Category Archives: Alcohol

Origin Denomination – Delica

Girls niiiiiight!!! What do you do? Get a white wine, of course.

Jessie and I were just looking for something nice and joyful to drink, and this was exactly it. Not to sweet and not too sour. Double layer only, grapes and some guavas right before the finish.

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Pinot Noir – Cono Sur Bicicleta

It is technically impossible go wrong with this wine. Pinot Noir is a piece of art, always a little pricier, but it is worthy.

I had it for the first time, with a person very dear to me and the taste reminds me of the excitement and the beautiful evening. However, these nice memories do not hinder me of giving an objective review.

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Chenin Blanc – Obikwa

My dear friend Jessie, is an exclusive white wine lover, and she got this one for the Eurovision 2017 night. She had previously introduced us to the Obikwa Moscato, which is a very good one, but with a bottle as beautiful as this, the Chenin Blanc is impossible to ignore.

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Shiraz – Yellow Tail

I remember when they first introduced this brand in Taiwan, the Kangaroo you see in the picture was everywhere and there was even a man in a kangaroo costume, as if wine was something meant to for children. After a while the fuzz went down and you could only find it in the supermarkets. I heard people talking about it, and I had always wanted to try it.

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Pinot Noir – Gato Negro

Now, here is the thing about Pinot Noir Gato Negro, it used to be my favorite. He introduced it to me, and we used to drink it on special occasions. I can assure you it matches perfectly the delicious parmesan mushroom and chicken pasta he used to cook for me. And sometimes with just a little chocolate it would be great. But that was then and my perception of wine has changed now.

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Merlot – Casillero del Diablo


Before I start I want to thank Grexxen and the Jessie, for getting me this piece of art for my birthday. Your friendship is the greatest gift.


In English, the Devil’s Cellar.

I first heard about this wine, when I was a child and saw and advertisement on TV. It told the story of the name was chosen. It had dark, mysterious effects and it was neatly narrated, to the point that I can still recall the voice and the story.

Continue reading Merlot – Casillero del Diablo

Origin Denomination – Marquis Du Village

This was not specifically wine night, but it was “Black Mirror” night. We started this series while drinking Cuvée Pierre – Minerva. But it was not possible to finish all the seasons in one night. For installment 2, we were accompanied by Marquos du Village, a satisfying origin denomination.

Of dark color and deep smell. Very similar to a shiraz merlot, but fruitier. There isn’t too much to say, but that it was a good companion for the night as it was smooth and soothing.

Fruitiness: 4.1/5

Sourness: 4.0/5

Tannin: 3.6/5

Style: Light – Medium

The overall SunShower rating is

3.9/5


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Origin Denomination – Norte Sur

Origin Denomination – Pierre de Montmaurels

Origin Denomination – Norte Sur

Today it is Mother’s Day in my country and it had to be celebrated with a suitable wine. But which one would it be? As I was walking on Carrefour, I was encounter by a delicious luring Chilean Merlot. And as you know South American wines are my fascination. I was about to take it when I spotted this piece of art. The reason it called my attention was because of the nice design in the bottle. I took it and, oh surprise!, it was Spanish.  Didn’t think about it too much and took it home.

I was about to open it, when I saw this other beautiful detail.

img_0988.jpg

I pour it down and deep ruby came out. Where have I seen this color before??? Sauvignon!

Let me sip it!

Yes definitely Cabernet Sauvignon, but not alone!

What is that other flavour??? Is it merlot? Shiraz? No I cannot be Shiraz, this isn’t as sour. But it isn’t as soft as a Merlot. What is it? It is delicious. Like I could drink more of this.

I sat to write the blog and I finally realised this:

img_0252-1.jpg

Something called “Tempranillo” blended with Cabernet Sauvignon. I was right!!!! It is somewhat satisfying as I just realized I am getting better at wine tasting. “Yeih!”

I turn it around and found the perfect description:

“…With blueberry and cassis aromas. In the mouth it is well-balanced with soft tannins, leaving to a long persistent finish.”

They have it in the sticker and it is sincerely accurate.

Now let me give you my own personal perspective, this wine is based on details. Everything about the bottle is about details, even the cork was delicately selected. The blueberries in the smell and the shiny deep blue of its color is not coincidence. I feel like the wine maker put a lot of dedication to produce this wine. If I had only read the sticker that says “Organically grown grapes and night harvested”, I would not have made it justice. It can be felt that it is a wine of details.

