F & B Service Notes for 2nd Year Hotel Management Students: Chap 03. table wines


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Table Wines: Definition, Manufacturing process, wine Laws, Countries & Regions...

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F & B Service Notes for 2nd Year Hotel Management Students: Chap 03. table wines

  1. 1. TABLE WINESDEFINITION____________________________________Table wines are also called Still Wines and form the largest category. These are naturalwines and are the result of fermentation of grape juice with little or no addition of othersubstances. These are made without any diversions from natural processes. Thesewines may be red, pink or white in colour. Their alcoholic content varies between 8 –15% by volume, more usually between 10 – 13% by volume. For example: Medoc,Beaujolais, Hock, Moselle, Alsace etcMAKING A TABLE WINE (RED, ROSE & WHITE)______The winemaking process starts as soon as possible, after the harvest. Each vigneronmakes wine in his own particular way in his own district, usually following the fashion ofhis forefathers. Also referred to as Vinification, the steps involved are:(i) Grading, Weighing & Destalking: Refractometer is an instrument used to accessthe sugar content of the must before the start of vintage. For this, a grape is crushedinto its end, which is then held to the eye and pointed towards the sun. If the grapes areready for harvest the scale inside the eyepiece will indicate this by showing the sugarlevel. If the scale shows a low level the harvest will be delayed. The amount of potentialalcohol can thus be measured using a refractometer.After harvesting, grapes are graded according to quality. They are weighed to determinethe quantity required for fermentation. Furthermore, the stalks are removed using adestalking machine, which is called in French as “foulloir-egrappoire”. Thus, theresulting wine will be low in tannin and thus mature quickly, at the same time relativelydecreasing its staying power. Such wines are made to be drunk young.(ii) Crushing (Pressing): Juice (called must) is extracted from grapes by crushing itwith feet (troddening) traditionally in some regions or pressing it with mechanicalpresses.Hydraulic and Archimedean screw presses are popular in some regions, while other usethe revolving cylinder or the pneumatic bar press. The pneumatic bar press is like alarge balloon inside a cylinder. The balloon is placed amongst the grapes and theninflated, forcing the juice out through the slatted side. 1
  2. 2. The specific gravity of the must is measured with the help of a hydrometer, whichindicates the sugar content and thus the alcoholic content. This procedure is necessary,as there are laws in most countries, which specify the minimum alcoholic strength ofwines. These laws may allow the wine-maker to add small quantities of sugar shouldthe must show insufficient alcohol potential. This process of enrichment is calledChaptalization’. At this crushing stage if red wine has to be made, the skins of redgrapes are allowed to come in contact with the juice (approximately 10 to 30 days),which gets the colour from the skin. In the case of white wines made from red grapes,the skin is separated immediately. In case if it is made from white grapes, the must mayor may not be left with skins. Rose wines are made by allowing the skins of red grapesto come in contact for a short while with the juice to get the desired pink colour(approximately one day). 2
  3. 3. (iii) Sulphuring: Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is added fairly early in the fermentation processto prevent air from oxidising the juice and converting the alcohol into vinegar. The airhas bacteria, principally “acetobacter” which is aerobic i.e. it is alive in the presence ofoxygen. These acetobacters can convert alcohol into vinegar. Sulphur dioxide, beinghungry for oxygen, takes up the oxygen from the must to let the wine yeast, which isanaerobic (able to work in the absence of oxygen) to convert the grape sugar intoalcohol. Sulphur dioxide also forms a coating on the surface of the juice to prevent theair from entering the juice and thereby letting the wine yeast to do its work.(iv) Fermentation: Fermentation is the process of adding wine yeast to must to convertthe natural sugar present into ethyl alcohol. In this process, carbon dioxide is releasedmaking fermentation violent at first and then slow. The yeast added is 3% to 5% of thevolume of must. Fermentation, once started should be continous and complete, thoughit can be artificially stopped for a specific style of wine. Being an exothermic reaction,fermentation causes a rise in temperature and hence care is taken to keep thetemperature within controlled limits (i.e between 5°C to 35°C) or else the activity of theyeast will stall or stop altogether. Incomplete fermentations are a problem and may bedue to too high or too low a fermenting temperature or to the use of poor quality grapesor even to the use of inferior yeasts with a low alcohol tolerance. Ideally, white winesare fermented slowly and coolly between the temperature of 15°C and 20°C to impartdelicacy and fragrance. Red wines are fermented more quickly and at a highertemperature between 25°C and 30°C that helps to extract colour and body for the wine.Modern wine-makers favour a slow, cool fermentation as they consider it helps topreserve aroma and intensifies flavour. Very high temperatures cause imperfectfermentations resulting in loss of bouquet and the development of the vinegar microbeAsceti mycodermae. The fermentation process usually takes two days to four weeksaccording to the tradition of the house. Acidity caused by grape acids at this stage iscontrolled by adding water or acidifying agents such as gypsum.