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  1. 1. Welcome to the MEC Wine PK!  Tonight:  Wine and your health  Wine defined  Tasting  Pairing Wine and Food
  2. 2. Plus ...  Tips for serving and storing  Great values in wine  Understanding labels
  3. 3. But first say hello to Phil
  4. 4. About Tonight  Meant to be very fun and interactive  Questions are welcome  At worst, you'll try a bunch of wine  At best, you'll participate and learn a whole lot  This presentation is available at … if you feel like reviewing it anytime
  5. 5. Wine & Health  Is it good for you?  Yep  How much?  1-2 glasses per day, but it's really between you, your doctor, and your liver  Resveratrol and flavenoids are both present in wine
  6. 6. What is Wine?  An alcoholic drink made by fermenting the juice of fruits or berries  Most quality wine is made from wine grapes, of which there are thousands of types  Each has its own taste and flavour profile
  7. 7. FERMENTATION  Sugar + yeast ==> alcohol + CO2 + heat  So, the more sugar you start with, the more alcohol you can end up with
  8. 8. What this means  Ripe grapes (ie grapes grown in warmer climates) produce wines with more alcohol than grapes grown in cool climates  And, since body in wine is directly related to alcohol content, warm climate wines are usually fuller bodied than cool climate wines
  9. 9. Examples  Germany, a cool growing region, produce s many wines < 10% abv  Australia often produces wines with more than 15% abv
  10. 10. So  Once you know where a wine comes from, you can get a pretty good idea of how light or full bodied it will be!
  11. 11. Labeling – How Wines are Named  3 main ways:  By grape type (Chardonnay, Cabernet)  By region (Chianti, Bordeaux)  By brand name (Tignanello, Dominus)  Which of these do you figure is the most expensive?
  12. 12. Wine Tasting – Unleashing your Hidden Wine Snob
  13. 13. Goals of Tasting  Better appreciate what's in your glass  Determine if it's a good deal or a waste of money  Figure out what aspects of wine you prefer, so you can experiment successfully with new styles  Realize that it's not nearly as complicated as many would have you believe
  14. 14. Components of Wine  Aromatic compounds  Sugar  Acidity  Tannin  Alcohol  These elements, taken together, will determine balance
  15. 15. How to Taste  It's really just like eating, utilizing the senses of sight, smell, taste and touch  All we need to do is slow the process down
  16. 16. Step 1: Appearance  Can give clues as to grape type, body, clim ate, oak treatment, expe cted flavours, and even age
  17. 17. Appearance – Some Clues  Whites: Lighter Colours Darker Colours - lighter body - fuller body - more acidic - oak - younger wine - older wine
  18. 18. Appearance – Some Clues  Reds: Lighter Colours Darker Colours - lighter body - fuller body - more acid - less acid - cooler climate - warmer climate - older wine - younger wine
  19. 19. Technique  Hold the glass by the stem, tilt it away from you and look down at it over a white background
  20. 20. Step 2: Aromas  Often the most significant impact of taste  Primary (from the fruit itself) and secondary (from winemaking techniques)  Will help you to form expectations for taste  Huge indicator of whether you'll like it
  21. 21. Technique  Smell the wine  Swirl the wine  Smell it again  Get your nose right into the glass  Short, repeated sniffs work best  Aromas give you the best indication of flavour
  22. 22. Step 3 – Taste the Wine (finally)  The tongue can only sense 5 flavours, so it's really the nose that picks up the majority of a wine's flavour  However, the tongue also senses:  Weight or body  Texture (acids and tannins)  Balance  Finish
  23. 23. Technique  Take a very small sip of wine (¼ ounce)  Swirl gently to all areas of the mouth  Evaluate:  Weight  Acidity  Tannin (if applicable)  Overall balance & length of finish
  24. 24. Analysis  Do the aromas make sense based on appearance?  Do the flavours in the mouth follow the aromas sensed by the nose?  Is it in balance?  Does it have a short or long finish?  In short, is this a well made wine or something less???
  25. 25. Comparing the Whites  Which is darker in colour? What might this tell us?  Which smells of riper fruits?  Which is:  More acidic? Fuller bodied?  Longer finishing?  Most importantly – which do you prefer?
  26. 26. About your tastes:  If you prefer #1, chances are you'll enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc and other whites from cool climates  If you prefer #2, chances are you'll enjoy rich Chardonnays, Fume Blanc, Semillon and other whites from warm climates
  27. 27. Now the reds  Evaluate on your own, remembering:  Appearance  Aroma  Taste / texture / balance / finish
  28. 28. Comparing the Reds  Which is lighter bodied?  Which is more tannic?  Which has better balance?  Which has a longer finish?  Which do you prefer?
