Tag: sweet wines

Which wines should be cooled and how?


All wine lovers know that each variety has an ideal temperature to drink: some must be consumed at room temperature and that, at times, we can spoil the experience of drinking a wine by serving it too cold or too hot.

For example, most young white and rosé wines, sparkling wines and sweet wines, improve if served cold. In contrast, wines with more body lose some of their richness in aromas and flavors if their temperature it’s too low.

Although we know that reds, for example, shouldn’t be served cold, this doesn’t mean that they should be consumed hot, as sometimes what we call “room temperature” is far from the ideal temperature that should be. This inconvenience disappears almost always if we have a cellar with a good temperature of conservation, but not everybody is that lucky and ends up drinking red wine (in summer, for example, or in homes with heating) warmer than it would be advisable.

A good solution is to put them in the fridge for a while, and check the temperature from time to time using a wine bottle thermometer. In the case of red wines, it’s best to keep them in a cool and ventilated place for the time necessary to cool them until reaching at least about 20º C. If it’s not possible, with 10 or 15 minutes in the refrigerator will be enough.

A low temperature can be, on the other hand, a good ally when it comes to masking, to a certain extent, the deficiencies of a mediocre wine, something that we can easily see in many bars and restaurants, which tend to cool above the normal to hide these irregularities.  

 TAGS:Vidigal Porta 6 2015Vidigal Porta 6 2015

Vidigal Porta 6 2015



 TAGS:La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2005La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2005

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2005

Classic coupages


What is a coupage? This word of French origin, is used to define the wine that have been developed using different grapes, unlike varietals and monovarietal wines, made of 100% of the same grape.

But even if we understand the coupage as a mix, this does not mean that we put different grapes to “fill? the tank and make wine. On the contrary, for centuries the relationship between grapes has been studied. The best combinations were investigated to get a wonderful wine. In fact, in most cellars each coupage is elaborated separately (ie, a different wine of each variety is done), and is sometimes aged separately. It is only before the bottling that the flavor is studied to find the perfect mix.

In some areas this coupage or mixture of grapes has become part of their identity, for example:

  • The classic coupage of Rioja is made of Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Graciano.
  • The traditional cava is made from Macabeo, Parellada and xarel.lo, while
  • French sparkling champagne choose the combination of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.
  • In Porto, a historic area of sweet wines, one can find up to 6 coupages : Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cao, Tinta Amarela, tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz, although they can make wines with only 3 or 4 of these grapes.
  • About sweet wines, in Sauternes, the sweet white area with noble rot, they usually combine Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
  • And in France, many sub areas of Bordeaux traditionally use some combination of these grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
  • Even the most “modern” areas have their own combinations: for example, in Australia there is a widely used coupage called “GSM?: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.
  • And speaking of “modern” areas in Spain, at least more modern than the historical Rioja, in the Ribera del Duero, where many of the wines are monovarietal Tempranillo, you can also find coupages with Cabernet Sauvignon to offer some of the great wines of this area.

Do you have a favorite coupage? Do you know any ?famous” coupage in other areas? Today we recommend 2 wines with seducing coupages:

 TAGS:Faustino I Gran Reserva 1964Faustino I Gran Reserva 1964

Faustino I Gran Reserva 1964



 TAGS:Antinori Tignanello 2010Antinori Tignanello 2010

Antinori Tignanello 2010

Sweet wines from southern Spain

 TAGS:Spain is one of the countries of the world in which the quality and variety of wine is more prominent internationally, especially since, in recent decades, local producers, institutions and numerous appellations of origin have taken care of these areas, traditionally reserved to a few varieties.

Apart from the famous wines -reds and whites- of Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Penedes, to name just a few appellations, the sweet, fortified or ‘generous’ wines have always been placed among the most consumed varieties, especially Sherry, thanks to the success they have had for centuries in the British Isles and other European countries. 

