Guide To Tasting Wine

Written by Ben Bicais

The basics of tasting wine are relatively simple to learn. Oncerepparttar fundamentals are mastered,repparttar 116221 nuances and details can be enhanced over a lifetime. Like any other skill, tasting wine requires practice, and consistency is probablyrepparttar 116222 most important factor.

One helpful strategy an aspiring wine taster can pursue is tasting with a friend that has superior knowledge. Questions can be addressed, and you will quickly become comfortable with this unnecessarily intimidating subject.

Another important strategy for a beginning wine taster is to taste several wines side-by-side that share at least one common variable. This could berepparttar 116223 varietal, style, AVA of origin, or any combination ofrepparttar 116224 three.

Tasting blind will minimize any prior opinions or stereotypes. You may be surprised to discover that less-expensive wines are more pleasing to you.

The Essentials of Tasting Wine

It is imperative that you taste in spotlessly clean glasses. The most common contaminants in unclean glasses are invisible molecules left behind by cleaning products. Even high-end restaurants can be guilty of this faux pas. It is best to thoroughly hand wash glasses with unabrasive soaps and hot water.

It is beneficial, but not necessary to use varietal-specific glasses when tasting wine. Research has shown thatrepparttar 116225 shape of glasses really does make a difference inrepparttar 116226 sensory experience.

Overview ofrepparttar 116227 Tasting Process

Wine tasting employs much more than justrepparttar 116228 taste buds, although they are very important. Your palate is a term for how taste buds on your tongue translate particular flavors to your brain. The palate can perceive only four basic flavors: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and bitterness. Most ofrepparttar 116229 subtle flavor components of wine are actually picked up by one's sense of smell.

Although many of our daily perceptions are unconscious, making a concerted effort to pay attention to several things makesrepparttar 116230 tasting process more educational and rewarding. Despiterepparttar 116231 mystique that surrounds many wine "experts", tasting wine can be broken into simple steps. Wine knowledge usually stems from practice and confidence, not any inherent superiority.

Of course, some people have more developed senses than others. An extreme example is Robert Parker, widely regarded asrepparttar 116232 most influential wine critic inrepparttar 116233 world. Mr. Parker's tasting ability is derived from his natural ability to be keenly aware of his senses.

It is withinrepparttar 116234 grasp ofrepparttar 116235 vast majority of people to confidently differentiate varietals, styles, flavor profiles, and flaws when tasting wine. Tasting wine requires not only a grasp of your senses, but alsorepparttar 116236 ability to articulate (withrepparttar 116237 proper vernacular) your thoughts about a particular wine.

Relevance of Sight in Tasting Wine

Your sense of sight will reveal a lot about a particular wine before smelling and tasting it. Immediately after pouring, check to see how clearrepparttar 116238 wine is. While haziness may simply indicate a full-bodied, unfiltered red wine, in any other style it is usually cause for concern. Wines will often tasterepparttar 116239 way that they look (an unrefined look may indicate a clumsy, unfocused wine).

Viewingrepparttar 116240 color ofrepparttar 116241 edge of a wine in a glass will give you an indication of its maturity (or lack thereof). Mature, aged-worthy reds will have a deep crimson, or even brownish look. Too much brown usually means thatrepparttar 116242 wine is past its prime.repparttar 116243 rim of a white wine will generally be light yellow in youth, and and progress to an amber color with age.

The Curious History Of Wine Consumption In America

Written by Ben Bicais

The history of wine consumption in America has been frought with starts, stops, and inconsistencies. The American population has always had a love-hate relationship with alcohol. Historic prohibitionist attitudes amongst much ofrepparttar American population have blurredrepparttar 116220 line between moderate wine consumption and detrimental alcoholism. As a result, regular, moderate consumption of wine byrepparttar 116221 American public continues to face ideological and legal impediments.

The History of Wine Consumption Duringrepparttar 116222 Colonial Years

Since its origins,repparttar 116223 history of wine consumption in America has been both encouraged and despised by different demographic groups. Spanish missionaries producedrepparttar 116224 earliest New World wine duringrepparttar 116225 early 17th Century. Shortly thereafter, French immigrants began to cultivate grapes inrepparttar 116226 Hudson River Valley. They made wine, juice, and preserves.

