Cheap Wine Vs. Expensive Wine By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier Wine is a commodity. In economics, a commodity is defined as an item produced to satisfy consumer’s wants or needs. So my short answer to explain why some wine is cheap and some expensive is supply and demand. There are, however, many costs that go into making that wine good enough to command the price no matter how high or low, the first being where the grapes are
By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier What’s the Difference Between Sweet Wine and Dry Wine? Answer: Sweet wine tastes sweet and dry is the opposite of sweet. The end. Ok Ok, lets start with a little wine science; Grapes have natural yeast. During fermentation, the yeast eat the sugar and alcohol is the by-product. Therefore, the higher the alcohol ~ the dryer the wine. To make sweet wine a winemaker can stop the sugar from turning
All Hail Riesling, Queen of White Wines! By: Eugene G Fitzgerald III, CS, CSW, WSET ADVANCED In the world of wines few would debate that Cabernet Sauvignon is the undisputed king of grapes. It is grown in nearly every major hub that produces wine and can thrive in almost every climate. Despite being extremely recognizable, both on the nose and the palate, no two wines produced by this grape are exactly the same. Cabernet is
“I’m a beer drinker. What wine would I like?” By Certified Sommeliers, Jimmy Quaile & Eugene Fitzgerald I’m a beer drinker. What wine would I like? As crazy a question as this seems, there is an answer. The trick is to find a bridge between the drinks. For those who are fans of ales, in particular hoppy India Pale Ales or IPAs, I’ve got the answer and a delicious one at that, but first a
Decoding Wine DNA. By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier Who put cherries in my Pinot Noir? How is it possible that Cabernet can have aromas of bell pepper and chardonnay like apple? Winemakers can’t actually put juice from other fruit in the bottle unless they state it on the label (“Plum-flavored wine”). So how does that taste get in there? There is a scientific reason; first of which is the type of yeast used
By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier In the wine industry, you think of Argentina and you immediately think Malbec. Fair enough. It has become the country’s signature grape. However Malbec’s origins are in France’s southwest region of Cahors where it is known as Cot or Auxerrois. The grape remains one of the six “allowable” grapes in Bordeaux, but it was almost completely wiped out in the mid 1900’s by the insect Phylloxera. Enter stage left; Argentina!
By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier “Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.” -Joyce Kilmer I doubt Joyce Kilmer was thinking of wine barrels when he wrote his eponymous poem Trees. But even in the wine world, there is nothing lovelier or more overlooked than a tree. And making the right tree into wine barrels has more to do with the quality of the wine than you might
The Ultimate Easter Wine: Lacryma Christi By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier There are Easter wines and then there are EASTER wines! For your Easter table why not quaff the ultimate Easter wine? Lacryma Christi, literally the “Tears of Christ”, is a blend of Piedirossa and Sciascinoso grapes. DNA analysis performed on the residue in ancient casks proves that it is the nearest equivalent to modern day wine which was drunk by the romans. There are two
Now We’re Cookin’! By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier Let’s start with a few ground rules: The first is to not use wine called “cooking wine”! If you don’t want to drink it, you shouldn’t cook with it. Secondly, you can add sweetness but can’t take it out. So unless the recipe calls for sweet or fortified wine, stick with dry wine varietals. In the red wine category, good choices are Merlot and Pinot Noir.
Ordering Wine at a Restaurant By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier No matter if the wine list is a single page or a leather bound book, ordering wine at a restaurant shouldn’t be intimidating at all…in fact, it can be fun! First, know that a bottle has five 5-ounce glasses in it and should serve three people (ok, not if I am one of those three, but I’ll continue). Ask around the table who is drinking