Tag: wine

The quality of Rioja wines, a debate

According to the affirmations of many wine-growers”,  Rioja, which is one of the most  TAGS:important wine regions of Spain, is becoming more polarized in what is concerning the quality of their wines.  “The region has become more divided. On the one hand, in the extreme south they produce wine in big quantities, while in other parts they focus more on good quality rather than on quantity.

There are wine-growers that damage the image of the Rioja wine when they place Gran Reserve wines at the market at the price of only 8 pounds (12 euros)”,  Jesús Madrazo, head of Viñedos del Continuo, told Uvinum during his last visit to London.  

According to this experienced oenologist, the future of Rioja wine may depend on a new generation of oenologists that will pay special attention to the soul for incrementing the quality of their wines: “The majority of wines is produced in small family-owned companies that wish to learn a lot about the soul and its components and how to get the best out of them without lacking the respect it deserves.

“The division of Rioja is due to 2 different perspectives regarding the wine and has negative influences on the region on a market which is already complex nowadays. Apart from this fact, Madrazo recognized that these divisions do not always occur and that big producers as “Bodegas Muga, Cune (CVNE) and Viña Tondonia – Bodegas López de Heredia produce wines of great quality mentioning CVNE as a good example because they produce 300.000 bottles of Imperialwine a year, whose quality remained excellent despite the large scale production.

Regardless of the division of Rioja, Madrazo considers that there will be a reconsideration of the terrain in future: “The chalky clay souls of Rioja Alavesa have effects on the wine, they profit from the mediterranean climate and also from the influence of the atlantic ocean, which differentiates it from the other 2 sub-regions.

“Now we have to wait to see what the future of Rioja wine will be like, in terms of quality as well as  concerning its position on an international market compared to other options that are available to the consumers and lovers of good wine.

“Do you want to try Rioja at a good price? Today we recommend you two basics you should have in your wine cellar.

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Murua Reserva 2004, a perfect option for dinner.

 

 

 TAGS:Remelluri Reserva 2007Remelluri Reserva 2007

Remelluri Reserva 2007, good quality price relation.

Asian “drinking” style

 - As a big fan of Asian countries and lifestyle in today’s post I want to talk about drinking in the oriental hemisphere. Many of us have visited Asian countries and confess to be addicted to local food but what about drinking alcohol in this part of the world?

Are there any drinks in Asia people are fund of that have not been exported to other countries yet? Or let’s say any drink that should be taken just on one specific spot and nowhere else.

Thailand is among the most visited places in Asia and its hot climate, friendly people and paradisiac beaches attract people from all over the world. The loud and crowdy “Khao San Road” in Bangkok has become the main meeting point for international travellers, especially backpackers. Apart from visiting the city, there’s one thing they especially enjoy: drinking

One of the most famous drinks in Thailand is Rice wine, a beer brewed from glutinous rice that is similar to japanes Sake. It is sold nationwide under the brand Siam Sato. Although it is called wine, it is actually more similar to beer. It is cheap and potent, but be careful, you might regret it the next morning. 

On a trip to China you shouldn’t forget to try Baijiu, a distilled Chinese alcoholic beverage.  Its name literally means “white liquor” and it has about 40 – 60% alcohol by volume. Baiju is quite challenging for the western palate, but once you got used to it you might love it. It has been described as similar to grappa although the Chinese usually prefer to take it warm.

For sure a thing that really causes impression are snake wines. They can be found in China and Vietnam and in many other countries in Southeast Asia. Snake wines are alcoholic beverages with venomous snakes inside. According to traditional Chinese medicine this drink with snake venom dissolved in liquor is able to cure different health problems as backpains, lumbago, rheumatisms and many more but they are also considered as aphrodisiacs. Snake venom is of course denatured by ethanol.

Imagine drinking a spirit with a real cobra or scorpion inside? Are you scared just thinking about it or you always wanted to try it? That’s up to you on your next trip to Vietnam!

