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Wine Advice

People are sometimes put off by the mystique that surrounds viticulture (the culture of winemaking), but you don”t have to be a wine master to enjoy wine tasting. Nor do you need to be a wine expert to age wine in storage. All you need is a little wine advice. Wine Etiquette and Pouring Much mystique seems to shroud wine serving and pouring. Perhaps you”ve seen the most impressive method of wine serving, where the bottle neck is heated with special tongs and sliced off with a saber. Such spectacle is all very theatrical and impressive, but completely unnecessary. The only real rule to wine etiquette is to serve the wine correctly. There are really only two considerations to keep in mind: temperature and timing. Temperature and Wine Serving Different wines taste best at different temperatures. No wine master would dream of serving Champagne at the same temperature as a Riesling. Those of us who aren”t wine experts might not be as demanding, but can still get maximum pleasure out of our wine by following this temperature table: Wine Fahrenheit Celsius Asti Spumanti 41 degrees 5 degrees Beaujolais / Rose 54 degrees 12 degrees Champagne 45 degrees 7 degrees Chardonnay 48 degrees 9 degrees Chianti / Zinfandel 59 degrees 15 degrees Ice wines 43 degrees 6 degrees Pinot Noir 61 degrees 16 degrees Red Burgundy / Cabernet 63 degrees 17 degrees Riesling 47 degrees 8 degrees Sauternes 52 degrees 11 degrees Shiraz / most reds 64 degrees 18 degrees Tawny / NV Port / Madeira 57 degrees 14 degrees Vintage Port 66 degrees 19 degrees Unless you”re a wine master, don”t worry if you”re a degree or two off for your wine. Get the temperature as close as you reasonably can and your wine will taste at its best. Opening the Bottle Timing is as important as temperature when wine serving. Generally speaking, a red wine should be opened an hour before drinking, to let it ”breathe” (let it come into contact with oxygen and develop its bouquet). In contrast, white wine is best served immediately after opening. Pouring the Wine The glass you use is important when wine serving. A red wine glass has a wide bowl that allows you to fully experience the complexity of the wine. White wine glasses are narrower; augmenting the taste of the wine while limited the amount of oxidization that occurs at the wine”s surface. Wine Tasting Etiquette A wine tasting party sounds intimidating, but again, you don”t need to be a wine expert to enjoy one. You”ll be greeted by the host, usually a wine master who”ll provide you with glasses and explain what wines are available for tasting. A wine tasting has a set order: white wine is served first, followed by reds, and finally dessert wines. Sip the wine and consult the accompanying tasting notes to see what aromas and flavors you should be taken. It”s quite acceptable not to drink all the wine in your glass: In fact, most […]

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Master Of Wine

Acquiring the title of “Master of Wine” takes a great deal of time, money and effort. The qualification is given out by The Institute of Masters of Wine, which is based in the United Kingdom. To enroll in the program, those seeking the distinction of wine master must submit an essay and tasting notes. In addition, the candidates have to convince a Master of Wine to act as their mentor. Candidates typically work for many years as sommeliers before pursuing the title of Wine Master. Becoming a Master of Wine is usually easier if you have already earned a Diploma level qualification from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, an organization associated with The Institute of Masters of Wine. If accepted, it costs approximately $4,400 to attend the seminars necessary to complete the program. What it takes to be a Wine Master To become a Master of Wine, one must possess an extensive amount of knowledge about wine and the business of wine. This includes understanding wine: distribution marketing packaging regulation sales production. Once accepted into the program, candidates have to pass four exams and three blind tastings during a four-day final examination. It is virtually impossible to pass both parts of the exam in one fell swoop, so those who pass one section can try again over the next two years. When the candidate passes both sections of the exam, they then have six months to turn in a dissertation (Six months from when their synopsis is approved by the Education and Examination Board of The Institute of Masters of Wine). One of the most interesting aspects of the Institute of Masters of Wine program is that it is almost entirely self-guided. Accepted candidates have to familiarize themselves with the wine business, as well as the products” tastes, smells and history. Courses and exams for the Masters of Wine qualification are held in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. Master of Wine History The title of wine master has been in existence since 1953, but the program has not always been open to all. During the first 30 years of the program, it was only open to U.K. importers, merchants and retailers. In the 1980s, the playing field opened up to include people who made their livelihoods in the wine business, no matter where they lived. The first American earned the qualification of Master of Wine in 1987. The Institute of Masters of Wine proudly touts its goal of promoting the highest standards of quality in wine and in conducting wine business. The Institute claims to be working toward these goals by: acting as a leader in industry discussions and international events assisting and supporting members as they pursue their professional and personal wine-related goals encouraging wine enthusiasts around the world to take the exam gaining the support of all the players in the wine business. There are currently 264 Masters of Wine, hailing from 22 different countries. Eighty-two of the Masters of Wine work and reside outside of […]

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