Italy has well over 500 grape varieties, it’s impossible to know them all. However, there are few Italian grape varieties that you should know that’ll give you a better understand of Italian wine in general. I’ve included some of these grape varieties because they’re popular and others because the wines they make are excellent. What’s your favorite Italian grape variety?
5 Italian Red Grape Varieties to Know
Wine lovers flocked to Italy for the gorgeous red wines produced. From the famous wines of Barolo in the north to the exquisite red wines of Sicily, there is a red wine for everyone. Here are the 5 Italian grape varieties to know when exploring red wine.
Red wine of the south: Campania, Basilicata
Aglianico grows in Southern Italy and is the most popular red grape of the Campania and Basilicata regions. It produces a vino rosso that is often referred to as the “Barolo of the South” for its structure, tannins, and ageing capabilities.
What does Aglianico look like?
Aglianico is a dark berried grape that buds early and ripens late. This means that Aglianico thrives in regions with a long growing season with plenty of sunshine. In the glass, Aglianico is a dark ruby color.
What does Aglianico smell like?
Aglianico is an aromatic red wine. Aglianico smells like black cherry, plums, and herbaceous notes of eucalyptus and pink pepper kernels.
What does Aglianico taste like?
Aglianico is full-bodied with high tannins and high acidity. On the palate, Aglianico is fruit forward with aftertastes of licorice and vanilla.
What foods pair well with Aglianico?
Aglianico pairs well with meat dishes because it has high tannins which need protein to neutralize. Game meats would also pair well with Aglianico or pasta dishes with meat sauce.
Sangiovese is the most widely planted grape in Italy and mainly found in central regions of the country. The name is a derivative of Latin’s “Blood of Jupiter.” However, this famous red grape also has a presence as far south as Sicily. Its most famous growing region, Toscana, is home to the world-renowned Chianti Classico DOCG. But the grape is also referred to with the synonyms of Morellino(Morellino di Scansano DOCG), Brunello(Brunello di Montalcino DOCG), andPrugnolo gentile(Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG).
What does Sangiovese look like?
Sangiovese is another early-budding and late-ripening grape that does best in moderate temperatures during a long growing season. The grapes on the vine are blue-black in color. In the glass, Sangiovese is bright ruby.
What does Sangiovese smell like?
When you smell a glass of Sangiovese you will be convinced you’ve put your nose in a bowl of cherries; by far the most dominant smell. Sangiovese can also bring out savory smells like tomato and herbs. It is also smells like coffee and leather.
What does Sangiovese taste like?
Sangiovese is medium-bodied with high acidity and moderate tannins. Again, cherry dominates the palate but there’s also notes of plum and strawberry.
What foods pair well with Sangiovese?
Sangiovese is the ultimate food wine. The high acidity makes it a natural match with every tomato dish you can imagine. The tannins are firm but not overwhelming. It is classically paired with Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
All hail the king! Nebbiolo is the grape that gifts us the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco in the Piemonte region of northern Italy. It is named after the nebbia, or fog, that greets the vineyards in the morning. Nebbiolo is a grape that can age for decades because of it’s high acid and tannin structure. There are 6 regions classified DOCG for Nebbiolo including Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Ghemme, Gattinara, and Carema.
What does Nebbiolo look like?
Nebbiolo is an early-budding and very late ripening grape. The berries are large and thick-skinned with a purple-black color with low pigmentation. In the glass, Nebbiolo is pale garnet.
What does Nebbiolo smell like?
Nebbiolo is known to smell like “tar & roses”. It is a very aromatic wine with lots of cherry, strawberry fruit smells but also spices like anise, flowers like roses and violets, and earthy smells like clay and tar. The aromas of Nebbiolo are hypnotizing.
What does Nebbiolo taste like?
Nebbiolo tastes like being punched in the face but liking it. It’s all the extremes; high acid that will rip your face off, high tannins that will make your mouth implode, and high in alcohol and body. I promise you this is all a good thing though. The palate continues with cherry fruit, leather, and spice.
What foods pair well with Nebbiolo?
Nebbiolo needs a dish that matches its weight, acid, and tannins. The best dishes are meat and game dishes or strong flavors like truffles which also grow in northern Italy. For Barolo food pairings, check out this post, most pair with Nebbiolo in general.
Nero d’Avola is undoubtedly the symbol of Sicilia with about 12,000 hectares of total area cultivated on the island. It is also referred to as Calabrese in the official Italian registry, suggesting that its origins are in Calabria. But in reality Nero d’Avola is a native of Sicilia and its origins are from the province of Syracuse in the southeastern part of the island.
What does Nero d’Avola look like?
Nero d’Avola is a high yielding grape that ripens early. The grapes are loosely clustered with blue medium-sized berries. In the glass, Nero d’Avola is deep ruby.
What does Nero d’Avola smell like?
Nero d’Avola is a wine of medium aromatic intensity. Nero d’Avola smells like black cherry, violets, and licorice. The longer it ages the more earthy characteristics come out like tobacco and dried leaves.
What does Nero d’Avola taste like?
Nero d’Avola is a medium-bodied, medium+ acid, and medium tannin wine. On the palate there’s a beautiful velvety mouth feel, fruity notes of plum and cherry and a slight spiciness on the finish.
What foods pair well with Nero d’Avola?
Nero d’Avola pairs with smoked meats, grilled pork chops and steaks, beef stews, and anything with BBQ sauce.
Primitivo may sound unfamiliar to you, but what if I tell you it’s the same grape as Zinfandel? A-ha! Sorry Zinfandel, you thought you were strictly American. Not the case. Primitivo grows in Puglia, the heel of the boot.
What does Primitivo look like?
Primitivo grape form really long and narrow bunches. It is a thin-skinned grape that likes to grow in warm climates. In the glass, Primitivo is bright reddish ruby.
What does Primitivo smell like?
Primitivo is a very fruit forward red wine. It smells like raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. There’s also a distinct cinnamon note.
What does Primitivo taste like?
Primitivo generally has moderate subtle tannins. It is medium to full bodied with low acidity but high alcohol. Primitvo expresses its spicy notes on the palate.
What foods pair well with Primitivo?
Primitivo pairs nicely with spicy food, meat dishes, and any dishes with a jam or fruit component.
5 Italian White Grapes to Love
There are hundreds of Italian white grape varieties grown throughout the country from Pinot Grigio in the north to Grillo in Sicily. There is a whole world of Italian white wine to discover but start with these 5 Italian grape varieties to uncover superb white wines.
Fiano is a white grape variety considered among the best and noble in Italy. It is grown mainly in the province of Avellino in the eastern part of Campania. The name’s origin is from a northern Ligurian population of the Apuan Alps who migrated in the second century BCE to Campania. They brought with them the Apuana vine, the name of which morphed into Apiano, then Afiano, and eventually Fiano. It has been documented since the 17th century.
What does Fiano look like?
Fiano is vigorous but characterized by low yields and gives the best results if grown on volcanic soils. Fiano’s grape bunch is small or medium-sized with berries that are very tight, thick-skinned, and golden. In the glass, Fiano is a straw-colored.
What does Fiano smell like?
The wine obtained from Fiano is characterized by refined and complex aromas and stands out for the finesse and richness of its fruity and floral aromas, with notes of pears and apples, peaches, and citrus fruits, and even pine nuts.
What does Fiano taste like?
Fiano is light-bodied with a velvety mouthfeel with good minerality and pleasant and marked acidity.
What foods pair well with Fiano?
Fiano pairs well with seafood dishes, herb-rubbed poultry dishes, and Asian-style vegetarian dishes.
Grillo is arguably the best white grape in Sicily. It is a cross between the Sicilian white grapes Cataratto and Zibibo. Grillo was an obscure grape that became a trendy wine seemingly overnight thanks to a movement toward natural winemaking on the island.
What does Grillo look like?
Grillo is a high yielding grape with medium-sized grape bunches. It has acclimated perfectly to the warm Sicilian growing season. In the glass, Grillo can be medium straw to gold depending on the winemaking technique. Oxidized styles will be darker in color.
What does Grillo smell like?
Grillo smells like grapefruit, lemon, and green apple.
What does Grillo taste like?
Grillo has medium+ acidity, medium bodied, and moderately high in alcohol. Natural winemaking styles will have slight tannins as well.
What foods pair well with Grillo?
Grillo pairs well with anything coming out of the sea, especially seafood pasta dishes with squid ink. Grillo would be great with fresh oysters, grilled chicken, or even a great wine for Thanksgiving dinner.
