What Makes Great Wine Great?
Those of us who drink wine on a daily basis (it's part of my
job...I'm doing research!) don't think too much about the five elements
of a "great wine" but rather just want to enjoy a glass or two of wine
while making dinner and to enjoy with the meal. But every now and then,
maybe when we've read about a special wine and we find it at the wine
shop, or when dining at a restaurant that offers a distinctive selection
of wine, we might want to take a moment to analyze that wine we
purchase. Here is my guide for what makes great wine great:
- Distinct varietal character:
Each variety of grapes presents itself in a unique way. When a young
wine that has been made from a single variety of grape presents its
inherent grape aromas and flavors in a straightforward, clear, and
focused way, it is said to have varietal character.
All components of a wine (acid, tannin, alcohol, fruit, sugar) are so
impeccably interwoven that no one characteristic or component stands
- Expressiveness: The quality a wine possesses when its aromas and flavors are well-defined and clearly projected.
Not a thing but a phenomenon. A force that pulls you into a wine and
impels you to repeatedly return for another smell and sip because each
time you do, you find something new.
The most elusive of these concepts and the most difficult to ascertain.
It is the sense you get from the wine's aromas and flavor that it could
not have come from just anywhere but rather is the embodiment of a
single piece of earth. Connectedness is the bond between a wine and the
plot of land it was born in.
I don't think spending $75 for
a bottle of wine is a guarantee of a great wine. I've had some great
wines for under $20. Continue to read about wine, to visit your local
wineries/wine shops and to enjoy wine!
Certified Wine Professional
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