Many people find it hard to believe but even a basic wine will taste different depending on the glass it’s served in. Some glasses mute the flavor, some emphasize nuanced scents and some will suppress taste and smell. If you’re lucky you’ll be drinking from a glass that presents the wine perfectly, showcasing all its characteristics.
So how frustrating it can be when a great wine is poured into an ordinary glass, an occurrence that is all too common at some restaurants, tastings and dinner parties. I think we have all had that unfortunate experience when we arrive at someone’s house looking forward to tasting some good wine only to be presented with blue or green stemware!
Being someone that’s concerned about good glassware doesn’t mean you are a wine snob; it’s simple common sense. Whether you’ve paid $10 or $100 for a bottle of wine you want to make sure you enjoy all its flavors and scents. Investing in good quality stemware will ensure you get the very best out of each bottle you pour and it doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune.
If you have shopped in any of the better kitchen supply stores or wine boutiques you will likely know that today you can buy specific glasses made for every major varietal. While these are great the more casual wine enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that you will do just fine with just a few well-chosen glasses that match your wine buying, drinking and entertaining habits.
So when thinking about what glassware you’ll buy consider the quality of wine you’re likely to enjoy on a regular basis as well as the kind of entertaining you like to do. For a picnic where you might be pouring simple wines from current vintages a couple dozen clear glass tumblers might suffice. For better quality wines served at a dinner party or more formal gathering you will want a selection of stemware that lets each guest taste from a flute shaped glass for sparkling wines and champagne, a tapered, ten to twelve ounce glass for white wines and a larger rounder glass for red wines.
Try to avoid colored glass (even if it’s just the stem) as you don’t want anything to interfere with a good look at the color of the wine. If you use a dishwasher, run the glasses through hot water only avoiding the use of detergent. Throw away those small, thick lipped glasses with the rolled rims; use tumblers instead. Oh and remember, size matters! Your glass should be large enough to hold three or four ounces of wine without being more than one third full. This will allow enough airspace to properly show off the wine’s aroma.
So next on your list of good habits when serving wines is temperature. When white and red wines are too cold they will lose all aromas and a good deal of their flavor. Conversely if a wine is served too warm crispness disappears and the alcohol content will appear over-intensified. Of course you will have chilled your desert wines and sparklers but even with these wines if you chill them too much they will lose their valuable characteristics.
Over the course of a dinner party or wine tasting your wines will naturally warm up so starting them out on the cool side is a good idea. Dry white wines, rosés or very light reds can start out at around forty-five degrees. For your big red wines, about 58 to 60 degrees is the best temperature to start from. Sparkling wines and sweet dessert wines can be chilled in the fridge for an hour or more before being served.
When possible try to plan ahead, allowing sufficient time for your wine to arrive at its proper temperature gradually. If you don’t already have one, a wine cooler or fridge with variable temperature controls will serve you well. You and your guests will then enjoy wines showing their best aromas and flavors allowing you to celebrate life in the best way possible!
(Source: Wine Enthusiast)
A special message from our Proprietor Vic Bourassa.
When I was 5 years old, my Port influence came from my Grandfather, Victor Nozollilo, under the apple trees at a picnic table on our little farm in Massachusetts, Victor was also smoking a cigar and enjoying home made Port with his Italian family The aroma of the cigar and the flavor of port stayed with me like glue, if my mother caught him sneaking me a sip of port she probably would have screamed bloody murder, but my grandfather was a rebel that way. I loved it and loved him for it. I make fine Solera Port today because of that experience. I also love the smell of a cigar and partake in smoking a fine cigar with wine when ever the mood strikes me. Those that do the same Celebrate Life in a brotherly kind of way, rebels sort of, I like that a lot.
A Smokin Good Time at Bourassa Vineyards in Napa will take place because of my grandfather; I will toast him while celebrating with good friends and wine club members.
For more details see our Events Page.
Today we want to give a special mention to a true friend of Bourassa Vineyards, Dr. Bruce Freedman from Virginia. We're all raising a glass and celebrating the amazing achievement he has just accomplished with his son; climbing 'Cotopaxi', a stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains, located about 17 miles south of Quito, Ecuador. Dr. Freedman is a hardy adventurer for sure as this is his third mountain climbing expedition in the last two years!
For us here at Bourassa Vineyards it's not just about celebrating wine but also celebrating friendships!
At any winery winter is a dormant time for vines but that doesn't mean it's a quiet time! We're in the middle of 'pruning season' here in Napa and we wanted to take a moment to let you know why winemakers do this and how it helps us produce the wines you know and love.
People often think of harvest as the exciting time of the year for a winery and while that maybe true a good harvest would be impossible without the vital work that takes place during pruning season. Good pruning really sets up vines for the year to come, dictating canopy shape and the number of buds that will form therefore having a real impact on the yield of the vine. We're often asked why pruning takes place at this time of the year and in fact pruning can be done any time of the year after leaves drop from the vines but here in Napa pruning generally takes place anytime between December and February. Winemakers have to make sure pruning is completed before the growing season begins again which is signified by 'bud-break', usually this happens mid-March.
So just how do you prune vines? Well they are pruned pretty aggressively in a similar way to how you might prune a rose bush. Often winemakers will reduce wild shoots that can extend out up to five feet down to almost nothing, often down to the skeleton of the vine itself. During this process the VSP (vertical shoot positioning) method is used which directs the shoots vertically through trellis wires. Using this method ensures that the leaves enjoy the best possible exposure which offers filtered light to grape clusters in turn increasing the fruit factor of the finished wine.
If you have any questions about pruning or any part of the wine making process here at Bourassa leave us a comment below.
For centuries the art of wine blending has been perfected by the French in a region known as Bordeaux, France. The Bourassa Napa Valley Wine Blending Kit will teach you the art of blending so you can enhance your own wine knowledge and educate your family and friends.
Vic Bourassa teaches the art of wine blending through sensory evaluation here at Bourassa Vineyards in Napa. Each wine blending session is designed to create a wine to perfectly match your pallet. Each participant gets one tasting mat, a ml pipette and a wine trail blend record sheet.
The wines used for blending will be three or more Napa Valley Bordeaux varietals and you will have the opportunity to be your own winemaker, creating a wine to enjoy based on your flavor preference. These wine blending sessions have been a huge favorite of our customers and take place right here in southern Napa.
If you would like to arrange a wine blending session for a group of your friends, family or co-workers contact us today!
We are delighted to be blogging here at Bourassa Vineyards and would like to take a moment to let you know what you can expect from us in the coming weeks and months here on our blog.
At Bourassa we celebrate life through the wine we make and the people that enjoy it. In this blog you will be able to hear all about what’s going on at our Vineyard throughout the year as we create the wines you know and love. You will also get to go ‘behind the scenes’ with photos, videos, interviews with our staff and of course the man that started it all, Vic Bourassa himself!
The blog will also be a place for you to learn about the process of wine making, how our team creates the blends that go into the bottle, food pairings, wine club offers, tasting notes, wine trends, events happening here in beautiful Napa Valley and more.
We also want to hear from you! You can leave comments and really get involved in the conversation here at Bourassa about our shared love of wine. We encourage you to bookmark this page on your web browser and check back with us soon to hear more.
Cheers and Celebrate Life!
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