left left

Uncorked: Good Wine for Great Food

February 16, 2017 BY Dax

INTRODUCTION TO WINE:

At its simplest, wine is little more than fermented grape juice. But the flavors that come from those little globes are nothing short of remarkable. There is magic in taking a grape and creating wine, full of flavor with each type of grape varietal producing a different profile, and each year a slightly different nuance. It’s important to note that the word varietal is specific in nature, referring to a wine made from just one grape type and named after that grape.

Wine has the power to turn an everyday meal like chicken soup into something special, such as a “Roasted Chicken Chardonnay.” Adding flavor, depth, intrigue and desirability, wine can be the best supporting actor in your next project.

DEFINITION OF WINE CATEGORIES:

There are five basic styles that all wine can be categorized by. Similar to what we learned in high school biology class, a wine category will act similar to a kingdom in species classification; the category will contain many wines that share a trait or characteristic. For example champagne, which is a wine produced in the Champagne region of France and has characteristic bubbles, will be placed into the sparkling wine category.


RED WINE:
A wine made with red/black grapes. The wine is left in contact with the grape skins for a length of time and imparts the level of red color and the bitterness. These wines can range from light to dark and bone dry to sweet.


WHITE WINE:
A wine produced from green and sometimes red and black grapes. All grape juice is white and when the juice does not stay in contact with the dark color skin, a white wine can be produced from a red or black grape. The flavors span from rich and creamy to light and zesty.


ROSÉ WINE:
A wine from red/black grapes produced by removing the skins before they deeply color the wine. This style can also be formed by blending red and white wine together. Both dry and sweet styles of rosé are common.


SPARKLING WINE:
A style of winemaking that involves a secondary fermentation in the bottle, causing the bubbles. Sparkling wine can be red, white or rosé and can range from minerally to rich and sweet.


FORTIFIED WINE:
A style of winemaking involving adding spirits to a wine, originally done to stabilize the wine for transportation. Typically a dessert wine, but many dry-style fortified wines exist such as dry sherry.

DATA

WINE VARIETALS:

CHART: 8.A: Shows that wine consumption in the US has increased by 30 percent per capita over the past decade.

Trends in the US Wine Industry for 2015 – Surging Forward with Renewed Optimism ($37.6 billion in 2014 revenues) Posted on February 8, 2015

Dr. Liz Thach, MW Professor of Management and Wine Business, Sonoma State University


US WINE CONSUMPTION

Per Capita Wine Consumption in the US per person
3.14 gallons per person, or 11.9 liters


FAVORITE VARIETALS BY PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS

CHART: 8.B: Breaks down the percentage of consumers and their wine varietal preference.

2015 Survey of American Wine Consumer Preferences
by Dr. Liz Thach, MW and Dr. Kathryn Chang
November 11, 2015

Dr. Liz Thach, MW is the Distinguished Professor of Wine and Dr. Kathryn Chang is an assistant professor of accounting at Sonoma State University in the School of Business and the Wine Business Institute.


CHART: 8.C: Categorizes the desired characteristic profiles in wine.

2015 Survey of American Wine Consumer Preferences
by Dr. Liz Thach, MW and Dr. Kathryn Chang
November 11, 2015

Dr. Liz Thach, MW is the Distinguished Professor of Wine and Dr. Kathryn Chang is an assistant professor of accounting at Sonoma State University in the School of Business and the Wine Business Institute.


 

PINOT GRIGIO

CATEGORY: White

FLAVOR PROFILE: Crisp and dry with a moderate acidic bite. Strong aromatics, and large fruity
back notes.

COMMON PAIRINGS: Light seafood, shellfish, green vegetables, soft cheeses, and light butter
and cream sauces.

BACKGROUND: Pinot Grigio is also called Pinot Gris. This grape was thought to have started in the Burgundy region of France and was a mutation from the Pinot Noir varietal. The name “gris” means gray, referencing the grayish tint that its skin has when the grape is close to maturity.


