginger, white pepper
    Flowers- gardenia, geranium, honey suckle, rose
    Earth- chalk, flint, grass, hay, minerals, stone, straw
    Barrel Aromas- oak, toast, vanilla
  • 27. Flavor & Aromas of Red Wines
    Fruit- blackberry, black current, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, cranberry, dried orange, plum, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberry, cooked black cherries, jam and prunes
    Vegetables- asparagus, bell pepper, mushroom, olive, truffle
    Chocolate and coffee- bitter chocolate, cocoa, milk chocolate, mocha, coffee espresso
    Spices- black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, licorice, mint, spiced tea
    Tobacco- cigar box, pipe tobacco, smoke,
    Flowers- rose, violet
    Earth- cedar, damp earth, dried leaves, eucalyptus, forest, gravel, pine, stone
    Animal- barnyard, horse blanket, manure, sweat
    Barrel aromas- oak, toast, vanilla
    Other aromas- cola, tar, tea, worn boot
  • 28. Homework
    Pour yourself a glass of skim milk, whole milk and half and half, tasting the milk side by side; this will teach your pallet the difference in mouth-feel. Determine which is light, medium, orfull bodied.
    Brew a cup of tea, let it steep for 30 minutes, come back and describe what you taste. This is a great way to learn what tannin is.
    For those that want to go deeper. Find the certain fruitsand spices identifiedin the wines we tasted today, to help in the developing of your pallet and identifying aromas and flavors.
    To keep track of the wines we tasted, it would be helpful to get yourself a notebook. It’s a great way to remember which wines you liked and what flavors and aromas you were able to detect.
  • 29. Information
    Information from the slides was taken from.
    Macneil, Karen. The Wine Bible.
    Robinson, Janis. How to Taste
    By Emily Rodewald Stellfox