QUESTION: Is wine better or worse with a synthetic cork instead of a natural cork? I hate synthetic corks and love natural cork or Stelvin screw tops. Synthetic corks are often very difficult to pull out of the bottle. They haven’t yet convinced me that a wine can age as well with a synthetic cork as they can with natural cork or even screw top. To me, synthetic cork indicates cheap wine or a wine that is unlikely to be made in a natural way.
QUESTION: Do screw caps on wine bottles indicate a cheap wine? No. Cheap wine indicates cheap wine . There is an issue with corks as a small percentage of them will cause a problem with the wine in the bottle. The most famous of these is TCA which is a bacterium that, while harmless, can cause a wine to smell and taste muted at best or like wet cardboard at worse. Other issues are imperfect seals which cause a wine to age prematurely.
QUESTION: What does it mean for a wine to be unbalanced? When a wine is young , it can take years for all the various elements, such as acidity, tanning and fruit to integrate. Until such time the wine can be considered out of balance. However, some young wines can be balanced in the beginning and age gracefully to develop more elegance or character. A lot of the time, a wine professional will refer to a wine as being unbalanced if the wine tastes too strongly of one particular element, very commonly oak, alcohol or acidity.
QUESTION: What does it mean for a wine to have tannins? Tannins are the sensation of drinking wines that result in an almost thick and fuzzy feeling on the lips and tongue. You may also get this sensation when drinking tea. It can come from many different part of the wine making process. The tannins are present in the grape skin which is why they are found more in red wines than white wines.
QUESTION: How do all the different flavors and aromas get into a wine? There are literally over 100,000 flavors/aromas in a wine. A dog would be able to smell more than a human. The human can’t even smell 10% of them. The smells that can be detected by the human nose vary from person to person. This makes discussion about flavors enlightening because one person can, by reference, trigger your brain into identifying more complexity in a wine.
This might be the most interesting back story of any wine ever made: An ex-CIA spy (excuse me... "Case Agent") with a Classics/Latin background becomes a winemaker. This should be the basis for Harrison Ford's next movie but it's actually the real-life story of Richard Hart, founder of Ricardus Corculum. We recently caught up with Richard to chat about his wine venture.
Cabernet Sauvignon is undoubtedly one of the world’s most beloved red wines. As a single variety and in blends, Cabernet Sauvignon has gained fame in Bordeaux and California, and around the world. Wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon are often dark, aromatic, tannic, and they can typically age well. It’s for these and several other reasons that I include Cabernet Sauvignon in my own wine program.
For some people wine is just another beverage. For others it is an expression of life, something some might describe as art in a bottle. Malcolm Nicholls has taken it one step further by putting art ON – as well as in- the bottle. His eponymous Santa Barbara wine label, Nicholls Wine, creates fine wine as a platform for showcasing emerging contemporary artists. Each varietal and vintage release features new work by an exciting young artist. IntoWine recently caught up with Malcolm Nicholls to discuss the vision and goals for Nicholls Wine.
In this episode of IntoWineTV, host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent and Loren Sonkin convene among the vines at Crushpad in Napa Valley to taste and discuss the cult wine brands of Crushpad. Theme: Cult Wines of Crushpad Wine: 2009 Loos Family Sauvignon Blanc ($24), Buy this wine Region: Napa Valley Vineyard : Galleron Road Vineyard Alcohol: 13.8%
It reads like a pilot for a Hollywood sitcom: Six friends move to Northern California, share a mutual enthusiasm for wine, and start their own wine label. In the Hollywood version, comedy and romance would surely ensue. In real life, the world gets some great wine. IntoWine caught up with Tim Halloran, one of Kindred Wines' six co-founders, to discuss the joys and hurdles of their nascent wine venture.