As an American, until I started studying wine, Pinot Grigio was one of the only Italian grape varieties I knew. Believe it or not, Pinot Grigio is rather rare except in the areas of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, and Trentino-Alto Adige, all found in the northeast corner of Italy. It became extremely popular in the United States and throughout the new world because it was a inexpensive wine that was easy to grow and actually tasted really good. It’s very easy drinking and goes with lots of different foods.
What does Pinot Grigio look like?
Pinot Grigio is the same grape as Pinot Gris and a part of the Pinot family of grapes. On the vine, the berries are pinkish purple.
What does Pinot Grigio smell like?
Pinot Grigio is an aromatic white wine with citrus and floral characteristics. Peaches, lemon, and melon smells are present as well.
What does Pinot Grigio taste like?
Pinot Grigio is light-bodied with crisp acidity. The citrus notes come out on the palate as well as an almond flavor on the finish.
What foods pair well with Pinot Grigio?
Anything you would squeeze a lemon on would be great with Pinot Grigio; grilled fish, wild greens, roasted poultry. Pinot Grigio is a wine you can also drink on its own while nibbling on light snacks.
Trebbiano Toscano is the most widely grown white grape in Italy. It is a member of the Trebbiano family of grapes that also includes Trebbiano Abruzzese and Trebbiano Romagnolo. This grape is also known as Procanico. In France, the same grape is called Ugni Blanc.
Trebbiano Toscano’s area under vine in Toscana is even higher than that of Sangiovese. Interestingly it was also part of the original Chianti recipe. Today, however, winemakers blend it with other grapes like Malvasia to make the sweet Vin Santo wines.
What does Trebbiano Toscano look like?
Trebbiano creates long grape bunches with greenish yellow berries. It is a late-ripening grape due its typical October harvests; however, some areas might harvest it earlier in order to take advantage of the thick-skinned grape’s high acidity levels. In the glass, Trebbiano is pale straw.
What does Trebbiano Toscano smell like?
Trebbiano Toscano isn’t a particularly aromatic white grape. You will find apple, pear, citrus, and peach aromas in the best expressions of the grape.
What does Trebbiano Toscano taste like?
Trebbiano Toscano is light to medium-bodied with good acidity. Green apples and a tiny bit of saline are present on the palate. The finish can be quite herbaceous.
What foods pair well with Trebbiano Toscano?
Trebbiano Toscano is a great white wine that pairs seamlessly with most light dishes like aglio e olio, pizza bianco, chicken salad, and grilled fish.
Verdicchio is a white Italian grape variety found mainly in the Le Marche region on the hills between Jesi and Matelica. Its name, as it also happens in many other similar cases (Verdeca, Verduzzo) derives from the green color of its berries. Recent DNA studies have confirmed its identity with Trebbiano di Soave and Trebbiano di Lugana, which has led to the hypothesis that Verdicchio was introduced in the region by Veronese winemakers around 1400. The main cultivation areas of Verdicchio are that of Castelli di Jesi, in the province of Ancona, and that of Matelica in the province of Macerata.
Verdicchio is suitable for both steel and wood vinification and has the potential to produce wines of great longevity, also thanks to the great structure, acidity, and high alcohol content. The grapes produce very fresh wines, with an extremely complex aromatic profile, and characterized by an unmistakable almond and savory finish. Verdicchio is rather eclectic and can be enjoyed without losing its main characteristics in the sparkling, classic or charmat method, passito or late-harvest versions. (Julie wrote this poetically, I didn’t want to change a word).
This post would not have been possible without lots of input and writing from my dear friend Julie Farricker. Make sure to visit The Italian Cellar to keep up to date with all things Italian wine and travel.
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Are you planning an in home wine tasting party? You’ve come to the right place. I do claim to be the hostess with the mostess when it comes to throwing parties. Follow this guide to pick the right wine tasting theme for you, the best glassware ideas, and the perfect food pairings for your next in home wine tasting party. Having a wine tasting in the comfort of your own home is a great way to spend time with your friends and learn a bit about wine.
You will learn:
The basics of an in home wine tasting
7 wine tasting themes
Supplies you’ll need for an in home tasting
Wine tasting decoration inspiration
Food and wine pairing ideas
The Basics of an In Home Wine Tasting
Hosting a wine tasting in your home is a fun way to get your friends together, drink new wines, and learn about more about wine in general. For an in home wine tasting, I suggest you keep your guest list limited to no more than 10 people. This way everyone can pay attention easier, learn more, and it won’t overwhelm the host.
As the host of the in home wine tasting, you need to decide on how many wines will be served, the tone of the event (fun or informative; hopefully both!), and whether or not you will be providing everything or each guest will be assigned a wine or food to bring.
Hostess with the Mostess Tip: Have custom-made invitations made for your in home wine tasting.
How many wines to serve at an in home wine tasting?
I suggest serving between 5-7 wines at your wine tasting event. This can be 5 of all the same varieties, or 1 sparkling, 2 white, 1 rose, 2 red, and 1 dessert wine. This will of course be dependent on your theme, more on that later. Do a bit of research about each grape, region, and winery before the event to provide your guests with valuable information.
What do you do at a wine tasting?
Ideally, an in home wine tasting will be a way for your guests to discover new wines. You will want to add some structure to the event to create an educational atmosphere otherwise your guests will leave without having gained anything new. The host should guide the tasting and everyone should taste the wines together to share their thoughts.
Guiding a Wine Tasting at Home
Make a list of the wines your guests are tasting so they can reference them. Provide them with a pen and a tasting sheet. Pour each guest about an ounce to an ounce and half of wine (30-45ml). Start with sparkling, then white, rose, red, and dessert wine last. Have your guests look at the color of the wine and swirl their glass. Have them smell the wine. Ask each guest to describe what they’re smelling. Then taste the wine. Again, ask each guest to talk about the flavors they’re tasting. Undoubtedly, next your guests will talk about whether or not they liked it. Do this with each wine. After you’ve tasted through all the wines, encourage your guests to revisit the wines they liked. Get my FREE tasting sheet below.
Grab this wine aromas wheel to help your guests pick out the smells in their wine.
Hire a Wine Tasting Host
Is this feeling a bit overwhelming? Hire a wine tasting host. This host can guide the tasting, teach your guests more about the winemaker, grapes, regions, and may even be able to coordinate the whole in home wine tasting from buying wines to providing glassware. It will be a significant expense but may be worth it to you and your friends. Ask at your local wine shop if any of their staff do in home wine tasting parties or a local sommelier may also be able to provide this service for you. I would suggest AGAINST any of those gimmicky in home wine tasting businesses that want to sell you clean-crafted wines or in general are just making a sales pitch.
7 Wine Tasting Theme Ideas
Creating a theme for your in-home wine tasting is a great way to focus and narrow down what wines to serve. If each guest is bringing a wine, it’ll also help them make an easier decision. A theme can be general or specific, fun or academic, diverse or mono-varietal. Choose from any of these wine tasting themes or create your own.
Wines from Islands
It’s been a while since we’ve been able to travel so travel through wine! Choose wines from islands for your in home wine tasting party. You can choose wines from the Greek islands like Assyrtiko from Santorini, wines from Sicily like Nero d’Avola, or even wines from New Zealand like Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc. Pick wines from one country’s islands or different islands from around the world.
Wine and Food Pairing Party
You’ll want to serve some food at your in home wine tasting for sure. (More on this later). Why not make them match? Buy 5 different Spanish wines and serve them alongside Spanish tapas. Did you know that Mexico makes great wines? Have a Mexican wine tasting for your next Taco Tuesday. This doesn’t have to be limited to ethnic food, it could be pairing wine with comfort foods, cheeses, or even junk food! Learn more about wine and food pairing in these 12 steps.
Wines from Women Winemakers
Next time you have your friends over, host an in home wine tasting featuring wines from female wine makers. I love this list by Alpana Singh who, by the way, was one of the reason I got in to wine in the first place. Unfortunately, wine is still a male-dominated arena even though women are behind some of the best labels. If you think it’s not still an issue, even searching for stock photos under “winemaker”, there wasn’t a single photo of a woman winemaker or a person of color.
Wines from Black Winemakers
There’s been an encouraging push to showcase the talents of Black wine professionals recently. It’s not enough, but it’s a start. Here is a list of Black winemakers from around the world. You’ll find wines from California, Italy, France, Canada, Chile, and South Africa. You can combine this theme with any of the others.