SAUVIGNON BLANC

CATEGORY: White

FLAVOR PROFILE: From sour green fruits of apples and pears to tropical fruits of melon, mangos and blackcurrant.

COMMON PAIRINGS: Seafood, chicken, green vegetables, goat cheeses, citrus, green apples
and herbs.

BACKGROUND: A very versatile grape, the Sauvignon Blanc can create wines that have a very wide range of flavor profiles and aromas. The signature wine of New Zealand, it is grown in the Bordeaux region of France as well as in Australia, Chile and California. Sauvignon Blanc is also a component of sweet white Bordeaux when blended.


CHARDONNAY

CATEGORY: White

FLAVOR PROFILE: Wider bodied than other types of white wines, can range anywhere from oaky to crisp depending on the aging process used; oak barrels can add a velvet or oaky flavor, where stainless steel will provide a crisp finish. It has rich citrus (lemon and grapefruit) to crisp apple notes.

COMMON PAIRINGS: All white meat, shellfish, bold cheeses, roasted vegetables, almonds, mangos, cream sauces and pesto.

BACKGROUND: Chardonnay was without a doubt the white grape of choice through the 1990’s. It can be made sparkling or still. The grape is one of the most versatile and easily grown of the white grapes.


PINOT NOIR

CATEGORY: Red

FLAVOR PROFILE: Sweet and fruity, will have moderate to slightly heavy acidity, with light floral background notes.

COMMON PAIRINGS: Fatty fish, most white meats, duck, hard and soft cheeses, walnuts, dried fruit and brown spices.

BACKGROUND: Pinot Noir is believed to have its roots in the northern regions of France and is a very temperamental and thin-skinned grape. The name literally means black pine – pinot “pine,” and noir “black” for the cluster of dark, almost black grapes that share similarities to an overgrown pinecone.


MERLOT

CATEGORY: Red

FLAVOR PROFILE: The nose can include black cherry, stone fruits and herbal aromas. This wine varietal will be much smoother and more approachable than some of the stronger reds and have considerably less tannic than Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.

COMMON PAIRINGS: Beef, grilled fish, goat cheeses, parmesan, chestnuts, brown spices and fruity desserts.

BACKGROUND: Considered by many as the introductory wine for new red wine drinkers. One of the five Bordeaux varieties, these grapes are thick-skinned that can acclimate to many different climates. This is why you see Merlots from California, Italy and South America as well.


CABERNET SAUVIGNON

CATEGORY: Red

FLAVOR PROFILE: Fruity, with moderate to high acidity, elegant and assertive to robust with a finish that can move into bitterness from the tannins.

COMMON PAIRINGS: Fatty red meats, grilled tuna, cured meats, cheddar, bleu cheeses, walnuts and chocolate.

BACKGROUND: Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s top varietals and considered the king of red wine grapes. Without a doubt it has one of the highest name recognition and a very identifiable profile. The wine is normally aged in wine barrels before being bottled to help mellow out the tannins and add some moderate oak flavor.


SYRAH

CATEGORY: Red

FLAVOR PROFILE: Wild black fruit (such as raisins or currants) with overtones of black pepper and spice.

COMMON PAIRINGS: Grilled red meat, roast game, rich beef sauces, aged cheeses, currants, beets, hazelnuts and chocolate.

BACKGROUND: This varietal has two names; both Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape. This grape is used for many red table wines, but with its spiciness has been known to also produce some of the world’s finest and most complex wines.


CONCLUSION

The simple addition of a popular wine varietal in many dishes can take the mundane to craveable. And the versatility of their ability to pair with so many different foods only lends itself to wine varietals raising popularity with today’s consumers. The fact that American wine consumption per capita has gone up 30 percent in the last decade is possibly the most compelling reason to take a closer look at what these wine varietal profiles can do for you when developing a project that needs a little star quality.

GET THE NEWEST FLAVORS FIRST!

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE MOST CURRENT AND FUTURE TRENDS IN FLAVOR DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
left THANKS FOR REACHING OUT left