By Larry and Pam Satek,
How-To Guide, www.fwdailynews.com June 2008
Almost everyone is a bit intimidated by the plethora of wines
from which to choose. We definitely do not believe in
intimidation. Wine is meant to be enjoyed! Wine should add a
sense of fun and relaxation to a meal or an evening - never a
source of stress or anxiety.
The first step in selecting the
"right" wine is 10 understand that if you are enjoying it, it's
absolutely, positively the "right" wine. If you are not enjoying
the wine, dump it out and try again.
Actually, "dump" buckets are a standard part of winery tasting
rooms. That is the advantage and joy of visiting a winery - you
really can taste the wine before you buy it. If you have a glass
of wine that you like at a friend's home or a restaurant, jot
down the name of the wine and the winery so you can have it
another lime. So the first, and by far the most important, rule
in picking a wine is to enjoy it. Never be intimidated!
Ah, you think to yourself. It can't possibly be that easy. What
about all the language and mystique surrounding wine. It tastes
just the same whether or not you know all of the terms used by
wine connoisseurs. However, you might be interested in a few of
the common descriptors.
"Vintage" means the year in which the grapes were grown and
harvested. Grapes are actually semidesert plants. The dryer the
year, the higher the sweetness or "sugar" levels of the grapes.
If a particular growing season is dry, the grapes will be
sweeter and the flavors more concentrated, making the taste more
Another word often used to describe wine is its "nose." When you
see someone swishing the wine around in the glass, then sticking
his or her nose into the glass, the person is smelling the wine.
The wine is said to have a "good nose" if one can smell fruity,
fragrant smells and not obnoxious odors such as nail polish.
(These less than pleasant smells indicate that the wine is
flawed. Sometimes it is still enjoyable, but the "nose" is often
the first clue that a dump bucket might be needed.)
Wine also has "legs." If you twirl the wine around in you glass
and then hold the glas up 10 the light, you can see the
wine coating the sides of the glass. As it trickles down the
side of the glass, it's referred to as "legs."
Wine also has "body." Some wine feels watery in your mouth,
while other wines taste full and smooth and are called
"full-bodied" wines. Usually, a full-bodied wine has a higher
alcohol level and/or high sugar content.
Probably the most common term used with wine is "dryness," which
refers to the amount of sugar in the wine. A dry wine has
virtually no sugar - all the sugar being fermented and converted
into alcohol. Some wines are semi-dry or semi-sweet. Dessert
wines have a high sugar content and taste really great with
cheese cake or dark chocolate cake. New wine drinkers generally
prefer sweeter wines.
We encourage you to come and visit us at Satek Winery. We have a
large variety of wines made from a large variety of grapes. We
love talking about wine and helping you find the "right" wine
for you. Just remember, if you are enjoying the wine, it is
indeed the right wine.