(v) Cellaring and Second Pressing: Once fermentation is complete the "running wine"or “vin de goutte” is run off into casks for maturing. The casks are filled to the full toexclude air. The casks are purged of any acetobacter by steaming and adding sulphurdioxide. The filled casks are put in cellars for the wine to mature. This is called"cellaring". The residue of pips and skin (called marc) left in the fermentation tank orvat is sent for further pressing and the resultant juice, called “vin de presse”, is rich intannin. The wine-maker may decide whether to add vin de presse to vin de goutte. Thepips and skins are sent for a third pressing and the juice fermented and distiled toproduce “eau-de-vie-de-marc”. Thus, nothing is wasted and the sugar in the grape iscompletely utilised.(vi) Racking: The wine is separated from the dead yeasts that decompose and give anodd flavour to the wine. This dead yeast settles at the bottom of the casks. The wine iscarefully pumped into another cask without disturbing the dead yeast leaving some wineat the bottom called lees, which is sent for distilling into eau-de-vie-de-marc. 3
  4. 4. (vii) Fining and Filteration: This is the process of converting the cloudy wine into clearfine wine. This may be done with a gelatinous substance such as isinglass (bladder ofsturgeon fish), white of egg or Bentonite—colloid clay, which collects the protein haze inthe wine during its passage to the bottom of the cask. The wine may then be passedthrough fine filters.(viii) Refrigeration: The young wine is pumped into a refrigeration unit to stabilise thewine.(ix) Blending: This as an art that requires considerable experience, judgement andsensitivity. It is a legitimate, natural and honest way of improving the quality of a wine.Blending is done of wines from different vineyards and different years. This processensures a consistent quality.(x) Maturing: This takes place naturally by allowing the wine to rest in oak barrels forone or two years to gain maturity and pick up a soft and mellow character from the oakwood. The wines undergo malolactic fermentation. (This is a secondary fermentation,which most wines undergo. It usually takes place in the spring following the vintage andresults in the harsh malic acid being converted into the softer lactic acid and Carbondioxide. There is no increase of alcohol. Only a lowering of the total acidity of the wine,making it softer and rounder on the palate.)Some white wines are matured sur lie – on the lees – that means matured withoutracking or finning. This practise gives a greater depth of flavour, enhanced freshnessand liveliness to the wine. Maturisation can be induced artificially by agitation, heating,refrigeration and electrical impulses. But, all these methods are undesirable.(xi) Bottling: This is done before the blended and matured wine has lost its bouquet,finesse, quality and colour. Before bottling takes place, these bottles are sterilized. Cooland dry weather is chosen. Later on these bottles are closed with a fine, soft, supplecork, which are finally sealed with Spanish wax.(xii) Pasteurization: Pasteurization is the process to prolong the age of wine and freethe wine from further fermentation. The wine in bottles are immersed upright in doubleboilers with water at 180°F to 190°F, for 1-2 minutes.(xiii) Ageing: Wine is aged in bottles. The period of ageing may differ from house tohouse. For example: Bordeaux and Burgundy wines are aged for 3-4 years whileChablis is aged for 18 months. 4
  5. 5. WINE-PRODUCING COUNTRIES AND REGIONS______Only a small area of the world is ‘wine producing’. The vine producing good quality winegrows successfully between 30-50º latitudes north and south of the equator. It usuallyproduces good quality grapes when it is five years old and will continue to yield healthygrapes up to the age of 35 years.Three quarters of the world’s wine is produced in Europe and almost half in theEuropean Community (EC). France and Italy produce the most wine, with Italy beingthe largest producer. In Europe, other countries of importance are Germany, Spain,Portugal, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania & Bulgaria, Austria, Switzerland, Austria,and Luxembourg. Mediterranean wine producing countries are Greece, Cyprus,Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Turkey. Newer wine world countries areNew Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Canada – Ontario & British Columbia andSouth America - Brazil, Chile, Paraguay & Uruguay.1. FRANCE:France is a pre-eminent table wine producer in the world. It vies with Italy as the largestproducer of wine, but has no equal in terms of sheer quality and variety. France sets thestandards to which others follow. Wine is produced throughout the country, except forthe part north of a line extending from Nantes through Paris to the eastern frontierabutting Luxembourg. 5
  6. 6. Stringent wine laws (known as Code du Vin) control the productions together withnatural endowment of soil and climate contribute greatly to the France’s wine quality.Nowadays, making and labeling of French wines is controlled by EU wine laws underthe following heads:(i) VINS DE QUALITE PRODUITS DANS DES REGIONS DETERMINEES (VQPRD):These are quality wines produced from grapes grown in specific regions. They aresubdivided into two categories: (a) Vins dappellation dorigine contrôlée (AOC): This labeling guarantees: 6