  29. 29. About your tastes:  If you prefer the 1st red, you'll also likely enjoy Barbera, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais and other light reds from cooler climates  If you prefer the 2nd red, you'll also likely enjoy Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja and other rich reds from warmer climates
  30. 30. Serving Wine  Wine can be best enjoyed when served at appropriate temperatures  In general in North America, we drink our whites too cold and our reds too warm  The general term 'room temperature' wasn't coined when rooms were kept at 20 degrees
  31. 31. Wine Temperature  More specifically, the lighter bodied a wine is, the cooler it can (and should) be served, regardless of colour  So a light Beaujolais can be best appreciated fairly well chilled  Conversely, a full-bodied Chardonnay can often be enjoyed at close to room temperature
  32. 32. Wine Temperature  TIPS:  Never store wine in your car!!!  Avoid storing your wine in your kitchen  Chill most reds for 20 minutes in the fridge before you open them  Take your whites out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before opening
  33. 33. Leftovers ???  Doesn't happen much at my place, but...  1st – store any wine (white or red) in fridge once opened  Oxygen is what causes a wine to age quicker, so reduce it's impact by:  Pouring leftover wine into half bottles  Using Private Preserve, an inert gas that prevents oxygen from penetrating the wine  Pumps aren't really that effective
  34. 34. Pairing Wine & Food  1st, assemble your plate:  1 piece of each of the following:  Apple, lemon, fake crab, brie, blue cheese, plus a spoon of hot salsa and a couple of chips
  35. 35. Pairing Wine & Food  Just like tasting, many sommeliers try to make this some sort of mystical art that no mere mortal can hope to achieve  NEVER pay heed to the Sommelier who dictates which wine you'll best enjoy, until he/she has learned about your tastes
  36. 36. Pairing Wine & Food  The thing is, there's no such thing as a 'perfect' match  Everybody's tastes are different!  If I like 1 style of wine and you prefer another, who is to say what is a 'perfect' match for both of us with a certain meal?
  37. 37. Pairing Wine & Food  The new school of wine and food pairing focuses on individual preferences  We can predict how a certain wine will react with a certain food  So, using this knowledge, we can then best select what will work best for us
  38. 38. Pairing Wine & Food  The following demo will showcase how wine's flavours change when paired with various food flavours  This will help you to determine how to best pair wine with what you're eating  One thing to consider when pairing is the strongest flavour on the plate, which is often the sauce or garnish
  39. 39. Important  To get the most out of this demo, it's key to follow along with my directions  I promise some of these reactions will be quite a surprise  Not everyone will agree on how each wine changes with certain foods, and that's to be expected
  40. 40. And on to the Demo  Taste wine #1  Take a bite of lemon, re-taste #1  What happens?  The wine gets sweeter!  Who prefers it? Who doesn't?
  41. 41. The Demo Continues  Taste wine #2  Take a bite of lemon, re-taste #2  What happens?  The wine gets sweeter!  Who prefers it? Who doesn't?
  42. 42. Wine / Food Rule #1  Acidity in food works to minimize the effect of acidity in wine, and this results in emphasizing the fruit and sweetness of any wine!  The cool thing is any wine built like #1 or #2 will react in exactly the same way with acidic food, be it Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadet or Viognier
  43. 43. And on we go...  Take a sip of wine #1  Take a bite of apple, re-taste wine #1  What happens?  The wine becomes less sweet  Who prefers it? Who doesn't?
  44. 44. More apples  Take a sip of wine #2  Take a bite of apple, re-taste wine #2  What happens?  The wine becomes less sweet, nearly bitter  Who prefers it? Who doesn't?
  45. 45. Wine / Food Rule #2  Sweetness in food works to negate sweetness in wine, making the wine taste more sour / more acidic  The cool thing is any wine built like #1 or #2 will react with sweet foods the same way, be it Gruner, Chenin Blanc, Semillon or Fume Blanc
  46. 46. A Crazy Match  Take a sip of wine #3  Take a bite of apple, re-taste wine #3  What happens?  Not all that much – not great, but not awful
  47. 47. Versatile Food Wines  Wines like #3 are called versatile, mainly because they react minimally with a variety of foods  Good acidity, low-moderate alcohol, and almost no tannins  So there's your breakfast red wine!