Wines from Lesser Known Wine Regions
If your friends are veteran wine lovers, dig into lesser known wine regions for grapes they’ve never heard of. Try a few wines from Croatia like white grapes Posip and Debit, and red grapes like Plavic Mali and Babic. What about wines from Uruguay? They have lesser known grapes like Tannat and Albariño but also the usual suspects Chard, Cab, and Merlot.
Wines from Places You’ve Traveled
The last wine region I traveled to before quarantine was Lebanon. To relive that wonderful experience, I invited a small group of friends over to taste through the wines we brought back. If you loved your trip to Tuscany last year, host an in home wine tasting with your favorite wines from there. If you had to reschedule a trip this past year, find wines from that area and travel through wine.
Same Grape, Different Region
It’s always very interesting to see how one grape variety expresses itself in different regions and climates. Choose a grape like Cabernet or Sauvignon Blanc and assign a different country to each guest. For Cab you can choose one from Bordeaux, Chile, Australia, and California. For Sauv Blanc you can taste and see the differences between Sancerre, New Zealand, Sonoma, and Spanish styles.
Supplies You’ll Need for Your In Home Wine Tasting
Glassware Options for an In Home Wine Tasting Party
Glassware is essential yet a bit tricky for an in home wine tasting. This all depends on how you set it up. If you plan on tasting each wine together, you can use 1 glass per person. Note: you do not need to wash or rinse your glass between wines if you are going from white to rose to red. If you’re planning on serving the wines in a flight, then you’ll need a lot more glasses. A flight is when all the wines are poured in a row of glasses in front of each guest. A universally shaped glass is just fine, no need to provide a different glass shape for whites and reds. You have a few different options for glassware at an in home wine tasting.
Rent glassware from a local caterer.
Pro: You don’t have to wash them after your in home wine tasting.
Con: It can add up. Average prices is about $1 a glass times 5 glasses per person times 10 people. That’s $50 that could be spent on wine.
Ask each guest to bring their own glassware.
Pro: Free and everyone will recognize their own glassware.
Con: Someone has to wash them.
Pro: One time cost. It may be worth having the whole group go in on the glasses and have them rotate to everyone’s homes for each wine tasting.
Con: This will be very costly.
These wine glasses have a universal shape and come to about $6 a stem.
Ice Buckets and Spit Buckets
Wine should be served at the proper temperature. Here’s a quick guide. Make sure to have your sparkling, white, and rose well chilled before your guests arrive. Keep them on ice up until about 10 minutes before they are ready to serve.
I know what you’re thinking, we don’t need a spit bucket! Yes you do. You’ll be tasting a lot of wine and it’s better to have a spit bucket than having your guests getting up and dumping in the sink. Having a spit bucket will encourage responsible behavior.
These wine tasting flight boards are an easy way to keep everyone’s wine in order.
Decorations for an In Home Wine Tasting
Do you decorate for your parties? I do! I love buying subtle decor to show my guests that I’ve thought of everything! I’ve used corks as place card holders, put flowers in empty wine bottles, and use those fun wine lights for simply and inexpensive decor. There’s also so many fun wine tasting decorations on Amazon.
How cute are these?! Your guests will flip when they see these wine tasting utensil pouches!
Cute wine-themed napkins can brighten up a table or you know, encourage your guests to drink.
You’ll need these for your wine selfies. Looking for great wine captions for your social media, check out this list of 99 funny and punny wine quotes.
Wine markers are the best way to identify everyone’s wine glass. I say this from experience, after a few glasses of wine, your guests won’t remember if their wine charm was the lady bug or the bubblebee, or the Eiffel tower or the Colloseum, let alone if their wine charm was blue or yellow.
Food Ideas for a Wine Tasting Party
You will definitely want to serve food at your in home wine tasting. You could everyone to bring a dish, have it catered, or prepare it all yourself. I’m a control-freak and usually do it all on my own. Here are some wine tasting food ideas.
Fondue: I got this fondue pot for a wedding gift and I take it out as often as possible to justify the space it takes up in my cabinet. Pick a cheese that melts easily like fontina, gruyere, or gouda. Serve with bread, broccoli, sliced peppers, carrots, or even French fries!
Charcuterie: A meat and cheese platter is filling, visually beautiful, and a great pairing with wine. Build your own using these 6 easy steps.
Chenin Blanc is the chameleon of the white wine world. There are 4 common styles of Chenin Blanc; sparkling (both dry and sweet), off-dry/demi-sec, light and fruity, and full-bodied. Each of these wine styles matches with different types of food. There is always a Chenin Blanc food pairing with whatever you’re cooking and eating.
Sparkling Chenin Blanc will pair well with fried salty foods, sweeter styles of Chenin Blanc will pair well with spicy food, fruity dry styles of Chenin match with light fare like poultry and vegetables, and full-bodied oaked Chenin Blanc can even match with steak! Chenin Blanc is a French grape that exploded in popularity in the new world, specifically South Africa. Not only are the styles varied, so is the name; Chenin Blanc is called Steen in there. Read on to find the right Chenin Blanc food pairing for your next meal.
You will learn:
The 4 styles of Chenin Blanc
Flavor Profile of Chenin Blanc
Sparkling Chenin Blanc pairing tips (dry and sweet)
Dry and fruity Chenin Blanc food pairing
Full-bodied Chenin Blanc food matches
Sweet or demi-sec Chenin Blanc pairing guide
The 4 Styles of Chenin Blanc
When making a Chenin Blanc food pairing, you must consider the flavor profile of each style. The reason Chenin Blanc can make wine on such a wide spectrum is because Chenin is natural very high in acidity. Generally speaking, wines with high acidity make the best wines to pair with food. Acidity is necessary in the production of quality sparkling wine as well as a major factor to balance out sweetness in sweet or dessert wines. Chenin Blanc has tropical aromas of pineapple and mango on the nose, and citrusy lemon notes and quince paste on the palate. Chenin Blanc can be light to full-bodied depending on the production method. And as mentioned, Chenin Blanc can be bone dry to very sweet, still and sparkling.
1. Sparkling (dry and sweet)
Chenin Blanc can be made into dry sparkling wines as well as sweet sparkling wines. This depends on the ripeness of the grapes at harvest as well as the style the winemaker is trying to achieve. Brut or Sec on a label will tell you the sparkling is dry. Demi-sec of moelleux are the words that indicate sweetness. The best examples of dry styles of sparkling Chenin Blanc come from South Africa where sparkling is called MCC, or Methode Cap Classique. MCC sparkling wines are made in the traditional method of sparkling wine where the second fermentation occurs in the bottle.
For demi-sec of sweet styles of sparkling Chenin Blanc, look to the Loire Valley, or specifically to Vouvray. Sparkling wine from the Loire Valley is called Cremant d’Loire and is dominantly made of Chenin Blanc, though if it is from grapes grown exclusively in Vouvray it will be labeled as such.
Sparkling Chenin Blanc Food Pairing
In general, sparkling wine is a great food match because of the high acidity that cuts through rich dishes, as well as the effervescence that cleanses the palate. As you can imagine, dry styles and sweet styles of sparkling will pair best with different foods.
Dry Styles of Sparkling Chenin Blanc Food Pairing
Dry sparkling Chenin is high in acid, aromatic, and has tight bubbles. Pair dry sparkling Chenin with foods that are fried, fatty, rich, or robust.
Bacon and eggs
Demi-Sec/Sweet Styles of Sparkling Chenin Blanc Food
This is where spicy food really shines! Demi-sec sparkling Chenin Blanc pairs perfectly with savory dishes with lots of spice. The sweetness calms down the heat of the spicy food and makes for a very harmonious pairing. Demi-sec or sweet styles of sparkling Chenin Blanc also pair well with desserts or sweet foods. The wine you drink should always be sweeter than the food you eat, otherwise the wine will taste bitter. I prefer these wines with fruit based desserts because of the match between the acidity of the fruit and the acidity of the wine. Get more food and wine pairing tips here.
Thai green curry
Spicy Mexican food
Sweet and sour pork
Cheesecake with cherry topping
Angel food cake with pineapple
2. Light, Bright, Dry, and Fruity
Chenin Blanc that is dry and fruity is made in South Africa, California, Australia, and of course bottles of Vouvray labeled sec. Chenin Blanc is known as Steen in South Africa. These wines will be very fruity and floral. While the acidity is still high, these dry still styles are delicate and make a better match with foods that are as well.
