August 2019

Wine Faults

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Aromas that signal something’s wrong with your wine

Wine can be spoiled in the winery, after bottling, during shipping or storage at a retail shop, restaurant or even in your home. Some wine faults are more common than others, there’s a good chance a regular wine drinker will experience at least one or more of the faults.

 

Corked wine

Does your wine smell like a wet dog, damp newspaper or cardboard or a musty basement? Then the wine is probably “corked.” Cork taint may be the flaw most likely to cause the most sleepless nights for winemakers and collectors. Estimates vary, but up to a staggering 8% of bottles may be “corked.” Cork taint derives from the compound trichloroanisole (or TCA), a sign of mold in faulty corks

Oxidized wine

Smelling walnuts, caramel, stewed fruit or even curry spice? The wine is probably oxidized. But should a wine, red or white, become prematurely oxidized (oftentimes due to a dried out cork), it’s no longer good. If you’re served a prematurely oxidized wine at a restaurant, that’s grounds to send it back. To avoid the issue at home, always store a bottle on its side.

 Volatile acidity

When volatile acidity levels in a wine are excessively high they spoil the aromas and flavors. Volatile acidity destroys the wine’s fruitiness and finally makes the wine taste like vinegar.

Wine Faults

Wine Faults

Reduction

Smelling rotten eggs, burned rubber, matches or cauliflower in your wine? That wine is reduced. Reduction is the opposite of oxidation, meaning the wine has not been exposed to any air. Too much air can oxidize wine, but a little bit of oxygen helps wine age. Reductive aromas may also be present in wines aged under screw cap tops.

BrettanomycesWine Faults

Are you getting the aroma of bandages, rubber, horses or other barnyard smells? This is brettanomyces — or brett  is a type of yeast that likes to hang out in wineries, especially in barrels. Brett can be tricky to identify, as certain strains of the yeast can impart earthy or meaty aromas that some people find appealing in small amounts. However, if your wine smells primarily of barnyards, rotten meat, or adhesive bandages, you should consider sending the wine back.

Wine FaultsSulfur

Sulfur has a complicated relationship with wine. One particular type, sulfur dioxide, is added to almost all wines as a stabilizer and natural preservative to keep bacteria away. But sometimes your wine gets a wandering eye and becomes attached to other types of sulfur, such as dihydrogen sulfide, which can lead to rotten egg, flatulence, burnt rubber, or skunk, aromas no one wants associated with their wine.

No aroma

This could be because the wine is too cold, or it needs a little air. Warm the glass with your hands and swirl a little to introduce more air. If it still isn’t smelling like much after a few minutes, it could be that the wine just doesn’t have much flavour.

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WINE and MOVIES

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MOVIES FOR WINE-LOVERS 

Do you like movies?

Do you like wine?

Do you like movies about wine?

If yes, then you have landed in the right place.

 

A list of the best wine movies ♥

 


 

A Walk in the Clouds – (1995)

This movie takes place in the Napa Valley and stars Keanu Reeves. Many of the winery vineyard scenes were shot at the Mount Veeder Winery and the Mayacamus Winery. Keanu Reeves is a soldier returning to his wife after four years of service in World War II. He meets a wonderful woman on the bus and it turns out her family owns a winery in the Napa Valley, a Mexican-owned winery at that. There many wonderful wine scenes. In one scene, the entire family awakes to fight the frost. The harvest scene is a classic! Another great character in the movie is the patriarch of the family, played by Anthony Quinn, an all-around classy and lovable character. I am not sure why this movie does not get more recognition from the wine buffs. It is very enjoyable.

Sideways (2004)

Is it possible to have a list of wine movies without mentioning Sideways? It was a smash hit back in 2004, and was possibly the first wine-related movie to really break into the mainstream. Actually, many claim that the dip in Merlot sales which still abounds today was directly influenced by the opinions expressed in the film – after all, it’s hard not to identify with the main characters Jack and Miles as they explore wine, friendship, depression, relationships, and generally moving on through life into middle age. Fourteen years later, it’s still good fun to watch, and a great movie to drink along with.

