Some 20 years ago, Jean- Michel Boursiquot, Prof of ampelography (the study of grapevines) in the University of Montpelier in France, was examining vineyards belonging to the Chilean wine producer Carmen.

After consulting with colleagues, he came to the conclusion that some of the Merlot vines he had inspected were in fact Carménère, a completely different Bordeaux grape variety. “When I first told them,” he told me, “their faces were blank; they didn’t want to know; at that time everybody wanted Merlot. However, they accepted our findings and began reclassifying some of their vines.” It turned out a lot of Chile’s “Merlot” was in fact Carménère, and so began a long period of experimentation with this little known grape.

Link: Irish Times


Barnyard wines

Terrific tasting and somewhat funky smelling wines are hard to find because wineries often leave the smelly truth out of the tasting notes. I guess the words ‘tastes like licking an old leather saddle with a soupçon of raspberry purée’ doesn’t sell wine. However, there are a growing group of wine drinkers who love the funk. And let’s admit, the aromas of old saddle leather are really great on certain wines!

Where do these rustic aromas of farmyard, barnyard, old saddle leather, sweaty socks and cured meat come from?

The Farmyard and Barnyard Aroma is brought to you by a yeast called Brettanomyces

The simple way to make airplane wine taste better

Here’s a way to vastly improve the taste of wine on an airplane. Shake it.

The benefits of letting red wine aerate are long established by sommeliers. Decanting wine for a few hours before drinking allows volatile substances in the wine to evaporate and oxygen to enter the liquid, causing the wine to seem “more expressive, more aromatic and better integrated” according to Wine Spectator.

source: on Quartz by David Yanofsky

Prosecco replaces champagne as world’s favourite sparkling wine

It has long been the drink of choice for weddings, birthdays or a romantic meal for two, but champagne may now be losing some of its sparkle as drinkers opt for cheaper alternatives, new figures suggest.

According to the OVSE, the Italian wine observatory, prosecco outsold champagne in 2013 to replace the famous French beverage as the world’s most popular sparkling wine, The Local reported.

Some 307 million bottles of prosecco, made from the Glera grape and produced in northern Italy, were sold worldwide during the year, compared to 304 million for champagne, the OVSE said.

source: France24