  7. 7. • area of production; • grape varieties used; • pruning and cultivation methods; • maximum yield per hectare; • minimum alcohol content; • methods of vinification and preservation. (b) Vins délimités de qualité superiéure (VDQS): VDQS wines are good but less fine than the AOC wines. The labeling guarantees: • area of production; • grape varieties used; • minimum alcohol content; • methods of viticulture and vinification.(ii) VlNS DE TABLE: This labeling category is also divided into two: (a) Vins de pays (VP): It is medium quality local or country wine made from recommended grapes grown in a certain area or village. They must have a minimum alcohol content and come from the locality stated on the label. (b) Vins de consommation courante (VCC): It is wine for everyday consumption and sold by the glass, carafe or pichet in cafés and bars all over France. Actually French in origin, these wines may also be blended with other EU wines of similar style. Non- EU wines may not be blended.REGIONS AND PRINICIPAL WINES(i) BORDEAUX:Bordeaux produces around ten percent of all the wines made in France and about half of the country’s fine wines. Red, white and rosé is produced. The greatest are the reds, but Sauternes is a superb sweet white.The area of Bordeaux comprises the whole of Gironde department of south-western France, except for a ribbon of sand dunes along the coast. Approximately, one- eighth of the total land area of Gironde is under vines. The Garonne river runs through the city of Bordeaux (the trade base for the wines produced in this area) before merging with Dordogne to form the river Gironde which meets the Atlantic ocean at the Bay of Biscay. The finest Bordeaux vineyards are located on the banks of these rivers.Soil: The Bordeaux winefield has the right grounding for great wines – poor soil. Itpredominantly comprises of gravel with clay or sand covering a sub-soil of lime. 7
  8. 8. Climate: It has a mild and humid climate influenced by the rivers and the sea. Springfrosts are a hazard.Grapes: Varieties used for making red wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc,Merlot, Malbec and Petit-Verdot. White wine grapes consist of Sémillon, SauvignonBlanc and Muscadelle.THE WINESThe general appellation is Bordeaux i.e. a wine so described can come from anywherewithin the viticultural region of Bordeaux. Bordeaux Supérieur has a slightly higheralcohol content.Red Bordeaux (Claret) 8
  9. 9. Médoc: This classic area produces red wines of extraordinary quality. It is divided intothe Haut Médoc and Bas Médoc. Real good wines come from Haut Médoc communes(the southern part of Médoc district) of Pauillac, Margaux, Saint-Julien, Saint-Estephe,Moulis and Listrac. The wines from all these small areas have their own distinctivecharacteristics as the wines from different properties within these areas. The wines ofthe northerly communes like Saint-Estephe and Pauillac are built bigger and have morecolour than those of Saint-Julien and Margaux, which are famous for their delicate style.Bas Médoc produces wines of lesser fame but excellent quality.Graves: The appellation covers 40 communes producing red and white wines butaromatic reds are more outstanding, accounting for one-third of the area’s totalproduction. Château Haut-Brion is a distinguished red wine which strayed in 1855Médoc classification. Other worthy red Graves are made at Châteaux La Mission-Haut-Brion, Pape-Clément, Haut-Bailly, and Smith-Haut-Lafitte. Graves are usually lighter inbody than Médoc. They are inclined to mature early but have a good staying power.Saint-Emillion: Its wines are rich and full-bodied, influenced by Merlot grape. Thewines are somewhere between classical Médoc and fine Burgundy in flavour. The twofamous Chateaux are Cheval-Blanc and Ausone.Pomerol: These are full-bodied, well-rounded wines, with an attractive bouquet. Aleading property is Chateau Petrus – the most expensive red wine in the world.Other areas: Other areas like Côte de Fronsac, Bourg and Blaye have attractedinterest in recent years due to escalating prices of wines from renowned districts. Theyproduce good sound wines for lunch-time drinking and are more robust and generous.Given some time in bottle their flavour becomes less assertive.Brands, blends & communes: Least expensive clarets are product of neither a singlevineyard nor a single year i.e. they are bends. For instance, Bordeaux rouge sold underbrand name or not, is a blend intended to be representative of an acceptable Bordeauxwine. Those with district name will be intended to be representative of the wines ofthose districts. Thus, more precise the label reference to origin, the more interesting thewine should be.White BordeauxSauternes: It is a premier white wine of Bordeaux with remarkable finesse. Sauternesis golden and lusciously honeyed – classic dessert wine. It is mainly made from theSemillon grape and a small blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.The grapes are left on the vines until the last possible moment. As they are shriveled bythe sun they are attacked by a fungus, la pourriture noble. This fungus is also calledbotrytis cinerea. It takes off some of the water, and the dehydration concentrates thesugar and glycerine in the grapes. In the most renowned chateaux the grapes are 9
  10. 10. gathered on a selective basis daily (each visit being called a passage), taking only thosethat have reached a satisfactory state of rot in the previous twenty-four hours. Winemade from grapes not harvested before the bad weather, or made from grapes notaffected by Pourriture noble, are usually sold as Bordeaux Blanc Moelleux.Sauternes was classified in 1855 and Chateau d’ Yquem headed the list as the firstgreat growth, followed by eleven first growths and twelve second. The famous names ofSauternes, in addition to d’ Yquem include Chateau Guiraud, La Tour-Blanche,Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Coutet, Climens, and Rieussec.Cérons: This area lies between Sauternes and Graves. It produces dry and sweet(never as sweet as Sauternes) white wines.Premières Côtes de Bordeaux: It is the home of Cadillac, Loupiac and St-Croix-du-Mont. These are sweet white wine zones producing full, creamy, luscious end-of-the-meal wines.Graves: The best of the white wines are dry, but does not have the clean exhilaratingfinish of good white Burgundy. Château Haut-Brion and Château Olivier are notableexamples.Entre-deux-Mers: These dry or medium dry white wines come from a triangle betweenthe rivers Garonne and Dordogne. They have no special distinction, but are agreeableenough.Graves de Vayres: This district has its own appellation. The white wines are moregenerous in body, having a suave finish and are a cut above the average whiteBordeaux.