We know that grapes come in a variety of flavours, very much like our mangoes and wines are generally named after the grape they are made from.
The most common descriptions:
Acidity – Perceived as tartness, imparted by natural acids in wine. Desirable for balance with sweetness.
Aroma – In a broad sense, odors, whereas ‘flavours’ are merely aromas perceived orally. Wine aromas are defined as odors produced by the grape, not aging or fermentation.
Balance – A pleasurable equilibrium be-tween complementary or opposing factors, as in balancing oak to fruit aromas or residual sugar to acid in the wine.
Body – The wine’s ‘substance’ or viscosity. Affected by residual sugar, oak aging and concentration of alcohol and grape extracts.
Complexity – Extent to which a wine exhibits multiple aromas and flavours, rather than being daminantnated by one or two.
Dry – No perception of sweetness, although some residual sugar may be present.
FinishÍ – Duration and characteristics of per-sisting flavour/aromas.
Legs – Drops of wine which creep up the side of the glass. Higher alcohol content will result in thinner legs that flow back into the wine after swirling the glass.
Tannin – Naturally occur-ring phenolic compounds in grape skins, stems, seeds, and oak barrels which impart an astrin-gent, mouth-drying sen-sation. More prevalent in red wines. Desirable in moderation, especially with fatty foods.
Varietal – Type of grape variety(ies) in a wine, like ‘Chardonnay’.
Vintage – Year of harvest for at least 95% of the grapes in a wine. If not noted, indicates blend of multiple years’ harvest.
The way a wine is served is a decisive factor in ensuring that it will be fully appreciated. So first things first: Hold the stem or base of the glass so that your body heat does not warm the wine.
– White wine is served before red wine
– A light wine should be served before a robust one
– Wines should be served in order of increasing complexity
– Younger wines are usually served before older ones
Always remember, that room temperature in Jamaica is not room temperature in Europe, therefore you may need to chill your red wine before serving it.
Ideal serving temperature for white wines is 41-48F (5-9C) and for red wines it is 59-64F (15-18C). Very low temperatures will anaesthetize the taste buds and one’s perception of sweetness and alcohol increases with higher temperatures. Cold red wine tasted more acidic and bitter.
Matching Food with Wine:
There are no hard and fast rules for pairing wine with food – what is important is that you like it!However, the general guidelines are:
Food Suggested Wine
Shellfish/Fish: auvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling
Chicken: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Spicy Foods: Riesling, Viognier
Pork/Veal: Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese Lamb: Syrah/Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
Beef: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah/Shiraz
Fruit/Custard Desserts: Ice Wine, Sauternes, Late Harvest White Wines
Chocolate: Port, Most Red Wines
Matching Food with wine Jamaican Style:
– So you decide to enjoy some ribs, open a bottle of Jacob’s Creek Shiraz or Golden Kaan Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage or Merlot.
– With Japanese, try Mirassou Riesling or 35 South Chardonnay, Miguel Torres San Valentin Blanco, Barefoot Pinot Grigio. Want to create a taste sensation, try the spicier dishes with red wine
– Fancy a succulent fillet steak, be sure to pair it with Castillo de Molina Reserve Merlot, Apothic Red, Robert Giraud Cabernet Sauvignon or Cathedral Cellar Pinotage – a match made in heaven
– Feeling Italian, try the Chicken or Seafood Pasta with Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
– With Jerk Chicken or PorK, try Mirassou Pinot Noir or J. Moreau Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon
– Having lamb chops, open up a bottle of Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon
– If Stew Peas takes your fancy, open a bottle of The Naked Grape Pinot Noir or a Miguel Torres San Valentin
– With Chinese food, a light, easy to drink wine like Gato Merlot or Cabernet-Merlot is perfect or the Chardonnay
– If the curry is spicy, then reach for the sparkling wine of your choice like Andre, Cinzano or Pearly Bay Sparkling
Remember, the choice is yours!