Dry Chenin Blanc Food Pairing
Fresh summer salads
Shrimp and fish tacos with lots of lime juice
Oysters, scallops, clams
3. Full-bodied & Oaked
Oak aged Chenin Blanc will remind you a bit of California Chardonnay and pairs with similar foods. Unsurprisingly, oaked Chenin can be found in California as well. Though, I find the best full-bodied Chenin Blanc comes from South Africa. The oak adds body and a creamy texture to the wine. Oaked Chenin Blanc can even hold its own matched with lean cuts of red meat and lamb.
Foods that pair with full-bodied Chenin Blanc
Greek chicken with lemon potatoes
Surf and turf
Pasta with cream sauce
Seafood risotto or seafood pasta
4. Demi-sec/Sweet and Still
Chenin Blanc from Vouvray expresses itself gorgeously with a bit or a lot of sweetness. The mineral component and high acidity balance out the residual sugar. Grapes in Vouvray can experience Noble Rot, which dehydrates the grapes and leaves behind the sugars. Winemakers can also harvest Chenin Blanc late in the season when the grapes are extra ripe and at their sweetest. Demi-sec is halfway between dry and sweet. It can toe the line between sweet and savory dishes. Chenin Blanc that is fully sweet, or moelleux, will pair better with desserts or very rich dishes.
Savory dishes and desserts that pair with sweet Chenin Blanc
Black forest cake
Pineapple upside-down cake
Drink Chenin Blanc Day is June 19, 2021
As you can see, there’s a Chenin Blanc for every meal and every cuisine. Try one on International Chenin Blanc Day AKA Drink Chenin Blanc Day. Check out this full list of wine holidays here. What’s your favorite Chenin Blanc food pairing? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments.
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Kutsuitpa sitä sitten glögiksi, vin chaudiksi, glühweiniksi, vino calienteksi tai glöggiksi, lämmin maustettu punaviini on juuri sitä, mitä nämä talvikuukaudet vaativat. Mausteiden lisääminen ja viinin makeuttaminen on ollut tapana jo vuosituhansien ajan, ja usein sillä on pyritty peittämään viinissä olevat pilaantuneet maut. Tätä ei tarvitse ajatella toisin. Jos löydät viinin, josta et vain nauttinut, tai jos jätit viinin auki liian pitkäksi aikaa, tee tämä glögiresepti sen sijaan, että kaadat sen lavuaariin.
Lempimuistoni glögistä, tai tässä tapauksessa vin chaudista, on se, kun siemailin sitä Pariisin joulumarkkinoilla. Muistatko, kun saimme mennä Pariisiin? Tämä glögiresepti on niin lähellä tuota muistoa kuin pystyin saamaan.
Maaliskuun 3. päivä on kansainvälinen glögipäivä. Ei tiedetä, miksi tai kuka tämän juhlapäivän aloitti. Sen tiedän, että glögi on herkullista ja se voi saada sinut melko nopeasti humalaan. Itse asiassa paneuduin tähän reseptiin liian syvällisesti, ja olen jo nyt konjakista huuhtoutunut, joten älkää välittäkö mahdollisista kirjoitusvirheistä. Tässä on minun improvisoitu glögireseptini. Ainekset ovat luultavasti sellaisia, joita sinulla on käsilläsi. Olen onnekas, koska etupihallani on appelsiinipuita ja mieheni tekee punaviiniä ja on mehiläishoitaja. Hehkuviini on aika yleistä näillä seuduilla.
Useimmissa glögiresepteissä vaaditaan tähtianista, mutta en todellakaan pidä sen mausta, syynä on krapulan aiheuttama ouzo. Korvaan sen muskottipähkinällä ja rakastan sitä. Voit myös lisätä hieman tuoretta raastettua inkivääriä, jos se on sinun makuusi. Jos haluat vielä lisää viinicocktaileja, tutustu tähän top 10 -listaan helpoista viinicocktaileista.
1pullo PunaviiniäMerlot, Zinfandel, Grenache tai mikä tahansa hedelmäinen punaviini.
1suuriAppelsiiniPuolet leikattu neljään osaan, puolet leikattu viipaleiksi koristeeksi.
Viipaloi appelsiini. Puolet kattilaan, puolet viipaloituna koristeeksi.
Lisää brandy, puolet appelsiinista ja mausteet kattilaan keskilämmöllä.
Lisää kaksi ruokalusikallista hunajaa, kun seos on lämmennyt. ÄLÄ ANNA SEN KIEHUA.
Kun hunaja on liuennut, lisää pullo punaviiniä.
Kuumenna, kunnes se höyrystyy. Älä anna sen kiehua.
Tarjoa appelsiiniviipaleen koristeena ja kanelitangon kanssa.
Mikä viini sopii parhaiten glögiin?
Edullinen hedelmäinen punaviini sopii parhaiten glögiin. Kokeile Merlot-, Zinfandel- tai Garnacha-viiniä glögiviiniksi.
Mikä on paras tapa tarjoilla glögi?
Tarjoile glögi mahdollisimman lämpimänä. Koristele se appelsiiniviipaleella ja kanelitangolla.
Kiehuuko alkoholi pois glögiviinistä?
Alkoholi voi kiehua pois glögistä, jos annat sen kiehua. On tärkeää ottaa se pois lämmönlähteeltä, kun se alkaa ensin höyrystyä. Yleensä konjakki väkevöittää glögiviiniä riittävästi, jotta glögiviinissä säilyy kunnollinen määrä ABV:tä.
Milloin on kansainvälinen glögipäivä?
Hehkuviinipäivää vietetään joka vuosi 3. maaliskuuta.
Kuinka kauan voit säilyttää glögiviiniä?
Glögiviini säilyy noin 3-5 päivää. Säilytä sitä jääkaapissa ja lämmitä se ennen tarjoilua.
Juhlitko sinä glögiviinipäivää?
Kerro kommenteissa, pidätkö glögiviinistä ja mitä muunnelmia teet glögiresepteistäsi.
Oliko tästä hyötyä? Jaa se ystäviesi kanssa ja tallenna se myöhempää käyttöä varten.
Have you ever had a South African wine? Well now is a great time to start. You may have seen some SA wine at your local wine shop, fallen in love with a bottle of The Chocolate Block, or laughed when you first saw a bottle of Goats do Roam. But for many of us, it stopped there. South Africa has a long history of wine making dating back to the 17th century (more on that later). More recently, the wines coming out of South Africa are very worthy of your attention. They’re new world, yet old world, familiar, yet unusual, and best of all, there are some great values to be found. Read of to learn a bit more about South African wine.
Fast Facts about South African Wine
South Africa is the 8th largest wine producing region in the world.
In South Africa, wineries/vineyards are called wine farms.
South Africa is one of the oldest wine regions outside of Europe.
There are over 1000 wine farms in South Africa.
The wine production area is called the Cape Winelands.
Grape varieties are called cultivars.
Almost 100% of the wine made in South Africa is produced sustainably.
Because the seasons are flipped from the northern hemisphere, harvest is SA is in February, March, and April.
History of South African Wine
First Grapes Arrive in South Africa
The first vitis vinifera grapes that came to South Africa arrived with Dutch explorers. They were searching for a place to make a pit stop as they explored the southern hemisphere. They settled in Cape Town and Jan Van Riebeek was tasked with planting the first vineyards. It was erroneously thought that grapes would cure the sailors of scurvy. The first harvest was in 1659 (100 years before California ever saw a grape, for perspective). It’s because of this early foundation of wine that South Africa toes the line between Old World and New World. The first grapes of SA were the popular grapes of the time (imagine, Cabernet Sauvignon hadn’t even been born yet); Muscat of Alexandria, Muscat Hamburg, and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains.
Constantia: The First Winery Established in SA
In 1685, the first winery, Constantia, was established. The winery still exists today. The Dutch influence is still dominant in the South African wine industry, hence why the names of producers and the names of the wine regions are Dutch though it was ruled by the British in the 1800s. South Africa served as a backup supply of wine for the British whenever they were feuding over tariffs or at war with the French.
