The days are getting shorter, the cosy knitted jumpers have come out, and here at Chief Wine Officer we’re wrapping up one of the busiest years we’ve ever had! A fantastic benefit of running 85 wine tasting events in a year is that you pick up a thing or two about wine along the way. In this post, I’ve put together 5 wine facts I’ve learned in 2019.
Most people’s minds go straight to red wine when they hear “cheese and wine party”. Little do they know that actually most cheeses pair better with white wines. That’s because a lot of red wines, like cheeses, have such a robust and powerful flavour profile that it overpowers the equally robust and powerful taste of those rich creamy cheeses. Try a Chardonnay with Brie or Camembert, or a Sauvignon Blanc with goat’s cheese and tell me you’re not convinced.
The thing that makes a pinot noir stick a bit to your teeth is a substance called tannins. Apart from giving wine this texture, tannins have some health benefits – they have anti-carcinogenic properties, thanks to their anti-oxidising nature, and can help to reduce blood pressure.
A few years ago, there was a study that suggested drinking one glass of red wine equates to spending one hour at the gym – do you remember it? If it’s true, I put it down to the tannins!
I grew up in the Rhine region in Germany where the Riesling grape originates, so for me it’s a bit like the Cadbury’s chocolate of wine. I’m a big fan, so I was surprised to hear that Riesling isn’t everyone’s favourite.
That said, it does smell and taste a bit of petrol sometimes, so fair dues to the dislikers!
Turns out that English sparkling is solidly up there with the crown jewel of all sparkling wines: champagne. The southern counties of England, where grapes for sparkling wine are grown, have extremely similar characteristics to Champagne, and the production processes of both nations’ wines are near identical. No wonder then, that English sparkling wines have received awards internationally. It’s also proven popular with the people – last year, the UK consumed 164 million bottles.
On the note of sparkling wine, here is the last of my wine facts for the year: there is such a thing as sparkling red wine. Maybe you knew this, but I was mildly baffled. Apparently, it’s very popular in Australia, dominated US wine imports in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and is produced in large quantities in Italy and Moldova.
Just as with white sparkling wine, the bubbles are created through a second fermentation, where instead of being released (as happens during the first fermentation), it’s allowed to seep into the wine, creating that lovely fizziness.
Do you want to learn more wine facts? We have a host of events lined up in the new year, where you’ll get to do just that, in addition to networking with your peers and hearing thought leadership from industry leaders. Head over to our events calendar to see what we have in store, and discover what our previous guests thought by reading our event reviews.
You can also find out more by getting in touch with one of our team, who will be happy to tell you more about Chief Wine Officer’s offerings for both guests and sponsors.