Thinking of getting into the wine game? Well, one of the first things to do would be to learn how to choose a good bottle of wine. What constitutes a good bottle of wine, you ask?
Good wines are a balance of the terroir (the French term for describing the combination of environmental effects upon the grape), the grape and the hand of the winemaker. While it is easy to say that any good year produces a good wine, that is simply not true. A good winemaker learns to coax the best out of any grape, regardless of whether the vineyard has suffered through a long wet harvest, or even a short hot one. Experience can help dictate how a winemaker reacts to the grapes he has been given, and can help produce ethereal products out of poorer years.
While the best advice that can be given is to try every bottle and see what you enjoy, we have also endeavoured to provide a short, handy guide to help provide a launching point for your new interest in wine. Santé!
Look Out For Typicity, or Typicité
One thing that many people look for in wine is typicity, or typicité, in its original French. Typicity refers to the wine representing where and what it has come from. For example, drinking a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, with its ripe fruit, lush aroma and tight tannins, should be telling of its hot days and cool nights spent in the valley, coupled with the winemakers’ hand of French Barrels to tamper and provide a spicy, chocolate-y backdrop upon which to shin.
As winemaking progresses, winemakers have also stretched their repertoire to try different techniques or expressions. In recent years, there has been a recent rise in the number of orange wines experimented from places other than Italy, leaving white grapes on their skins, to produce something unique, more complex and full-bodied. This explosion of new and experimental wines has provided an exciting avenue of exploration that often leads to the exception to the rule, providing an exciting adventure in every bottle that cannot always be captured only by academic preparation.
Get Familiar with Varietals
Knowledge of good wine is often laid upon a foundation of the grapes typical of a region, its climate, and the winemaking techniques, and this undoubtedly still holds true.
If you are just dipping your toes in the world of wine and aren’t too sure about the wine selection process, a good way to spot a good bottle would be to get yourself familiarised with your favourite types of grapes, or “varietals''. Since there are more than 10,000 types of grapes out there, go with the more popular ones first to figure out what suits your taste buds best! As a brief guide, go with best-sellers like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir to lesser known ones like Rkatsiteli and Petit Syrah.
Go With Widely Popular Wines
If you are in a rush and don’t have time to go looking for a nice bottle of wine to impress your boss at the upcoming team dinner, just go with everyone’s favourites!
The Cabernet Sauvignon is probably one of the most popular choices for wine lovers everywhere, judging by its yearly sales numbers. Within a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, you can expect to find flavours of darker fruits such as cranberries and black cherry, with noticeable tannins. Its lingering finish is a plus point for red wine lovers, and it is also a great option when pairing with meaty or grilled meals.
Pinot Noir is an excellent choice in which you and your friends can anticipate elements of earth, cherry, cranberry and rose within a bottle. It is a lighter and more delicate choice among other red wines and usually comes with nice acidity and minimal tannins (smoother texture), perfect for pairing with salmon or pasta dishes.
When enjoying a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, expect to be greeted with grassy, grapefruit or green bell pepper flavours. However, the Sauvignon Blanc is a light white wine that can also offer flavours that include mint, melon and kiwi. Both a sweet and dry wine, it is an interesting choice with a lot of character to offer.
Serving Your Wine
Now that you have chosen a great bottle of wine, the next step would be to serve it properly. You wouldn’t want to waste a good bottle, would you? Seasoned wine drinkers will agree that decanting can form an essential part of the process by helping to aerate young wines, opening up tight tannings, or even, by letting older wines breathe. This has the added advantage on older wines of ensuring that sediment at the bottom of the bottle does not get poured out with the last sip.
If you are planning to make post-dinner drinks a weekly habit, why not invest in a handy decanter for home use?
Get the Best Wines at JARBARLAR Today
Have your heart set on a bottle of wine? Simply make your order online at JARBARLAR today and enjoy free delivery within Singapore with a minimum spend of $50. Here at JARBARLAR, we have a wide selection of red, white, sparkling wines for you to choose from.
Check out our loyalty programme to enjoy more perks with repeated purchases!