Korea is known for its “wet” drinking culture that is similar to Finland or Russia and sadly as well for the frequent alcohol abuse of its citizens. It’s common walking around the streets and running into a well dressed bussiness man lying on the middle of the street completely smashed. Drinking is somehow part of the work culture and if you want to be accepted by your boss or employees you should never refuse drinking with them, often a lot, until the point you just forget your own name.

Makkoli is a famous Korean drink, that is a little bit softer and therefore more recommended.  It is a milky beverage with a kind of bitter sweet taste and it is drunk from a small bowl. Its alcohol content is about 7%.

To have a bit of Asian feeling at home you should try those products:

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Tiger Beer, the beer of Singapore.

 

 

 

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Nikka Miyagikyou Single Malt, a japanese whisky.

The wines of Alicante

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Spain has exceptional wines in each of its provinces. Alicante could not be less, and the DOP Alicante ensures enhancing its wines and expanding its sales and popularity.

We’re talking about wines elaborated thanks to a wide variety of climates, where the Mediterranean is one of the highlights. The style of the wines of Alicante is one of their values, and the winemakers from this area struggle everyday for it. Its wide range of wines offers different tastes, so there’s one for every type of consumer. Choose yours!

The moscatel of Alicante stands among the most renowned sweet wines. Ideal for desserts and to drink with appetizers, this is a sweet liqueur wine that is made solely with the Muscat grape variety. Its color is clear and bright, and notes of flowers and young fruits. The palate is fresh and has a distinctive flavor. You may be surprised by the amount of flavors that come in a bottle of it. Exceptional!

As in other appellations of origin from the Comunidad Velanciana, the reds are some of the higher quality wines. The variety Monastrell is the protagonist, as its bright red color, totally distinctive characteristic of this grape variety. The fruit aromas are intense and it’s often combined with all kinds of food, including a great paella by the sea, traditionally paired with white wines.

While sparkling wines have a different quality than reds, in Alicante DOP we can find aromatic varieties of sparkling wines. They have Mediterranean Sea flavors, an atmosphere where these wines acquire the marine environment of the land. To a lesser extent, we have to emphasize the noble wines still preserved fruit of long and strong aging.

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Beryna 2009

 

 

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Marina Espumante

Kosher wine

Kosher wine makes the difference. If you have already seen this label on a wine then you  TAGS:have experienced it as a different wine for sure. Actually it is a different wine but not because of its taste but because of the way in which it is produced and the importance of the production for so many people. Today I want to inform you about kosher wine.

Kosher is a hebrew word which means “pure” and kosher wine is the only wine accepted by judaism. To be taken into consideration and to be consumed,  a series of principles based on jewish tradition have to be fulfilled.

These principle start on the vineyard as kosher wine has to be controlled by a special person in judaism from the beginning.

 The vineyards have to grow alone without being supervised and one has to wait for 4 years before starting with the wine production. The only allowed tasks are ecological ones , for example fertilizing and even those have special limits. Every 7 years the soul has to rest.

Regarding the wine cellars, a rabbi has to control the preparation and the hygiene of the machines used. Only a jewish person is allowed to touch the grapes and press them to elaborate wine. Once the harvest is over, grapes have to be well chosen because only whole grapes can be transformed into a kosher wine.

Kosher wine means “pure wine” and that’s the reason why the grape has to be entire and perfect, because nothing should be mixed with the wine. That’s also the reason why it is produced in warehouses of stainless steel. Wooden barrels are not used, neither should there be added substances to favour the fermentation apart from a special lime when lighting it up.

The purity of the wine is guaranteed by the fact that no one who is not jewish got in contact with kosher wine during its preparation. Also the enologists – if they are not jewish- have to work on selected samples rather than directly on the field. Once work is done and the wine is filled into the bottles, the cellar has to sell 1% to the poor. After that the wine gets the acceptance from the rabbi and is called “kosher wine”.

A kosher wine is not kosher anymore if it was touched by a non jewish person because then it looses its sacred condition.

