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The Essence of Cooking

Putting the Love Back Into Your Food! Our Executive Chef Isaiah, a culinary expert, is very committed to his industry as he works to bring awareness to entertaining. He knows the importance of every detail to create a memorable moment.

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Wine - A Work of Art

The Essence of Cooking
The Essence of Cooking | Source

Executive Chef Isaiah

The Essence of Cooking
The Essence of Cooking | Source

Decoding Wine

By: Executive Chef Isaiah

The Essence of Cooking – Putting the Love Back Into Your Food!

Wine is a rather simple subject to understand once you become familiar with the lingo. First of all wine is made from the juices of fruits, vegetables or starches. Any wine not produced from grapes is usually referred to as country wine. You really can get any flavor you wish, but depending upon the desired flavor you may have to make it yourself.

So what is Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, or Riesling? These are different varietals of grapes, just like there is more than one kind of apple there is also more than one kind of grape. Each grape is different with some being sweeter, spicier, and smaller or having different colors to name a few. A wine can be sold as a specific varietal but in America it must be a minimum of 75% of the wine, and in Europe it must be 85% of the wine. Other wines are a blend of different grapes, for example my favorite wine Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 13 different grapes; Grenache and Syrah just to name a few.

Red wine is made by crushing the grape and letting it sit for a long-time with the skins. The skin of the grapes is what determines the color. Red wine also tends to have more tannins which are astringent in taste. Many people think of it as their mouth getting puckered and dry. Each red wine will have a different amount of tannins, so experiment and find which one is your favorite.

White wine is made in the same manner as the red wine, but it only has the grape skins sitting for a few hours. White wine tends to be more acidic and sometimes sweeter than red wine. This is not a definite rule to go by, so keep in mind for example that Chianti can be more acidic than Gewuztraminer.

Then there is the sparkling, dessert and fortified wines. Fortified is a regular wine with distilled alcohol added, such as brandy to increase its flavor and shelf life. Sparkling wines is a regular wine with carbon dioxide added to the bottles generating the bubbles. I call them sparkling wines instead of champagne why? Because Champagne is a region in France that specializes in sparkling wines, they named their sparkling wines after them, so it really isn’t Champagne unless it comes from Champagne. Dessert wines are wines that have more residual sugar left over to make the wine sweeter. This can be done by having a late harvest, the grapes are dried somewhat to concentrate the sugar, special mold called Botrytis Cinerea or noble rot that concentrates the sugar content as well as adding flavor. There is also the German Eiswein which is when they leave the grapes on the vine until they actually freeze, so in other words a really late harvest.

Now you know the basics of wine. You should feel confident, at least in knowing a little bit about the wine before you open it. If you would like to know more about the topic of wine, be sure to watch for my wine tasting notes coming soon.

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