giovedì 20 settembre 2018

The secrets of wine - How to become a connoisseur

“Wine prepares hearts and makes them more ready for passion ... “ Ovid (43 a.C. – 17 d.C.)

Italy is home to many wines and knowing them all is almost impossible. But knowing the basics can help to best serve and appreciate them.

What are the secrets of wine? We had a Q&A session with an expert, Mr Morris Lazzoni from Ricci Curbastro, one of the most appreciated wineries in Franciacorta, the wine region where our company headquarters is located. We asked him some questions on wine appreciation.

What is the purpose of a decanter?
We use a wine decanter to “decant” any possible sediment. We use it for aged wines that can have sediment so that we remove it and open the wine up. Or, for younger wines, to aerate them and allow them to improve the aroma.

Which is the most appropriate decanter to use?
A decanter is essential for red wines. With the aged ones, a narrow neck decanter would be recommended as they don’t need much exposure to oxygen, while younger reds would benefit from a large neck carafe and a longer opening up.

Why does a wine need oxygen?
The contact with oxygen allows the wine to open up and improve the aroma. It is possible to let it breathe in its bottle, in a decanter or just in the glass. It is not so easy to know exactly how long we should open our bottle before serving it. We’ll need common sense and we shouldn’t forget that a well-aged wine gets oxygen and evolves while sitting in the glass as well.

Do we pour all the wines in the same way?
When serving wine, you need to be gentle; pour it slowly in the centre of the glass (without touching the rim of the glass with the bottle) to avoid any gurgling. Hold the base of the bottle in your hand, leaving the label visible on the upper side.

Is it a filter needed in some cases?
We use a filter to prevent any sediment in the bottle from getting into the tasting glass. This tool is commonly used in wine shows, where there is no time to decant aged wines before serving.

Are there any situations in which wine should be left in its bottle?
Decanting is not necessary when we reckon there is no sediment or we don’t need a rapid exposure to the oxygen. In fact, we could also decant a wine by letting it sit in its bottle, but we’d need to leave it much longer. We won’t need a decanter when it comes to whites or young red wines that have been fermented in a stainless steel tank for less than 5 years.

Any fundamental advice to look like a real connoisseur?
There are many fundamental principles for a novice, but I’ll suggest the ones you need to better taste the wine. Always hold the glass by the stem and not by the bowl, so as to prevent wine from getting warm and influencing the tasting with any smell your hands may have. Being focused is also important, so, we’d better avoid chaotic locations and disturbing elements such as heat sources and intense smells. Never wear strong fragrances and avoid a heavy meal before wine tasting.

Do you have any questions you’d like answered about the world of wine or on how to look like a sommelier? Drop us a line or a comment and we’ll be happy to reply.

To conclude, here is a gallery with some Marinoni products designed for the world of wine:

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