(ii) BURGUNDY:Genuine Burgundy comes from a long stretch of winefields running from Dijon in thenorth to Lyon in the south. It is known for its full red wine; however; it produces a varietyof styles including whites and reds.Choosing dependable Burgundies has always been a problem for wine merchants andcustomers. Standards being relative, it is important to know the grower or producerrather than the name of the vineyard or its location. For instance, Clos de Vougeot hassome 80 different owners, each making a wine of slightly different quality and nuancebut all of them with the entitlement to sell their wine under the vineyard name. Also, dueto its northern location, the grapes do not ripen in poor years and sugar is added to themust (chaptalisation) to counteract high acidity and low alcohol. All these factorscombine to make the choice of Burgundy wines more haphazard.Soil: The soil varies between clay, limestone and granite. 10
  11. 11. Climate: Burgundy has continental climate with very hot summers and very cold, hardwinters.Grape varieties: Grape varieties for red wine include the classic Pinot Noir &secondarily Gamay and white wine include the classic Chardonnay and secondarilyAligoté. 11
  12. 12. Red BurgundyEarlier on, there was a marked difference between Burgundy and claret. Still, thedifference is considerable, but it is less emphatic as the character of Burgundy hasaltered.A combination of developments has brought about this change. Firstly, the use offertilizer has created juicier grapes. Secondly, there has been a change in the traditionalmethod of vinification. Unlike the méthode ancienne where the grapes were pressedalong with their stalks, now they are destalked before pressing. The result is that thewine is less heavy in tannin and lighter on the palate when ready to be drunk. It alsorequires a shorter maturing period. Thus, it is not the solid wine of earlier times but itsmain characteristics are still fullness, fruitiness and warmth.In Burgundy, unlike Bordeaux, single vineyards have an appellation of their own inaddition to the commune appellation i.e. the communes have a multiplicity of vineyardsentitled to give their wine the commune appellation, but the famous vineyards within thecommune will use their own appellation. Some link the name of commune’s mostfamous vineyard with that of less important vineyard or commune. For instance, inGevrey-Chambertin, the village of Gevrey linked the name of famous vineyard to its ownname; while the vineyard of Mazis calls itself Mazis-Chambertin.Côte d’ Or: Being the heartland of Burgundy, it has majority of renowned vineyards. It isnaturally divided into two parts: the northern part is called Côte de Nuits and thesouthern part is called Côte de Beaune.The red wines of Côte de Nuits are made from Pinot Noir grape and have exceptionalclass, style and bouquet. Famous commune names include Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin,Morey-Saint-Denis (where the Clos de Tart lies), Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot (with itsrenowned Clos de Vougeot), Vosne-Romanee (the home of several outstanding redslike Rornanée-Conti and La Tache) and the best-known commune of all, Nuits-Saint-Georges.The red wines of the Côte de Beaune are lighter in body than those of the Côte deNuits. Thus, they mature sooner. The famous communes are Aloxe-Corton, Pommard,Volnay, Santenay, and Beaune itself. Beaune is the home of the Hospice (hospital),which owns many vineyards. It is maintained by an annual auction of wines. The saleattracts the buyers to Burgundy from all over the world and the prices realized are agood barometer for pricing Burgundy wines in that year.Côte Mâconnais: The red wine is light and quick to mature made from the Gamaygrape with a little Pinot Noir in the blend. It is usually sold as Mâcon Rouge or if it has11% alcohol as Mâcon Supérieur.Côte Chalonnaise: It produces light–red wines. Notable communes are Givry, Mercuryand Rully. 12
  13. 13. Beaujolais: The red wines of this area are lightweight and fruity and are made to bedrunk young. It is served slightly chilled. The best are the commune wines, all located inHaut Beaujolais like Saint-Amour, Fleurie, Chénas, Chiroubles, Moulin-à-Vent andJuliénas. It is also simply sold as Beaujolais, which is a blend of the better wines fromvarious communes.Beaujolais vin de l’ année is made to be consumed within a year more so in the springafter it has been harvested. Beajolais vin de primeur also called as Nouveau is a light,vivid, fresh, fruity wine made by macération carbonique. Once bottled, it is intended forimmediate consumption. Hence, it is traditionally released on the third Thursday inNovember and should be drunk before Christmas or Easter at the latest.Bourgogne Irancy: A light, red wine made from the Pinot Noir grape in the communeof Irancy, south of Auxerre.White BurgundyCôte de Beaune: It produces finest white Burgundy. Famous communes includePuligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. Vineyards of Le Montrachet,Chevalier-Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet, and Le Cailleret between these communeshave a place among the finest white wines in the world.There are two other communes of world renown. The vineyard of Corton-Charlemagnein Aloxe-Corton commune produces excellent white. Meursault makes magnificent whitewine, which