You really should know these 3 facts about wine before you buy your next bottle. Being able to distinguish a Riesling from a Chardonnay is one thing, but there’s much more to selecting the right bottled wine product than just tasting it. Here’s some helpful advice from Epermarket, your online expat supermarket in Shanghai.
1. Cork them or screw ‘em? What’s the best for wine?
For centuries, all wine bottles were sealed with a cork stopper. Nowadays half the bottles on the wine aisle are topped with a metal screw cap. Why is this? Are vineyards just getting cheap on us? Actually, many experts claim that wine is better off being sealed with a screw cap!
✔ Firstly, with a screw cap there is no more chances of ‘sporadic oxidation’ happening to your precious bottle of wine. As cork itself is a natural product, it is not 100% consistent and sometimes the stopper doesn’t fully seal the bottle. If the cork is not doing its job properly then oxygen enters the bottle and ruins the taste of the wine.
✔ Cork taint is a major problem and is caused by TCA (2,4,6 trichloroanisole). The tainting occurs when the cork has been washed in chlorine or the cork tree itself has been contaminated with pesticides containing chlorine. Cork taint affects 5-15% of wines today.
✔ Flavor modification is another problem. This occurs when the cork itself has an effect on the taste of the wine. Yuck!
✔ Last but not least, the main advantage of having screw cap is for ease of drinking of course. The bottle can be opened anywhere without the need for equipment.
2. Ever noticed the ‘DOCG’ mark on Italian wines?
In the second half of the 20th century, Italy decided to establish a series of laws to safeguard the quality and authenticity of their wine. Certification falls into three categories of decreasing strictness: DOCG, DOC, and IGT.
✔ DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) Seeing this on your wine bottle label means that the wine producers followed the strictest regulations possible to make that wine. Then after production the wine was tested by a committee, which guarantees the geographic authenticity of the wine and its quality, giving its ‘DOCG’ stamp of approval.
✔ DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) This quality of wine is much more common. While not as strict as DOCG wines, the rules governing DOC quality and authenticity are still very strict. For instance, the geographic zone might be a little bigger or the rules about what kind of grapes that can be used might be a little more relaxed, but that doesn’t mean they’re slacking on the job and approving any old wine for the DOC label.
✔ IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) This designation came a little after the other two in order to accommodate growers who cannot meet all the DOC or DOCG regulations for one reason or another, but still produce great wines that should be recognized.
3. Is expensive wine better?
It’s a difficult question to answer. A bottle of wine that costs you around 150 RMB actually isn’t so fundamentally different from one that’s only 40 RMB. When you taste wines at way higher prices (500 RMB or more), there definitely is a distinct difference. There have been several well-known taste tests that prove more expensive wine is not always better than cheap wine, and there are two lessons to be learned: the first is that wine drinking is subjective, the second – don’t judge a wine by its price!
Here are 4 wine suggestions inspiring you to sip outside of the box, along with recommendations for food pairings.
✔ Sweet – Riesling
Vinas del Vero Riesling 99 RMB (WAS 168 RMB)
As you might expect, sweeter wines should be paired with sweet dishes like desserts! Additionally, the sweeter-flavored wines often pair very well with cheese as the sweet & salty combination works really well.
✔ Rich – Merlot
La Chapelle De Montmija, Merlot 2012 (Organic) 165 RMB
As you might imagine, if you are in the mood for a richer dish like steak then pair your dish with a heavier, more full-bodied wine such as a dark Merlot.
✔ Light – Sauvignon Blanc
Domaine de l’Herré Sauvignon Blanc 99 RMB (WAS 200 RMB)
If you’re looking for a lighter, brighter, less sweet wine, stick with a dry Sauvignon Blanc or even a Chardonnay. Pair these wines with fish, chicken, or salads.
✔ Special – Prosecco
Carpene Malvolti Prosecco 210 RMB
Whether celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or just treating yourself, a bubbly sparkling wine is a delightful touch! Serve by itself, before or after meals.
See what new exciting wines you can discover next at Epermarket or shop at Epermarket’s WINE SALE – save up to 50% OFF until March 31!
Remember, your own mood and preference should always come first. You don’t have to be a trained wine steward, or sommelier, to enjoy different wines. The one thing that all wine drinkers can agree on is, the best way to learn more about wine is to just to get out there and start trying them, and the easiest way to get started is with Epermarket’s wide selection of fine & imported wines from all over the world!
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Epermarket is your online expat supermarket, a place to buy food and products you can trust, catering to your needs with diverse product offerings, affordable prices, as well as high expectations of service and quality. Epermarket constantly strives to deliver only the best when it comes to selection, safety, and freshness, simplifying your life. Follow on WeChat to read other articles such as this and to always be the first know about what’s going on! Long-click the QR code below or search (WeChat ID: Epermarket).