After multiple tastings, you still can not find the wine of your dreams? You still do not understand why some wines are aged in barrels while others are raised in vats? An old wine or a young wine is identical to your eyes? Let’s see how to differentiate all this and help you choose your future favorite wine.
Aging, in vats or barrels?
Aging is an essential part of wine making. This is why it is important for the winemaker to choose how he will raise it. The wine can stay a few months until more than a year locked up, so this is not a decision to take lightly!
There are two great families: the tank and the barrel.
The tank is mostly stainless steel, but it can also be concrete, fiberglass or wood (and so, very similar to the barrel). Here, we will mainly talk about stainless steel tanks and concrete.
The advantage of a tank is that the wine does not receive any aromatic element unlike the barrels. The wines obtained will therefore be expressed by the grapes used and the winemaker’s treatment.
We will get fresh aromas of fruit, flowers, infusion … All for a crunchy wine and a little acid!
The barrel chosen for raise the wine is not selected at random. It must be determined:
- The origin of wood: the most common are the American oaks for their aromas of coconut and the French oaks for their vanilla side.
- The variety of wood: the vast majority of barrels are made of oak, but it is possible to find other varieties such as chestnut or acacia.
- The barrel heating: when the barrel is designed, the barrel is heated to a greater or lesser intensity and more or less long. This allows to vary the aromas from spicy to grilled. Some castles keep secret their barrel heaters to not be copied.
- The barrel fatigue: between a new barrel and a barrel already used is a world. A new barrel will transmit many more aromas and tannins. However, for a wine with little structure and no power, it is not advisable to use a barrel because it could mask the aromas.
The wood of the barrel will exchange with the wine new aromas and new tannins. This explains in particular that the great wines are often aged in barrels, because in general, the more tannic a wine is, the better it is to age.
The new flavors obtained are called empyreumatic. This offers woody aromas, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, toast or even caramel.
If you prefer wines more suave and more complex, then wines raised in casks are made for you!
Young wine or old wine?
One popular idea about the very popular wine is that an old wine is necessarily better than a young wine.
Of course, you now suspect that it is not true. It all depends on your taste mainly. Do not buy an old wine (usually much more expensive) just because you were told it was better. Just as letting your wines age for a long time thinking that they will inevitably take on value is not always a good idea! Unless you like vinegar … So how to choose between young wine and old wine to find the wine of your dreams?
- A young wine will offer wines with bright colors, full of aromas and simple. It will therefore be appropriate for most moments when we consume wine, such as evenings with friends or after work for example.
- An old wine will offer you wines with sober colors, more numerous and complex aromas. Ideal for a tasting or a romantic dinner.
French wine or foreign wine?
Far too many foreign wines are still to be discovered and unfortunately suffer a bad reputation. We will differentiate all the same wines from the old world and the new world.
- The wines of the old world are generally French, Italian and Spanish wines. These wines are differentiated especially and principally by the terroir. That is to say that depending on the land, the slope angle of the vines, climate and so on, the wines will be very different. Even if two small vineyards are glued to each other, the wines will not be the same. It is not only the grape variety that defines the wine, but the surrounding environment and the winemaker’s know-how.
- The wines of the new world do not have all the history which makes it possible to differentiate concrete soils. They have an approach by the grape variety. That is to say for the design of the wine, it is the varietals first and foremost that will define the wine. This allows the making of wine generally simpler, sweeter and therefore easier to drink.
The last question that can be asked. Is an organic wine worth it? Much criticized for years, this question is legitimate … Has there been progress for organic wine? Can we find the wine of his dreams in the organic department?
The answer is yes. It is now much more difficult to differentiate between an organic wine and a technical wine (not organic).
- Technical wines are generally more “safe”. You will never be disappointed because very often identical from one vintage to another. These are generally wines of merchants and therefore wines that are mostly at a good price, especially in supermarkets.
- Organic wines are more “alive” because they respect the earth much more. A vast majority of castles (including the most prestigious ones) pass organic year after year, and do not advertise because they believe that it is normal today to respect the land. And do not think that getting the organic label is easy! To obtain this label for its wine, one must respect rather restrictive specifications for more than one year.
To find the wine of your dreams, the path is therefore strewn with pitfalls. This is why you will understand that it is better to try different types of wine when you have the opportunity, rather than staying on the same bottle. You may spend every day in front of your favorite wine without even knowing it. That’s why I encourage you to broaden your horizons, because everywhere, excellent wines are waiting for you!
Also find the red wine that suits you the most: https://amateur-wine.com/wp_quiz/quel-vin-rouge-vous-ressemble/
If you are interested in organic wine, you will find professional selections on this site: https://www.lesgrappes.com/achat-vin-bio-direct-vignerons