Wine Terms

The wine industry has many industry-specific terms that can be a bit daunting, especially for newcomers to wine. In this article, I will provide brief explanations of key wine terms.

  • Acidity is what makes your mouth pucker when you drink wine. If you smell and taste a lot of grapefruit and lime in the wine, you can expect a fairly acidic wine.
  • Appellation is the wine region the grapes are grown in. Napa Valley is an appellation. Within the Napa Valley appellation, there are 15 subappellations, or AVAs (American Viticultural Areas). Appellations are designated by government agencies or trade bureaus, depending on the country.
  • Sulfites are byproducts of yeast that occur naturally in grapes and that wine makers add to wine in large part to improve a wine’s shelf stability.
  • Legs are the rivulets you see coming down the wine glass. While legs are fun to look at, they don’t tell you anything about the quality of the wine. They tell you about viscosity and alcohol content. As a general rule, the more pronounced the legs, the higher the alcohol content of the wine.
  • Malolactic fermentation (MLF) is when malic acid is converted to lactic acid and carbon dioxide. When you think malic acid, think tangy and sharp, like a green apple. When you think lactic acid, think milky. A Chardonnay that hasn’t gone through MLF is likely to taste crisp and clean. A Chardonnay that has gone through MLF is likely to taste more mellow and buttery.
  • Meritage (rhyming with heritage) is the term used to designate American-made Bordeaux blends.
  • Tannins are flavonoids in wine that make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth. They are more prevalent in red wines than in whites, because they come primarily from the grape’s skin. Wines with a lot of tannins, such as Cabernets, tend to be more ageable than wines with lower tannins.
  • Terroir is a French term that represents the growing environment of the grapes. It encompasses the content of the soil, the slant of the hill, the direction of the sun, the amount of fog and precipitation, and anything else impacting the grape’s growing experience.
  • Varietal refers to the grape from which the wine is made. Examples include Merlot, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. Somebody might ask you what your favorite varietal is. If you are new to wine, you might say that you are exploring many different varietals but that you lean towards the sweeter varietals such as Riesling.
  • Vintage is the year the grapes are grown and picked. The vintage year is reflected on the label. If you go to the store and see a 2007 wine on the shelf, you know that the grapes were grown and picked in 2007. But you don’t know whether the wine went through a long aging process and was bottled only recently or whether the bottle has been sitting on the shelf for a number of years.

Source: Benny’s Wine Musings

Driving to Bangalore

One of my friends has got an interview call from a company in Bangalore and the company has promised to reimburse him the petrol charge for driving to Bangalore. So we thought we can club that opportunity for a tour to Mysore or GOA.

So we are driving to Bangalore tonight and will be deciding where we will be up to once his interview gets over. As usual planning for drive his so high and I’m carrying a Red & White WINE bottle.

As usual we will be having our dinner at Khaja Restaurant Ambur. Other than that we have not planning much on how to spend time in Bangalore but for sure it will have a visit to Forum / Garuda Mall and I’ll have a tattoo sprayed for sure.

Wines i’ll be tasting…

So as promised in my previous blog I’m sharing the list of wine I’ll be tasting and a small brief about those wine…


Four Seasons Shiraz 2008, India

four-seasonsIn Maharashtra, all wine trails lead to Nasik. Excellent climate, great soil and history of grape-growing all make Nasik a natural choice for any wine producer in India. It thus came as quite a surprise when United Breweries set up their maiden winery in Baramati, and their vineyards in the nearby Sahyadri Valley. But in Sahyadri they found the perfect terroir, and a climate which afforded cool nights,warmdays and less rainfall than Nasik. And in Abhay Kewadkar, they found India’s foremost winemaker.With decades of experience, first at Chateau Indage and then at the helm of Grover wines, Abhay Kewadkar became a natural choice. His exceptional winemaking skills have produced a Shiraz with a deep ruby core, a smoky nose of dark berry and spice, and a well-structured palate with gripping tannins and great acidity. This stellar first offering fromFour Seasons will embrace Indian food!


Errazuriz Carmenère 2007, Chile

The Judgement of Paris – organized by the Chairman of our Board of Wine Advisors errezurizSteven Spurrier – is famous for not only establishing the credibility of California’s wines, but for also acting as an impetus to California’s burgeoning wine industry, stimulating both demand and sales of its wines worldwide. Inspired by this event and its consequences, Chilean wine producer Eduardo Chadwick set out to do something similar for the Chilean Wine Industry. In what has now become known as the BerlinTasting of 2004, Chadwick invited 36 journalists (including Steven Spurrier) and wine buyers to Berlin to taste blind a selection of wines from Chile, France and Italy. Classics from France (including Chateau Lafite, Chateau Latour and Chateau Margaux) and Italy (including Tignanello, Sassicaia and Solaia)were pitted against some of Chadwick’s wines from the same vintages.


