Thursday, 29 October 2009

Peller Estates Ice Wine Oak Aged Vidal 2004

Earlier in the year I got the opportunity to taste the marvels of Canadian Ice Wine, namely those from the Inniskillin winery. This had been the full extent of my knowledge regarding these desert wines. Until now that is, when a friend brought me back a bottle of Peller Estates Ice Wine Oak Aged Vidal 2004.

Vidal Blanc, which is often just referred to as Vidal, is a hybrid. Which means it has been created by pairing two other varieties together, in this case Ugni Blanc and Seibel?

For Ice Wine they wait till the temperature drops to around -8°c before harvesting the grapes, resulting in a very small amount of intensely sweet juice once pressed. Before this wine is bottled it is aged in French Oak for four months, which adds yet another dimension.

The final product had a beautiful amber colour, with developed aromas of jam, tropical fruit, stone fruit, and honey. To taste, the wine did not disappoint, the fruit and spice all worked wonderfully with the sweetness and acidity of the wine, to produce a beautifully balanced wine.

If your looking for a desert wine then go for a Canadian Ice Wine, they are lusciously sweet with wonderfully intense aromas and flavours that can’t be found anywhere else. The only problem with them is the bottles are simply just not big enough!

Friday, 9 October 2009

The Gaming Comunity Comes to the World Wine

First there was the Simms, then came Roller Coaster Tycoon and now we have Wine Tycoon!

According to Chris Scott on the new computer game is being launched in the US next month, and lets the players fight it out to become the next, as the title says, Wine Tycoon.

The game allows the players to create vineyards in 10 of the most prestigious regions in France such as Bordeaux and Burgundy. As part of the game you will have to build a winery, plant and maintain the vines, organise staff for the harvest and then produce your wine.

With the game you will also get a Wine Encyclopedia full of wine terms, grape varieties and regions to help you achieve your goal. The game is produced by Got Game Limited for the PC and will retail at $19.99. I do hope they bring it out on the PS3 as well.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Lower Alcohol Wine - Just Add Water!

I read an interesting article on Sunday, by Victoria Moore, the Guardians wine critic, all to do with low alcohol wines. There have been many attempts to produce palatable, low alcohol wines over the years, as consumers demand has increased. The biggest launch this year probably being that of Plume, which use uses a process called reverse osmosis. This removes the alcohol, but with that, it also removes other aspects to the wine, such as flavour!

If you’re after a wine that is low in alcohol, go for one that has been produced to be this way, as opposed to one that has had the alcohol taken out. There are many wines like that about, as Victoria mentioned, Hunter Semillon from Australia is a good example coming in around the 10% mark. If that doesn’t float your boat, take a look at Brown Brothers, who produce several wines ranging between 5% and 9%. Whilst these are all from Australia, the new world, there are plenty of old world ones (European) out there too.

A trick you could try, according to Victoria, is to add water! Bizarre I know, but apparently, by diluting the wine you don’t lose any of the flavours or structure, you just reduce the alcohol content.

Whilst EU regulations don’t allow the addition of water to wine (who wants watered down wine in the pub!) There’s nothing to stop you doing it. Many people already do by asking for a spritzer!

Personally, I’m not sure about this. Unless you’re an expert, an even then you might not know, you have no real idea how much you have reduced the alcohol content. It must also diminish the intensity of the wine, and possibly spoil the enjoyment of it.

Will I give it a go? Possibly, but I certainly won’t be trying it with any of my quality wine.