Thursday, March 20, 2008

A tip on wines

I am aware, that there are some readers to this blog wondering what too me so long to get myself back and running. I was taking a crash course on wines which is part of the Associates programme at the C.I.A Oh! let me get this right it is the culinary institute of america. This programme runs for 3 weeks and includes wines, regions, grapes, laws, varietals anything and everything that come under the term wines. It is a pretty intense course with failure rate on the high. I would like to give you a bit of the various aspects of wines, which could be of good help to all.
In the world of wine making, grapes are divided into red and white.
The major white grapes are:

Chardonnay
Sovignon Blanc
Reisling
Pino gris

The major red grapes are:

Cabernet sovignon
Pinot Noir
Merlot
Syrah

We can seperate these grapes with the body, by matching it with the tower of power:

Very light bodied whites
Muscadet (France)
Light bodied whites
Stainless steel fremened Sovignon Blanc
Medium bodied whites
Stainless steel fremened Chardonnay
Medium to full bodied whites
Barrel fermented Fume Blanc (Sovignon blanc)
Full bodied whites
Barrel fermented and aged Chardonnay

Light bodied reds
Gamay
Light to medium bodied reds
Pinot Noir
Medium to full bodied reds
Merlot, Zinfandel, Grenache, Cabernet Franc
Full bodied reds
Cabernet Sovignon, Mouverde
Very full bodied reds
Syrah/Shiraz, Petite sirah

I had the opportunity to dine with the C.E.O of Iron horse vineyards Joy Sterling. It was a wonderful experience and had the opporutnity to taste some of their wonderful wines. Blanc de Blanc which is a sparkling wine produced from 100% Chardonnay was truly amazing. This lady had a charisma and enthusism which i could feel as i sat there sipping the glasses of different wines. The dedication and care that this vineyard takes to make their wines was reflected on the wines.
California is the larger producer of wines in the U.S, with napa valley contributing a major chunk. When we buy bottles of wines, we do not realise the amount of work involved in producing that single bottle of wine. Each plantation takes a minimum of 3 years for a producer to get any yield. Most of the grapes are picked early morning to make sure that the acidity levels are balanced. The brix scale is used to measure the sugar to alcohol ratio which would determine the end product. The grapes are immediately transported to the processing plant to ensure freshness and are fermented in large stainless steel barrels with temperature regulation. In certain regions like France, Italy, Portugal there are strict government rules that needs to be followed during the wine making process. America has a short history in wine making, but has a great advantage over the rest of the world, with the rootstock fo the vitis vinifera/vitis labrusca (species of plant producing grapes), being phyloxera (an insect that destroy the roots) resistant. With the exception of Chile and parts of Australia that have not been effected by this insect.
It was a course that was worth the time spent, had a lot of information and the major aspect that is emphasised on this course is the food and wine pairing which make the dining experience pleasurable.

4 comments:

Sindhu Gangadharan said...

Wow nice to see your back....interesting articles on wines

Sunil said...

Good to see your posts back.

Sujith said...

Thanks, I appreciate your patience.

coco said...

Interesting post. :)