Chadwick’s wines remarkably came out on top, and Chile suddenly found itself prominently perched on the world wine map. Initially famous for its juicy Merlots and mouthwatering Cabernets, Chile really brought to the fore the Carmenère, which is thought have originated in Bordeaux, where at one point it was widely cultivated for blending. Owing to the fickle nature of its growth and its low yields, it was phased out after the Phylloxera attack that destroyed most of Europe’s vines in the late 1800s. The “lost grape of Bordeaux” was thought to have disappeared forever, until it was rediscovered in the valleys of Chile, where until 1994, it was mistaken for Merlot.

What better an offering than a Carmenère from Eduardo Chadwick’s own winery? Its deep red robe, black berry nose and mocha palate are destined to please. Utterly enjoyable by itself, or with a good steak.



Cavalieri Di Moasca Barbera D’Asti 2007, Italy

barberaBarbera is the second most widely planted grape in Italy after the Sangiovese. Traditionally, it was considered to be an ordinary grape variety that was either used to make “people’s wine” (wine for everyday drinking) or to improve the colour of wines made from other grapes, specifically those made from Nebbiolo. It was then given a new lease of life by the winemakers from the Piedmont region of Italy, who by severely pruning the vines to produce smaller yields, vastly improved the quality of Barbera. Piedmont, already renowned for its wine, food and highly sought-after white truffles, was now famous for the quality of its Barbera. Nowhere is it better than in the city of Asti. This Barbera D’Asti is naturally high in acidity and soft on tannins, and will pair extremely well with most Indian food.


Waterford Estate Pecan Stream Chenin Blanc 2007, South Africa

South Africans speak of Stellenbosch with twinkles in their eyes. Its Mediterranean pecanclimate with hot dry summers and mild wet winters are ideal for the production of perfect grapes. Considered to be the prettiest wine-growing region anywhere in the world, Stellenbosch is the spiritual home of winemaking in South Africa. The University of Stellenbosch is responsible for nurturing many of the country’s better winemakers, who (more often than not) join one of the many leading wineries that make Stellenbosch their home. As winemaker for several leading wineries over the past three decades, Kevin Arnold has called Stellenbosch home since 1979. In 1998, he decided to join the Ord brothers to set up the Waterford Estate, also in Stellenbosch. Today, Waterford Estate has one of the best Cellar Door experiences worldwide. It also produces some of South Africa’s most exceptional wines, all of which embody the philosophy of the Waterford Way, a philosophy that celebrates prosperity, life, food, wine and family! The Pecan Stream Chenin Blanc is no different, and reflects hues of melon and peach on both nose and palate, making it utterly delicious with seafood. Bound to please every fan of India’s favorite grape type!


J LangaCavaBrutNV, Spain

langaIn the 1860s, after a particularly inspiring tour of the Champagne region of France, Spanish winemaker José Raventós decided to give Spain its own sparkling wine. He imported equipment from Champagne, and in 1872, used local grapes to produce Spain’s first methode champenoise sparkling wine. It was initially called champán, but later became Cava, to reflect the Spanish term for “Cellar” or “Cave”. Local producers took to it immediately and soon every still white wine in and around the Penedès region of Spainwas used to make Cava. Cava’s popularity spread rapidly; it is now used for any occasion, from weekend picnics to family traditions. Spanish babies get their first taste of Cava at their baptisms, where their pacifiers are dipped in it! Cava is today the world’s most popular sparkling wine.

Typically Cava can be made from a handful of grape varieties including the homegrown Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada and the champagne-producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The J Langa Cava is 70% Macabeo and 30% Chardonnay, reacquainting it to most champagne drinkers. This bright young wine will charm you with its citrus and shortbread aromas and slightly sweet yet crisp finish. It is most

enjoyable by itself, but can also be paired with delicately flavoured food.


TriventoTribuTorrontés 2008, Argentina

From almost the very moment that this wine was delivered to our offices, we knew that trivento-torrenteswe’d stumbled on to something special. However, nothing prepared us for the manner in which the aromas of this wine’s bouquet struck us squarely in the face! Aromas of grapefruit and peach leapt from our glasses. Even though Torrontés – a white wine varietal almost exclusive to Argentina – is known for its aromatic whites, we weren’t expecting such an incredible nose. With floral notes and the slightest hint of aniseed on the palate, this wine received unanimous approval from our entire tasting panel. Enjoy by itself as an aperitif, or with spicy food or smoked meats.



