Wine Types

Understanding Vintage Wines

Understanding Vintage Wines

For many people, vintage wines present a mystery that seems difficult to understand. However, with a little effort, anyone can learn about wine and quickly become a resource for less well-informed friends. Though there are several varieties, there are two typical types of wines to understand.

Red versions are often considered bolder than the colorless versions. They are made from the red grapes grown in various areas throughout the world. The more famous varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. The Cabernet has a bold taste and often under goes a higher level of oak treatment to produce the bolder taste. The Pinot offers a lighter, fruity flavor. The Romane Conti is one of the richest and most expensive red wines. It has a hint of flowers, licorice, and soy sauce in its flavor. Its aroma includes berries and spices. These are produced in France where the richest dirt grows some of the finest wines available.

White wines include Riesling and Chardonnay. These are usually much lighter in taste than the red wines. The Chardonnay can be served as sparkling or still. It has a velvety feel that allows the citrus flavor to linger after consumption. Riesling’s have a fresh apple flavor and are very light to the taste. The determination of fine white vintages comes from the level of fruity flowers and citrus flavors produced.

Wine barrels play a big role in the flavoring and production of the final product. Most American Oak barrels are used when a much deeper and bold taste is needed. The components of the tree provide a much more saturated process, Oak trees in most wine regions are used for various flavouring. The amount of time and point in the process that wine is placed in the barrels determines its effect. Some are placed prior to fermentation, which allows the liquid to absorb more of the flavouring, others ferment prior to being placed in the oak wine barrel to reduce the boldness.

Vintage WinesWine bottles are often tinted to prevent breakdown of antioxidants, darker tinting is used for the red wines. White and rose colored versions are often placed in clear or lighter green bottles, the shape does not have an effect on the taste, however storage is usually to be in a dark area that is never in direct sunlight. The flavors can be quickly changed if the bottles are not stored away from the direct sunlight. It is tradition to allow a red wine to breathe after opening, many people will use a decanter for this process by simply pouring the bottles contents into the larger glass container. Typically within 30 minutes of opening a bottle of red wine the oxygen will have enhanced it’s flavours, with many wines you could even leave a part bottle sealed for a couple of days without seriously affecting the flavour of the wine.

Consuming wines is an enjoyable experience to share with friends and family. Having a basic understanding of the process used to produce the right flavor, you will be ahead of the crowd. There are clubs and organizations that serve to educate and improve the appreciated consumption of the products. With a little education, the enjoyment can be impressive.

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