The elaboration process, in fact, of most of the varieties produced in Spain, has remained unchanged for a long time and is born precisely from the need to preserve them for transport in times when this was extremely complicated, considering the long distances and sailing conditions. 

Thus, particularly in southern Spain, began to produce these wines, especially in Andalusia, but also in areas such as Valencian Community, Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura, especially with grape varieties such as Pedro Ximenez, Malvasia, Moscatel and Monastrell, with infinite variations by region, type of soil, mixture of grapes, elaboration process… but all with a common counting, the hours of sunlight needed to get a grape with a high sugar content. 

Although these wines are usually taken after meals alone or to accompany desserts, often very well complemented with, it is also interesting pairing them with cheese, ham or other salty foods, offering a contrast of flavors which sometimes can be extraordinary and surprising.

 TAGS:Tío PepeTío Pepe

Tío Pepe



 TAGS:Barbazul 2010Barbazul 2010

Barbazul 2010



Foto: Flickr

The tokaji Eszencia, the essence of Tokaj

 TAGS:As already stated in a previous post, Tokaji is a typical wine from the borderland between Hungary and Slovakia called Tokaj-Hegyalja, near Budapest. Sometimes called king of wines, wine of kings, this is definitely a special drink by its peculiar elaboration process, which uses botrytyzed grapes, i.e., affected by the Botrytis Cinerea fungus.

These grapes concentrate a large amount of sugar and create a must called aszú, with exceptional organoleptic qualities. This liquid so exclusive is mixed with the regular must of the season and, according to the proportion used, the result is different. The measure with which is rated the sweetness of Tokaji is the puttonyo, equivalent to approximately 25 g of sugar per liter of wine, being varieties up to 6 puttonyos (about 150 g of sugar per liter). Generally, Tokaji is usually paired with desserts.

Nectar of the gods

One of the most coveted types of this wine is the Tokaji Eszencia
, also called ?nectar? or ?tear from Tokaj?. The high concentration of sugar of this drink, worthy of the gods of antiquity, makes its consistency and appearance very similar to honey or syrup. As a result, its alcohol content rarely exceeds 5 or 6 degrees. This wine differs from regular Tokaji by its process of elaboration, using the pure juice of the aszú grape, instead of mixing up another must, so it?s understandable, besides the high sugar concentration, its limited production, virtually artisan.

The concentration of flavor and aromas of this wine are unmatched although, of course, its consumption can never be more than moderate because of its remarkable sweetness. Moreover, unlike 99% of other wines in the world, it can be stored with guaranteed stability during times that can reach a whopping 200 or more years, excellently preserved. Imagine what it feels like tasting a wine from the time of Napoleonic Wars!

Sweet sparkling, another option for the desserts

 TAGS:Tired of the typical muscat? Bored of that glass of port that looks like the after lunch official drink? Come on man, there are other options, just encourage yourself and try something new. Sweet sparkling wines are the chic option to accompany desserts.

Sweeter than a champagne or a cava (Spanish sparkling wine), but not as mellow as muscatel or port wine, sweet sparkling wines are the youngest choice for an evening that ends withan original point.

But you need to find the appropriate glasses because sweet sparkling wines should not be served in shot glasses! You will make a very good impression if you also include any of thesesparkling wines in your wine list. And if you are worried about your image and you are always trying to find the perfect way for the food to be presented, sweet sparkling wines will help you get that infallible gourmet touch.

You can bring them to the table with a grape or with a lychee inside. Or you can cut a slice of strawberry and use it to decorate the edge of the cup. Because the variety of colors and flavors of these wines will help you get a beautiful table, where the pink, green or golden colours of the wines you choose can match with details of the dessert or the dishes or linens, why not?

Usually, this kind of wines has a lower graduation than other. This fact makes them perfect for extending the after lunch or dinner. They are also the preferred option for many women because of how easy they are to drink and also due to their sweet but not too much touch which makes them perfect to have one more glass.