Friday, February 24, 2017

Wine Tasting Basics: The Fundamentals Of Flavor

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Wine appreciation is an art that is carefully cultivated, involving a synergy of the senses to take in all the details of the wine and its flavors.

There are many steps involved in appreciating a good wine. Critical of these is the appreciation of the wine’s aroma. Wines owe much of their distinct flavor profiles from their smells as much as their tastes, owing to the interconnected nature of the human senses of taste and scent.

Although a cursory glance at the wine’s vintage, viscosity, and color can leave subtle clues about a wine’s flavor, only the nose would know what flavors actually are. A good wine connoisseur would always take the time to fully appreciate the smell and taste of a good wine, taking in the various profiles of the aroma.

Because of the importance of smell in wine appreciation, it is important to avoid interfering scents from getting in the way. Kitchen aromas, perfumes, and even pet odors can interfere with the flavor of wine.

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The final part of appreciating wine is to take sips of it. The flavor profile of wine will change as it goes down owing to the interaction of its aromatic compounds from within rather than from without. Besides the initial perception of flavor, the taste also includes the length of time that the taste remains in the mouth and how the flavors acted all throughout.

Finally, wine tasters should familiarize themselves with key warning flavors, typically off-putting tastes that suggest spoilage or contamination.

Bennett J. Kireker, today a New York resident, is the founder of a quarterly wine club that has grown to over 50 members strong. Visit this blog for more on his thoughts on appreciating wine.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Famous Movies With Wine

Wine has been a part of world culture for ages. Whether during special occasions, or taking away stress after work, people love to drink wine. Now, let’s take a look at some of the most famous wine films in the past decades:

Sideways (2004)

Sideways is a hilarious comedic drama that follows two men throughout a weekend into Santa Ynez Valley wine country. One of the men, Miles, a teacher and down-on-his-luck writer, is accompanied by Jack, Miles’ college buddy, and an actor who is about to tie the knot. They have very different reasons for going on the trip. In the middle of the trip Miles meets Maya, while Jack meets Stephanie. After a series of romantic, sexy, and funny escapades, the who adventure ends up bad for Jack, while Miles is left to help him and clean up the mess. One of the most famous quotes from this movie was from Miles, when he says, "I'm not drinking any f***ing merlot". Indeed, one of the best wine movies ever.

A Walk in the Clouds

Set after World War 2, this romance drama was overlooked by many critics and viewers alike mainly because Keanu Reeves had never been known to play the romantic leading man. But he did give a decent effort, and along with the rest of the cast and crew, created a film with unforgettable imagery. The plot is simple enough. Paul meets Victoria on a bus, defends her honor from a bunch of thugs, promises to help her out with her problems by posing as her husband. It is a tender period piece that touches the hearts of viewers, all the while taking them through the heavenly Napa Valley wine scene.

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Bennett J. Kireker is from New York, where he heads a wine club whose members meet every quarter. Learn more about wine by subscribing to this Twitter account.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wine Etiquette To Follow

I’ve been around observing people in their element while they partake of the heavenly drink that we know as wine. I’ve been in parties, social clubs, and even five-star hotels, you name it. What I have seen is that although there are the wine drinking lot who clearly show an exemplary behavior when they enjoy the drink, there are still some who simply need to be informed.

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So why is wine etiquette important? Just like all forms of etiquette, it is a very powerful tool. It is a way of showing that you are a person of respect and refinement. In reality, this has rewards, mostly in that you attract like-minded people with the impression that you make.

It all starts with the way you hold your wine glass. The proper way is to hold is by the stem or the base.

When you drink your wine do not gulp it down the moment your portion is poured into your glass. Sniff it first, then taste a little bit of it. Think about these sensations for a moment. Try to appreciate it in several ways.

When you sip, be mindful of drinking from the same position, so as to avoid making many mouth marks that may be unsightly. This is especially important for the ladies who put on lipstick.

Open your wine bottle silently. As you pour into your glass, hold the bottle towards the base and fill your glass less than halfway so that you would give your wine some room to breathe.

When clinking your glass with another, clink bell to bell, as this reduces the chances of damaging the glass. As you do so, look your drinking-buddy in the eye.

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Try to keep your portion the same as with the other people around you. Offer the wine first before going for a second glass for yourself.

Bennett J. Kireker is from New York. He is the founder and operator of a wine club which has over 50 members who meet on a quarterly basis. Learn more about wine by viewing this Slideshare page.

Monday, September 12, 2016

What It Takes To Be a Wine Taster

The plain and simple truth is that anybody can taste wine and say whether it’s good or not. But a licensed wine taster, one that becomes a judge, or at the very least, is paid to taste wine, has a few requirements.

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Interested individuals can take classes that can last from a few weeks to a few years. Sommeliers, Master of Wine, and Certified Specialist in Wine are some courses that are offered. Prospective wine tasters just need to be sure that the courses they take, and the institutions that offer it are credible.

Now, if prospective wine tasters don’t feel that formal education is the way to go, they can consider an apprenticeship. Buying from stores, working for wine distributors and small restaurants, participating in daily tastings, and other avenues can be open to those who choose apprenticeship.

Winemaking courses are taught formally, but these courses do not have wine tasting as a major subject. Wine tasting classes are offered as alternatives.

One of the most common ways of becoming a wine taster is to teach oneself the art. Books are good supplements to literally tasting any wine. Self-taught individuals would do good to document their exploits and experiences.

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Bennett J. Kireker founded a quarterly ‘wine club’ in New York, and has been operating it since 2013. The club now has over 50 members. Find out more about Kireker and wine by visiting this blog.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Exploring The Tastes Of The Austrian Gruener Veltliner

The Gruener Veltliner is truly a complex kind of wine with a taste described by its lovers as peppery and zesty. Nicknamed “Groovy” by American wine tasters, it is the perfect match to a hearty dinner of meat or fish. Depending on where and how long it is grown, this type of wine could be smooth or rich. 

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This variety of white wine occupies approximately 32% of the vineyards in Austria, though it could also be grown in other countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia. However, this wine has gained a reputation for being one of the best types to be produced by the Austrians and was at one point the trendiest variety among wine tasters from all over the world. 

Those who have tasted the Gruener Veltliner say that the acidity provides a burst of citrusy and nutty flavors. Good quality Grueners might leave a slight aftertaste unlike younger varieties that lose their acidity with every sip. The complex tastes make this kind of wine a great match for savory meats and leafy greens.

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I am highly passionate about wines. I currently run a 50-member wine tasting club in New York. There, I present a noteworthy varietal from a specific world region before members blind-taste six wines I have sourced and researched, including the Gruener Veltliner. Visit this page for more oenology information.