There are many types of wine, from dry, robust reds all the way to sweet fruity whites, but what is it that makes it a great wine? Is it the grapes? It is the way it’s fermented? Let’s take a look at what makes a wine great!
It really, truly does start with the grapes. As cliché as it sounds you have to have great grapes in order to make a great wine. It is very important to winemakers that their vineyards are in a great location. Not to mention that there are a lot of factors that comes into play. First, is Terroir. This is Mother Nature’s influence. This includes the soil, the climate, the weather (including the amount of wind), etc. Next is Vintage. This is the human involvement which includes watering, pruning, pest management, etc.
Then it comes the hard part…harvesting the grapes. To make a great wine, you don’t just walk through the vineyard picking grapes. They must have right the color, be the right age, and have the right plumpness to them. This process is very, very important. It can make the difference between an okay wine and a GREAT wine.
Once the right grapes are picked next comes the winemaking process. There are many decisions to be made that have an impact on the final product. Winemakers need to decide on how much yeast will be added, know the process of pump over and push down, know the temperatures for fermentation (cooler temps preserve fruit/flower aromas while hotter temps have more earthy aromas), the appropriate aging vessel for the flavors they are trying to achieve, and lastly, bottling (do they want to use a cork, or a screw top).
Smelling and tasting
This is best part, finally getting to taste and appreciate the great wine that winemakers have worked so hard on. When determining if what you have is a great wine, keep these tips in mind:
- Intense Aroma – A great wine should have an intense aroma. You should be able to smell the different fruits while holding the glass at chest level.
- A long finish – How many seconds the wine remains on your palette determines if you have a great wine or not. It should be about 15 seconds.
- Emotional Reaction – Does this wine make you happy? If you are saying yes, then you have yourself a great wine!
[1.] Men’s Fitness – http://www.mensfitness.com
[2.] Better Tasting Wine – http://www.bettertastingwine.com/greatwine.html
[3.] Wine Folly – http://winefolly.com/review/the-science-behind-great-wine/
[4.] Wines and Vines – http://www.winesandvines.com