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Sunday April 27, 2008 - Wine Guide

Wine Guide For Your Reading Pleasure

How To Taste Wine Like A Professional

To many people the sight of a man or woman in a restaurant or bar sniffing and swirling a glass of wine before ultimately tasting it and relaying their satisfaction to the server can seem rather pretentious. However, this is actually the best way to get the most from your bottle of wine; to see, smell and taste every aspect. Whether it is an expensive box of wine or a prize winning bottle of Merlot, to truly appreciate a bottle of wine it is important to learn how to correctly taste wine.

The most important thing to keep in mind when tasting a wine is to be sure to use your senses. Enjoying a glass of wine is not simply about drinking and noting the taste, but about inspecting all aspects of the wine.

Colour is very important in wine which is why people are often seen holding a glass of wine up to the light before drinking it. As wine ages the color of the wine changes. Red wines in general begin as a very dark red or purple color. Over time, red wines tend to fade from this dark shade to a garnet and finally a brick red. At first this color change might only be noticed around the rim of a wine, but over the years the entire wine will fade. White wine on the other hand tends to darken with age. White wines usually start out straw or lemon in color and age to dark amber.

Why is the color of a wine so important to inspect? The color of a bottle of wine with respect to it?s age can be an important key in determining if a bottle of wine has been manufactured poorly. For example, if a one-year-old bottle of Sauvignon Blanc is already a very dark, deep amber color when the bottle is first opened, this could signify that the bottle has not been manufactured and processed correctly causing the wine to age prematurely and not taste it?s best. The same can be said for red wines, if a young bottle of Merlot is already a brick red or brown color when opened, chances are good their was a problem with the bottle and it will not have optimal taste.

Some in the wine community still think it is important to inspect the legs of a glass of wine. ?Legs? is a term used to describe the oily wine beads that are on the sides of a glass after it has been swirled around. Many used to think that these legs were a sign of high alcohol or sugar content giving a better quality of wine, and while this might be true in a variety of cases, nowadays most people prefer to use taste as a better method of assessing quality.

T he best way to release the aromas of a glass of wine is to swirl it for a few moments. Swirling helps to agitate the wine and allows more oxygen to have contact with the wine, which in turn releases aromas. It is important to smell a glass of wine before drinking to ensure that the wine smells healthy. A wine should never smell moldy, stale, oxidized, or vinegary in any way.

Aside from checking if a wine smells healthy, swirling a glass of wine is also a great way to be able to smell the primary and/or secondary aromas. Primary aromas are usually found in younger wines, and usually are fruit related, such as orange, raspberry and cherry. Older wines take on secondary aromas, which are earthier. Sometimes wines are said to have an oak, musk or butter flavor, which all are considered secondary aromas.

Finally there is using your palate and tasting the wine. Does the wine taste fruity or earthy? Is it sweet or dry? What kind of texture does it have; thin, buttery, rich? How long did the flavor last after it the wine was swallowed? A wine that lingers is a sign of a good quality wine, but it also means the flavor can be enjoyed longer.

Now that the basics of wine tasting have been revealed, the next time you order a bottle of wine, don?t be embarrassed to sniff it, swirl it and taste it like a professional.

About the Author:

Ken Finnigan is the CEO of Finest Wine Racks a website specializing in quality decorative wine racks and durable wine storage systems.

Wine Guide and More

Wine Racks for Storing Wines

To prevent wine bottles from being broken and to store wine in a cool, dark place you need wine storage racks. Storage racks allow you to organize you...

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Telltale aromas of violets, blackberries, blueberries, and crushed stones are apparent in this medium to full-bodied slightly lean 2000 Californian Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain. Tasty and expressive, this dry red wine needs 3-4 years of cellaring, and should drink well for a decade. An interesting point of trivia is that Randy Dunn's production of approximately 4,000 cases of Napa and Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon per year has not changed since the winery's inception ... somewhat refreshing in view of the American cultural tendency to think that "bigger is better". RP - 88 (Subject to Availability) DUHCM00 DUHCM00

Price: 321.99 USD

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1:31 PM

Sunday 04/27/08 - Wine Tours

Another Great Wine Tours Article

Modern Wine Cellar Coolers

It was only a few years ago that if you hear the word wine
cooler the name Bartles and James came to mind. And if
someone was telling you about their wine collection you
pictured a massive underground vault. But the modern wine
cellar coolers are nothing like those of the past.

Only a few years ago a cellar would consist of rows and rows
of wine neatly organized and aged to maximum perfection.
It was easy to enjoy a good glass of wine when out for an
evening but virtually impossible to have that capacity within
the home. But then the modern wine counter cooler came
along. Today anyone can turn their kitchen into a wine
cellar with little effort.

Fine wines cost a lot and they are only worth the cost if you
have the proper place to store them. See wines are alive
and they are continuously changing depending on the
environment they are in. There are many things that affect
how a wine changes. Those include humidity, temperature,
ventilation, calm, and even the angle the bottle is stored at.
A quality wine cooler considers all of these elements.

Your wine should be stored horizontal in a stable
temperature at the lowest possible place that has no
vibration. You also need to make sure its away from any
strong odors.

The perfect temperature is between 50 and 55 degrees
with a 70% humidity level. A wine fridge can accomplish this
easily. A regular refrigerator isn't as effective because it is
just a little too cool plus temperatures fluctuate.

A wine cooler's temperature never changes which maintains
the wines flavor. These coolers are also designed so that
you can lay the bottle down so the wine is always in contact
with the cork.

An under the counter wine cooler can be built right into
your kitchen. This also gives extra protection to the wine
from natural lighting. There are a few common mistakes
that are made when shopping for a wine cooler. Make sure
you don't make these mistakes.

You need to stay away from the clear door coolers. There's
no question these look great because you can see all your
bottles of wine. But the light from the kitchen, especially
fluorescent lighting will actually ruin your wine over time.
There is actually a name for this "light struck." Buy a cooler
with the darkest door you can find.

Another common mistake is installing it near a heat source.
Your stove isn't your only heat source. Dishwasher and
refrigerators both throw heat and dishwashers also vibrate
which is bad for your wine. Try to install it where it is more

These coolers are commonly installed in the kitchen but of
course they don't have to be. You can install them in any
room that you wish as long as you stay away from any heat
or vibration.

The modern wine cellar coolers will let you serve perfect
wine to your guests anytime you feel like it. What a great
addition to your room!

About the Author

April used to be a bartender with over 7 years of experience. She later retired to become a freelance wine critic and a writer for a number of wine books. In these books, she specializes on finding the right glassware and utensils for your bar. Visit for a list of "must haves" such as a wine
glass rack
for your bar.

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