Saturday, December 19, 2009


When we open a bottle of wine the capsule is cut below the neck (many people choose to remove the entire capsule) and uncork. For if the cork is typically used under conditions typical lever corkscrew (it's more comfortable double lever), while if the cork is impaired often use the corkscrew slides. The case of sparkling wine, the cork is usually removed by hand, rolling the cork (NEVER the bottle) and avoiding the typical sound and the usual 'shedding' of wine. Then sniff the cork, be it of a soft smell of cork or wine, the aromas of wet cardboard strong or very strong cork is a bad sign.

If the first impression is positive, we will serve the wine. No more than one third of the cup (slightly more if it accompanies a meal). To prevent leaking, the sommelier gives a gentle twist of the wrist, but there are drip devices on the market that provide the service.

After that you take the glass by the stem or foot (never by the body) and inclined 45 degrees, preferably on a white surface. The wine must appear clean and bright. The 'piping' will give us an impression about the level of evolution of wine and the heart o 'meniscus' show us the color of it and, in the case of red wines, the layer (opacity) of the same.

Then, without shaking the cup, smells inside. This action is called smell 'cup stop' and with that first impressions are perceived. Be all right, they must perceive smells clean and pleasant, also appreciate the intensity of them. Then the cup is shaken, preferably in a circular motion (eg a flat). This will shed more molecules that provide flavor and thus perceive more clearly the primary bouquet (young wine) and also secondary and tertiary.

Came time to taste the wine. You should take a small sip and pass the wine around the mouth. This is seen in different areas of the tongue the four basic tastes, but also by heating the wine in the mouth and postnasal perceive more features through the most developed sense of smell. Not only that, at the mouth sensations are perceived beyond the known, the presence of carbon, the pungency, astringency and density, which are caused by chemical compounds containing the wine.

Source: Paco Higón

Sunday, December 13, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Wine and aging

Although in Spain there are many different types of wine, young, fermented in oak, oak, Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva, ... the end the main difference lies in having wines aged or without aging.

The oak aging adds structure and tannins to wine, prolongs life and enables them to develop their bouquet. The type of barrel, new, second or third year or older, the type of oak or background (French, American, Russian ...), level roasting and residence time affect the perceptions we receive from wine.

Not all wines won over by the oak barrels, it is usually those with more structure and make the barrel to get new precursors of olfactory and especially through micro-oxygenation process that occurs in the wine by the entry of oxygen through the pores of the wood. This micro-oxygenation helps polish the edges of the wine, although the barrel also brings their own tannins.

The American oak is more compact and has fewer pores than the French. With that, the micro-oxygenation is lower and the wine develops more slowly. The French oak tannins and brings more wines evolve more quickly. One element that determines the choice of oak barrels is that French is much more expensive than the American. As for the contributions, the French oak leads to spicy, pepper, cloves, sandalwood, cedar, while the American oak often provides aromas of coconut, vanilla, etc..

There is also the aging in bottle. The wine once bottled, is continuing its process of evolution through what is known as a reduction in the bottle. He came, deprived of oxygen, fades the edges derived from grape tannins and accommodation in the barrel and makes the different elements are harmonized and integrated. However, when the time period in the bottle is big results, just opened the bottle, tasting notes unattractive, with hints of old leather, animal skin sweaty, and generally a series of aromas that are often called animal smells or cavalry. So they say, that once the wine bottle has been opened, it is good to breathe because the air, many of these scents tend to disappear.

Over time, some of the substances in Elvin, including those colored red wine, tend to settle in the bottom of the bottle. Therefore it is advisable to decant these old bottles. To this end, the bottles are left to stand upright for at least 24 hours and then usually poured carefully into the decanter. The fact of the slop is to clean the wine lees, but not necessarily oxygen, and that with a proper cup and a bit of time is usually enough to open the older wines. Decanting is often confused with aeration (jug) that has a different purpose, provide a strong contribution of air to oxygenate wine quickly and lessen the possible edges that usually have. This is convenient to much of modern wines aged in new wood, especially with young people who either have enough time in the bottle.