Mondovino – (2004)

Most movies and documentaries about wine sit in two clear categories: In half of them, there’s a hefty dose of romance and pretty scenery. In the other, we tend to be shown the fussy, somewhat pretentious, and over-the-top nature of the more luxurious world of wine. Mondovino really breaks this mould; it’s a two hour documentary made up mostly of handheld camera footage, and breaks open the secrets behind the damage globalisation is doing to traditional wine industries. It deals with issues of deforestation, pollution, big business, and political influences, and while it’s not the easiest of watches, it will make you swear to stick to your local and boutique wineries from the moment you finish.

A Good Year – (2006)

This is feel good wine movie about an English man who inherits an old winery and vineyard from his uncle. It is not what he expects but all ends well when he falls for a beautiful woman as he works on the winery restoration. The movie is set in Provence.

Bottle Shock – (2010)

This is a movie based loosely on the famous wine tasting in Paris in 1976. In a blind tasting, a California Chardonnay (Chateau Montelena 1973) and a California Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap Wine Cellars 1973) took top honors in a blind tasting over French wines. In “Bottle Shock,” the movie centers on the saga of Chateau Montelena and owner Jim Barrett as he struggles to make and sell his wine. There is a lot of fiction in this movie but it is very entertaining. Sadly, there is no mention of Mike Grgich who was the winemaker at Chateau Montelena at the time.

Blood into Wine – (2010)

Take a look inside the life of one of Rock music’s most mysterious and interesting figures. With winemaking in his blood, multiplatinum recording artist Maynard James Keenan sets out to bring notariety to Arizona’s burgeoning wine regions.

Boom Varietal – (2011)

Is Malbec, Mendoza’s signature grape, a fad variety or here to stay? After the longest opening credit sequence in history, Boom Varietal attempts to answer this question by talking to winemakers, industry insiders, and exploring the history of the grape in Argentina and abroad.The major detractor in this documentary is the soundtrack, which is overblown and completely distracting.

Somm – (2012)

This is a documentary following four men preparing for the hardest test in the world, the Master of Wine Sommelier. I love the cinematography in this movie. We see vineyards, barrels, wine, wine glasses, and close-ups of each of the sommelier candidates. It is very artistic. I think you have to love wine to really enjoy this movie.

You Will Be My Son – (2013)

It’s fair to say that quite a few of the wine-related dramas released over the past few decades tend to lean a bit on the schmaltzy side of things. This is absolutely not something you could say of You Will Be My Son, which is – for our money – one of the best wine flicks of all time. It explores the thorny issue of inheritance, and the fact that so many wineries are traditionally passed down from father to son… but what happens when the father doesn’t trust the son, and instead gifts his winery to the hard-working children of his vineyard manager instead? It’s a beautifully shot, deeply dramatic thriller, and really does tick every box for a movie night in.

Cement Suitcase – (2013)

One of those quirky quarter-life, seize the day comedies, Cement Suitcase is unique in that it takes us out of California wine country (a Hollywood favorite, for good reason of course) and into Yakima Valley, Washington. Franklin has what many would consider a dream job, working in a winery tasting room. But Franklin takes no joy in his job, not to mention: he’s about to lose his house and his girlfriend is cheating on him. Luckily he meets up with quirky Aussie, Jackford (no last name), who shows him how to get more fun out of life.

Red Obsession – (2013)

Demand hugely exceeds supply for the Premiers Crus of Bordeaux. This lavish documentary looks at how China’s relentless pursuit of prestige bottlings affects these chateaus and wine regions as a whole as the landscape changes to the tastes of foreign investors.

 A Year in Champagne – (2014)

While the narration could use a little more oomph, you can’t beat the gorgeous cinematography in this documentary. It’s packed full of information on everything Champagne-related, from how they put in the bubbles, to the strict laws governing the winemaking process, to the social structure of the area itself. Even if you think you know a lot about sparkling wine, you will learn something from this film. Plus it’s just fun to peek into the lifestyle of a place where people drink Champagne as a matter of course, like water.