Fruitiness: 3.9/5

Sourness: 3.6/5

Tannin: 3.9/5

Style: Light-Medium

The overall SunShower rating is:

4.5/5

 


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I believe that you would also be interested in another good “Origin denomination” wine,

Cuvée Pierre – Minerva

Movie afternoon with Grexxen and SaltyAvocado went from great to amazing with the mind-blowing series “BlackMirror“. Even though this is not about the series, I seriously recommend it. It is full of unexpected twists and exploits different futuristic and technology situations. Some of them in the far future, and they might feel like impossible situations, but they leave you thinking when you realise that it might already be like that. Some other episodes present situations, somehow technology-related and that they could happen now or at any time. If I had to rate this series, I would say that the SunShower rating is

Continue reading Cuvée Pierre – Minerva

Chenin Blanc – 56 hundred Nederberg

If you read PART I, then you already know that about three weeks ago I was in charge to get the wine that night and that I was lured by the Nederberg Collection. I got a Pinotage and the second one was a Chenin Blanc


I should have written about them right after drinking them for I have forgotten some of their features, however I have very clear the rating I want to give them.

Continue reading Chenin Blanc – 56 hundred Nederberg

Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot – Isla Negra West Bay

If this wine was French it is likely that it would be a Bordeaux. But it is Chilean, making it perfect, ’cause I am a fan of South American Wines.

It is drier than the Saga, but I was lucky enough to get it cold, so its fruitiness and sweetness came dancing around. Perfect combination of both kinds of grapes.

How can I describe its color? It’s dark and deep, but translucent and shiny when seen through the light.

Continue reading Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot – Isla Negra West Bay

Bordeaux – Saga

RED WINE NIGHT! That’s what it was meant to be. Mainly because of two big reasons:

1. We have been having whites and recently roses

2. When I was in Dominican Republic, I brought back a curious magical bottle for Grexxen. It has roots and other twigs. The very first time, you are suppose to fill it with a red wine and leave it for 1 week, after that that you can fill it with any other types of alcohol and get shots every 3 days. We have to try it, right?

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Origin Denomination – Pierre de Montmaurels

So, every now and then, amazing people from STUST in Tainan, get together in this fantastic place, better know as Family Mart. Here we share great time laughs, telling stories and enjoying each other company. Between the things that we share is food and drinks.

Yesterday Captain Karl and Sweet Kitty got this beguiling Red Wine. My reaction was ” Ooooh! An Origin Denomination!!! Those are the most captivating wines of all”. Origin Denomination Wines are all those that aren’t under any grape category, like Merlot, or Pinot Noir. Wine makers use different kind of grapes and sometimes different kind of process to make this wines and so the result is something very different and unique. For sure, there are some very good ones, and others not so much, but still, I find them very artistic.

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Pinot Gris – Bott Frères 

I should have taken a picture of this wine self-description. It was very honest.

Being made from the outstanding Pinot grapes, I imagined this white wine to be the magnificent Pinot Noir perfect counterpart.

It had a interesting smell, nothing I have sense before and at the same time somehow familiar. Of light delicate golden color, but it seamed a little bit foggy.

And foggy the taste was!

The flavor was exactly divided in three. The expected sweet and sour and the third was something different, something unknown and familiar.

Then we read the label, it said  ” smoky taste”. Exactly! That was it, it was smoky.

Not exactly the flavor one wishes to encounter in a wine. Oh the disappointment! But hey! maybe you like more that I did.

Here are its characteristics:

Fruitiness: 2.0/5

Sweetness: 3.8/5

Sourness: 3.2/5

Style: Light-Medium

Found in: Carrefour

The overall SunShower rating is:

1.8/5


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Syrah Grenache – Vincent Bouquet

We had just been delighted by sweet, young Berlinger and as our cups grew empty. We uncork this other beauty, or we though it was.

It was of a lighter, cutter pink and just by its smell we could sense that it was more mature kind of wine. There is no doubt it was intriguing.

I was honored to do the first sip. However as it touched my lips I could only devise the sourness and the alcohol. But I am not a Syrah-type fan, so I though I was just being too picky. After cheering, we all had faces as if we just did a big effort swallowing it. The alcohol taste was too dominant, and the sweetness and expected fruitiness taste were hindered by  sour-bitterness.

This wine was a wolf, dress as a sheep!

We decided to not dismisses it at once and thought that perhaps if we chilled it a bit it would improve.

