Archive for January 26th, 2010

26
Jan
10

Enjoying Your Wines – Part 1 – Buying


One of the aisles at Liquors Galore. Photo: ©2010 The Kosher Scene

Liquors Galore-always a step ahead.  Our upgraded selection provides our customers with the highest quality, regional and international wines and whiskys available on the kosher market.  Not only does our friendly and professional staff assist you in matching your specific taste and needs, but we educate our consumers to become knowledgeable in self-selecting the perfect wine for any occasion-all in a comfortable, spacious, state-of-the-art environment.

Here are a few tips to enhance your wine buying experience.I expect this will expand your knowledge the world of wine.

What do I look for when buying a wine?

When selecting a wine make sure to look for three points which are Price, Preference and Pairing. Keep these in mind when purchasing at our store and you will likely come away with a winning wine.

Price

The price you are willing to pay for a bottle of wine is a key determining factor in selecting a wine that is right for you. Gone are the days when you could only buy a “good” bottle of wine for over $30. In today’s market there are plenty of great wines available for around $15, some for considerably less. So rest assured that you won’t have to drop a bundle of money to experiment with various wines. In our store you’ll find a big enough selection to suit your price range.

Preference

Preferences. ……we all have them and they often change in a moments notice, but with wine preferences, consider what you will be drinking them with or who you will be sharing them with. For example, if you are hosting a get together, your preferences might lean towards “safe” reds and whites. For people that may not be accustomed to heavier-bodied, heartier wines, give them a break – buy a softer Merlot or Pinot Noir. For a white, if you are new to wines and are looking for a few suggestions – try a Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, or a Muscat dessert wine if sweeter wines suit your fancy. If you prefer a dry white wine then look for a Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc. As for reds, start with a Gamay, Pinot Noir, or Merlot if you do not want anything too complex or full-bodied. If you are looking to turn up the complexity meter, then go with a great California or Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or a Zinfandel.

Pairing

If you are looking for a wine specifically to pair with dinner tonight, then take into account what the key ingredients will be. Will it be white or red meat? Will you be using fresh or dried herbs and what types? Will the dish be spicy or fruit-filled? These questions can play a key role in deciding which wines will pair well with specific entrees. In general, white wines accent lighter flavored meals really well; while, red wines often compliment heartier meals a bit better. Keep in mind that pairing foods and wines is 99% personal preference and 1% science.

Why do some wine labels list the name of the grape and some the name of the region?

Wine labels can be straight-forward or fairly tricky to decipher, depending on whose you’re trying to read and where it’s from. New World labels tend to be easier to read, with the varietal or blend clearly labeled, the producer, where the grapes were grown and the alcohol content right there in plain view. Old World wines have a reputation for being tougher to interpret. Instead of the varietal being the primary piece of information on the Old World label, it is the location – where the wine is from. Old World wines are heavily invested in their individual terroir, not necessarily the specific grape.

Does the “Vintage” from one year to another really make a difference?

Most consumers don’t pay attention to vintage reports from year to year, they know that they like “wine X” and they continue to scout for it year in and year out, they may notice that it doesn’t taste quite like the last bottle and maybe even that the year has changed on the label, but beyond those details they press on and stick with the particular wine.

When in reality, the wine could be dramatically different from year to year depending on the weather patterns hitting the vineyards, the harvest time and how a unique micro-climate was affected by both obvious and subtle nuances in the weather. Was it unusually hot this year, but last year they battled an ongoing soggy season? Were there any unusual early or late frosts this year?

Grapes varietals are affected by weather in various ways. The Riesling grape, for example, thrives under cooler growing conditions, however, if you have a particularly warm, dry growing season, the Riesling vintage could suffer that year and the same producer that offered the Riesling you fell in love with the year before, might not meet prior expectations this vintage and you could be left waiting to see what the next year’s weather will bring to a region and ultimately a vintage.

Skilled winemakers can really work their magic. If poor weather patterns prevail for a given region, an experienced winemaker can salvage the vintage by employing various interventions and techniques during the process. Whether, the vintner brings the wine around via blending, utilizing different fermentation processes or considers additives – it takes a knowledgeable winemaker to “save” a potentially sour vintage and keep reasonable consistency in a specific wine between vintages.

Aaron Zimmerman

[Mr Zimmerman owns and operates Liquors Galore, 1418 Avenue J (between 12th and 13th Streets); Brooklyn, NY 11230-3702; Telephone: 718.338.4166. The above post is part of a multi-part series we’ll be posting once a week on these pages)




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