is dry, round and voluptuous. Great vineyards of Meursault include LesPerrières, Les Genevrières, Les Charmes and La Goutte d’ Or.Chablis: It produces dry, almost steely, fresh white wine. There are four quality grades:Petit Chablis is a lower quality wine. Chablis is of better quality and can be good invintage years. Chablis Grand Crus: Notable vineyard names are Blanchots, Les Clos,Valmur, Grenouilles, Vaudésir, Les Preuses, and Bougros all classed as great growths.Chablis Premier Crus: Chapelot and Fourchaume are included as first growths.Côte Chalonnaise: The white wines have less strength of character than whites fromCôte de Beaune or Chablis. The best known communes are Mercurey, Montagny andGivry.Côte Mâconnais: The light, inexpensive, dry whites have a better reputation than thereds. Mâcon Blanc and Mâcon Supérieur Blanc are ordinary white wines, but a notablename is Pouilly-Fuissé. It is a dry, soft, full-flavoured, earthy wine made fromChardonnay grape in the villages of Chaintré, Fuissé, Pouilly, Solutré and Vergisson.Pouilly-Vinzelles and Pouilly Loché also make a similar style of wine. Good refreshingwhites are also made under the appellation Mâcon-Villages. For example: Mâcon Viré,Mâcon Prissé, Mâcon Lugny, Mâcon Clessé. St-Véran is another stylish white winemade using Chardonnay grape in vineyards that overlap Mâcon and Beaujolais. 13
  14. 14. (iii) ALSACE:Alsace is a totally uncomplicated area that produces fine quality dry white wines. Thevines grow on eastern slopes of the Vosges mountains, in a narrow strip from north tosouth. These mountains shelter the vineyards and protect them from severe winds andexcessive rain; thus providing a microclimate. The river Ill runs lower down the slopes inthe north direction, passing through Strasbourg to join the river Rhine.As Alsace belonged to Germany between 1870 and 1917, the wines have more affinityto German wines as compared to French wines. They are sold in standard green flutebottles of the same shape, but longer. 14
  15. 15. Alsace whitesAll Alsace AOC wines must by law be bottled in the departments of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin to prevent it from fraud and contravention. The wines, if not sold under brandname, display the grape variety used prominently on the label. The village or vineyardname is occasionally shown on the label i.e. Kaysersberg, Obernai, Wolxheim etc.Grape varieties used in making of Alsace wines are Slyvaner, Reisling, Gewǜrztraminer,Muscat and Pinot. Other varieties are used to make plain wines. Edelzwicker is a blendof wines made solely from noble grape varieties. Zwicker is a blend of plain wines andone or more of the noble grape varieties. Exceptional case: The Pinot Noir is used tomake a little red wine and also a rose known locally as Schillerwein or Clairet d’ Alsace.Gewǜrztraminer: It is a pungent, spicy wine. In a hot year, it can have somesweetness, but otherwise it is quite dry. A spatlese (wine made from late-gatheredgrapes) is a little sweet.Riesling: Best known of all grape varieties. It produces stylish, dry and fruity whitewine. Some spatlese is made.Slyvaner: A plain dry wine which makes a good inexpensive aperitif.Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris: The first one is like Slyvaner with more style. The later isalso called as Tokay d’ Alsace and ranges from dry to slightly sweet. By no means, it islike Tokay wine of Hungary.Muscat d’ Alsace: A good, very dry wine with much fruitiness.(iv) LOIREThe river Loire runs from the Cévennes mountains in central France to its estuary atNantes on the Brittany coast. Loire produces a range of wine varieties – dry, medium,sweet white wines, reds and rosés - more diverse than any other part of France on itsbanks, low hillsides and also along its tributaries.Important grape varieties for white wines are Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc and CheninBlanc and for reds and rosés are the Cabernet Franc.There are four main wine-producing regions: • Pays Nantais • Anjou-Saumur • Touraine • Central Vineyards 15
  16. 16. Loire RedsReds are in abundance, but worthy qualities is a scarcity. In Touraine, lovely red winesare made under four classifications: Touraine Rouge, Bourgueil, St-Nicholas-de-Bourgueil and Chinon. They range from light to firm, with Touraine and Chinon beinglightest. They benefit if served slightly chilled.Loire WhitesHere, many wines offer exceptionally good value for money by today’s standards. Loirewhite wine regions are as follows:Anjou-Saumur: Anjou makes some excellent white wines using Chenin Blanc grape.The best whites coming from Savenniéres are dry, crisp with good body. Saumurproduces good whites, dry with a slightly sweet after-taste. Coteaux du Layon isrenowned for its sweet white wines that are made from Botrytis-affected Chenin Blancgrapes. Quarts de Chaume and Bonnezeaux are the best appellations for these rich,perfumed honeyed wines.Pays Nantais: It is the home of Muscadet – a popular French wine. It is light, dry, freshand meant to be drunk extremely young as an aperitif or as an accompaniment toshellfish. The best appellation is Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine. Its best style isMuscadet-sur-lie.Gros Plant du Pays Nantais is a local wine high in acidity made from the Folle Blanchegrape. 16
