Clearly the choice of a certain brand, type and year of wine is a question of personal taste. Nonetheless, within the confines of price, there are various general guidelines on which there is agreement. Fortunatey the growth in the number of of vineyards throughout the world and of wine-related websites means that sourcing wine is fairly simple nowadays. If you live in Minnesota or Munich you can buy a New Zealand Syrah which is not stocked by your local merchant as simply as someone living in Wellington. Disregarding the matter of pairing wine with food, do you prefer a red wine or a white wine? Some say that Madeira is too heavy while others find that a German Riesling is too dry.
A lot of the readily available wines are intended to be drunk shortly after they are purchased, but those wine drinkers with the desire to taste only the best wine will need to be patient. Cabernet Sauvignon would unquestionably be considerably better after it has had time to mature. A cool climate Chardonnay, like those that are produced in Canada, will appeal to those who prefer a young wine with prominent acidity and also to those people who wish to experience it's honeyed and nutty character which comes with age. Describing wines according to their class can also be useful. Class 1 wines, which are normally labeled as 'Red Table Wine' or 'Light Wine' have an alcohol content of between 7% and 14% when measured by volume.
On the other hand, wines in Class 7 have an alcohol content of not less than 15% by volume. These wines have often had Brandy added to then and could be flavored using herbs with those with the greatest concentration being referred to as 'fortified'. Look on the label for a declaration of the amount of sulfites in a wine. It is normal practice to add sulphur during the winemaking process to halt the growth of unwanted organisms, but some vineyards add more sulpur than many people would wish.
Sulphur dioxide is often also sprayed on the grapes themselves to reduce pests and may seep into the skin. A small percentage of wine drinkers are sensitive to sulfites and could experience an allergic reaction. Concentrations which are under 10 parts per million are normally okay for most wine drinkers.
If you are testing a wine you should begin by cooling it to the proper temperature of around 11C (52F) for whites and 18C (65F) for red wine and use a thin rimmed glass which is free of dust. Pour out not more than approximately 1/3 of a glass and take the glass by its stem to keep fingerprints away from the rim and to avoid warming the bowl. You are looking for a clarity of color by viewing a wine against a white background with a wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon being a deep violet in color and a Pinot Noir showing a lighter ruby hue.
Those wines that are made from grapes grown during a hot summer and dry fall will show a darker color than wines produced during cool summers and wet falls. The final step is to move the wine gently around so that it coats the sides of the glass and take in its aroma before tasting the wine.
Visit GreatWineTastings.com to learn about such things as French wines and to find a stunning wine gift basket