In spite of all this as a Citibank Platinum Cardholder, I’ll receive a FREE bottle of Bouvet-Ladubay Brut and here is the description of this fluid… Ok now comes my generosity part :)… I’d like to share this with my friends, twitter mates, my blog readers and acquaintance… This might happen in Chennai or Bangalore based on the response… Please comment your interest for participation and place based on that we might fix up the city and place… Now let me wait for the day I’ll be getting those bottles…


Bouvet-Ladubay Brut NV, France

 image005The Bouvet Ladubay Brut NV (non-vintage) is a sparkling wine from the Loire Valley in France. It has wonderful fruit aromas, and delicious flavours of spring flowers. It is a well-balance sparkling wine with a refreshing finish.

 Grape Variety: 90% Chenin Blanc, 10% Chardonnay


Tasting Notes: Bright yellow in colour with green highlights and fine, persistent bubbles. It has a dominant fruity nose with milder aromas of flowers.  On the palate, it leaves a subtle floral taste. The finish is brisk yet refreshing.








Ok now comes my generosity part :)… I’d like to share this with my friends, twitter mates, my blog readers and acquaintance… This might happen in Chennai or Bangalore based on the response… Please comment your interest for participation and place based on that we might fix up the city and place… Now let me wait for the day I’ll be getting those bottles…

Now I’m The Wine Society of India Member

Today I enrolled for a membership with The Wine Society of India and they were very fast in getting me enrolled… I got a call within 5 minutes of Faxing the application form…


Wine making, tasting and itz culture attracted me for almost a decade and being in Chennai I was deprived of learning the nuances of wine making and managing a Vineyard… Four years back I also took lot of steps to prepare a Business Plan for Wine Making unfortunately I didn’t have much contacts and I had to scrap the project for lack of exposure in the field…… Now I got an opportunity to explore and make my dreams a reality…


Now being their member I get following benefits;


  • 6 wines every 3 months; handpicked by an independent Board of Wine Advisors, chaired by Steven Spurrier, the world-famous wine authority.
  • Difficult-to-find wines, right at your doorstep
  •  Affordable prices (lower than retail)
  • Permanent Founding Member status for first 1000 wine-buying members
  • Prestigious membership card with vintage chart
  • 7-part Home Study Wine Education Course sent in quarterly installments along with your wine shipments
  • FREE two-year subscription to Sommelier India, India’s premier wine magazine (value INR 700), delivered to you with every shipment
  • Access to WSI ‘lifestyle’ classroom wine courses (Novice and Intermediate)
  • Invitations to WSI Wine Tasting events together with VIP’s from the wine world
  • Arrangement for a one-year Liquor License for those who do not possess one – FREE! (NOTE: Maharashtra Only)
  • Special helpline to answer any questions about wine and wine-related matters
  • Global Vineyard Visit Programme including VIP introductions to wineries and winemakers around the world
  • Exclusive restaurant privileges (in development)
  • Discounted pricing on world’s best wine magazines:
    • 25% discount off annual subscription to Decanter
  • Discounted pricing to The Wine & Spirits Education Trust range of wine courses
  • Discounted pricing at Oxford Bookstores
    • 10% discount on a range of WSI recommended wine titles
    • 5% discount on all other titles in the store
  • Discount at Classic Wine Shops in Bangalore – 5% on all purchases
  • Discounts on wines available at BIN END Sales held at prestige restaurants, where you can taste before you buy
  • Preferred pricing on carefully chosen wine accessories:
    • 20% discount on Haier home wine storage chillers to preserve your wine
    • 10% discount on Riedel crystal wine glasses and decanters
    • 10% discount on Screwpull wine-opening products
  • Access to investment-grade wines and en primeur offerings
  • Preference in the event of an IPO of The Wine Society of India
  • Also as a Citibank Platinum Cardholder, I’ll receive a FREE bottle of Bouvet-Ladubay Brut.


So what is the cost of membership is what will be in your mind? Simple every quarter they ship 6 bottles of wine which costs Rs. 6,500/- + Rs. 650/- (Transportation Charges) and we must commit to buy atleast 2 shipments in a year…


If you want to enroll you can download the form from The Wine Society of India site and you can email it or fax it or Snail mail it… If you give my name as reference I’ll get 2 wine bottles as reference gift and I’m ready to share one with you :)…


So this is what I’m getting in my first shipment? That will be my next blog post… For now I’m getting wines from 6 different countries and for more details keep your fingers crossed….