Source: Paco Higón

PostHeaderIcon Central Market in Valencia

Visit the Central Market in Valencia is to visit the showcase of fresh products Europe's most important in my opinion. Hundreds of stands and even made fresh crowd into a modernist build, newly restored, and has not stopped serving the people of Valencia for more than a century.

Although it is now surrounded by works, building and a parkinkg and a new metro station, not surprising that in the heart of the city of Valencia, opposite the Lonja build (XV century) and surrounded by churches worth visiting, have a showcase colorful music and tradition.

The market is divided into food sectors as the area of fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, offal, bread and sweets and lots of shops, ranging from the stall selling lettuce and seasonal vegetables to gourmet stands. Seafood stalls filled with goods, exotic fruits and vegetables, deli select, even there are some stands related to trade in toys, jewelry and even some real estate agents business.

I hang inside a story taken yesterday morning, just before Christmas to give you an idea of how spectacular the place. They also have a web page that allows them to sell on-line and even a home-delivery service.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

PostHeaderIcon LICORELLA

Licorella or brown slate mineral, is the region that surrounds the interior of the Priorat region (Spain). This mineral is the most important wines of the region, as its brittle and also makes them resistant form a concentrated amount of nutrients to crops that characterize the area. Vines and olive trees form the landscape of the Priorat, Costers in beds or as they call the same crops in the foothills of the mountains.

Among pines, holm and coppices grow vines, Grenache and Carignan, that despite the difficulty of the region tend to have roots in more than 2 meters deep and a half, so that mineral aromas that tend to have fruit that are more justified. The fruit of Grenache and this Cariñena give a deep tone and strength to the wine and although they may seem harsh, the new generation of winemakers is preparing young wines with fruity tones, fresh and also powerful and minerals. The bridge of May 1 has been great, good weather, friendly people and of course, the wine fair Falset, capital of two major designations of origin, Priorat and Montsant. I enjoyed the people, wines, gastronomy, environment, ...

It has truly been a pause in time that has passed too quickly, visiting towns like Torroja del Priorat, Gratallops, Porrera, La Vilella Baiz, L'Escaladei and Falset, its people, its wineries, its surroundings streets, tasting the wines and oils, with lovely people and in turn to their traditional roots. In next post I will give you more details and impressions of my trip, and not commenting on the wines I've tasted and I have to try.
Friday, April 24, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Sangenís i Vaque Winery (Priorat)

