The wine lover today has enormous choices and a wide range from which tochoose.Modern trade has helped to develop the mass market, and increasingly scour the world for the novel and the good value. With this plethora of choice come new often unfamiliar ways of labelling wine. Wines differ according to origin, grape variety, technique of manufacture and age.
Origin is the most important clue to a wine’s character. The grape variety used in a wine has assumed major importance since New World wines have flooded the market.Wine making techniques have undergone major changes in the last 40 years. Finally, the age of a bottle of wine has an important bearing on its character.
So much choice can be daunting, but with a little help a structure falls into place, and the world’s wines are more enjoyable.
Following are the wine styles grouped by colour and character.
"Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of good wine."
White wine may be bone dry, lusciously sweet, or anywhere in between. Light, dry wines are intended for drinking young, are not aged in oak, and are bottledwith no residual sugar. These may be served well chilled, and are delightful foreveryday drinking with or without food. Medium-bodied and full dry white wines have more extract, and although dry have the sweet richness of ripe fruit. Either may have matured in oak vats and are capable of further ageing in bottle. Certain grape varieties make very aromatic wines –these may be dry or medium dry. Medium sweet wines are bottled before all the grape sugar has been converted into alcohol. Sweetest of all are the powerfully flavoured wines, usually served in small glasses Given below is a broad range. Names given are those found on labels.
1. LIGHT, DRY
Gros Plant, Kabinett Trocken, Vinho Verde, Kabinett Halbtrocken, Navarra, Pinot Blanc, Soave. Anjou, Chassles,Chenin Blanc, Steen, Frascati, Muscadet, Most Indian White wine.
2. MEDIUM-BODIED, DRY
Spatlese Trocken, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Chablis, Cote du Rhone, Graves, Orvieto, Sancerre, Pouilly Fume, Macon-Villages, Alsace Riesling, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
3. FULL, DRY
Pomino, Burgundy Premier Cru and Grand Cru, Chablis Premier Cru and Grand Cru, Gavi, Graves Cru Classe, Grechetto, Rias Baixas, Riesling(Australia, California, New Zealand) Vermentino di Gallura, Vouvray, Chateauneuf du Pape, Pouilly-Fuisse, St. Veran, Savennieres, Hermitage Blanc.
Muller Thurgau, Pinot Grigio, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Gewurtztraminer, Restina.
Moscato d’Asti, Lambrusco, Mosel QbA, Rhein QbA, Riesling Spatlese, Chenin Blanc, Cotes de Bergerac, Gaillac Moelleux, Orvieto Abboccato, Juracon,; Vouvray Moelleux, Recioto di Soave.
Botrytized wines from anywhere, Riesling Auslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, Moscatel de Valencia, Berrenauslese, Bonnezeux, Coteaux du Layon, Quarts de Chaume, Selection de Grains Nobles, Montbazillac, Sauternes, Barsac, Loupiac, Tokaji Aszu,Vin Santo, Malvasia delle Lipari .
The “assertive powerful class” includes wines made to display strong flavours and tannins. Most of them have the structure to age. Mature quality wines are those from classis areas, and great vintages in lesser areas. The specialities listed include the exception to the rule that most red wine is dry. In ancient Mediterranean tradition, wines made from semi dried grapes with a high level of sugar are strong and sometimes sweet. In Italy this style is known as passito or recioto. Red wines nay move from group to group according to vintage. A good vintage will move many Bordeaux or Burgundy wines into the assertive class from the normal status as medium bodied.
Blush whites, Anjou, Cabernet d’ Anjou, Cabernet de Samur, Provence Rose, Tavel, Portuguese wines, Lirac.
2. LIGHT, FRESH, UNAGED
Bardolino, Barbera, Beaujolais, Bourgueil, Chinon, Dolcetto, Dole, Dornfelder, Gaillac, Samur, Valpollicella, Most Indian Red Wines.
Spatlese Trocken,Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Chablis, Cote du Rhone, Graves, Orvieto, Sancerre, Pouilly Fume,Macon-Villages, Alsace Riesling, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Burgundy Premier Cru and Grand Cru, Cabernet Sauvignon(NewWorld), Cahors, Cornas, Cote-Rotie, Hermitage, Dao, Madiran, Montefalco, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Chateauneuf –du-Pape, Shiraz(Australia, SouthAfrica).
5. MATURE QUALITY.
Bordeaux Cru Classe, Burgundy Premier and Grand Cru, Cabernet sauvignon(New World-top vintage), Chianti Classico Riserva, Graves, Rioja Riserva, Gran Riserva, Hermitage, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva.
Sagrantino di Montefalco, Valpolicella Amarone, Mavrodaphne, Vin Santo, Recioto della Valpolicella.