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in&out of the kitchen – wine´s cool

10 Real Questions About Wine Not a wine connoisseur? Arm yourself with our cheat sheet and sound like a pro at any wine tasting.

Jenny Tan, Wine journalist

What makes red wine red and a white wine white? The grape skin. Red grapes can be used to make red or white wine. The only difference is that for red wine, the red grape skins are soaked in the grape juice after the grapes have been pressed. For example, Champagne is made up of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Pinot Noir is a red grape, but Champagne is never red in colour! For rosé Champagne, the skins of Pinot Noir have been soaked in the grape juice for a short while. What does the colour of the wine tell me? The age of the wine. Look at the rims of the wine. If it’s brownish or faded, it means that it’s an older vintage. White wines tend to gain a darker shade when they age. Why must we swirl the wine? There is a chemical explanation for that. When you swirl wine, you encourage oxygen into the wine, and the interaction between the molecules help release more aromas. So if you find that you cannot smell the aromas of the wine, swirl the wine, and then take in some deep breaths.

on the table or a firm surface, and then slowly move the glass in a small circular motion, before bringing it to your nose to smell the aromas. This is a much easier way to swirl the wine. After swirling the wine,you see wine trickling down from the inside of the wine glass. I hear that it’s an indication of how old the wine can age. Is that true? What you see is known as ‘tears’. The speed at which they trickle down is an indication of the alcohol content. A wine with higher alcohol content will trickle down at a slower rate. Is the use of wine glass really that important for a wine? To experience for yourself how important a wine glass is, try this experiment: Pour a good bottle of wine into a plastic cup, and into a good wine glass. You’d notice that there are barely any aromas when the wine is in a plastic cup, but the aromas will be much more dominant in the wine glass. However, a good wine glass does not make a wine a better wine, it can only create a better impression of the wine by how the wine enters your mouth and spills onto your palate.

I keep spilling the wine when I swirl and look like a fool in front of my bosses. Help!

Are those slurping noises when tasting wine necessary?

Practice makes perfect. If you cannot hold the glass and swirl the wine, put the base of the glass down

If you really want to extract the most out of the wine, then it is. The palate is made up of four taste

46 World Association of Chefs Societies

World Chefs Magazine 2  

Issue 02, Anno 2010 July - December, Culinary Competitions Special