Sunday, September 25, 2016

Choosing your bottle of wine will be easier once you know this...

Are you one of those people who just enters the wine aisle at the supermarket and goes "Ok, I want a red wine. Let's see which label I like"? Well, I am (even though I do have a preference for Côte du Rhône) and I learned some useful things which I wanted to share with you like-minded wine-pickers!

Benoît Couderé, Belgium's best sommelier of 2016 has teamed up with Carrefour and invited some of us for a wine tasting. I was asked to come and join Carrefour and a couple of bloggers for a dinner at my favourite restaurant: Le Gril aux Herbes. Absolutely love this place! Just look at the food!

Let me indulge you in some "good to know"-notes I made during this very fun (and slightly too joyous) evening. Maybe it will help you in choosing your next bottle of wine!

  1. Labels do tell you a lot about a wine. Especially French wines. It will tell you where it is from, where it was bottled, the year the wine was harvested, the percentage of alcohol... do not underestimate the label!
  2. Serving a wine in the correct glass does make a difference. Different types of wines should be served in different types of glasses and taking this into account improves the taste of your wine. Also: hold your glass by the stand or foot so your wine won't warm up.
  3. Not only wine glasses take different shapes, but so do bottles! There is a difference between a bottle of Bordelaire and a Bourguignonne. Did you know the largest bottle of champagne contains 40 regular bottles of champaign and weighs 54kg? Yeah... I know!
  4. The taste of you wine is defined mainly by the type of grape: the chardonnay, riesling, syrah, pinot noir... I am sure these sound familiar to you ;) The grapes can be mixed to create a wine. For example, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the only wine that contains 13 types of grapes.
  5. In wine, you can find more than 70 aromas. 90% of these aromas are detected by the nose. You can find floral aromas such ad rose or white flowers but also spiced aromas such as pepper and ginger.
  6. Good wines can be found all over the world, not only France. Where does your favourite wine come from?
  7. Not all wines improve with age. How do you know if your wine is a keeper or good to go? Check the way it is sealed. If it is sealed by a synthetic cork or with a screw cap then it should be opened soon. Only store bottles with a long traditional cork. Bottles should be stored lying down because a dry cork will let air through and change the flavour of the wine.
  8. Wine drinking order: Champagne, white, clear red wine, tannine-rich red wine, desert wine, digestive.
  9. Each wine has their favourite dish. You can find recommendations on the back label of the wine. This helps me a lot with choosing the perfect wine for a dinner party.
  10. Wine has its own slang! When learning how to be a sommelier you might come across words like cépage, cuvée and harmonious :)

My favourite wine of the evening was the 19 Crimes red wine from Australia. I hope to find it again soon and have a lovely glass.

Carrefour has a larger and larger choice in wines and I have noticed this in my newly renovated Carrefour supermarket (Boondael, Brussels). Do go and have a look when shopping for your food. You might find the perfect match with your dinner ;)

So... did I teach you anything new? Or were you already informed about all of this? If the latter is the case, then you are definitely more experienced in wine tasting than I am! I hope you enjoyed the article, let me know in the comments what you found interesting and if you would like to see more informative articles like this on the blog.

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