 Somm: Into the Bottle – (2015)

From the same filmmakers who brought you Somm, this is a follow-up documentary that focuses more on the wines sommeliers love than on the somms themselves. While the criticism that this doc needs more focus is valid, it’s still very informative and perfect for wine geeks. The best parts are watching super-rare bottles opened and tasted in the wineries where they were made, such as the 1969 Dom Ruinart (only 18 left in the world — or 17 now, I guess) or the 1966 Mondavi, the first wine Mondavi produced.

Sour Grapes – (2016)

This documentary details the dark side to the wine resale market. This chronicle of excess and deception looks at the fascinating case of a young wine savant who conned investors out of millions of dollars. An incredibly captivating film.

Wine Country – (2019)

In honor of Rebecca ‘s 50th birthday, Abby  plans a scenic Napa getaway with their best, longtime friends. Workaholic Catherine , post-op Val, homebody Jenny, and weary mom Naomi  are equally sold on the chance to relax and reconnect. Yet as the alcohol flows, real world uncertainties intrude on the punchlines and gossip, and the women begin questioning their friendships and futures.

 

 

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10 Cretan Diamonds -10 Local Varieties

10 CRETAN DIAMONDS

Vilana

Vilana is a local variety found mainly in the regions of Heraklion and Lasithi. The best examples from Heraklion are produced out of PDO Peza and must be pure Vilana, while Lasithi’s production excels in the specific area of PDO Sitia—where Vilana is blended with Thrapsathiri. The hallmarks of Vilana wine are a moderately deep yellow color, medium intensity of aromas, and flavors showing notes of lemon, orange, pear, and herbs. On the palate it is fresh, light in body yet broad in shape, with soft acidity and medium alcohol. Vilana is a straightforward, thirst-quenching white wine for a warm summer day—soft, appealing, and easy to drink.

Daphne

Daphne is an almost extinct white grape local variety of the island of Crete that got back in the spotlight of fame. This was achieved by producing dry white wines that are intense in aromas and round on the palate, while keeping alcohol levels moderate. It originates from the general area of Heraklion and, although vineyards remain much localized, growers are increasing planting more Daphne. Daphne in Greek means “laurel” and it is clearly evident why that name has been given to this full flavoured grape –laurels, wet leaves and pungent herbs, coupled with ripe yellow and white fruits. The palate is highly particular in structure –although it possesses extract, power and soft acidity, alcohol levels are surprisingly modest. Daphne wines are made to be consumed within three years after harvest, but the more adventurous wine lovers that enjoy complexity could keep some bottles for at least three additional years.

Plyto

The Cretan Plyto is such a remarkable case of a local variety which was literally snatched away from the verge of extinction. At present, Plyto is responsible for a small number of white wines but it does show great promise of potentially becoming one of the key native varieties which will be called upon later on to shoulder the representation of the historic island of Crete’s wine profile. Sightings of Plyto planting in eastern Crete itself is a rare occurrence: it was Heraklion winegrowers who actually helped the variety make a comeback in their own area by looking for Plyto, identifying it, and replanting it: Modern irrigation methods in Heraklion’s contemporary vineyards seem not only to have helped this rare grape variety overcome its aversion to droughts but to have enhanced its lemony character and resplendent freshness as well. On its own or blended with more robust and mature varieties such as vidiano, Plyto seems to possess the potential for outstanding performance.

Vidiano

Old, native, with a fine aroma, the most remarkable white variety of the Cretan vineyard with special roots from Rethymno which also participated in the preparation of the Cretan sweet Malvasia wine.It produces wines with lemony green colour, intense, individual and very complex aromas of ripe peach and apricot, hints of aromatic herbs and minerality. On the palate they are full and have elevated levels of alcohol, but the moderately high acidity keeps them in balance. The style of Vidiano can be rich but never hot or dull. Most producers try to unlock the true potential of the grape, planting it in cooler high altitude vineyards or blending it with other varieties.In recent years, the shift in the projection of old, forgotten varieties gave great boost to the cultivation of this particular variety, resulting in being now found in large areas of vineyards and to be fairly characterized as the white “Diva” of Crete.