It did!

Ok, it wasn’t  a wolf anymore, but perhaps a sly fox dress as rabbit.

Fruitiness: 2.5/5 

Sweetness: 3.0/5

Sourness: 4.5/5

Style: Medium

Found in: Carrefour

The overall SunShower rating is:

2.5/5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


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And perhaps you could be interested in a better kind of rosè wine, the Berlinger

White Zinfandel – Beringer

It was not only wine night, but specifically Rosé wine night. I had never tried one of these before so it was a new experience. However, while writing “Why do white wines are better when chilled?” I read a few articles about how rosé wines are made and so I was expecting a perfect intermediate between whites and reds. What I did not have in mind is that the selection of the night would be a Californian Zinfandel. I was perplexed when reading this word, as I had not heard it before, but I discovered that these grapes are distinctive from California.

It was a delightful night, as we made our own tiny Europe in Tainan. My friend Grexxen chose this Beringer, which was a very pleasurable and enjoyable choice. Jessie, had the idea of accompany it with cheese and bread. And I provided some of the details, glasses and corkscrew.

Perhaps my perception of this wine will be a little subjective influence by the lovely evening with wonderful friends but I am trying my best to give the most accurate review.


The smell was sweet but not too much, lightly fruity and if I compare it to human life, it would have the maturity of a 23-year-old person. And its color was somewhat dark pink, a kind of color that looks beautiful in the glass.

Upon tasting it, it felt as a brand-new taste and not the intermate of reds and whites. It was sweet, but not too much and it had a little glimpse of sourness. It was a steady taste but the finish was probably the best part. I personally enjoy very much bitterness, and this one had a tiny little hue of it.

Regarding its characteristics:

Fruitiness: 3.9

Sweetness: 3.7/5

Sourness: 0.8/5

Style: Light

Found in: Carrefour, 7-11

The overall SunShower Rating is:

3.8/5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


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Moscato – Italian Botter

Alright, since i have been rating the Moscatos all so high, I think we can all agree that I really enjoy Moscatos. My favorite being Frontera, but this one, gave quite a surprise.

Judging by the bottle, you may think that it is giggly, naive and perhaps inconsistent. We had serious doubts when selecting it, but since it is a Moscato, we decided to give it a chace. And I am really glad we did so, cause it was certainly a surprise.

And guess what? It is bubbly, almost like a sparkling wine.  Perfect for sharing with friends and spending and easy going afternoon.

It hasn’t many layers but it isn’t flat and the finish is simply charming. Leaving your lips satisfied and with a smile but naughty enough to leave you wanting for more.

Of light color and sweet pineapple-ish smell. I may even dare to say that there was a taste of peach right before the finish.

Sweetness: 4.6/5

Fruitiness: 4.6/5

Body: 4.0/5

Found in: Simple Mart

The overall SunShower rating is

3.8/5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


Fun Fact: Did you know that Moscatos are one of the hardest wines to make? because of it’s sweetness and lack of sourness bacterias are more likely to want to like in this medium, so winemakers have to add extra sulfides to it, but being careful not to saturate it.


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But before you leave, check out this other two South African Moscatos, Cape Elephant and my close friend’s favorite, Obkiwa.

 

Chardonnay – Andean

The Andean Malbec was a thrilling experience and when I found its counterpart, a Chardonnay, I knew I had to try too.

This was the first time I had a Chardonnay, so I cannot compare with others, but I have heard how good this type of wine is, so I had double high expectations.

I wasn’t disappointed, none of my friends were. Just by smelling the cork you can tell that this wine is promising.

It smelled as something serious and sophisticated. I imagine myself in an elegant place with a gourmet menu.  This is the type of wine you want to have for a intense conversation, or even over business.

It’s coloration is darker than other white wines I have tasted, but just add to its elegance.

The taste was well balanced, and just like the smell, it is was sophisticated.

Sweetness: 3.9/5

Fruitiness: 4.0/5

Body: 4.5/5

Found in: Carrefour

The overall SunShower rating is:

4.5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs

Why do White Wines are Better when Chilled?

More Chill for Whites, Please!


So, I take my precious Frontera and offer a sip to a friend and he goes:

“Yeah! It’s ok.” – Okey? Just okey? It is great for me and why is he not enjoying it more???-

“But I would prefer it cold!” – He finishes saying.


Red ones are fine at room temperature, but why would white wines be just better if they are cold? Why?