Kosher wines are concentrated wines with a classic taste. This is normal as they don’t undergo new technological processes. If they are consumed in the same year they are strong, concentrated and fruity and very diferent because of the influence of different varieties and the country of origin, compared to the end result.

In Spain kosher wine got famous thanks to the wine cellar Celler de Capcanes that produces one of the most famous kosher wines and because of its big success it is also produced in Navarra, Jerez, Utiel-Requena, Penedés, Valdeorras, Ribera de Júcar and Madrid

Are you curious and wish to discover kosher wine? Kosher wine has a limited market and therefore is not that easy to find. There are two cellars who produce it. We recommend you two kosher wines:

 TAGS:Flor de Primavera Peraj Ha'abib Kosher 2009Flor de Primavera Peraj Ha’abib Kosher 2009

Flor de Primavera Peraj Ha’abib Kosher 2009 comes from Catalonia respecting jewish tradition

 

 

 TAGS:Château de Valandraud Kosher 2003Château de Valandraud Kosher 2003

Château de Valandraud Kosher 2003

Uvinum receives the Best Customer Experience Award 2012

We’re delighted! The organisation Best Customer Experience Institute with headquarters in many different countries, which task it is to evaluate and reward the practice in the field of Customer Care and the excellence in the treatment of the client, awarded us with the  Best Customer Experience Award  2012 in the category of alimentation in eCommerce.

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The best of it is that we didn’t even know to participate in that competition. 2.000 persons selected 500 brands – among them Uvinum. Therefore we compited with brands and labels as Caprabo or our friends of Ulabox. And we won! In the global analyisis of the research we obtained even better results than very big labels and services as Lastminute or El Corte Inglés. .. and others. Of course everything is relative, but the most important thing is that we were analyzed by the same users and a specialized company. 

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Nearly 30.000 clients trusted on us since we have been acting as a marketplace for 2 years now and are selling wines, distillates and gourmet products. These years have been intense, but we have improved our service quality a lot but  there are still lots of things to do. Most of our customers are satisfied but we also receive some queries. This price helps us to trust even more on our skills and to continue growing. Thanks to all for this great gift!

And of course many thanks to our Customer Care team (Maria, Miguel, Giulia and Concetta) and the rest of the team of Verticomm- Uvinum who have made this price possible. Thank you!

Wine, the best afterchristmas present for dads

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Wine lovers! If you have been good this year, you deserve the best and so you will certainly end up the holidays very happily with a good wine as a gift. Perfect for welcoming a year full of good hope.

You know, wines have many properties to the body and also give us a great deal of comfort. Request, then, a wine for special occasions, a wine tasting to learn about the aromas and the various flavors or a day at a spa trying the benefits of wine therapy.

And do not forget the Corkscrews and Decanters, so you’ll have a complete wine kit for your special moments.

This time, one of the wines that you can include in your letter to Santa Claus is the white Paco & Lola 2010. DO Rias Baixas and elaborated with albariño, it will delight you by its yellow-green transparent color, its aroma of citrus and fresh and a light and fresh flavor that makes it the perfect wine for seafood.

The rosés are increasingly gaining projection. This is because its bubbles and freshness are ideal in in any season, but in spring they taste better. Surely Santa will not ignore you and bring a Gran Caus Rosado 2011. A delightful Penedès which is great for sweets and fruits. Its intense fruity aroma will transport us to other seasons and its powerful taste, more like a red than a rosé, are something different.You can not wait that long to open it!

The red star to celebrate Christmas is Pago de Carraovejas Crianza 2010, a fine red, merlot and cabernet sauvignon based Ribera del Duero that goes well with any dish. You will enjoy for sure!

When a Château is not a Château?

 TAGS:According to the traditional definition, accepted as the norm, a “Château” is one of the wines of France with Controlled Denomination of Origin (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée – AOC) elaborated exclusively with grapes from a single estate or property. So far so clear.

