Ever wonder what the terms used in wine tasting notes actually mean? Can knowing Wine slang actually help you make better buying decisions or is it just a sugar coated marketing ploy? Read on for our take on 6 Tantalizing Wine Terms & Definitions!
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If you ask us, wine is about connection and celebration. We gather and toast accomplishments, unwind from long days with close friends and gift it to show our gratitude for the ones we love. But hold up, then why is it wine is also associated with pretentious behavior and an elitist attitude? One of the big problems we see is wine language.
In our effort to keep wine a pleasurable experience for all, we bring you a breakdown of common wine slang starting the series with a free glossary of terms to help you navigate the basics of tasting wine. Ok, time to breakdown the BS!
Wine’s sweetness comes from residual sugar (RS) that stays in the wine after the alcohol is created during fermentation. Typically, sugar is not added to wine to make it sweeter. There can be any level of sugar remaining from bone-dry (dry meaning no sugar) to super sweet.
Acidity is what makes lemons sour and your mouth water, but it’s also what makes wines racy, vibrant and refreshing! The acids in the grapes determine the level of acidity you detect in the wine. It’s presence is necessary to balance the overall taste, especially of sweet wines.
Tannins are found in red wines and come mostly from the skins of red wine grapes. You have to think of tannins as more of a feeling than a flavor. High tannins can feel mouth-drying or gritty and can create a bitter sensation in the back of your mouth. Wines that are high in tannins are also usually served with food. Softer tannins can give richness and body to the wine.
Higher alcohol wine will have more of a “burn” as it goes over the back of your tongue. We refer to this feel as a wine being HOT! Sweeter wines (more residual sugar) tend to have lower alcohol content.
A wine is considered well-balanced when all of these characteristics are in harmony and do not overpower each other. It may be the last on our list, but this feeling is exactly what we seek when we are tasting wine!
Have a #wine related question for us? Leave us a comment and check back every #WineTipTuesday on Instagram and Twitter!
What do Valentine’s Day, food, wine and ESSENCE Magazine have in common? They’re some of our favorite things! For those of you who didn’t catch our feature in the February issue of ESSENCE Magazine, here are our food and wine pairings for you and that special someone this Valentine's Day and beyond.
Seduce your special someone -or enhance your own palate- with perfectly golden fried chicken. Add a glass of sparkling wine. The saltiness of the food harmoniously accentuates the fruit flavors of the champagne.
Research suggests that the rich amino acids in shellfish like oysters can have a lingering effect on your libido. Pair your oysters on ice with an eco.love chilled Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. This style of wine is bursting with passion-fruit, nectarine and citrus flavors, while also being a dry wine - not a lot of sugar.
Some scholars believe the forbidden fruit Eve gave to Adam was actually a sweet, pulpy fig. Try this succulent treat with an eco.love off-dry Riesling for a nice balance of peaches, florals, ginger, honey, a touch of sugar and great citrus flavors that keep you asking for more!
The Aztecs were believed to be one of the first to use cocoa beans to increase sexual desire. To turn up the heat, combine chocolate-covered strawberries, pineapple or bananas with a sweet wine, like a Port Wine or a Moscato.
*Article as seen in Essence Magazine
Do you notice when you open a bottle of red wine and pour a glass, the wine gets better over time, especially the second glass (not a trick question!)? You start to notice the wine smells better, the fruit flavors become pronounced and the tannins are softer? That’s because the wine has “opened up” due to the increased contact with the air. Decanting introduces oxygen, which releases aromas and flavors in all red wine.
So how long should you decant wine?
Most tannic red wines will take about 2-3 hours and typically last 12–18 hours after being decanted.
- · Zinfandel: 30 minutes
- · Pinot Noir: 30 minutes
- · Malbec: 1 hour
- · Grenache Blend: 1 hour
- · Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot: 2 hours
- · Petite Sirah: 2 hours
- · Tempranillo: 2 hours
- · Sangiovese: 2 hours
- · Syrah/Shiraz: 2–3 hours
- · Nebbiolo: 3+ hours
DO NOT DECANT 20+ YEAR OLD RED WINE!
Chances are you probably dropped some serious dough for an 20+ year old, dry, bottle of red wine. These types of wines show best decanted immediately before serving. If you wait to long, all the amazing aromas and flavors would have disappeared!