The early history of wine consumption in America was dominated by immigrants whom were primarily Catholic, and of Central or Southern European descent. The bulk of wine-drinking immigrants came fromrepparttar 116227 wine loving nations of France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. They descended from cultural traditions that valued social wine consumption withrepparttar 116228 evening meal.

The aforementioned wine drinkers were counterbalanced by immigrants from Northern Europe. Many held Puritan belief systems that discouraged or banned alcohol consumption of any kind. The nativist movements ofrepparttar 116229 early 18th Century cast suspician on immigrant groups that retained Old World customs and did not entirely assimilate into American society.

Wine consumption was a lightning rod for these discriminatory points of view. Although not accurate, alcoholism was seen as a problem only associated with certain ethnic groups that enjoyed wine. Whiskey and beer wasrepparttar 116230 actual source of vast majority of problematic inebriation. Nonetheless, early prohibitionist forces were very effective at linking wine torepparttar 116231 ills of American society.

History of Wine Consumption Duringrepparttar 116232 19th Century

Inrepparttar 116233 1830s, Americans consumed massive amounts of whiskey and beer. Alcoholism was extremely widespread and was affectingrepparttar 116234 stability ofrepparttar 116235 American family. Husbands spent time inrepparttar 116236 saloons instead of with their families, and rampant drunkedness increased instances of philandering and crime.

Ironically, as Prohibitionist fervor gained national momentum inrepparttar 116237 nineteenth century,repparttar 116238 American wine industry boomed. From 1860-1880, Phylloxera devastatedrepparttar 116239 vineyards of France. California wine production greatly increased to fillrepparttar 116240 international void. Huge tracts of vineyards were planted in Southern California to satisfyrepparttar 116241 international demand for wine. However, most of this production was exported and it did not have a major impact onrepparttar 116242 history of wine consumption in America.

Byrepparttar 116243 mid-1880s, European wine production rebounded, causing a glut of American wine. To make matters worse, Pierce's Disease and Phylloxera simultaneously struck Southern California's vineyards. Rising population and real estate values inrepparttar 116244 Los Angeles Basin wasrepparttar 116245 last nail inrepparttar 116246 coffin of extensive viticulture inrepparttar 116247 region. With Prohibitionist attitudes constantly gaining momentum, American demand for wine was insufficient to make up forrepparttar 116248 loss ofrepparttar 116249 much larger European market.

History of Wine Duringrepparttar 116250 Prohibition Years

In response torepparttar 116251 massive outcry of many Americans against alcohol consumption, Congress passedrepparttar 116252 18th Amendment in 1917. It bannedrepparttar 116253 commercial production and sale of alcohol in America. The Volstead Act was ratified in 1920 and expounded onrepparttar 116254 actual implementation of Prohibition. It also mandated several loopholes in alcohol production and consumption. Physicians could prescribe alcohol and it could be consumed for religious purposes. Additionally, a head of household was legally allowed to produce 200 gallons of wine a year for personal use. This was largely a concession torepparttar 116255 significant Italian-American electorate.

Because ofrepparttar 116256 Volstead Act, American wine consumption actually increased during Prohibition. The traditional American alcoholic beverages of beer and distilled spirits were illegal to produce and sell from 1920-1933. As a result, regions like Lodi saw a massive increase in demand for grapes used for home winemaking.

Prohibition did not curtailrepparttar 116257 American apetite for alcohol, it merely destroyedrepparttar 116258 legal framework that governed alcohol sales. Due torepparttar 116259 inaccessibility of alcohol,repparttar 116260 use of other drugs, including cocaine and marijauna greatly increased. Additionally,repparttar 116261 government lost a major source of revenue from taxing alcohol as organize crime took overrepparttar 116262 means of production and distribution. The American public became increasingly dissolutioned withrepparttar 116263 government's stubborn attempt to attainrepparttar 116264 impossible.

The 21st Amendment: Repeal of Prohibition

After a decade ofrepparttar 116265 "noble experiment", Congress passedrepparttar 116266 21st Amendment. It ended national Prohibition and transferredrepparttar 116267 authority to allow or ban production and sale of alcohol to individual states. Many states relegated this authority torepparttar 116268 county level. Counties in some states prohibit alcohol to this day. The history of wine production and sales sincerepparttar 116269 repeal of Prohibition has been governed byrepparttar 116270 21st Amendment, notrepparttar 116271 free trade mandates ofrepparttar 116272 U.S. Constitution.

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