Like most of the world, South Africa was plagued by phylloxera (phylloxera is a nasty tiny bug whose only purpose in life is to destroy grapevines…and it did destroy most grapevines around the world). When farmers replanted, they opted for high-yielding grapes like Cinsault. Pinotage was also formed, a grape made almost exclusively in SA. It is a cross between Cinsault and Pinot Noir. Grape growing in SA got a bit out of hand; supply far outweighed demand. To help control quality, yields, and supply, the winemakers association, Koöperatieve Wijnbouwers Vereniging van Zuid-Afrika Bpkt, was formed. While this sounds great, it was a bit too strict and it stunted any creativity winemakers would have.
Fast forward to Apartheid. Obviously this is a bigger discussion than a beginner’s look at South African wine can cover. Perhaps over a humungous glass of Chenin Blanc. I digress. Sanctions were levied against South Africa until Apartheid ended. Because South Africa was excluded from most international exports, they had a surplus of grapes; most of which was turned into brandy. A dark period indeed. Soon following Nelson Mandela’s release, sanctions were lifted, but SA winemakers realized how much progress they had missed out on.
State of the South African Wine Industry Today
South Africa was still trying to shed its bad reputation as a bulk, cheap, crappy wine producing country at the turn of the century. The potential of SA being a star in the wine industry has always been there. The terroir is perfect for quality wine production. Slowly but surely over the last 2 decades, wines coming out of South Africa have improved dramatically. Winemakers upgraded their wineries and make a conscience shift to quality. New winemakers planted popular grapes like Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. There was an influx of new foreign investments as well. Like in Australia, “flying winemakers” began consulting and making wine in South Africa. We can debate the globalization and homogenization of wine over that same glass of Chenin Blanc, but the fact remains that South African wine improved tremendously.
Wine Regions of South Africa
The vast majority of wine farms in South Africa are located in the Western Cape region. The labelling law system in South Africa is the Wine of Origin scheme, abbreviated WO. The specific demarcated area will follow the letters WO on a label. There are 60 wine appellations in South Africa that belong to Wine of Origin quality-level wines. It breaks down even smaller from region to sub-region to district to ward. Wines of South Africa explains it way better than I ever could. Here’s a pdf file for you nerds. For our intents and purposes for South African wine basics, here are the ones you should know.
Best Wine Regions of South Africa
From the look of their Wine Routes map, you can throw a stone in any direction in Stellenbosch and hit a wine farm. Stellenbosch is the most famous wine region of South Africa. It is located in the south west corner of the continent on the coast near Cape Town. The area is hilly and has an arid Mediterranean climate but cooling ocean breezes. In my never humble opinion, this is where to get your Chenin Blanc from. They also boast great Cabernet Sauvignon for the price.
Settlers planted some of the first grapes in South Africa in Paarl. It’s not far from Cape Town and just north of Stellenbosch but has a warmer climate since it’s further inland and doesn’t have the cooling effect from the Atlantic. There are roughly 49 wineries in this region. You’ll find full bodied and spicy red in Paarl from Shiraz, Pinotage, and Cabernet. The white are bright and crisp from Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay.
Franschhoek is Dutch for French corner so it is no wonder that it the best place in South Africa for food and sparkling wine, and Bordeaux blends. The wine farms are located in the valley of Franschhoek surrounded by mountains. In addition to great reds, Franschhoek has excellent Semillon as well. Sparkling wine, or Cap Classique as its called in SA, is the best in Franschhoek. They focus on bubbly from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, not unlike in Champagne. Some of the best restaurants in all of SA are found in Franschhoek as well.
Constantia is where the Dutch settlers first planted grapes back in 1659. It’s located just outside of Cape Town. Where are my sweet wine lovers? Constantia is also home to Vin de Constance, a famous dessert wine dating back to the 1700s. There are several wineries in the area as well as the flagship winery, Groot Constantia.
Walker Bay is located on the south coast of Africa. It is one of the coolest (temperature cool, not The Fonz cool) wine regions of South Africa. It benefits from a cooling effect from winds from Antarctica. The maritime, cool climate is perfect for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Special mention goes to Robertson ward in Breede River Valley for making my favorite Cap Classique sparkling by Graham Beck.
Grapes Varieties in South Africa
South Africa is famous for white wines from Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard, and Chardonnay. They also grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz (Syrah), and Pinotage. Ampelographers created Pinotage in 1924; it is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. There are also planting of Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Merlot.
You may hear South Africans refer to Chenin Blanc as Steen, this is leftover from when the Dutch arrived. Chenin Blanc in SA is delicious. You’ll find many different styles from sparkling wines, light and crisp, and full-bodied oaked wines. Chenin Blanc has very high acidity which makes it an awesome wine with food. Read more about Chenin Blanc food pairings here.
Pinotage: South Africa’s Signature Grape
Pinotage is a grape you’ll rarely find outside of SA although wineries have planted it in Zimbabwe, Australia, and even Switzerland and Brazil. Abraham Izak Perold is credited with its creation. He was attempting to create a variation of Pinot Noir that would be easier to grow in South Africa. He crossed it with the very hearty grape, Cinsault. I’ll be honest, my first 5 bottles of Pinotage that I tasted over 15 years ago, did not impress me. They smelled like burning rubber with a hint of banana. Not exactly something I would want to drink. Thankfully, winemakers have gotten the hang of the grape and producing Pinotage with a lot more red fruit and earthy character.
What else would you like to learn about South African wines? Let me know in the comments and I’ll research and report it!
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Now, before I jump in to the main event, Riesling vs Moscato, I need anyone who is here to say, “not all Riesling is sweet, not all Moscato is sweet” to chill out. I know, I’m a mother flower sommelier. I’ll get to that. But this post is for wine newbies who are stepping into the world of wine.
“Logic & Riesling” T-shirt
Riesling and Moscato have long been the best sweet wines for beginners, and where most people start their wine journey. Hell, Riesling or Moscato is way better starting point than the Beringer White Zinfandel I started with. I know most of you with your shiny Somm pins were sneaking Carlo Rossi into your momma’s basement, don’t even front. Okay, glad we got that out of the way.
Which Wine is Sweeter, Riesling or Moscato?
Generally speaking, in terms of every day drinking wines that you’ll find in your grocery store, Moscato will be sweeter than Riesling. There’s a few tricks to be sure (see below), but if you’re debating between a bottle of Riesling vs Moscato, and sweetness is what you’re after, then grab a bottle of Moscato.
Aromas and Flavors of Riesling vs Moscato
What does Riesling smell like? What does Moscato smell like?
Riesling is moderately aromatic versus Moscato which is very aromatic. You’ll get similar fruit profiles from both. You’ll smell a lot of citrus fruits like lemon and lime and stone fruits like nectarine from Riesling vs Moscato which smells more like orange blossoms, peach, and tropical fruit. Have you ever noticed no one ever uses the word grapes to describe wine? Well with Moscato, one of the descriptors you’ll often here is grapey! Speaking of odd smells, don’t be surprised if you smell petrol in Riesling. Both Riesling and Moscato can be described as floral wines with smells of rose, blossoms, and white flowers.
What does Riesling taste like? What does Moscato taste like?
The biggest difference comes on the palate. Riesling has very high acidity which balances out the sweetness quite well. Even when Riesling and Moscato have the same residual sugar, Riesling will seem less sweet because of the acidity. Another difference is that because Riesling usually has a bit more alcohol, it will feel slightly heavier on the palate.
Moscato is quite light despite the sugar, even Muscats that are dry still feel quite light on the palate. Sweet Moscato tastes like peach juice versus sweet Riesling will remind you more of lemonade. These beautiful and inviting aromas and flavors make them the best wines for beginners. They’ll be familiar and a gateway to drier styles as your palate adapts.
Riesling has ageing potential, Moscato does not
Another difference between Riesling and Moscato is that proper Rieslings, sweet and dry, can age for years and years. It’s the acidity combined with the sweetness that gives it longevity. That being said, Moscatos do not age well, especially not fizzy versions like Moscato d’Asti. I do want to differentiate between Moscato and Muscat though, because Muscats from the Old World can age.
What is the difference between Moscato and Muscat?
Moscato is the Italian name for the Muscat grape. It’s been adapted in the United States as well. While Moscato and Muscat are the same, or at the very least in the same family, Moscato usually will indicate to you that it’s a sweeter style of Muscat. Here in Crete, our Muscat wines are highly aromatic like Moscato but fermented bone dry and can hit alcohol levels of up to 14.5%! It is my assumption that if a winemaker, anywhere in the world, wanted to communicate to their customers that the wine is sweet, they would opt for Moscato vs Muscat on the label. There are exceptions, of course. Sweet dessert Muscats have existed for millennia. (Skip down to the Origins of Muscat for more info).
