White wines can be tricky. Chardonnay is one of most popular ones on the market today, but many people still find it to be a bit too “oaky.” Sauvignon Blanc on the other hand, another top contender, is often criticized for being a bit too “grassy.”
No matter which white wine you select – whether ordering for your table at a restaurant or serving it while entertaining – there always appears to be someone who has something to say. Enter a rising star in the white wine world, a near-foolproof crowdpleaser that is neither too oaky nor too grassy: Chenin Blanc.
Originating in France’s Loire valley, Chenin Blanc is a grape that experts praise for its extreme versatility, with any two varieties from any two winemakers unlikely to be too similar.
Although the grape comes from France and the United States led the world in acreage in the 1980’s, South Africa currently leads the world in production, with the varietal resulting in over one-fifth of all vineyard plantings, producing about half the world’s supply annually.
It’s also been the fastest-growing South African varietal in the United States in recent years, up over thirty-five percent from five years ago. “I think it’s a fun grape for wine drinkers to explore,” said a Wines of South Africa rep.
To read more online, click here.
We are at yet another Weekend! Which means another exciting week of harvest has come to an end! Up to date we have harvested 1445 tons of white grapes and 200 tons of red grapes! We look forward to week 3 with long hours and busy days ahead!
Photo by Tina Hillier
We’ve found these 10 interesting facts about wine on InterestingThings.info and just had to share it!
- The custom of bumping glasses with a “cheers” greeting came from old Rome where they used this method to make sure no one is trying to poison the other (bumping glasses makes the drink spill from one cup to the other). This tradition started even earlier in ancient Greece – where the host was to drink the first cup of wine to show his guests he does not intend to poison them.
- And if we mentioned Rome – In ancient Rome it was forbidden for women to drink wine. If a husband found his wife drinking wine he would be allowed, by law, to kill her.
- An ancient civilization that did not like wine was Egypt. The old kings avoided wine from the belief that the red alcoholic beverage is actually the blood of men who tried to fight the gods and failed. This is why, according to the Egyptians, what makes people act irrationally while drinking it (alcohol).
- Do you like wine AND living extreme? If you visit Vietnam, ask your waiter a glass of cobra wine. This extreme beverage is rice-wine covered with snake blood that is killed on the spot. if you’d like you can add the snake’s heart to the mix as well.
- During the prohibition period in the United States, grape juice concentrate manufacturers took advantage of the big drinking lust Americans had and put a great warning sticker on their product saying “After you mix the concentrate with water, please do not keep the mix in a barrel for 20 days – as it will turn into wine.”
- The world champion of recognizing wine by smell was crowned in 2003. Richard Juhlin, a sport ed from Sweden, was able to recognize 43 wines out of 50. For comparison – second place was only able to recognize 4 of them.
- Although the temptation is great – try not to keep your wine in the kitchen. The heat there is too much and may damage the wine’s quality. The fridge is no place for a wine either since it is just too cold. Find a cool dark closet somewhere in the house where you can keep all your bottles, or just get a wine cellar.
- If you own a collection of bottles – don’t keep them standing up – this can cause the cork to dry, shrink and oxygen\air might get in the bottle. Always keep the bottles lying down (Unless its an artificial cork.)
- A survey that was being held in Australia said that women that drink 2 cups of wine a day tend to enjoy sex more than women who don’t drink at all.
- People who have wine phobia are called Oenophobia – and they really do exist. It might sound funny, but this phobia – just like others, cause them a lot of suffering, especially if they go out to restaurants a lot.
Understanding acidity in wine
Acids are one of 4 fundamental traits in wine (the others are tannin, alcohol and sweetness). Acidity gives wine its tart and sour taste. Fundamentally speaking, all wines lie on the acidic side of the pH spectrum and most range from 2.5 to about 4.5 pH (7 is neutral). There are several different types of acids found in wine which will affect how acidic a wine tastes. The most prevalent acids found in wine are tartaric acid, malic acid, and citric acid.
How to taste acidity in wine
Sit for a minute and imagine yourself tasting lemonade and pay attention to how your mouth puckers just from thinking about it. This sensation is how our mouths anticipate the acidity in lemonade. The next time you taste wine, pay attention to this specific puckering sensation. After tasting several wines, you’ll create a mental benchmark of where the acidity hits your palate and you’ll also begin to notice that some wines (such as Riesling) tend to have higher acidity than others.
Acidity in wine is important
As much as modern health has demonized acidic foods, acidity is an essential trait in wine that’s necessary for quality. Great wines are in balance with their 4 fundamental traits (Acidity, tannin, alcoholand sweetness) and as wines age, the acidity acts as a buffer to preserve the wine longer. For example, ice wines which have both high acidity and sweetness will age several decades.
How climate plays into acidity in wine
Acidity is a perfect example of one of the fundamental taste traits that are affected by different climates(warm vs cool).
When wine grapes are still green they have very high acidity. As they ripen, the acidity tapers down and the sweetness increases. The perfect moment, of course, is when the grape is perfectly sweet, ripe, and still possessing enough acidity to make great wine. This is where climate comes in. A region that produces wines with naturally higher acidity will have either cooler nighttime temperatures or a shorter growing season. The cool nights and cold weather stops the grapes from losing their acidity. In a region with a shorter growing season, there’s also the possibility that the grapes never quite get ripe enough, which results in both more tart and more herbaceous tasting wines.
We are very busy this week and with Eskom’s load-shedding interrupting our harvesting procedures, we’ve had some pretty late nights. Luckily it was worth the fight as we managed to end week 2 of 2015’s harvesting season just below the 3000 tons mark!
Lucky for us (and all our Merwida drinkers), our generator has been installed and we will not be having any more downtime due to load-shedding!