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Snooth User: preetish

Hello Snooth!Preetish here..

Posted by preetish, Feb 20.

hey everyone i am a newbie on snooth, am really excited to know more about wine, i am from Mumbai, india...i am realy fascinated about wine n i want to know more abt it..where shud i start from..

Replies

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Reply by outthere, Feb 20.

Welcome Preetish! I would start with spelling out all of your words because some of us old folks don't do well with the texting abbreviations. What kind of wines got you interested?

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Reply by preetish, Feb 20.

I would see to it that i don't use texting abbreviations. I like dry wines more. But, i haven't really tasted many wines honestly. 

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Reply by outthere, Feb 20.

Well, that narrows it down, kinda ;)

Whites, Reds? From where?

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Reply by preetish, Feb 20.

I prefer Port reds more. 

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Reply by EMark, Feb 20.

Gosh, I feel vindicated.  If those young whippersnappers like Outthere are stymied by truncated, abbreviated, shortened or otherwise encrypted wordings, there is practically no hope for us old guys.

Preetish, I'm afraid you have confused us again.  At first you said you like dry wines.  Then you say you prefer "Port reds more."  It looks like we have another communication issue, here.  "Port" is a fortified red wine that is not dry.  It is definitely sweet.  I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing.  Believe me, we are eager to help people learn about wine.  So, if you can give some more information about specific wines that you have enjoyed, or, even wines that you have disliked, I think we can have an entertaining and interesting conversation.

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Reply by outthere, Feb 20.

Most Ports tend not to be dry though there are dry versions.

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Reply by EMark, Feb 20.

Wow, I did not know that.  I should have suspected, though.  There are not a whole lot of fast rules in wine.

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Reply by preetish, Feb 21.

Hello EMARK, thanks for replying, I believe what you are saying might be correct. As i have said earlier that i haven't really tasted many wines, i am just trying to figure out more things from the internet and trying to compare what i had felt during having the wine.

i would to more than happy to learn about exact difference in sweet and dry wines and how to understand whether a wine is sweet or dry just by tasting the wine.

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Reply by outthere, Feb 21.

People beginning their wine journey typically prefer sweet, fruity wines and then over time their palate shifts towards drier wines. You may find that at this stage you will not enjoy a dry wine. I could be wrong though.

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Reply by EMark, Feb 21.

Here is my best way of explaining it, Preetish.

Wines taste "Sweet" if they contain sugar.  This is going to get a bit technical, but the grapes that are used to make wine contain sugar when they are picked off the vine.  In the fermentation process those sugars are converted by yeasts to alcohol.  If there is any sugar left in the wine after the fermentation stops, it is called residual sugar.  Residual sugar in wine is measured as a percentage.  Most humans cannot detect residual sugar in concentrations less than 0.5% (one-half of a percent).  So, if the residual sugar cannot be detected, it is a "dry" wine.  

As Outthere states most people start learning about wines by starting with sweet ones.  It seems that there is a worldwide fad, these days, for drinking Moscato--made as a sweet wine.  There are, of course, many other examples  

  • Many German wines have varying levels of sweetness--from barely detectable to almost syrupy (the trick is to not cross that line into syrup).
  • There are some very famous and excellent wines with quite high residual sugar that are commonly called "Dessert Wines" such as Sauternes from France or Tokaj Azsu from Hungary.  Most wine producing countries also produce Dessert Wines although they might be harder to find.  In the United States, it is common to put the words "Late Harvest" on such wines.  Grapes that are late harvested have a high concentration of sugar when the fermentation starts, and a significant portion of that sugar remains after the fermentation.
  • Asti Spumante, a sparkling wine from Italy, is sweet.
  • If you see the words "Semi Dry" on a label, that means it has some, probably not a lot of, residual sugar.

I mentioned that Residual Sugar in a wine is measured as a percentage.  Normally, however, that information is not printed on the label.  

So, how do you know?

The best answer to that question is to taste.  If you cannot taste sugar, it is a dry wine.  If you can, it is sweet.  

As I alluded above though, there might be clues that you can see on the label that may indicate sweetness or dryness:

  • A German wine with the words "Trockenbeerenauslese," or "Beerenauslese," or "Eiswein" will be quite sweet.  A German wine with the word "Spatlese" will probably be slightly sweet.  The word "Trocken" indicates dry.
  • A French wine from Burgundy or Rhone will probably be completely dry.  A red wine from Bordeaux will probably be dry.  A white wine from Bordeaux will probably be dry unless you see "Barsac" or "Sauternes" on it, in which case it will be quite sweet.  French wine labeled "Vouvray" will probably have a little bit of detectable sweetness.  A wine labeled "Sancerre," or "Pouilly Fume," or "Muscadet" will be dry.
  • Wines from the U.S. can be all over the place.  As I indicated, if you see the words "Late Harvest" on the label, you can be assured that it is sweet.  In the U.S. many producers know that there is a huge market of consumers that likes sweet wine.  So, they will put "Zinfandel" or "Chardonnay" or some other grape variety on the label, which I would think is made as a dry wine, but when it is opened I find that it is sweet.  If "Apothic" wine is available to you at your location, you will see exactly what I mean.  Apothic wine became very popular here a couple years ago.  A friend gave me a bottle and told me it was his favorite wine.  It is quite sweet.
  • I think you can count on most wines from Australia or New Zealand as being dry, but, remember, there are no hard and fast rules.

So, are you completely confused, now?
 

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Reply by outthere, Feb 21.

"Wines from the U.S. can be all over the place. As I indicated, if you see the words "'Apothic' or 'Layer Cake'" on the label, you can be assured that it is sweet."

 

FIFY!

;)

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Reply by preetish, Feb 23.

Hey, I was gone to a friend's place yesterday, had some drinks there. I tasted/drank a bottle of Port Wine 1000 from Sula Wines,Nashik. Its smell was too alchoholic so can't say how it tasted. If u guys have had that wine, could you describe it for me, so that i would know hoe to check it.

And EMARK, you were very informative, but when i read the last paragraph, I got a bit confused, but I am fine now :)

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Reply by EMark, Feb 24.

Sorry to report, Preetish, that wines from India are difficult to find in the U.S. where I live.  I, personally, have never seen one.  :-(

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Reply by nixnixnix, Feb 25.

hi Preetish, it looks like Sula Wines have moved on since they made that bottle you tasted because it's not listed in their website (Sulawines.com). What can be seen there are a variety of varietal wines from 'global' grapes in 3 colors as well as sparkling and an interesting dessert Chenin Blanc.

These appear to be a good introduction to the grapes and they may (or may not) tell you more about the international styles for which those grapes are typically used. The local grape wines will probably offer a good contrast.

 


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