What Makes Wine Sweet?
Wine gets its sweetness from the grapes. That may seem logical, but if it was as simple as that than all wines would be sweet since all wine comes from grapes. When grapes are ripe, they have a fair amount of sugar. The sugar is essential to the fermentation process; yeast eats sugar and creates alcohol. However, a wine that has residual sugar, or sugar leftover after fermentation will be sweet. The more residual sugar, the sweeter it will be.
If the intention is to make a sweet wine, the sugar levels need to be high at the start of the fermentation process. Think of alcohol on one side of a sea-saw and sugar on the other. The higher the alcohol goes; the drier the wine will be. The lower the alcohol, the sweeter it will be. Note: In wine speak, dry is the opposite of sweet, more on that later.
What Does a Winemaker Do to Make a Sweet Wine?
There a few ways a winemaker can make a sweet wine. The concept is the same, concentrate the sugars so there’s more sugar leftover after fermentation
Late Harvest: The farmers can harvest the grapes later in the season. The longer a grape stays on the vine, the sweeter it will be, but the less acid the grape with retain. Think of the sea-saw analogy here again.
Sundried Grapes/Passito/Liasto: The winemakers can also dry the grapes in the sun to concentrate the sugars. Essentially making wine from raisins. This is ancient method of making sweet wines
Noble Rot: Now, it seems counterintuitive to make wine from rotten grapes, but this is a special kind of fungus called botrytis that is revered for the exquisite wines of Sauternes and in Hungary for Tokaj wines.
Ice Wine: Frozen grapes have a higher concentration of sugar.
Stopping Fermentation: This is how most sweet Riesling and Moscato are made. The winemaker stops the fermentation at around 6-8% alcohol and the sugar stays unfermented resulting in a sweet wine.
Wine Sweetness Scale
From driest to sweetest: Dry, Off-Dry, Semi-Sweet, Sweet. Because wine is international, you should also know that in the French, Italian, and German terms as well.
How to Tell a Wine is Sweet from the Label
There are a few terms and clues to look for on a wine label to tell if the wine is sweet. In addition to the wine terms above, the biggest clue to whether or not a wine will be sweet is the alcohol level, or ABV. The lower the alcohol, the sweeter the wine will be. Most sweet Rieslings are around 7-9% alcohol but dry Rielsings are 11-13% ABV. Sweet Moscatos range from 5-8% ABV while dry Moscato, or dry Muscat can reach up to 14% alcohol. With German Rieslings, the wine labels can be very confusing. Remember that Trocken means dry and double check the alcohol level.
Origins of Riesling
Riesling hails from Germany. It’s their pride and joy grape. Riesling dates back to March 13, 1435. Does that seem oddly specific? It is. Every year, March 13th is celebrated as Riesling’s Birthday. It marks the first time the sale of Riesling vines was documented. As you know, Riesling grows all over the world now. You’ll find dry styles, off dry styles, sparkling Riesling, and of course, sweet styles. Riesling does best in cold to cool climates like Germany, Alsace, Washington State, and New York’s Finger Lakes.
Origins of Moscato
If you though Riesling was old, you’ll need to sit down when you hear about Moscato, or better to say Muscat when referring to its origin. Muscat was one of the first vitis vinifera grapes, like ever. I call Muscat the Eve of grapes as it is likely that all vitis vinifera grapes derive from ‘her’. Muscat goes back to the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks but could be even older. And there isn’t just one Muscat, there are 200+ grapes that are members of the Muscat family. Most of the Muscat or Moscato you’ll come across will be from Muscat Blanc.
Riesling vs Moscato Food Pairing
Where are my spicy food lovers? Sweeter Rieslings and Moscatos pair spectacularly with spicy food. Why? Because sweetness calms down spice. Alcohol also inflames spice, and since these sweet styles are low in alcohol, it makes an even more perfect match with spicy food. Try a Moscato with spicy Mexican food, Indian food, or Thai cuisine. Riesling as the added benefit of acidity so is great with fatty/greasy foods like ham, pork, and fried foods. Off-dry styles of either can pair with traditional white wine pairing foods like poultry, fish, and vegetables as well.
Another rule of thumb is that the wine should always be sweeter than the food, so both Riesling and Moscato are great with any honey glazes, fruit toppings, or sweet and sour sauces. Fruit salads, fruit tarts, and desserts that aren’t too sweet will work with these wines as well. Of course, you can enjoy both on their own without food on the back porch or by the pool.
I want to emphasize that it’s okay to like sweet wines. Wine is the not the be all and end all of sophistication so don’t let anyone bully you about what you like. There is a great vast world of wine. If you’re interested in exploring, Riesling and Moscato are great sweet wines for beginners. Think of it this way, no one starts drinking their coffee black. Usually you start out with cream and 3 sugars and slowly phase it out. Or you don’t! And that’s okay.
My biggest gripe with these types of sweet wine are unsustainable viticultural practice by the huge wine conglomerates that produce them. When possible, try to purchase wines from small producers. I hope I’ve provided enough information to help you decide Riesling vs Moscato though you’ll see that both can be enjoyable. So, tell me, what’s your favorite?
Riesling vs Moscato: Knock Out Punch
Now, if this was a wine battle between Riesling and Moscato and the only criteria was frequency in song lyrics, Moscato would win in a KO. There are approximately 84 songs that mention Moscato and 21 that mention Riesling. However, the quality of songs featuring Riesling is much higher. Feel free to write your favorite lyrics about Riesling or Moscato in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions about Riesling vs Moscato
What is better, Riesling vs Moscato?
Neither grape variety between Riesling and Moscato is better than the other. This comes down to how it’s grown and how it’s produced. If either of these grapes are mass-produced, then they won’t be great. That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t enjoy them.
There are excellent Rieslings made in Germany and France that can age for years and are some of the most valued wine in the world. Moscato is loved for it’s light and floral aromatics which disappear as the wine ages, so it isn’t recommended to age.
All the being said, it comes down to personal choice. If you like Moscato more than Riesling than that’s the one that’s better for you.
What wine is comparable to Moscato?
Wines that are comparable to Moscato are, of course, sweet styles of Riesling, Gewurztraminer. If you like the aromatics of Moscato, try a Torrontes from Argentina.
Is Riesling wine sweet or dry?
Riesling is made in both sweet and dry styles. To tell if a Riesling is sweet or dry, check the alcohol level. The higher the alcohol, the drier it will be. Another way to tell if Riesling is sweet or dry is to look for the word Trocken on a German Riesling wine label. Usually there is some indication from the winery on whether the Riesling is sweet or dry. When all else fails, ask the wine shop owner.
What wine is similar to Riesling?
Wines that are similar to sweet styles of Riesling are Moscato, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris. Wines that are similar to dry Riesling are Sauvignon Blanc, Assyrtiko, and Chenin Blanc.
Is Rose sweeter than Moscato?
Whether a rose will be sweeter than Moscato will depend on how the winemaker chooses to make it. A lot of rose is bone dry just as a lot of Moscato (or Muscat) is dry as well. Look for clues on the label that will tell you if the wine is sweet or dry.
What is a good sweet wine for beginners?
Sweet wines for beginners are a way to ease into the wine world. Both Riesling and Moscato are made in sweet styles. You could also try something light and fruity like a Pinot Grigio, Vihno Verde, or Torrontes. Those these last 3 wines aren’t very sweet, they have a lot of fruit characteristics that might trick your brain into detecting sweetness.
Most people when they begin their wine journey will start with sweet wines. Usually, as the palate evolves, a wine lover will begin to gravitate to drier styles. If you’re new to wine, a sweet wine might be a good start. Try to find wines that are made properly, that aren’t produced by the millions, so that your first wines are quality wines.
Kansallisen ranskalaisten perunoiden päivän (National French Fries Day) kunniaksi 13. heinäkuuta minun on annettava uusi julistus samppanjan, ranskalaisten perunoiden ja perunalastujen taikuudesta. Kuten monet teistä tietävät, pakkomielteeni tähän ruokayhdistelmään on syvä. Niin paljon, että aloitin kansainvälisen juhlapäivän ystäväni Kleopatran kanssa. Samppanjan ja ranskalaisten perunoiden päivää vietetään joka vuosi tammikuun 10. päivä, joka on syntymäpäiväni. Kleopatra rakastaa tätä yhdistelmää niin paljon, että hän teki T-paitoja jo hyvissä ajoin ennen juhlapäivän alkua.
