Tag Archives: White Wine

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.

Continue reading Chenin Blanc – Obikwa

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

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.


Thank you for reading!

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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

Moscato – Obikwa

Unexpected Wine Sharing – Part 2/2

Obikwa Moscato, from South Africa, is the second participant of the night. The first one was Santa Margherita Cuvée Pinot from Italy.

This wine, just as Frontera, is another perfect Moscato. As soon as you read the name, and you have to read to twice to make sure you are pronouncing it right, it feels as if you are entering and exotic adventure. .

I have read that white wines are supposed to have a touch of pineapple, but this was the first time I sense it. The pineapple spark is slight and quick, but it is there.

The smell: colorful.

This wine felt playful and you just got to smile when you take it. Perfect for my friend’s birthday party. At the same time, it was relaxing and soothing, I would also have it while reading or just writing in this blog

Sweetness: 4.0/5

Fruitiness: 4.3/5

Body: 4.2/5

Found in: Carrefour

The overall SunShower rating is

4.0/5

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

Cuvée Pinot – Santa Margherita

Unexpected Wine Sharing – Part 1/2

Last Thursday was the birthday of this amazing French guy. It was not specifically a wine party, but my friends and I all thought it would be a good idea to start the night with something smoother.

We ended up with three different white wines. Obikwa Moscato, from South Africa, Frontera Moscato, from Chile, and something very peculiar which I had not heard or tasted before, Santa Margherita Cuvée Pinot from Italy.

Up until that day, I thought that I could only like Moscatos, since I had tried Sauvignon Blanc and Rieslings but I don’t think I have found one to fancy.

Perhaps it was the mixture of the two different types of grapes, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Bianco, or maybe its elegance, but this wine climb up to one of my favorites. It had a soft light color and it was definitely less sweet that the moscatos, butit felt as it was a more serious wine. Still rather versatile, as I am sure It can match many different food.

The smell: timid but elegant. Intriguing, it makes you feel curious.

Sweetness: 3.6/5

Sourness: 3.4/5

Fruitiness: 4.1/5

Style: Light – Medium

Found in: Carrefour

The overall SunShower rating is

4.4/5

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

I need to have this again. I will update this post when I do.

Origin Denomination Cape Elephant

It was girls night, and we were looking for a rightful companion. Would it be white or would it be red wine? Between the rage of wines that we had, there was one that caught our attention. It was a South African white wine with no denomination, however judging by its golden colour it seamed tasty, and it was definitely luring.

After my friend, Jessi, managed to open it with a not-very-good corkscrew, we pour it.

The smell: Soft, smooth and somehow sparky for my nose.

Perhaps it lacked a little bit of body in its smell, so we looked at each other and we knew that we did not have very high expectations,  but one sip and, oh surprise!!!! It was actually rather tasty. Definitely not Sauvignon Blanc, as it was sweet and not sauer as Sauvignon Blancs usually are, but it could have been a Moscato.

Sweetness: 4.2/5

Sourness: 2.5/5

Fruitiness: 3.6/5

Style: Light

Found in: Simple Mart

It was a great night and we were happy with our choice, in fact we wanted it again.

The second time we had it, was for wine-tasting night 01. After some discussion, we concluded that it might be a Moscato, but it might contain a higher percentage of water to be called that.

The over all SunShower rating is

3.6 /5 

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


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Moscato – Frontera

The Ballerina Wine


Many of my friends mentioned how much they like white wine and how they preferred it over red ones. However, every time I tried one, it wasn’t as satisfying as I was looking for.  Until one day that was in Carrefour and as I was trying to decide which new wine to try, I got a call from a close friend and he said:

– Go for a Moscato. – He sounded so sure about his recommendation that there was no room for doubts.

– Would a Chilean Moscato work? – I asked.

Continue reading Moscato – Frontera