Visiting D.O.Q. Priorat and not to visit a winery or Celler as they are called here is to miss part of the visit to this region. While visiting in the winter season, and most weekdays, it is not very common, we recommend visiting Sangenis i Vaqué, a family winery that produces wines from the area since 1979 in term of Porrera and vines grown on farms owned by family tradition of processors since the nineteenth century.
The Cellar is in the Plaza de Catalunya Porrera and is one of the houses just to the square. Mary served us very nicely, a couple of family Sangenis i Vaqué, an expert in the field, we argued that all processes used in manufacturing its wines, this winery produces about 40,000 bottles of (very small compared to the 2 one million bottles of wine cellars La Rioja).
This process begins with the alcoholic fermentation in underground reservoirs lined with stone, which contain grapes despalillada (without cluster) for approximately 30 days. These deposits were used by their ancestors to ferment the grapes give the wine that best features of stainless steel (which also had in there. After this stage was removed and excess skin is pressed again to get that mixed the wort wort flower left in the tanks will produce a second fermentation called malolactic. This wort is removed daily for 30 days.
Then it became a French oak barrels, where at least 12 months will be to mix the tannins of the grape itself with the tannins of the wood used for this 225-liter barrels, which are renewed every 5 years. They also use American oak, but in France tried to tune the strength of this type of natural wood. Aging in the bottle is important to finish this round and ripe wine, which uses fundamentalente varieties of Grenache and Carignan (other varieties such as Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot are also used), especially in some wines are produced from vineyards 50 and 80 years old.
The tasting we did at the same winery, tasting two of the five varieties the winery offers. First I tried Valley for 2003, one of the wines my wine magazine, named value estimate for 2008 to our palates, varieties Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache and Carignan, with a dark cherry color violet edgings, with hints of spice and red fruit and a long background. An interesting choice for about € 15 a bottle.
Then I try to reserve a 2002 Clos Monlleó, came from old vines Grenache and Carignan (25 to 80 years), a round wine-colored cherry picota mature with aromas of ripe fruit and mineral tones, fat and greedy , a wine with 15 º of alcohol and low acidity, which is perfect to accompany a good plate of red meat, and taste only pleasure. The wine is worth 42 € for me seemed like a good price for the feeling that I had left my senses. In addition the winery has 3 varieties, Coranya (Grenache and Carignan vines average 10-15 years), very similar to Dara Vall Por (by variety) and i Sangenis Vaqué, without raising a young red and highly valued would be very attractive to look good for special occasions at an affordable price.
Finally a visit very informative and I would like to thank Mary Sangenis i Vaqué who very kindly gave us a lesson of deeper knowledge on the art of winemaking, and with his youth and professionalism and I hope we can continue to surprise us more in winemaking.

PostHeaderIcon Montsant (catalonia) Wines

Perhaps a little-known appellation of origin, but their situation (surrounding the DOQ Priorat) is one of the wine areas of excellence in the interior of Catalonia. Its capital is Falset which is where the Regulatory Board, together with Capçanes, Marc, Cornudella, Siurana, ... are the populations that make up the DO of Montsant.
This area is characteristic by having clayey soils and plains, but also part of the landscape slate land, bordering on the same area, the area of Priorat DOQ. During my trip last January I also had the opportunity to visit the area and its wineries, of which I am also took their prized wines, in particular I took two wine cellars as were the DO Montsant Finca and La cova dels Fontanals Vins.
The first one I found little tune, as a wine cooperative in bulk, but with a feature to be very tannic wines first barrel, mostly American oak, which gives an over-aggressiveness to the wines, especially when we speak of Carignan and Grenache grapes. The wine from La Cova dels Vins, Terrós 04, if that surprised me, a lively and intense wine with a nose full of touches of mineral, fruit and roasted, intense on the palate, fresh, succulent and sweet tannins, which also gains after to open the bottle. Noticed the typical varieties Grenache and Carignan and Syrah and a touch that has been in raising more than a year in French oak, typical of a soft tannic and sweet.
This came at it yesterday at a dinner Saturday friends (without difficulty) along with some of Iberian pork tenderloins stuffed with plums, with a red wine sauce (DO Alicante Monastrell variety) and a garnish of fried apples, we are delighted that the evening with large doses of humor and good roll. So, folks, you know a good wine with a nice dinner with good friends and revitalizes to and makes people forget the embarrassing last week and face the next over ansi it arrives again at the weekend.

