Alsace Wine Region (France)

Alsace wine region is easy  for beginners. The wines are 90% white wines and they serve well for learning about the varieties. The wines reflect the pure flavor and expression of the fruit character of the variety (blendings are unusual in Alsace). Appellations and labelling are simple. From dry to sweet wines and with a good quality/price ratio. Post index: Where in the world is Alsace? Grapes of Alsatian wines Understanding Appellations and Labelling of Alsatian wines Styles of Alsatian wines Aging Alsatian wines 1. Where in the world is Alsace? Alsace is nowadays a region in France, but this region is a strategic place disputed between France and Germany for centuries, so the culture, the landscape, the culinary traditions even the grapes they use for wine, are a mix of France and Germany. If you have the opportunity, it’s worth visiting for its fairy tale scenery, let alone its wines. Alsatian wines are aromatic, full-bodied and high in alcohol because of the sunny and dry but cool climate. The sun ripens the fruit, providing a good sugar level that lends to high alcohol wines. Also, the wines can be concentrated and aromatic, as the rainfall is low. A trick to pick a better wine is to discover where the vineyard is: if in a slope facing east or south east, awesome. This is known as Upper Rhine (Haut Rhine). That is because with a cool climate, placing the vineyard in a slope oriented towards the sun is critical to achieve a good ripeness level. The vineyards that lie in the plains do not received as much sun, so, they are used to...

Wine and Food Pairing Principles

How do food and wine interact? This graphic shows the interactions. On the left side, you have each of the food taste sensations (salt, sweet, acid, bitter, umami and spicy). On top, the components of wine that can be affected by food (fruit, sweet, acid, bitter, alcohol and body perception). In the crossing point of each pair, a symbol to show how the food affects the perception of the wine component: increasing it, decreasing it or no effect. 2 Practical Examples SALTY FOOD:  imagine your are eating an appetizer with olives (mainly salty). Then, you can drink a light bodied wine because salty taste of food will increase the sensation of the body of the wine. If the food were sweet (in the second line of the graphic), it will make the wine taste flat or watery. Also, if the wine has a high acidity it will be soften by the salty flavor of the food. This is why a light, fresh white wine goes perfect with olives but also why it’s not a good dessert wine (assuming dessert is sweet). SPICY FOOD: now imagine your are eating spicy noodles. If you drink a very tannic wine (bold red wine with plenty of oak flavor, for example) it will feel unbalanced and will dry your mouth unpleasantly, as the spicy taste increases the bitter sensation of wine. On the other hand, with a fruity and sweet wine instead, the spice in the food will compensate these characteristics of the wine. Wine and Food Pairing Principles Wine and Food! Millions of people have enjoyed them together for centuries. In theory, we can enhance the pleasure of food and wine...

Life in the Vineyard 3. The Human Factor

Glad that you arrived here! Let’s go with the third step of the series Life in the Vineyard, in where you can see how the  Human Factor affects the conditions to get a great and good wine… But also the price!. Check out the vine growing techniques.   . Last note: I’ve separated this post in the 3 aspects, as they are easier to manage. So, the most important aspects that will affect the taste of the wine because of 3 variables: Life in the Vineyard: 1. The Climate & Place, as it determines the growing conditions of the grapevine. Life in the Vineyard: 2. The Varietal, as it is important it can express the better in the specific climate conditions Life in the Vineyard: 3. The Human Factor, as the techniques vine-growers use to facilitate the better conditions of the land to get the best wine...