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.

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