PostHeaderIcon Valencian Wines

This week I had the opportunity to try some wines from the DO Valencia and the truth is that the wealth of sites that shows up the quality and variety of wines to be found.
Since the high Túria through areas of Cheste and Godelleta, Turís, Liria, Villar del Arzobispo, Pedralba, as well as Clariano Font de la Figuera, the alcusses area, now called Tuscany Valencia Fontanares, Enguera ... The truth is that we have many varieties of grapes such as Tempranillo, Garnacha Tintorera the Monastrell, Cabernet, Merseguera, Macabeo and Moscatel Romano, of which each production area produces wines of great quality and are getting more press, thanks the work of the regulatory boards and people like Eduardo Mestres Bodeguers Association , who helped to publicize the products of Valencia.
The wines I tried that this week has been mixed, as for wineries Fusta Nova Gandía, a sweet wine Moscatel variety Alexandria, with a temperature of about 14 º C making their 15th of alcohol, along with sweet and fruity and fine to end a perfect meal in the most impeccable.
Villar del Arzobispo also was present at the table with a powerful wine of Bodegas Comeche, Vega rearing Serrana 2005, a wine based on Tempranillo, fleshy, long persistence, with velvety tannins and aging in American oak gives denoting power.
Clariano area to be presented at my table at two of the weekend, my choice was a curiously Megala 2005 from Bodegas Enguera, wine and Shiraz and Monastrell grape, intense, bright and clean, with aromas of roasted fruit and red ripe, structured and balanced, there is aging in French oak, which sharpens the harmony between wood and red fruit.
It was also the choice of restaurant Rascanya of Pobla de Vallbona, who included it in the hold of the feast of the link to go last Saturday, this time a Megala 2006, perhaps more balanced and refined than that of 2005, due to the wood, not being new, it was a shade more tan, more roots, and where there was more smoothly the ripe red berry fruits.
I also tasted a wine from Alto Turia, in this case a young white holds Polo Monleón, Hoya del Castillo, and a variety Merseguera and Macabeo, fruity, pale, yellow-green, with a carbon and elegant acidity.
For a complete cava (for toast) from Paarl, in this case a brut nature Pago de Tharsys the Carlota Suria of Macabeo and Perella, which while not of the DO Valencia, but it deserves highlighting the fineness of their needles, although this far from other cavas Valencianos and not Catalan.
Conclusion that although I am still missing for trying new delicacies, we have a variety of wines Valencians worth dealing with honey, local produce and consume as recommending them to the rest of the country and Europe, as the effort of families and business people who believe in their work and offer quality at extremely affordable prices and that should be on the cards of the best restaurants, to feel represented in our lives Mediterranean.

Total Pageviews


aged red wine (6) Alboloduy (2) Almería (3) Andalucia (3) Art Nouveau (1) Author wines (4) bloggers (1) Bobal (6) Bobal grape (15) bobal wine (2) Bonicaire (1) Bordeaux (1) Burgunder (1) Cabernet Franc (4) Cabernet Sauvignon (4) Canary Islands (1) Castellón Winery (2) catalonia (1) cava (2) cellars (1) Cencibel (1) chardonnay (3) Children (1) cholesterol (1) Christmas (1) Comunidad Valenciana (2) CR Cava (1) DO Alicante (6) DO Manchuela (3) DO Ribera del Duero (2) DO Rueda (1) DO Toro (1) DO Utiel-Requena (12) DO Valencia (4) DOQ Priorat (1) eco wines (1) facebook (1) Gran Reserva (1) Green wines (1) Grenache (1) health (1) Historical Winery (2) innovator (2) Jaen Blanca (2) La Mancha (2) Les Alcusses (1) Longevity (1) Macabeo (3) Mandó (1) Mediterranean style (7) Menorca (1) merlot (2) Moixent (1) Monastrell (2) nature (1) organic wines (1) Pago (1) Palatinate (1) pasion bobal (1) Petit Verdot (1) Pinot Noir (1) Primum Bobal (3) red wine (11) red wines (2) Reserva (1) Resveratrol (1) Riesling (1) Rioja (2) Sauvignon Blanc (1) shiraz wine (2) social network (1) Spain (2) spanish red wines (1) syrah (5) taste (1) TASTING (9) TASTING GROUPS (1) tasting notes (10) Tempranillo (6) the roman empire (1) Tinta de Toro (1) Tinta del país (1) twitter (1) Utiel-Requena (15) Valencia (3) Vera de Estenas (1) Verdejo (1) VT Castellón (3) VT Castilla (2) white wines (4) wine cellar (1) wine news (1) WINE PSYCHOLOGY (1) wine service (1) Wine tasting (1) wine tourism (18) winery (1) Wines (24)