  48. 48. A More 'Classic Match'  Take a sip of wine #2  Take a bit of 'crab', re-taste wine #2  What happens? Good, bad?  Who finds the wine gets a bit bitter?  Supposedly a classic match, oaked chardonnay with crab
  49. 49. Umami  Many seafoods contain 'umami', isolated as the fifth taste (prototype is MSG)  This can cause a negative reaction with wine  So … squeeze some lemon on the crab, and try again with the wine
  50. 50. Wine & Food Rule #3  Citrus or salt helps negate the effects of umami, and in general helps a wide range of wines pair better with food  Why does the restaurant often serve citrus slices as garnish with seafood?  Ever notice restaurant foods are heavily salted?
  51. 51. More Combinations  Now, sip wine #3  Take a bite of brie, re-taste wine #3  What happens?  Maybe a bit better, but no big change  Again, a fairly non-reactive wine
  52. 52. Another 'classic'  Bury the rest of the brie in hot salsa  Now, sip #4  Eat the brie/salsa, re-taste wine #4  What happens?  Gets a little hotter, doesn't it?
  53. 53. Alcohol and Spice  Although cheese and red meats tend to pair well with tannic red wines, higher alcohol levels in wine tend to turn up the heat on spicy foods  Rule #4 – Spicy foods are made spicier when paired with higher alcohol red wines
  54. 54. Maybe the best yet ...  Take a sip of wine #4 – note the tannins  Now, take a bite of blue cheese, and re-taste wine #4  What happens?  Smooth!
  55. 55. Wine & Food Rule #5  Uncoagulated proteins, like those found in certain cheeses and rare to medium rare red meats, bind with tannin molecules in red wine and cause the wine to taste much smoother  Note – you won't get the same effect with red meat cooked medium to well!
  56. 56. The Power of Salt  Take a sip of your least favourite wine  Now, eat a potato chip, and re-taste the wine  What happens? A little better?  Salt in food works to enhance the flavours of any wine paired with it
  57. 57. General Conclusions  If a wine is too sweet for you, introduce some sweetness to the food, especially with a sauce or garnish  If a wine is too sour for you, introduce some acidity to the food you're pairing with it
  58. 58. General Conclusions  Look to 'versatile' food wines – namely wines with good acidity and low to moderate alcohol levels, as well as very soft tannins when you're not sure what to pair or you're having a wide range of foods  A bit of sweetness in a white helps even more!
  59. 59. General Conclusions  If you get a bitter taste in wine with a certain food, try introducing some more salt or citrus to the food to counter the effects of umami
  60. 60. General Conclusions  Remember hot foods get hotter with high-test reds, so if you're having the pepper steak you might want to re- think the wine choice  Rough and tannic reds can be softened with blue cheeses and/or rare to medium rare red meat
  61. 61. General Conclusions  Salt is your friend when pairing wine and food!  If the wine is blah, over season your food to get the most out of the wine
  62. 62. General Conclusions  The previous reactions work with all wines – not just the ones we've tried  Any wine that is structurally similar to the wines tonight will react in the same way with food
  63. 63. Buying for Value  Any wine is good, if you like it – doesn't matter if it's $6 or $60  That said, there are some to avoid and others to seek out if you want bang for your buck
  64. 64. Buying for Value  Avoid 'super popular' grape types, as there's a ton of demand:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc  Look instead to blends and alternatives that are similar
  65. 65. Buying for Value  Avoid current 'trendy' regions – look instead to up-and-coming areas or regions that are beneath the radar  Buy Ontario (especially if you like lower alcohol, reserved wines) – we get a reasonable discount on these wines
  66. 66. Buying for Value  Try lesser known grapes...  Whites: Gruner Veltliner, Muscadet, Semillon, Viognier , Albarino  Reds: Grenache, Tempranillo, Primitivo
  67. 67. Buying for Value  Buy the wines nobody else is:  Entry level Bordeaux, Rioja and Sicilian reds are terrific bargains  Reds from the Cotes du Rhone have always been fantastic value  Spain is one of my top choices for bargain reds
  68. 68. Buying for Value  Look to regions that specialize in entry levels wines:  Chile, Argentina  South Africa  Australia  Southern France
  69. 69. Buying for Value  Pay attention to trends, check out for news updates:  Australia is experiencing a wine glut (producing more than they sell) – this'll mean they'll be reducing prices in a year or less  Same thing happened in California 3 years ago and their prices have fallen
  70. 70. Thank you!!!