The problem is that from some countries, especially the United States, where there is no regulation about it, they are trying that this limitation does not affect the so-called American wines, whose production process does not requires this restriction and can be made from grapes purchased elsewhere. So, U.S. producers intend to export wines called “Château” or “Clos” (another denomination subject to controversy) without any restrictions.

Thus, the European Union has been forced to take action on the matter and decide one way or another, a topic that is pouring rivers of ink in the specialized media, as it can affect a number of gaul wineries, always jealous of protecting their products against competitors from other countries, even in the case of countries into the European Economic Area, as has been proven for years in other agricultural and food issues.

Brussels is currently considering this and other matters within the Common Agricultural Policy and the decision does not seem to be clear, because, although overall imports from Europe of American wines have an insignificant weight, there is a fear -that we believe founded- by the French wineries that this may be a mere outpost of other “appropriations” that ultimately can cause serious damage to the industry, in addition to causing some confusion among consumers.

It seems that later this year we will have a verdict, following a request for postponement from the French Ministry of Agriculture to prepare an alternative proposal, according to their own statements. Until then, experts and wine enthusiasts from around the world will have a great conversation topic with guaranteed controversy and surely opposing views.

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!

The harvest 2012 is underway

 TAGS:We are in the season of harvest, of gathering the fruit of the vine to elaborate the most prodigious wine. All wine regions become central to wineries, growers and harvesters, who work every day to see how it will be this year’s harvest.

This leads to a kind of tourism, the wine tourism, which is still in vogue and increases visits during this time. So, the visitors to wineries and vineyards can participate in the harvest in different ways, such as treading the grapes with their feet straight in the winepress.

They see the elaboration process of wine, enjoying a different experience. Furthermore, winery tours, wine tastings and accommodations in the most special and different places.

According to the Spanish Wine Federation (FEV), the 2012 harvest campaign will not exceed 35 million hectoliters, being lower than the 2011 harvest, which ended with 37.5 million.

It is expected that the harvest, therefore, will be also lower and this may increase the price of grapes. This statement is usually the dominant trend in virtually all denominations of origin. Although DO Tacoronte-Acentejo and Cariñena may be somewhat higher. As for the denominations Somontano and Madrid, the predictions are to match last year’s crop.

Given the current economic situation, many seasonal workers in harvest time will receive far less this year gathering the grapes of the Spanish regions. Therefore, a large part of them will spend the season in France, where there are a lot of vineyards.

At this time, the country celebrates the harvest festivals, such as Rioja, in almost all towns, or Jerez, where they are already encompassed within its tourism website.

Featured cellars in Ribera del Duero

 - Lands with the best vineyards in the world and a rich DO which provides extreme quality wines. Yes, we speak of the Ribera del Duero and its wine atmosphere that permeates every corner of the region.

It must be acknowledged that some aspects of the importance of this DO is due to the different cellars that since the early 80s, watched over the production of exquisite wines that today are the stars of the most prominent tables in restaurants in many countries.

Currently, there are over 200 wineries that shape this wine region, which are the main producers of this outstanding Spanish DO. Let’s take a look at some of the most important cellars. Are you coming?

We?ll do some wine tourism in this region and find Bodegas Protos, in Peñafiel, Valladolid, a place where architecture has renovated its facilities, making of it a pilgrimage cellar for wine lovers in general. We can take guided tours, host events, see the vineyards and even try its wines.

Bodegas Comenge, in Curiel de Duero, is a great example of tradition and modernity. Both concepts are blended to perfection and it allows visiting its facilities and even taking a ride with a carriage over its vineyards.

We cannot fail to mention Bodegas Vega Sicilia, a renewed classic that offers wines with distinction. They have special reserve wines only found in some places. In Langa de Duero, Bodegas Valdeviñas has vineyards over 50 years old, being already a reference name within this DO.

But not all are long established cellars. In Ribera del Duero are created every day new wineries, such as Tomas Postigo, owned by the winemaker of the same name, which reinterpret every day this DO in order to make it one of the most innovative wine regions in Spain.

Have you run this area or visited any of its cellars? Tell us about it!