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   Putting the bubbles into wine can be done in several ways but only sparkling wines made in a certain region of narthern France can be called Champagne.

  The best way to produce sparkling wine is the 'Methode Traditionelle' , practised in Champagne and elsewhere. Base wines high in acidity and fermented to dryness are bottled and a small amount of sugar and yeast is then introduced to create a second fermentation. It is the second fermentation which creates carbon dioxide and thus the bubbles which give the wine its sprakle. As the carbon dioxide is unable to escape into the air it dissolves into the wine. The sediment, or less, left behind by the spent yeast stays in conctact with the wine until dégorgement, and imparts biscuity flavours and complexity.

  'Dégorgement' is the removal of the lees, in order to render the wine clear and bright. A process known as 'rémuge', which invols the twisting and turning of the bottles, slowly shifts the lees to the neck of the bottle. The necks of the bottles are then passed through a solution of freezing brine in order to freeze the first inch or so of wine now containing the lees. When the cap is removed, the pressure in the bottle forces out the ice pellet.

sparklin wine To finish, the wine lost during 'dégorgement' is replaced by a mixture of wine and cane sugar, called the 'dosage' or 'Liquer d'Expedition'. The amount of sugar added has a bearing on the final style of the wine, for example a small amount of sugar is added for the dryish style of Brut while more is added for the quite sweet and sticky rich.

 A cheaper form of secondary fermentation can take place in closed tanks. Known as 'Cuve close', the wine is bottled under pressure so that it retains carbon dioxide. This method is generally reserved for less expensive fizz.

 Particular grape varieties are sought the world over. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir both have the attributes required to make great champagnes and sparkling wines. Although the best champagne may be a first choice for many as a 'desert island' bottle, there are plenty of fine sparkling wines around.

  Areas of England with chalky soil, combined with the country's cool climate, make it capabile of producing top-quality sparkling wine. Fruity and expressive sparklers come from riper fruit in countries such as Australia, USA, New Zealand and South Africa, while the favoured choice from Spain is Cava, a lighter sparkling wine made from indigenous grape varieties.

 Areas of England with chalky soil, combined with the country's cool climate, make it capabile of producing top-quality sparkling wine. Fruity and expressive sparklers come from riper fruit in countries such as Australia, USA, New Zealand and South Africa, while the favoured choice from Spain is Cava, a lighter sparkling wine made from indigenous grape varieties.

   Rosé wines are made from black grapes, which are crushed and fermented with the skins until there is a little colour extraction.

Rosé wines The wine is drawn off the skins and complets its fermentation at a low temperature. An alternative technique is the Saignee method which is used on de-stalked grapes. These are not crushed but vatted for 12-14 hours, after which the juice is ros off and fermented without skin contact.

 There are some exciting styles of rosé on the market, including traditional wines such as Tavel and Sancerre Rosé, which contrast with the vibrant and fruity examples from the southern hemisphere, such as the Grenache/Shiraz blends from Australia, and Malbec Rosé from Argentina.

 

 Rosé should be drunk as a young, juicy, fresh wine. The best examples exhibit flavours of ripe red fruits, but with crisp acidity. They are often good choices to accompany Indian food, salmon fillet and cold meats. Rosé offers a freshness that makes it an ideal drink on a hot day.

 

   Why do we taste wine and what are the advantages of being able to taste successfully?

  Arguably, the most important factor here is to recognise when a wine is in good condition or when a bottle is faulty. This becomes particularly relevant when you are faced with the sort of markups applied in some restaurants. When a sample from an approved bottle id offered to taste wine, you are cheching the conditions of the wine that you hane ordered, not tasting the wine to decide wherher you like it.

The trees steps

  There are three simple steps to follow when tasting wine: look, smell, and taste. Firstly, you should look at the wine when it's poured, Is it clear and bright? Is it looking in good shape? An excess of brown colour in a white wine may indicate that it has gone off. It's possible to guess the age of a red wine by observing it's rim colour. Tilt the glass slightly and look at the edge of the wine. If you see a purple tint it is probably a young wine while an orange tint is an indication of maturity.

 Swirling the wine a around the glass will relase the aromas and you should take either a large sniff or a small sniff, followed by a large sniff. Does the wine smell clean and fresh and can you identify fruit-related aromas? If not, and you detect musty, wet cardboard-like aromas, you hane probably found a fault. Young wines should always be fruity and appealing on the nose. You should take time to sniff the wine and not rush into tasting wine.

Tasting wine

Tasting wine allows you to confirm the condition and characteristics associated with the wine. You should consider the initial taste, the actual taste, and the aftertaste. Have the confidence to reject a bottle which you feel may be tainted and make sure that you assess each bottle ordered individually. Some wine styles, for exemple aromatic whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, are insense and lively an both the nose and palate. Expect to be able to identify lots of fruit and primary aromas. Wines that have matured or developed in the bottle may have a bouquet and flavours such as those associated with dried fruits (prunes, figs, etc), along with savoury nuances. Lurking among all this comolexity there should still be hints of fruit. Some wines over a decade old (for exemple, German Riesling) will suprise you with their amazing vitality and youthful tones.

 Lots of fuss can be generated when the virtues of a vintage are sidcussed and in some cases this is justified. As a generalisation,  if a wine is made from grapes growing in a cool or marginal climate, then vintages can matter. In warmer climates, where there is better consistency in weather patterns, the changes affecting quality are far less significant.

  If you follow the guidelines, concentrate and relax when tasting wine, and forget the fear factor, there is no reason why you cannot become a confident taster wine.

History of wines

Today the cultural importance of wine can be seen in everiday life, particulary in countries such as France and Italy where a meal isn't really complete without a glass of wine to accompany it. In the United Kingdom and the United States, consumption and interes in the subject continues to increase.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of winemaking taking place some 12,000 years ago. The cultivation of the wine first flourished around the Black Sea, and then the Persians helped to spread the word through Assyria. Evidence of innovation taking place in Egypt and the Mediterranean ..