  17. 17. Touraine: Here, Vouvray made from Chenin Blanc grape is the most famousappellation. It is silky dry, medium sweet or sweet white wine. Mount Louis producesdry to sweet, still white wine again from the same grape.Central Vineyards: It is so called because they are located in the centre of France.Here the white wines are made from Sauvignon Blanc grape. Pouilly Fumé is a crisp,fruity, steely white wine with a characteristic hint of gun-smoke. Pouilly-sur-Loire isanother wine made from Chasselas grape. Sancerre is also very popular, dry, fragrantand flinty white wine with distinctively pungent aroma of goose-berries. Quincy, Reuillyand Menetou-Salon are other good white wines.(v) RHÔNEThe Côtes du Rhône extends from Lyon in the north to Avignon in the south with a gapof 40 km in between where the vine is not cultivated. The best-known are reds, butthere are some meritorious whites and France’s best known rosé - Tavel.The northern vineyards enjoy a continental climate of warm summers and fairly mildwinters while the southern vineyards get hot, dry summers and cool winters. Allvineyards are subjected to the mistral - the fierce wind which blows down from the Alps.Cypress trees are grown as windbreakers along its path.Rhône RedsRhône reds are called ‘the poor man’s Burgundy’, because of their massive character.They are unsubtle, less refined and less delicate wines.Côte Rôtie: The wine is robust, strong and has a wonderful bouquet and tannic, headyflavour that makes it one of the finest among Rhône reds. It is made from a minimum80% Syrah and a maximum of 20% white Viognier grapes.Hermitage: This is a dark, full-flavoured and full-bodied red wine made from Syrahgrape. It needs ageing and can continue to improve in bottle for years.Crozes-Hermitage: This is less fine, more robust red wine than Hermitage made fromthe same Syrah grape.Saint-Joseph: The reds are lighter in body, and have more poise and subtlety. It ismade on the west side of the Rhône across the river from Hermitage.Cornas: A deep, dark red wine from the Syrah grape. In youth it tastes harsh andunfinished, but as it ages it develops a wionderful bouquet and mouth-filling flavours.Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Best-known name among Côtes du Rhône wines, it is madefrom thirteen different grape varieties. It is rich, full-bodied red wine. The wine has a 17
  18. 18. minimum alcoholic strength of 12.5%. Selection should be based by producer as thewine is not consistent.Gigondas: A generous, powerful, robust red wine that always improves with additionalageing. It is a near neighbour of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.Rhône WhitesMany of the red wine producing areas also make whites including Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage etc. However, with two exceptions of Château-Grillet and Hermitage they are unremarkable. 18
  19. 19. Château-Grillet: It is the smallest AOC vineyard in France covering only two hectares.The wine is full, dry and pale gold in colour made from the Viognier grape.Condrieu: This light, golden wine made from the Viognier grapes has a distinctivefragrance and an intense flavour of apricots.Hermitage: The wine is dry, delicate, has a good bouquet, fruity flavour and is madefroma combination of Marsanne and Roussanne grapes. The best-known name isChante-Alouette.(vi) LESSER WINES OF FRANCEThe great wine-producing areas are not the beginning and the end of wines. Many otherdepartments and regions also make good, agreeable wines.Red winesCahors: It is a town in the Lot department along the river Lot – a tributary of Garonne. Itis extremely dark in both, the colour and flavour and hence called as “black wine ofCahors”.Jura: Here, soft and sometimes sweet agreeable reds are made around the town ofArbois.Languedoc and Rousillon: This area is situated on the west of the mouth of Rhoneand is called as Midi. It is a traditional supplier of vin ordinaire.Provence: Pleasant red wines come from Bandol district. Cotes de Provence is ananother wine.White winesBergerac: Sweet white wine of Monbazillac is very famous. It is an are on the riverDordogne.Jura: It is known for two wines: vins jaunes (yellow wines) and vins de paille (strawwines).Gaillac: Both dry and sweet wines are produced in this district shouth-east of Cahors.They are full, pleasant wines, the sweet having a hint of bitterness in the after-taste.Languedoc and Rousillion: It is known for its dry and sweet wines. 19
  20. 20. 2. GERMANYGermany produces an abundance of light, fruit-flavoured, low alcohol and low pricedtable wines. It makes superb whites, but has no reds of special merit.Germany faces innumerable difficulties viz: vineyards situated in the most northerlyregions, difficult terrain, stern climate, lack of sunshine, danger of springtime frosts etc.This difficulty and awkwardness makes grape growing hazardous, labour-intensive andexpensive. Yet, it produces a great diversity of wines with wonderful range of flavourswithin each style.Around 50 grape varieties including the hybrids are cultivated to withstand these sternclimatic conditions. Even then, they do not have a monopoly to produce good, drinkablewine. Chaptalisation called in German language as anreicherung, is a commonphenomenon to improve (verbesserung) the alcohol content of a wine. Sometimes,Sǚssreserve – a sweet, unfermented must is judiciously added to the wine beforebottling to make it agreeable. But unfortunately, wines so treated are not considered asquality wines.The Grapes: 87% out of the total 1,00,000 hectares land under vine in Germany growonly white grapes. The three noble grapes are: • Reisling: classic grape accounting for 21% of the crop and producing all great white and sparkling German wines. • Silvaner: Accounts for 8% of the crop. It makes soft, gentle, flowery wines. • Muller-Thurgau: Accounts for 24% of the total crop and is a cross between Riesling and Silvaner.Other varieties of white grapes cultivated are Scheurebe (Silvaner x Riesling),Gewurztraminer (Spicy Traminer), Rulander (Pinot Gris), Elbing etc.QUALITY CONTROLStringent German wine laws control the production of wines under two major categories:(i) TAFELWEIN (TABLE WINE): This category is sub-divided into two: (a) Deutscher Tafelwein: Table wine made from a blend of wines from Germany. Also, a simple variety is made which is a blend of wines from Germany and other EU countries. A minimum alcohol content is specified. (b) Deutscher Landwein: It is similar to French Vin de Pays and superior to Deutscher Tafelwein. It has a slightly higher alcohol content which is specified. The wine is trocken (dry) or halbtrocken (medium-dry) and is produced in any one of 17 designated landwein areas. 20