What happens if you decant a wine for too long?
High levels of acetic acid (the same acid found in vinegar) increases and a repugnant, vinegar-like smell then emerges, which is a very good indicator that the wine has gone bad.
Trick of the trade: You don’t need to spend top dollar on your house party wines. Decant the cheap bottles of red before your guests come over, we promise you they will taste double the price you paid!
Left over wine, what’s that? Well, I suppose it can happen…
Wine like food is perishable and can spoil if stored incorrectly, but most bottles could last about 3-5 days with proper care.
Once you pop the cork (or twist the cap) and the wine is exposed to oxygen, it begins to alter its color, aromas and taste. Sure, you can stick the cork back in and put it in the fridge, but there are a variety of preservation systems like wine pumps and other cool gadgets that can help maintain its freshness as well. If you have a wine with a screw cap you’re all set!
So, how do you know how long an open bottle of wine will last? Well, that really depends on the type of wine we’re talking about and how well it is stored. Some wines may even improve after the first day. Here’s a look at how you can hold on to your favorite bottle of wine just a wee bit longer.
Sparkling Wine – loses its carbonation quickly, but if stored in the refrigerator with a wine stopper, it should last between 1-3 days before going bad, just fewer bubbles.
Light White, Sweet White and Rosé Wine – these type of wines should always be corked after opening and stored in the refrigerator, but 7 days max, then it’s time to let it go.
Full-Bodied White Wine – if a full-bodied white wine like Chardonnay is your thing then you might want to invest in vacuum caps and keep it in the fridge, but not for more than 5 days, at the most.
Red Wine – The more tannin and acidity the red wine has, the longer it will last. Store your open bottles of red wine in a chiller or in a dark cool place and enjoy for another 3-5 days.
Fortified Wine – Fortified wines like Port and Sherry have very long shelf lives because of the brandy that’s added. As long as you keep them away from light and heat and store in a cool dark place, these wines will last for about 28 days.
Tip: Good wine should never go to waste. So pour any of your leftover wine into an ice cube tray and stick it in the freezer. At any time the frozen cubes can be used to create great sauces giving your food that extra added boost of flavor!
It was all a dream...we'd drive past wineries and vineyards and say to ourselves, "one day". So, without further adieu, today is that day that we're officially launching our second wine brand from the McBride Sisters - Truvée [True-Vay] Wines from the Central Coast of California. We've crafted a lightly oaked Chardonnay and a Grenache/Syrah based Red Blend from prestigious vineyards within the Chalone, Monterey, Edna Valley, Paso Robles and Santa Maria AVA's (American Viticulture Area's).
None of this would be possible without the support, love and encouragement from our family and friends - THANK YOU! None of this would be possible without our mentors and colleagues in the wine industry that understood our vision - THANK YOU! None of this would be possible without our distributors aka "the soldiers" that work hard every single day - THANK YOU! None of this would be possible without the sommeliers, restaurateurs, retail buyers and liquor store owners purchasing our wine - THANK YOU! And last, but not least our wine lovers, you have thousands of wines to choose from and you continue to support us - THANK YOU!
As a young, next generation wine company we don't see McBride Sisters' wines as ours. Every person that has helped, sold, stocked and purchased our wines, this is your wine also. We might have had the vision, but it takes a COMMUNITY of people to make a brand successful and everlasting.
So being that this is your wine too, we'd like to take the opportunity on this special day and ask of you two things. The first, always expect from us the very best and hold us to that. Know that your vineyards will always be sustainably farmed, your wines will always be delicious and your packaging always stunning. Tell us what you like, what you don't like, how you think we can improve and we'll do our best to meet your expectations. We are human and this is agriculture, so any changes we might have to make, give us time, but we'll get there!
Second, tell 5 of your friends about Truvée and ask them to tell 5 of their friends and so on. Ask for Truvée at your local bars, restaurants and stores where you buy your wine. The more people asking for McBride Sisters Truvée, the better we can do in making sure its conveniently available in your neighborhood and that's our goal!
So...Let's go #TeamMcBrideSisters #TeamTruvéeWines
Much love, cheers for now, and again ... THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Robin + Andréa