Thrapsathiri

Thrapsathiri is grown all over Crete, from Chania to the west to Lasithi to the east. The most acclaimed wines come from the latter area where PDO Sitia is located. PDO Sitia white wines are blends of Vilana and Thrapsathiri but several producers of the island make single varietal wines of Thrapsathirι. Thrapsathiri wines have a pale lemon green colour, a moderately intense nose, mainly melon and peach. On the palate they have a relatively full body, notable alcohol and a mild acidity.

Muscat Of Spinas

One of the most important varieties cultivated for centuries in Greece and abroad, as well. This particular clone of Moschato is a small-berry treasure that gets its name from the community of Spina, located in the prefecture of Chania. The Local Variety is maybe famous for the grape’s powerful aroma but the thin skin of Muscat of Spinas imparts a delicate character to the wine, which results in an excellent dry wine and charming dry blends. Muscat of Spinas has light greenish color with intense floral aromas . Moderate and dry body with refreshing acidity and a feeling of flowers that lasts during its moderate finish.

Malvasia

Malvasia di Candia represents both a grape variety and an ancient wine style from Crete with its heydays dating back to the Venetian occupation of the island. It is one of the most elegant and aromatic varieties of Crete. It can be found mainly in Heraklion. Malvasia is a Local Variety that follows its own path in wine history offering its crazy perfumes and its elegant character. It gives excellent wines with intense aromas and high acidity. Based on its particular characteristics it offers exceptional sweet wines. Golden – yellow color, fruity and citrus notes. Soft and creamy in the palate, with excellent balance of flavor and characteristic aromatic aftertaste of jasmine and primrose.The slight sweetness emphasizes the fruit, with the peach, the lime and the pear being dominant, while its long aftertaste leaves a lemon feel in the mouth.

Kotsifali

Kostifali is the benchmark red Local Variety of the celebrated vineyards of Crete, defining the style of the dry reds coming out of one of the most significant wine-producing regions of the Aegean Sea. Since red grapes are much more important on the island than whites, Kotsifali can be considered as the real soul of Crete. It is grown all over Crete. But the best wines come from the area of Heraklion, specifically in PDO Peza and PDO Archanes. Both designations have to be a blend of Kotsifali and Mandilari. Kostifali, on its own, produces a wine that can be described as “typically Mediterranean”. Low in color, intense on aromas, relatively high in alcohol, soft in tannins and acidity. For these reasons, most Kotsifali is blended with numerous red grape varieties, either Cretan—most notably Mandilari—or international.

Mandilari

Mantilari is the king of the Local red Varieties of the island. Its wildness and power make it special. Because of its good acidity, it gives wines very dry and full. The heart of Mandilaria beats in the Aegean Sea and in Crete. It is not a coincidence that there, it is involved in the production of PDO Peza and PDO Archanes red wines. In the windswept and sun-kissed vineyards of these islands. Mandilaria – usually goblet shaped, acquires extraordinary characteristics. eep dark color, overripe fruit aromas, fleshy aromas (such as leather) and medium body, with unrestrained, robust tannins. With hard work in the vineyard and in the winery, but also by blending with other varieties many noteworthy winemakers are trying to tame the generally rampant nature of Mandilaria. However, a few years in the bottle is probably the best way to find ourselves in front of a “European” wine, which through its taste brings in mind its wonderful place of origin.

Liatiko

The name Liatiko is a short-form of the Greek word for July (Jul-atiko). An allusion to the fact that the grape ripens early in the growing season. The Liatiko berry is Local Variety has very dark, deeply pigmented skin. This color is notoriously hard to extract and keep. Liatiko musti s typically quite pale, and loses much of its tint during maturation, whether in tank, barrel or bottle. Dafnes, in central Crete, is Crete’s only Liatiko-specific appellation, all Dafnes wines must be 100-percent Liatiko. In Sitia, at the far eastern end of Crete, Liatiko is blended with Mandilaria for added depth of color . Liatiko wines are produced in both dry and sweet styles, the latter using sun-dried grapes and sometimes fortified, depending on the producer. Sweet Liatiko are highly prized and often regarded as the best expression of the variety.