“Fizzics” Unisex t-paita
Miksi samppanja sopii niin hyvin ranskalaisten kanssa?
Olen iloinen, että kysyit. Sen lisäksi, että samppanja on maailman paras juoma ja ranskalaiset perunat ovat maailman paras ruoka, ne muodostavat yhdessä harmonisimman viiniparin, jonka ihmiskunta tuntee. En liioittele, se on tiedettä. Kerrotaanpa tarkemmin. Samppanjassa on korkea happopitoisuus ja kuohuvuus. Ranskalaisissa perunoissa on rasvaa ja suolaa. Happo on välttämätöntä rasvan ja suolan leikkaamisessa. Samppanjan kuplat myös puhdistavat suuta ja valmistavat suusi kolmeen muuhun ranskalaistilaukseen. Lisäbonuksena, jos valitset Extra Dry -samppanjan, joka on hieman makea, toisin kuin Brut, joka on hyvin kuiva, paritus nousee uudelle tasolle. Makeus pehmentää suolaisuutta.
Samppanja ja ranskalaiset perunalastut tai sipsit
Tämän ei pitäisi olla kenellekään yllätys, mutta samppanja ja perunalastut ovat myös hämmästyttävä yhdistelmä samojen edellä esitettyjen periaatteiden vuoksi. Nyt, kun käytetään sipsejä, siirrytään tekstuurin maailmaan; rapeus! Sipsien rapeus tuo aivan uudenlaista nautintoa.
High Brow vs Low Brow
Nyt saatat miettiä, mutta samppanja on niin hienostunutta ja kallista, voinko todella juoda sitä McDonald’sin ranskalaisten tai Lay’s-pussin kanssa? Sommelierina annan sinulle täyden luvan. Jos ei muusta syystä kuin siksi, että voit juoda samppanjaa useammin. Jos odotat koko vuoden uudenvuodenaattoa tai vuosipäivää pullotellaksesi, meidän on muutettava sitä. En ole mikään hyvinvointivalmentaja, mutta olen melko varma, että kuplien sisällyttäminen itsehoitorutiineihisi tekee elämästäsi vain parempaa.
Voinko korvata muun kuohuviinin ranskalaisilla perunoilla?
Totta kai! Joskus budjetistani lähin samppanja on Miller High Life. Useimmat kuohuviinit sopivat tähän tarkoitukseen, erityisesti ne, jotka ovat käyneet toisen käymisen pullossa, kuten Cava, MCC ja Franciacorta. Jopa Prosecco, joka on melko edullista, sopii todella hyvin ranskalaisten perunoiden ja sipsien kanssa. Tärkeintä on juhlia elämää joka päivä, ja nämä kaksi asiaa tuovat sinulle suunnatonta iloa, lupaan sen.
Onko sinulla yhtä suuri pakkomielle samppanjaan kuin minulla? Tutustu sitten lahjaoppaaseeni samppanjan ystäville . Oletko utelias, kuinka kauan samppanja kestää, kun se on avattu? Tutustu tähän oppaaseen.
Did you know that they make amazing sparkling wine in South Africa? Well they do! I first discovered bubbly from South Africa when I was living in Chicago back in 2007. It was a bottle of Graham Beck and I was so impressed with the quality and price! I grab a bottle every time I find it. Here are 10 facts that’ll convince you to start drinking South African sparkling wine, too.
Quality South African Sparkling Wine is Called MCC
We all know by now that only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne, right? Well, in South Africa, to distinguish their quality sparkling wine from the vast majority of the carbon dioxide injected swill, they call the good stuff Méthode Cap Classique, or Cap Classique. Sounds French, right? Give credit where credit is due, I guess.
South African Sparkling Wine is Made in the Traditional Method
Cap Classique is made in the traditional method of sparkling wine production. This means that the second fermentation happens in the bottle, just like in Champagne. If that seems a little confusing, let me break it down. Traditional method sparkling wine is made by creating a still wine, then adding more sugar and yeast to the wine, closing it with a crown cap, and a second fermentation will occur. During fermentation, yeast eats sugar and one of the byproducts is carbon dioxide. In a closed bottle, the CO2 has no where to go and carbonates that solution. Bada bing bada boom sparkling wine! You can read about it extensively here.
Cap Classique Uses the Same Grapes as Champagne
Cap Classique sparkling does not have restrictions on what grapes are used to make the delicious bubbly stuff. At first there was a lot of Chenin Blanc, but now there is more South African sparkling wine made from the same grapes as Champagne; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
The Term Cap Classique Has Been Used Since 1992
Some South African wineries have been producing very low quality sparkling wine. That wine is artificially carbonated instead of being carbonated by a second fermentation. This is nicknamed the Coca-Cola method. In 1992, in order to differentiate the good stuff from the cheap stuff, winemakers formed an organization called the Cap Classique Association. They encompass sparkling wine producers in the Cape Winelands.
Over 80 Wineries are Members of the Cap Classique Association
The Cap Classique Association started as a small group of winemakers in the Cape who were passionate about bottle fermented sparkling wine but has grown to over 80 wineries. In order for a wine to be considered with the Cap Classique labeling, it must be from the highest quality grapes and must age a minimum of 12 months. There are tasting panels to ensure quality. As a consumer, if you see Cap Classique on a label, you are guaranteed the high standards have been followed. You can find a list of producers here.
2021 Celebrates 50 Years of Cap Classique in South Africa
The first bottle fermented, or Methode Cap Classique, sparkling wine was released in 1971. On the Cap Classique Association’s website they write this great story of how MCC began in South Africa. They are planning lots of events so be sure to check out their website. Hopefully some will be virtual so we can all participate.
Although carbon dioxide-injected sparkling wine had been made in South Africa for decades, it was not until legendary Stellenbosch winemaker Frans Malan visited the Champagne region of France in 1968 that any producer had considered giving their wine a sparkle through the age-old classical method of Champagne. Malan, owner of the famous Simonsig Estate in Stellenbosch, was infatuated by the processes he saw in the Champagne cellars. Especially as he was an expert in chemistry, finding the magic of secondary fermentation in the bottle and the creation of bubbles nothing short of magic.
Upon his return to South Africa he procured rudimentary equipment, built his own riddling racks, and from the Simonsig harvest of 1971 single-handedly made a natural bottle-fermented sparkling wine. The grape variety? Chenin Blanc, at that time by far the most prolific white variety to be found in the Cape vineyards.
This first Cap Classique, released in 1973 by Simonsig under the name Kaapse Vonkel (“Cape Sparkle”) was the catalyst for a movement that today has over 250 South African producers throughout the Cape winelands crafting this exuberant wine style.
Cap Classique Association
The Obamas love South African Sparkling Wine
Okay, okay, so what I’m about to tell you may not be something I can prove but it’s very real to me. As I mentioned above, I was first introduced to South African sparkling wine in Chicago in 2007. One of the most amazing women in the world owned the wine shop and she was classmates and great friends with the Obama’s long time personal chef. He would come in ask me about wines to serve at his catering events. I didn’t know at the time that I was picking wines for the Obamas. That’s probably a good thing because I would have been so nervous. I recommended a bottle of Graham Beck when he asked me about a sparkling. I mentioned that Nelson Mandela had drank it at his inauguration (this was part of the sales pitch when I tasted it with the salesperson). Apparently, Michelle Obama loved it! They served it on the night Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008. Do not burst my bubble if you find any contradictory stories about the Graham Beck-Obama connection. It was me. I was the one.
Méthode Cap Classique Is Relatively Inexpensive
One of the greatest things about MCC South African sparkling wine is that it is so inexpensive in comparison to its quality! We’re talking 15 to 20 bucks for this amazing stuff! Like, how is everyone not drinking Cap Classique on the daily! Now, you know that I’m obsessed with Champagne, but I’d buy 2 bottles of MCC over Moet any day.
3 Million Bottles of Cap Classique Are Made a Year
Production of Cap Classique is relatively low. Only 3 million bottles are produced a year as opposed to over 300 million in Champagne. Don’t fret, you can still find it in most wine shops and you can definitely find it online.
Celebrate Cap Classique Day on September 1st
I’m a sucker for a wine holiday. In 2019, the Cap Classique Association started this holiday. The social media hashtag used is #capclassiqueday. Make sure to pop a bottle of Cap Classique on September 1st but don’t wait until September to get your hands on this bubbly goodness!
