Choosing your bottle of wine will be easier once you know this...
Are you one of those people who just enters the wine aisle at the supermarket and goes "Ok, I want a red wine. Let's see which label I like"? Well, I am (even though I do have a preference for Côte du Rhône) and I learned some useful things which I wanted to share with you like-minded wine-pickers!
Benoît Couderé, Belgium's best sommelier of 2016 has teamed up with Carrefour and invited some of us for a wine tasting. I was asked to come and join Carrefour and a couple of bloggers for a dinner at my favourite restaurant: Le Gril aux Herbes. Absolutely love this place! Just look at the food!
Let me indulge you in some "good to know"-notes I made during this very fun (and slightly too joyous) evening. Maybe it will help you in choosing your next bottle of wine!
- Labels do tell you a lot about a wine. Especially French wines. It will tell you where it is from, where it was bottled, the year the wine was harvested, the percentage of alcohol... do not underestimate the label!
- Serving a wine in the correct glass does make a difference. Different types of wines should be served in different types of glasses and taking this into account improves the taste of your wine. Also: hold your glass by the stand or foot so your wine won't warm up.
- Not only wine glasses take different shapes, but so do bottles! There is a difference between a bottle of Bordelaire and a Bourguignonne. Did you know the largest bottle of champagne contains 40 regular bottles of champaign and weighs 54kg? Yeah... I know!
- The taste of you wine is defined mainly by the type of grape: the chardonnay, riesling, syrah, pinot noir... I am sure these sound familiar to you ;) The grapes can be mixed to create a wine. For example, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the only wine that contains 13 types of grapes.
- In wine, you can find more than 70aromas. 90% of these aromas are detected by the nose. You can find floral aromas such ad rose or white flowers but also spiced aromas such as pepper and ginger.
- Good wines can be found all over the world, not only France. Where does your favourite wine come from?
- Not all wines improve with age. How do you know if your wine is a keeper or good to go? Check the way it is sealed. If it is sealed by a synthetic cork or with a screw cap then it should be opened soon. Only store bottles with a long traditional cork. Bottles should be stored lying down because a dry cork will let air through and change the flavour of the wine.
- Wine drinking order: Champagne, white, clear red wine, tannine-rich red wine, desert wine, digestive.
- Each wine has their favourite dish. You can find recommendations on the back label of the wine. This helps me a lot with choosing the perfect wine for a dinner party.
- Wine has its own slang! When learning how to be a sommelier you might come across words like cépage, cuvée and harmonious :)
My favourite wine of the evening was the 19 Crimes red wine from Australia. I hope to find it again soon and have a lovely glass.
Carrefour has a larger and larger choice in wines and I have noticed this in my newly renovated Carrefour supermarket (Boondael, Brussels). Do go and have a look when shopping for your food. You might find the perfect match with your dinner ;)
So... did I teach you anything new? Or were you already informed about all of this? If the latter is the case, then you are definitely more experienced in wine tasting than I am! I hope you enjoyed the article, let me know in the comments what you found interesting and if you would like to see more informative articles like this on the blog.
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