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Tips to Keep the wine fresh!

Tips to keep your wine fresh.How long does wine last? And how long does wine last? Let’s first examine what “gone off” means when it comes to wine.

Has your wine gone bad?

It’s not too difficult to deduce whether your bottle has gone off. If you’ve left it open for a few days, give it a sniff and – if you’re brave enough – have a taste. If it’s changed colour, developed an unpleasant odour, or its tasting notes have fouled, it’s very likely your bottle’s gone off. Typically, bad wine will either taste vinegary or like gone-off fruit.

But don’t worry, bad wine is still technically drinkable, so you needn’t worry about it being harmful for your body. That said, it isn’t pleasant to drink.

Ways to keep the wine fresh

  1. Avoid oxygen at all costs

Grapes harbour certain bacteria that can turn the alcohol content in wine to acetic acid. However, these bacteria require oxygen to grow.

As a result, when you pop open the cork of your wine, you’ve already let the process begin.

There are some wines, however, that can in fact thrive when in contact with oxygen. Certain bottles of red can improve when left in a decanter for a short period or double decanting where you pour out the wine and the pour it back into the bottle. Additionally, some wines are deliberately exposed to oxygen to varying degrees as part of the style; for example, Sherry, Madeira and natural sweet wines.

However, this is mostly not the case, and you should generally try to keep the air away from opened bottles of wine.

  1. Understand shelf life

How long does wine last and keep it fresh? Now that’s a good question. The quickest answer is that it depends. A higher quality wine will take longer to go off than a cheap bottle, for instance, and the way you choose to store your wine will have a strong impact, too.

Still, we do have some helpful benchmarks to give you a clearer idea. If stored correctly:

  • Sparkling wine will last between one-two days
  • A nice, corked bottle of red wine will last for three to five days
  • Full-bodied white wines will keep fresh for five days
  • Light-bodied whites and rose can last seven days
  • Fortified wine (such as port ,sherry, natural sweet wines) can last up to twenty days
  1. Keep it cool, corked and crisp

Cold temperatures can help to slow down the oxidation process and keep the wine fresh, and therefore its best to keep red wines or fortified wines in a cool, dark place and white wines in the fridge. For more information on the exact temperatures you should be storing specific bottles of wine, take a look at our informative blog post on the topic.

On top of this, always ensure you use a wine stopper or a cork to reduce the amount of oxygen entering the bottle.

…And the best way to make sure wine is fresh…

Drinking a whole bottle in one sitting can safeguard against any nasty surprises !!! 🙂

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Choosing a Summer Wine

Small secrets to Choosing a Summer Wine . What wine should you choose for your warm-weather festivities?

 

What are our top tips for choosing a summer wine for warm weather?

Choose wines with lower tannins, such as whites, light-bodied reds and rosés, that can be served chilled without shutting down.  Also pick wines with nice acidity that are refreshing—like fresh Liatiko , rosé or high-acid whites. Also keep climate in your mind. And what we mean with that? Warm climates produce wines that are riper, with more sugar and less acidity, whereas cool climates produce wines that are more tart and acidic. Acidity is that sour sensation a wine gives you; it leaves your mouth watering for more. Think of it as the lemonade quality of a wine, and there’s a reason lemonade is so popular in the summer. Because it’s acidic and subsequently really fucking refreshing!

What’s the best way to serve wine ?

Whatever wine it is, chill it! Yes, even reds! Not only because it’s hot outside (and perhaps even worse inside), but chilling wine tightens its flavors and acidity, making them crisper and more energetic-tasting.

What are our personal favorite wines for summer?

Sparkling wines are always great!  You can choose sparkling wine from Cretan varieties like The “Sprakling Vidiano” from Douloufakis Winery.  We love also lighter and more aromatics wines, like wines from variety Muscat of Spinas or Malvasia di Candia or blends with those varieties. We are also suggest some of the white wines from Santorini, like Assyrtiko. They have great acidity and an amazing salinity that is especially fantastic with shellfish and seafood which are great for  summer.

 

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