Tell me. Do you like sparkling wine from South Africa? Who is your favorite producer? Let me know in the comments below.
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Pääsiäinen on vapauden ja perheen juhla. Ja viinin. Paljon viiniä. Lue, mitkä ovat parhaita viinejä sederiin.
Pääsiäisen aikana valmistetaan monia erilaisia ruokia, joilla kaikilla on suuri symboliikka. Olen koonnut luettelon pääsiäisruoista ja parhaista viineistä, joita voit nauttia yhdessä rakkaidesi kanssa. Sederit ovat rituaalisia juhlia, joissa perheenjäsenet kokoontuvat yhteen kertomaan tarinaa Exoduksesta. Alta löydät viinien yhdistämisoppaan, parhaat viinit lammasluun kanssa, kanan ja perunoiden kanssa sopivan viinin sekä viiniehdotuksia matzopallokeitolle ja gefilte-kalalle, jos haluat yhdistää kunkin ruokalajin.
Milloin on pääsiäinen?
Vuonna 2021 pääsiäinen alkaa auringonlaskun laskiessa 28. maaliskuuta ja kestää kahdeksan päivää päättyen auringonlaskuun 4. huhtikuuta.
Mikä on pääsiäinen?
Pääsiäistä leimaa yksi suuri sääntö: Ei hapatettua ruokaa. Kun juutalaiset pakenivat Egyptistä, he pakenivat nopeasti eivätkä voineet odottaa leipänsä kohoamista. Sen muistoksi juutalaiset pidättäytyvät syömästä chametzia (hapatettua viljaa). Tämä tarkoittaa, ettei mitään ruokaa tai juomaa, joka sisältää edes hiukkasen vehnää, ohraa, ruista, kauraa, spelttivehnää tai niiden johdannaisia, joita ei ole suojattu hapatukselta tai käymiseltä. Pääsiäinen on viinin juhlapäivä, sillä useimmat muut alkoholit katsotaan chametziksi.
Mitä ruokia tarjoillaan pääsiäisenä?
Seder on täynnä ruokaa ja symboliikkaa. Matzaa syödään sen happamattoman leivän muistoksi, jota israelilaiset söivät paetessaan Egyptistä. Aterian keskipisteenä on seeder-lautas, jossa on kuusi ruokalajia, kun tarina kerrotaan.
Paahdettu muna: Symboli Raamatun aikana tehdystä juhlauhrauksesta ja kevään symboli.
Särkyluu: Symboli Pascal-karitsalle, joka tarjottiin pääsiäisuhrina Raamatun aikoina.
Katkerat yrtit: Syödään muistutuksena Egyptin orjuuden katkeruudesta ja ankaruudesta.
Charoset: Edustaa laastia, jota heprealaiset orjat käyttivät egyptiläisten rakenteiden rakentamiseen. Se valmistetaan usein omenoista, pähkinöistä ja viiniin sekoitetuista mausteista, mutta siitä on monia muunnelmia.
Karpas: Muu vihannes kuin katkera yrtti, joka edustaa toivoa ja uudistumista.
Persilja: Kastetaan suolaiseen veteen sederin aikana, mikä muistuttaa egyptiläisen orjuuden aikana vuodatetuista kyynelistä.
Sederin pääateria koostuu usein matzopallokeitosta, gefilte-kalasta ja yhdestä tai kahdesta seuraavista pääruuista: naudanrinta, lampaanluu ja/tai kana ja perunat.
Viinin symboliikka Sederin aikana
Sederiin kuuluu neljän lasillisen viinin juominen. On olemassa ristiriitaista tietoa siitä, mitä ne edustavat. Jotkut uskovat, että 4 viinilasia edustavat lunastusta. Toiset taas neljä kertaa juutalaisia karkotettiin. Toinen mahdollisuus on faraon 4 pahaa määräystä. Riippumatta siitä, mihin uskot, tarvitset viiniä pääsiäissederiin!
Viinien yhdistäminen pääsiäissederin kanssa
Jos sinulle on annettu tehtäväksi hankkia viinit tämän pääsiäisen Sederiin, noudata tätä opasta. Jos pidät kosheria, kosher-viinien saatavuus on lisääntynyt, eikä niitä pitäisi olla vaikea löytää. Tässä pääsiäisviinioppaassa on viinien yhdistäminen rintafileen ja muiden pääruokien kanssa sekä parhaat viinit matzopallokeitolle ja gefilte-kalalle. Niin, äläkä unohda makeaa kookosmakaronien kanssa!
Mitkä viinit sopivat matzopallokeiton kanssa?
Matzopallokeitto on yleensä ensimmäinen ruokalaji, joka tarjoillaan pääsiäissederin aikana. Jokainen perhe valmistaa sitä hieman eri tavalla. Se on kanalientä sisältävä keitto, jossa on porkkanoita, selleriä, persiljaa, tilliä ja tietysti matzopalloja. Uskon, että kaikki ateriat pitäisi aloittaa kuplilla, ja onneksi osa samppanjasta on kosheria pääsiäisenä. Jos et ole kuohuviinien ystävä, matzopallokeitto sopii myös Viognierin, Grenache Blancin tai Chardonnayn kanssa.
Mikä viini sopii Gefilte-kalan kanssa?
Gefilte-kala ei koskaan puutu pääsiäisen seder-pöydästä. Se on keitettyä kalaa, joka sekoitetaan matzo-jauhoon ja muotoillaan palloksi. Se tarjoillaan usein piparjuuren kanssa. Gefilte-kala sopii hyvin Chenin Blancin, Assyrtikon tai klassisen Sauvignon Blancin kanssa.
Mitkä viinit sopivat rintafileen kanssa?
Rintafilee on suosituin pääruoka, jota tarjoillaan kaikissa Seder-juhlissa. Kosher-lainsäädännön mukaisesti se on aina naudanlihaa. Se on koristanut Seder-pöytiä ainakin 1700-luvulta lähtien. Se on hitaasti haudutettua naudanlihaa, jota valmistetaan eri tavoin yleensä makeassa marinadissa, jossa on paljon mausteita. Viinin tulisi kuvastaa rintafileen painoa, joten rohkea punainen olisi paras vaihtoehto. Paras viinipari brisketin kanssa on Zinfandel. Makea ja mausteinen naudanliha täydentää makeaa ja mausteista punaviiniä. Etkö ole Zinfandelin ystävä? Ei hätää, toinen paritusvaihtoehto on Shiraz.
Mikä viini sopii lammasvartaan kanssa?
Karitsan lammasvarras on yksi Seder-lautasen pääkohteista; se edustaa uhrausta. Karitsan verta levitettiin myös juutalaisten kotien oviaukoille Egyptissä, jotta kuoleman enkeli kulkisi heidän oviensa yli. Pessah-sederiin valmistetaan usein kokonainen lammaslankalautanen. Paras viinipari lampaanluun kanssa on Syrah-viini. Toinen loistava viini lammasvartaan kanssa on Tempranillo. Molemmat vaihtoehdot muodostavat harmonisen parin.
Mikä viini sopii kanan ja perunoiden kanssa?
Jos lammasluu ei ole mahdollinen Seder-lautaselle, kananluu voi toimia korvikkeena. Pessah-kanan voi valmistaa monella eri tavalla, mutta yhteinen teema on makea kastike, kuten hunaja- tai appelsiinikuorrutus. Passiokanan kanssa sopii täyteläinen valkoviini, kuten Semillon, joka tuo kastikkeen makeuden esiin. Jos haluat punaviiniä pääsiäisen kunniaksi, harkitse Zinfandelin käyttöä, joka sopii sekä kanan että rintafileen kanssa.
Mikä viini sopii kookosmakaronien kanssa?
Koska jauhot eivät ole sallittuja pääsiäisenä, kookospähkinästä valmistetut jälkiruoat ovat yleisiä. Kuten minkä tahansa jälkiruoan kanssa käytettävän viinin kanssa, viinin on oltava makeampaa kuin ruoka. Yhdistä kookosmakaronit makean samoslaisen muscatin, kanadalaisen jääviinin tai makean saksalaisen Rieslingin kanssa.
Toivotan juutalaisille lukijoilleni terveellistä pääsiäistä. Kertokaa kommenteissa omista pääsiäisruoka- ja viiniperinteistänne.
Oliko tästä hyötyä? Jaa se ystäviesi kanssa ja tallenna se myöhempää käyttöä varten.