It’s not uncommon to hear wine experts say that a particular wine has blackcurrant flavor but if you’re in the US this might be somewhat a mystery to your palate. As it turns out, this once popular fruit was banned in the US while its cultivation flourished in Europe. How is an American to know what blackcurrant flavor in their wine should taste?
There’s more to winemaking style than simply pointing on a map and declaring that’s where Old World wines are made and there’s where New World wines are made. The truth is any region is capable of making either style of wine. The decision of what to make and how is really a matter of taste. It would be simplistic to say that winemaking techniques differ according to region, terrain and cultural traditions when there’s a quite a bit more too it than that.
There’s a lot to discover when it comes to modern Kosher wine. Up until the 1960s, most Kosher wine would have been characterized by sweet, the largest producers coming from the American northeast where Concord grapes were the primary grape used. It’s this grape, coupled with a particular processing step unique to Kosher wine, that made the product sweet. New processes and broader use of grape varieties have changed the profile of modern Kosher wines.
To understand wine, it helps to explore the grapes that are used in wine making. One of the most widely used varieties is the Ruby Cabernet Grape. This grape is a hybrid of two different varieties. The Cabernet which may already be familiar to you was used for flavor and a grape from the South of France called Carignan was chosen for it’s resistance to high heat. The Ruby Cabernet was created specifically to withstand the California heat by a Dr. Harold Olmo out of UC Davis in the 1930s.
Some wine needs to breathe. That can take time. Do we really need to stand over a bottle of wine and watch every breath it takes? How do we know when it’s ready? Is it possible for wine to get too much air? The pressure is too much!
We stumbled on to a surprisingly action packed history when we started exploring fortified wines. First, we were just looking for an intelligent way of explaining to our readers pre-dinner and post-dinner drink names (Apéritif & Digestif) and discovered that there was a whole category of wines that fell under the umbrella that is fortified wines. We found sometimes surprising and often exciting stories of exploration and revolution that involved these wines. Clearly, pirates were involved here somewhere, too.
We talk quite a bit about wine that goes with food but wine goes well before (Apéritif) and after (Digestif) a meal as well. Now in keeping with our usual M.O., we’d like to point out first that just about any wine is good as an apéritif or a digestif so don’t be stopped from enjoying one simply because you don’t have the “right” kind of wine.
There are thousands and thousands of different types of grapes. There are table grapes, wine grapes and even raisin grapes. Each purpose requires specific characteristics, so there really isn’t a “one grape fits all” situation.