  21. 21. (ii) QUALITASWEIN (QUALITY WINE): This category is sub-divided into two: (a) Qualitaswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA): These are quality wines of medium price range (includes Liebfraumilch) from one of the 13 designated regions (Anbaugebieten). It must carry an Amtliche Priifungsnummer (control number). Thus, the wines are made from authorized vine stocks, has a minimum must weight, are not blended with wines coming from other regions and are subjected to chemical and sensory evaluation. However, these wines can be alcoholically improved by Chaptalisation. (b) Qualitaswein mit Pradikat: These are quality wines with distinction and special characteristics. Sugar is not added to them. Pradikat describes how ripe the grape was when it was harvested - generally the riper the grape, sweeter the wine. There are six categories: • Kabinett: made from grapes harvested at the normal time, usually October, but in a perfect state of ripeness. It denotes most straightforward of quality wines. • Spatlese: made from grapes harvested late – not earlier than 7 days after the start of harvest. • Auslese: made from selected sugar-enriched bunches of ripe grapes. • Beerenauslese: made from selected ripe grapes affected by noble rot - edelfaule • Eiswein: Also known as ice-wines, these are made from ripe grapes left on the vine to be picked and pressed (under floodlights during night-time when frozen i.e. around -8°C) to get an amber-coloured, rich, concentrated syrup. The resulting wine is luscious with a good level of acidity. • Trockenbeeranauslese: made from selected single shrivelled grapes heavily affected by noble rot. These wines are ultimate in quality and are very expensive.REGIONS AND PRINICIPAL WINESThere are eleven defined ‘regions of production’:(i) Ahr(ii) Baden(iii) Franken (Franconia)(iv) Hissiche Bergstrasse(v) Mittelrhein(vi) Mosel-Saar-Ruver(vii) Nahe(viii) Rheingau (Rhine) 21
  22. 22. (ix) Rheinhessen(x) Rheinpfalz(xi) Wurttemberg.Each region (anbaugebiete) has several defined districts (bereiche), each district avariety of parishes (germeinde), each parish a collection of vineyards (grosslagen), andeach collection of vineyard will have a single vineyard (einzellagen).Red Wines 22
  23. 23. Their productions are low, are not reputed and hence can be disposed of. They arelight, both in terms of alcohol and flavour and hence sometimes mistaken for rosè.Assmannshausen, from the Rhine is best known.White winesGermany is well known or its whites. It is available in dry (trocken), medium-dry(halbtrocken), medium sweet (iebling) and sweet (suss). Moselle – white wine from theMosel-Saar-Ruver region – is fresh and flowery. It comes in tall slender green bottle.Hock –white wine from Rheingau region - is fuller and earthier. It comes is tall slenderbrown bottles. Franconian Steinwein is generally bottled in Bocksbeutel – a flaskshaped vessel usually made of green glass.The grape variety is displayed on the label of a German white wine bottle over andabove the region, village, and vineyard names. It identifies the style of wine inside thebottle. For instance: Reising – the kind of Germany, Silvaner, Muller-Thurgau,Scheurebe, Elbing etc.3. ITALYItaly is the largest producer of wine by producing around one-fifth of the world’s totalproduction. It is also the largest exporter of wine and has reds of considerable merit butwhites to please a serious wine-drinker are scarceAll the regions stretching from Trentino-Alto Adige to Sicily make wine. For long, Italianwines were considered to be carelessly made and inconsistent in style and quality. But,after the introduction of strict wine laws, the scenario has changed and the world iskeeping more faith in its wines. However, as with all wines, it is best to follow aproducer’s name or a brand.QUALITY CONTROLWines are classified in the following gradations in the ascending order:(i) Vino da Tavola (VT): Unclassified, ordinary table wine.(ii) Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT): Equivalent to German Landwein or French Vin de Pays, these wines are superior to the above and come from a defined area, grape, place as mentioned on the label.(iii) Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC): Equivalent to French AOC, these are quality wines from an approved area. Grape varieties, cultivation, vinification methods, maximum yield per hectare are all specified. 23
  24. 24. (iv) Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG): This category guarantees authenticity of origin, controls the grape variety used and has more stringent restrictions on yield, alcohol content, vinification and ageing. These wines are officially tasted and approved by panel of experts.PRINCIPAL GRAPESFor red wines, the main grapes are: Anglianico, Nebbiola, Lagrein, Dolcetto,Sangiovese, Barbera, Lambrusco, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Schiava.For white wines, the grapes used are: Trebbiano, Malvasia, Moscato, Pinot Grigio,Verdicchio, Muller-Thurgau, Vernacia, Traminer, Rheinriesling.THE WINESWines of Italy are sometimes named after the variety of vine used (e.g. Barbera,Vernacia etc), sometimes after the district (e.g. Chianti, Valpolicella etc), sometimesafter the combination of grape and didstrict (e.g. Barbera d’ Asti etc) and in many casesafter stories or legends (e.g. Est! Est! Est!, Lagrima Christi etc).They are usually higherin alcohol than most other European wines as