Time for the chu chu twirling train of science. Let’s discover some wine chemistry.

Wine Making

Ok! So, wines are made from the fermentation of grapes and sometimes, of some other fruits and plants.  In short words, if it is a RED one, the grapes are crushed with the skin, which provides the color and the tannin. And if it is a WHITE one, the juice is extracted from the fruits. For ROSE ones, the juice is allowed to stay with the crushed skins and it is removed afterwards.

Either the case, some bacteria are added at this point and after 1 or 2 weeks, the carbohydrates and some of the sugars are transformed into alcohol and acids.

Wonderful! Now we have our wine. It is delicious and a real piece of art. A few weeks later we want to share it with friends. But instead of a pleasant wine night, it turns into a disaster; the wine had changed color and it smells like rotten nuts and tastes like vinegar.

The wine did not fully become vinegar, as it did not contain the right type of bacteria for that. But what happened?

OXIDATION!!!!

If you are wondering what is Oxidation , it is what happens when you leave an apple half bitten on your table. It turns brown

oxidation-social.jpg

  1. This is mostly the reason of the change of color into a darker brownish one, and it is also partially responsible for the smell.
  2. Because there is enough oxygen, the bacteria in the wine proliferated and continued the fermentation process, releasing not only alcohol but molecular sulfur. Which is the main responsible for putrid odor.

 

How to controlling this problem?

SULFITES!!!!

YES! More sulfur! Not in the molecular style, but in its SO3 form

In case you want to know, here is the reaction:

Figure-2-Equilibrium-between-molecular-bisulfite-and-sulfite-forms-of-sulfur-dioxide-in

No, it isn’t not harmful!

They are preservatives, used in many types of food. As the matter of fact, most the goods the consume contain more sulfides than wine.

The Bottom Line on Sulfites in Wine, Wine Follie, January 15, 2014, http://winefolly.com/tutorial/sulfites-in-wine/

Basically, sulfites join all the molecules that could oxidize, thus preventing oxidation. But there is one more thing, sulfites can cross the bacteria’s cell wall and damage it from inside.

This is how you prevent the wine going bad.

A little of history!

The romans discovered that they could burn sulfur candle in the wine barrels and thus and thus the fermentation odor cause by the bacteria was reduced. Sulfites have been used in wine ever since then.

How Sulfides do their job

Let’s not get into nerdy stuff, but it is important to mention that Sulfides will join all the available molecules that can oxidize. ALL OF THEM! Therefore, the sweeter the wine, the more sulfites it needs. I am looking at you Moscato!!! You sweet, delicious, heavenly thing!

1.Frontera                       2. Obikwa                3. Italian Botter

Red wines are normally less sweet and because they have tanning, their own natural antioxidizing they have less sulfites than white ones.

Now, let’s go back to our original question.

Why white wines are better when cold?


 

As I mentioned sulfites will join all the available molecules that may oxidize. Let’s imagine sulfite as an annoying child that requires attention. sulfite.jpg

 

Wines have esters, phenols and aldehydes. These three guys give the wine its taste, the body, the consistency. These three are the main musicians of the orchestra.

Esters, Phenols and Aldehydes

And they will not perform well with a crying baby next to them.

Luckily, a child is not allowed to out when the weather is cold. The colder it gets, the less children are allowed to go out. So, when the wine is chilled, sulfites stay at home and the musicians are left alone to perform their best.

director

The alcohol is, of course, the director. If the musicians aren’t performing well, he will come out too strong and be all over the place. As a result you will end up with a disappointment and a possible headache.

The answer to our question

Because there are more sulfites in white wine, it will require a lower temperature (around 5-8°C) to control the bonding with other compounds. While reds are best at around 14-18°C. Not really at room temperature (usually 20° C), but a little colder.

Don’t worry! Lower temperatures will also stop bacteria proliferation and with the appropriate sealing, a cork or a screw cap, just a little oxygen will be in contact with the wine.


I think I will talk about wine sealing, next time.


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While my next post is ready, why don’t you go check some of my wines reviews.

Andean-Chardonney

La Bateliere

Cuvee Pinot

Merlot – La Batelière

Yesterday was a good friend’s birthday. Sadly, he is not here to celebrate with us, so that left us with no option but to drink in his honor.

We took a picture of our local wine selection and waited for him to chose one. First question of the night was, red or white? The answer was: RED.

Continue reading Merlot – La Batelière