Wine Club Newsletter - May 2023
The Ten “S” of Wine
I am so fortunate to have wine as much as I do in my life. I pretty much drink wine every day. I love to have wine while I am cooking a meal, dining on a meal, and perhaps even after the meal.
At this point in my life, having been in the industry for five decades, I have learned a great deal about wines from all over the world, at all levels of quality, style, and price ranges.
Enjoying wine is a fantastic, never-ending hobby. No two wines are the same, there are thousands produced every year, and no two years ever have matching conditions weather or production.
Even though there is a wide array of wine experiences to be had, one thing about enjoying wines remains the most consistent and rewarding element: the people with whom you share those experiences with.
In light of this, and in an effort to help you enjoy the wine in your life even more, I would like to present to you my “Ten S’s of Wine” I hope it to be an inspiration to enjoy life at a higher (sic) level, as well as your enhance your appreciation and experiences of those with whom you may enjoy it with.
The Ten “S” of Wine
I have consumed wine alone and enjoyed it. But there is nothing like the incredible experience of sharing a good wine with passionate, fellow wine appreciators. When drinking wine, we are forming lasting memories, creating joy, and reveling in the sense of discovery, contemplation, and companionship.
Sharing a special bottle of wine with friends is giving a gift to everyone at the event. When we share wine, we share our appreciation for them. Bring something special to the table. Talk about it. Why is that wine special to you? We make common ground with our friends with this encounter of wine. It is a time where we all can transcend the everyday world or local events, or the need to discuss political leanings.
I have a very good friend who dines out nearly every night. He is serious about wine, so much so, that he takes a white tablecloth in with him to restaurants that do not offer them. Part of his reason is that you can see the wine better with a white background. He is right.
Looking at a wine is the first indication of what is to transpire with it. Is it red, white, yellow, brown, or . . .? Clear or hazy? Eyeing the wine closer you can get indications of how old it is, where it might be from, or which type of grapes were used to make the wine.
Does it have the purplish color of youth or is the wine browning around the rim of the glass as older red wines tend to do. Red wines tend to get lighter in color with age. White wines tend to get darker colored with age. Given enough years of age, the red and the white wines could both end up with an amber/tawny/brown color.
The legs, those “curtains” of liquid dropping down on the inside of your wine glass will illustrate the alcohol and sugar content of the wine, both of which have an impact on its flavor. The slower the dripping down, the higher the alcohol and/or sugar levels will be. Higher alcohol and sugar content does not mean higher quality by the way.
Finally, sediment. It doesn’t necessarily mean a wine is good or flawed. Sediment may occur naturally as the wine ages, more so in red wines than the whites. Just be aware if there is sediment, you may want to decant the wine before serving it.
This is where you have poured wine into the glass and you are about to release the esters and aldehydes. The aromatic and flavor elements in the wine generally benefit from swirling your wine as they get more oxygen. The exposure to oxygen begins to break the wine down, which we call “opening” the wine up.
The swirling softens both red and white wines alike. If your wine has sediment in it, it is best to decant it before putting it into a glass to swirl. While consuming sediment won’t hurt you, it is not always pleasant to have it in mouth after a sip of wine.
Swirling may also eliminate unwanted/volatile components in the wine.
It doesn’t matter if you swirl clockwise or counterclockwise, whether you are in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern hemisphere, left-handed or right-handed.
Two Rules to swirling:
- Fill the glass only halfway up with wine. This will allow you to swirl a bit more aggressively, which will help open up the wine quicker.
- Do not be the person who makes a dramatic scene swirling the wine glass either in the air or on the table. This call for attention is not fitting for the situation.
OK, that’s all I can fit this month. This may take a couple/few newsletters to get through all ten of the “S’s”. Let me know if you are enjoying them; I am planning to make a video of this if things align.
Gary Parker, Owner
The WineSellar & Brasserie