they receive abundant sunshine.Red WinesChianti: Coming from Tuscany, it is Italy’s most famous wine. It is light, quaffable,heady wine meant to be drunk extremely young, while it is still fresh. Invented byBarone Bettino Ricasoli, It is traditionally exported in traditional Tuscan flask with awickered basket. Chianti is made by four different grape species, and a secondfermentation is induced by the addition of grapes at the end of first. Chianti has sevensub-districts including Classico, Colli Aretini, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane, ColliFiorentini, Montalbano and Rufina. Classico is the heartland or historic center of thezone. Chiantis that are aged for a minimum of three years are called Riservas. Vecchiois aged for a year.Barolo: Coming from the village of Barola, Piedmont; it is made from Nebbiolo grape. Itis deep, dark-coloured, richly scented and needs a good decanting and airingbefore it isdrunk.Barbaresco: It comes from Piedmont and is made from Nebbiolo. It is light in weightand flavour than Barolo and is consumed fairly young.Valpolicella: It comes from Venezia and is a light red with a good flowery bouquet. Itshould be drunk extremely young. It should be drunk as soon as the bottle is opened.Bardolino: Coming from Venezia, it is very light and subtle. It is sometimes mistaken tobe deep rosè and is appreciated slightly cooled. 24
  25. 25. Barbera: Coming from Piedmont, it is made from Barbera grape. It has immense bodyand great depth of flavour.Gattinara: It is again a Piedmontese wine. It is lusty and smooth and not thatdistinguished.Lambrusco: Coming from Modena district, it can be dry or semi-dry. It is a semi-sparkler and leaves a frizzante (prickly effect), on the tongue. It is made fromLambrusco grape. 25
  26. 26. White winesSoave: It is the best-known white wine and comes from Venezia. It is dry, fresh, anddelicate and should be drunk extremely young.Frascati: It comes from Alban hills close to Rome in Lazio. It is usually dry; but not asdry as Soave. Amabile – a slightly sweet version is also available. 26
  27. 27. Orvieto: Coming from Umbria, it is also available as secco or amabile. Secco is astylish wine, never bone-dry and Amabile is an interesting wine with a mildly sweettaste.Verdicchio: It comes in fancily shaped bottles with fanciful labels from Adriatic coast,around Ancona in Marche. The wine is serious and is dry with pale colour.Est! Est!! Est!!!: It comes from Montefiascone in Lazio. It is bright golden, well scented,dry or semi-dry but does not stand to the extraordinariness of its name.Cinque Terre: These are dry wines from the rocky vineyards overlooking theMediterranean in Liguria. They have an aromatic bouquet and good, rich flavour.Cortese: It is light, dry, fragrant and rated the best of all white wines of Piedmont.Lacrima Christi: It is dry, golden wine made on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius,Campania. It is a wine that is more famous for its name than for the pleasure it gives.POINTS TO PONDER____________________________1. Explain the following terms: (a) Chaptalization [Nov-05 / Nov-04]2. Explain the following wine laws and label terminology: (a) DOCG (b) AOC (c) Kabinett (d) QMP (e) VDP (f) DOC (g) VDQS (h) Valencia [Nov-05 / April-05 / April- 04]3. Differentiate between White wine and Red wine. [Nov-05]4. Draw and label a French white wine bottle label. [Nov-05 / April-05]5. Give two examples of grapes used in the production of Red wine & White wine. [April-05]6. Describe the manufacturing process of Red wine, along with a flow chart. [April-05]7. Explain the following terms: (a) Edelfaule (b) Vigneron (c) Claret [Nov-04]8. Explain the following wine appellation: (a) VCC (b) Kabinett (c) Conseja Regulado (d) Qualitäswein bestimmter (e) Vino da Tavola (f) Deutscher Tafelwein (g) Trockenbeerenauslese (g) Eiswein [Nov-04 / April-04]9. With the help of a diagram, explain the reading of an Italian wine bottle label. [Nov- 04]10. Name four wines each from Spain and Italy. [Nov-04]11. Draw up a wine list for a speciality continental restaurant. This list must have 25 wines from countries in Europe and must be balanced in terms of taste (sweet/dry), colour (red/white/rose), style (still/sparkling), and origin (different countries). The country, colour and style must be written against each name. [April-04]12. Explain the post fermentation processes involved in vinification until the wine is ready for sale. [April-04]13. With the help of a label, explain reading of a French red wine label. [April-04]14. Differentiate between vinification of red, white and rose wines. [April-04] 27
  28. 28. 15. The grapes are cut in their branches by a special pair of scissors called _____________. [Nov-04]16. The metal coils inserted into the must to maintain the temperature during fermentation is called ________________. [Nov-04]17. ________________ is added to must to check the rate of fermentation. [Nov-04]18. Explain the wine districts of Portugal. [Nov-04]19. Write short note on wines of Italy. [Nov-04]20. Name four white wines from France. [Nov-04]21. Write a short-note on wine producing districts of Spain and Portugal. [Nov-04] ******************* ************** ********* ***** 28
  29. 29. 15. The grapes are cut in their branches by a special pair of scissors called _____________. [Nov-04]16. The metal coils inserted into the must to maintain the temperature during fermentation is called ________________. [Nov-04]17. ________________ is added to must to check the rate of fermentation. [Nov-04]18. Explain the wine districts of Portugal. [Nov-04]19. Write short note on wines of Italy. [Nov-04]20. Name four white wines from France. [Nov-04]21. Write a short-note on wine producing districts of Spain and Portugal. [Nov-04] ******************* ************** ********* ***** 28