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The history of grape varieties – Episode 1 – Bordeaux (part 1/2)

The first episode of our history of grape varieties looks at those in the Bordeaux region. Each month and over the months to come, we’ll be focussing on these grape types and their family tree so as to gain a better understanding of their background and flavours and how they are grown today. So here is a short history of the Vitis Vinifera. Why should we focus on the grapes? With recent advances in genetic research, we are now able to analyse how grape varieties evolved more accurately. This means that for the…

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What are the (true) vintages of the century?

Some wine regions claim to produce a great vintage, or even “vintage of the century”, every other year! But despite these commercial declarations, there are still some truly great vintages – those that entice fine wine buyers, especially at auction. But what is a great vintage? Think about it: a winemaker is able to produce an average wine from top quality grapes, but not a top quality wine from average grapes. A great vintage is therefore one that allows a winery to harvest ‘perfect’, top quality grapes. A vineyard can produce ‘perfect’ grapes…

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Read more about the article Tasting made easy: understanding tannins
Tannins in wine
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Tasting made easy: understanding tannins

The word “tannin” may not be a part of everyday life, but it is often used when tasting red wine. After reading this article, you will understand what it means when someone says a wine is “extremely tannic”, or that after 20 years of ageing, “the tannins became soft!” What is tannin? Tannins are molecules present in grape skins and seeds. These molecules have the ability to react with proteins in your mouth’s saliva during tasting. The tannins precipitate during this reaction, giving wine a certain roughness. The role of tannins Tannins play…

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