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Vintage Wines

WINE TIPS

After many years of sampling thousands of wines Joel has carefully selected 80+ of his favorite wines to offer his customers. Every wine is complete with tasting notes to make the experience of buying wines enjoyable and un-intimidating.

We believe wines should be sold to consumers when the are ready to be consumed and not three years too early, or 6 months too late. They are generally categorized by the consumer as, "the best wines to drink now." Wines are judged by certain basic elements. Color is the first thing we look at, followed by smelling. The aroma is a very important part of the tasting. Then comes sampling the wine and this should not be rushed. Every part of your mouth contributes to tasting.

Finally, we recommend food complements with your selection. Matching a great wine with the right food adds great excitement to the overall quality of the meal. You may find many other combinations that work better, we simply like to offer a few suggestions.


WINE TASTING TIPS
Learning basic steps to wine tasting will have a very positive effect on wine appreciation for the rest of your life. I deal conditions for tasting and enjoying wine require not much more than a proper, clean and odor-free wine glass. Avoid eating sharp or salty foods because they affect the sense of taste (and of course -- don't smoke). The method of tasting wine generally falls into four categories: look, smell, taste and conclusion.

Look... By carefully looking at the wine in your glass, detecting the color, clarity, carbon dioxide (if any) and level of alcohol can reveal some of the style and quality of the wine. The color of the wine will indicate if the wine is lighter bodied or full, and either young or very mature. Cloudiness is generally not a good sign for wine, even if a wine is non-filtered. Sometimes a bad cork can give warning to oxidized older wines suggesting it may be over the hill. Experience will fine-tune theses senses. Always take a moment to look at the wine.

Smell... A critical aspect of evaluating the complexities of the aroma is to swirl the wine to collect the aromas in the bowl of a partially filled glass. The first thing is to determine if the wine smells fresh or if there are signs of oxidation or off-odors. Look for signs of the wine being closed off, tight or overly ripe and mature. White wines with aromas of tropical fruit suggest there was a controlled slow and cold fermentation process. Hints of butter can express the character of big Chardonnays. With experience certain berry and earthy aromas in red wine give general indications of their country of origin and whether or not the wine has been aged in wood.

Taste... While sampling a new wine it is beneficial to take in a little air in with a good size sip. Air encourages the wine to bring out more dimensions and accentuates varietal character that may be temporarily closed off. The flavors that surface while doing this are very exciting. Sense the balance of sweetness and acidity combined with the level of alcohol. Determine the level of tannin. Is it mouth puckering (too young to drink) or are the tannins soft? Try sensing what you taste and determine the quality in your own mind. Is the fruit overwhelming or hidden underneath the wood?

Conclusion... The balance wine possesses is a critical aspect to defining quality. Well made wine should have an equal balance acidity, residual sugar, tannins (red) and alcohol so no one component dominates the other on the palate. For instance excess tannin takes away from the fruit and wine without acidity loses structure. The finish is very important. Does the wine disappear quickly or does it linger on for 5 seconds? Tasting wine to really understand it requires two or three sips at first -- then another sampling after 30 minutes. Wine changes very quickly with air contact. Some wines improve in 2 hours after being open and some wines have better qualities within the first hour. If you happen to be the half bottle per day person, buying wines that need more time tend to last longer in the refrigerator after being open. This should be a consideration when tasting or case purchases.