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MODULE 6

Wine Knowledge
CONTENTS


What is wine?
What makes one wine different to another
Grape Varieties
White Grapes
Red Grapes
How to taste wine
Essences & Flavors
White Grapes
Red Grapes
Food & Wine

What is Wine


Wine is an alcoholic beverage made by the
fermentation of the juice of grapes that grow on
vines. So ancient that its origin is unknown, wine is
mentioned in early Egyptian inscriptions and in the
literature of many lands. Wines are distinguished by
color, flavor, bouquet or aroma, and alcoholic
content.

Fermentation
During fermentation the yeasts work on the sugars
which are naturally present in the grapes, the sugars
are naturally converted to carbon dioxide and
alcohol.
What is Wine Continued


Wines are distinguished by color, flavor, bouquet or
aroma, and alcoholic content.
Wine is also divided into three main types, still or
natural, fortified, and sparkling.
Wines are red, white, or ros (depending on the grape
used and the amount of time the skins have been left
to ferment in the juice).
For red wines the entire crushed grape is utilized, for
white wines, the juice only. In ros wines, the skins
are removed after fermentation has begun, thus
producing a light pink color.

What is Wine Continued


Wines are also classified as dry or sweet, according
to whether the grape sugar is allowed to ferment
completely into alcohol (dry), or whether some
residual sugar has been left (sweet).
In a natural wine all the alcohol present has been
produced by fermentation.
Fortified wines, such as Sherry, Port and Madeira are
wines to which brandy or other spirits have been
added.
Sparkling wines, of which Champagne is the finest
example, are produced by the process of inducing a
secondary fermentation in the bottle.
What makes one wine different to another

What makes one wine different to another?

There are a lot of factors involved in the making of
wine. The most important being the Climate and Soil.
The way the wine is produced also impacts the
quality, taste, aroma and texture of the wine.
Soil should for example not be too fertile. Reason for
this is, if the soil is too fertile the vines dont have to
dig their roots very far down to reach nutrition. As
soil contains various minerals depending on the
depth, vines digging their roots deeper into the soil
receive nutrients from different layers, hence become
more complex in flavor.
What makes wine different Continued


Climate is also very important is. Vines that grow in
a warmer climate with a lot of sun, will produce
grapes containing a lot of sugar. If the grapes are
high in sugar, the wine will eventually have a higher
alcohol percentage.
There is an old French saying. The vines need to
suffer to produce great grapes. Meaning the vines
should almost be held on the edge of drying out and
dying, this will produce highly concentrated grapes
which in turn will make for a better wine.
Grape Varieties


The choice of grapes is also very important. Some
grapes are better suited for certain climates and soils
then others.
The next pages is a brief summary of some of the
common white and red grape varieties:
White Grapes Chardonnay


The Chardonnay grape variety is a classic white wine
grape grown all around the world. The original fame
of Chardonnay comes from its success in the
Burgundy and Champagne regions of France.
When Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels, it may pick
up vanilla overtones in its aromas and flavor.
Some producers put their Chardonnay (or some of it)
through secondary fermentation called malolactic
fermentation which reduces crispness and brings out
a rich, buttery taste.
White Grapes Sauvignon Blanc


The Sauvignon Blanc grape produces wines of
distinction in most of the areas where it is grown.
Sauvignon Blanc is higher in acid and often exhibit
melon, exotic and citrus fruit in the nose and tastes.
In the U.S. it is also known as Fum Blanc.
Sauvignon Blanc is especially good when served
with seafood.
White Grapes Pinot Grigio


Pinot Grigio, also known as Pinot Gris.
The styles of wine from these grapes vary widely,
from a rounded, fuller wine, to a light wine. The
common factor is the delicate aroma, commonly with
a hint of honey.
Much of the Italian Pinot Grigio is lighter bodied
with superb light color and aroma, and a crisp finish.
Pinot Gris has its origins in the Alsace region of
France. The style of Pinot Gris, while made from the
same grape as Pinot Grigio, is medium to full-bodied.
Both are a fresh alternative to Chardonnay.

White Grapes Riesling


The Riesling is considered on of the 'noble' grape
varieties for wine making.
It can produce wines of high acidity and elegance in
very cool growing conditions.
Its wines usually show fresh fruit flavors and a zesty
character.
Riesling has the ability to produce wines that are
bone dry to very sweet but are usually made in dry to
semi-dry styles.
It has aromas of peach and honeysuckle notes and
can develop a 'petrol' nose as it ages.
Red Grapes Cabernet Sauvignon


Cabernet Sauvignon is the premier red wine grape in
the world.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape produces distinctive
wines that are tannic and can have long aging
potential.
It is usually blended with other varieties to make
wines with increased complexity.
Cabernet Sauvignon taste characteristics are dark
cherry, cedar, tobacco, black currant,
Up to 18 months of aging in small oak barrels before
bottling Cabernet is common in order to achieve
more complexity.
Red Grapes Merlot


The Merlot grape is a close cousin to Cabernet
Sauvignon in many respects.
It is lower in tannins and makes wines that mature
faster and are softer in texture.
Merlot is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon in
order to soften the blend.
Merlot usually has ripe berry components in the
bouquet.
Its wines tend to be soft, fruity and smooth in texture.
Red Grapes Pinot Noir


Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult grapes to grow
and make into fine wine. It is also one of the very
best when it is done properly.
It has low amounts of tannin and relatively high acid
levels for a red grape.
Pinot Noir found its fame in the Burgundy region of
France where it is the primary grape used for red
wines.
Strong cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors are
often the most notable components in these wines.
Pinot Noir is very versatile in its ability to match up
with foods.
Red Grapes Syrah (Shiraz)


This grape is known as Syrah in France and Shiraz in
Australia. In the United States, it can appear under
either name.
It produces full rich wines of intense color and
flavor.
In warmer climates like Australia, where its known
for its peppery and fruity style the grape produces
wines that are sweeter and riper tasting.
In cooler climates like the Rhne Valley of France, it
often has more pepper and spice aromas and flavors.
The Shiraz grape is the most widely planted red
grape variety in Australia where it is sometimes
blended with Cabernet Sauvignon.
How to Taste Wine


All you need to taste wine is your own sense of sight,
smell and taste, plus a little practice. After all, you
can easily tell the difference between pineapple and
strawberry. Tasting wine is simply a matter of adding
to the taste memory you already have by making a
conscious effort to notice the different aromas and
flavors of each wine as you taste it.
How to Taste Wine Continued


Flavor is a reflection of both smell and taste, with
emphasis on the sense of smell, so you need to use
both your nose and your taste buds to be able to
make a mental note of what the wine has.
This way you will eventually train your memory to
remember the differences wine has.
But remember you can only recognize what youve
smelt or tasted before.
Your taste buds are only able to detect four primary
tastes : Sweet Salt - Sour - Bitter.
Essences & Flavors


There are around 6,000 documented essences and
flavors found in wine, needless to say most of us can
only recognize a small percentage of these. The next
pages list some flavors associated with particular
grapes. Not all wines made from these grapes will
exhibit these flavors, but many will:
Essences & Flavors White Grapes


Apple: Chardonnay, Muscadet
Apricot: Viognier
Grapefruit: Riesling
Lemon: Semillon
Lychee: Gewrztraminer
Mango: Chardonnay
Melon: Semillon, Chardonnay
Peach: Semillon
Pineapple: Chardonnay
Tropical Fruits: Chardonnay, Semillon
Essences & Flavors Red Grapes


Red Currant: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,
Syrah
Blackberry: Zinfandel
Cherry: Gamay, Sangiovese
Plum: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah
Raspberry: Pinot Noir, Gamay, Syrah
Strawberry: Pinot Noir, Gamay
Food & Wine


The matching of the ideal wine with a dish has only
become a subject of interest in the last century. In the
past, in non-wine-producing areas the most
inappropriate matches, oysters with red Bordeaux in
Britain in the 19th century were for example
common, and in wine-producing regions one simply
drank the local wine with the local food.
Food & Wine Continued


Food and wine styles in any given region have
usually evolved to complement each other,
Italian food are seldom as good as when the right
Italian wine is served with them.
Good French wines have a finesse that complements
the elegance of French cuisine.
Australian wines, which can have far too much
concentrated fruit to marry happily with complex
French or Italian dishes, come alive when put with
the simplicity of good Australian steak.
Food & Wine Continued


There are also basic rules:
Red wine with red meat
White wine with fish and white meat.
These still largely apply, but happily they are not
binding, which can make pairing dishes with wine
even more difficult.
Wine styles have changed in recent years, mostly for
the better, and the way we view food has also
changed.
The people who laid down those rules had never
thought of drinking wine with Chinese food, for
example.
Food & Wine Continued


There are still, though, certain points to remember:
Match not only the flavor of the wine to the flavor of
the food, but to the intensity of flavor and weight or
body of the wine as well.
A heavy, alcoholic wine will not suit a delicate dish.
Try to match the acidity of a dish to the acidity of the
wine. Acid flavors like lemon or tomato need acidity
in the wine.
Consider sweetness when pairing wines with food.
Sweet food makes dry wine taste unpleasantly lean
and acidic.
Food & Wine Continued


There is a great deal of sense in the old rule of white
wine before red, young wine before old and light
wine before heavy.
The palate adjusts easily to wines served in this
order, it is however only a guideline.
Red wine is traditionally drunk with cheese, but
white is generally better.
Blue cheeses, in particular, are unhappy matches for
red wines (except port).
Excluding blue cheese, a basic rule is, the harder the
cheese, the more tannin it can handle in a wine and
the softer the cheese, the more acid it can handle in a
wine.
Food & Wine Continued


Certain foods match great with particular grapes.
Lamb with Cabernet Sauvignon, for example. It often
seems to be the case, too, that Cabernet Sauvignon is
best with plain roasted meat and Pinot Noir is best
with sauced meat.
Contrary to the old saying that white wine should be
served with fish, the red grapes Pinot Noir and
Gamay (Beaujolais) can go with certain types of fish,
such as salmon and swordfish. Syrah can also,
occasionally, if there is a lot of garlic involved. Other
red grapes do nothing for fish.
The final though is your own palate. If you like
Chardonnay with red meat, go ahead and enjoy it.