We mostly know everything about how to drink wine, but how we taste it and evaluate its quality is something else. For unprofessional personal use, it is enough to learn how to separate the excellent wine from the bad. But what is a good wine or what is a bad wine? Even though someone might have said, especially some wine producers, that there is no bad wine at all, but are only bad drinkers, this is not true: wine can be good, excellent, excellent, or even exceptional, but it can also be bad, inappropriate for drinking or with faults.
What Is a Good Wine?
Of course, it must first be emphasized that the taste and assessment of what is good and what is bad wine are partly always subjective. However, professionals define wine according to its particular characteristics and try to make wine evaluation as objective as possible. Professional wine tasting is quite a secret or even a kind of myth. For many oenologist experts, hedonistic descriptions are already unprofessional, at least not scientifically. And despite all the measurements of the sensory and organoleptic characteristics of the wine, the civilized wine drinker is the one who decides what is good and excellent or poor and unacceptable.
The main difference between drinking and trying wine is that trying to ask for a reflection on what we see, smell, and taste in a glass. Tasting the wine, above all, means that it takes time to think about what we drink. It is necessary to concentrate on the wine and take a few minutes to see the wine in peace carefully and accurately. We need to smell it before turning the glass and after that and then try it. It is necessary to experience all the shades of wine and enjoy its complexity. By this, we give the opportunity to wine, as well as to ourselves. What’s more: by slowing the tasting of what we drink, we spread our knowledge of each type of wine and deepen our understanding of the wine. It must also be understood and known.
What Is a Good Wine? Formula of Good
Today’s wine-making procedures make it possible for both basic and low-cost wines to be perfectly good and very suitable for everyday consumption. But what is a good wine formula? What is a formula for good? In general, it is considered that good wine is one that has the following characteristics: it is balanced, harmonious, persistent with a long aftertaste, and complex (therefore, it has many aromatic ingredients).
It is sometimes not easy to identify the faults of wine, especially if we do not know the type of wine, wine variety, or the characteristics of the country and the producer. In any case, we must take a look at, taste, and read the bottle sticker.
Bad wine is one that has been damaged or wrongly or poorly made. Fortunately, the forms of production and production and purchasing traders’ policies have been significantly improved in recent years, so we do not often find the wine with a fault or even a disease. If you encounter a faulty wine, this is most likely due to poor bottling or inadequate storage. There may be more wine with disadvantages. But what is a good wine if there are so many disadvantages?
A Long List of Weaknesses and Errors
The wine may be poor due to the imperfections of wine, its defects, or disease. The drawbacks refer to the ingredients in the grapes. These are the lack of sugar in the grapes, too low or too high alcohol, inadequate, too low or too much acid, poor color, and excessively hard. The reason for the lack of sugar in the grapes may be unripe grapes or excessive strain on the vine. If the wine is too acidic, it means that it is non-harmonious with a lot of malic acids.
Wine faults are chemical and physical changes in the wine. They appear in a change in color, clarity, odor, and taste. For example, if the wine has been for ten years or more sealed in a bottle, an odor of soap may appear. A soapy odor is always a mistake. The smell of sulfur compounds is also a mistake. The smell of the wine is very influenced by the light the wine is exposed to, so it is kept in a dark space since, after a few months, exposure to light can kill the wine. The worst enemy of wine, however, is a temperature shock, i.e., changing the temperature from extremely low to extremely high and vice versa. It is less damaging if, for example, the wine is stored at a slightly higher temperature than recommended, which does not change and is always the same.
Also, the type of production has a great influence on the characteristics of the wine. As an example, it is not always easy to recognize whether it is a fault of wine or perhaps only its special characteristic. Let’s mention the white wine made from amphorae, which is nowadays a trend in the production of wine. The wine thus produced is often rather bitter, so that the first response may be negative.
This Damn Stoppers
Despite good technological procedures, we may encounter a wine that has a smell and taste after a stopper, which causes a bacterial infection of this and today is considered the most common mistake of wine. If this happens to us in the restaurant, then, of course, we refuse wine. If we buy this wine, we re-close the bottle and try to return the rest of the wine to the trader.
For the taste of the stopper, we often use the term corked. This term, however, does not apply to wine with cork residues due to a broken stopper at the time of opening. The bundles of crushed cork stoppers do not spoil the taste of wine, so simply remove the cork residue from the wine.
Bacteria Is Not the Friend of Wine
If the wine has a taste of vinegar or is very acidic, it may be too sour wine because of bacteria impact. Some types of wine and wine have naturally very pronounced acids, but this taste is entirely different from the taste of wine, which turned into vinegar due to bacterial infection. This wine is not suitable for drinking, although it seems that in the not-so-past past, the French have been drinking too acetic because the acetic was not considered a mistake at the time.
If the wine is empty, it probably contains too little alcohol. If it works burning, the alcohol is too much. If it is very acidic, we say it has an emphasized acid, which can be a characteristic of the variety or a lack of wine due to unripe grapes. If the wine has too little acid, it acts shallowly.
Too many phenolic substances (tannins) can spoil the wine because it works very hard, dries the mouth, and is not pleasant to drink. Red wines can also work quite tannic, which is softened by decanting, while white wines and rose wines should not be tannic. They may be slightly bitter but do not too hard.
It’s Also a Weak Color
If the wine is of poor color, this is due to unripe grapes or poor maceration. Naturally, the wine variety must be taken into account since each has its distinctive color. In general, it is considered that a very bright, pale color is a weakness of wine. Perhaps as a result of inadequate technology.
Changes to color as a fault of wine are brown color when oxidation of tannic substances occurs. Black color, when dark sediment is formed due to the excessive amount of iron and tannin in white wines on the bottom. White color when the iron is bound to protein, and at the bottom of the bottle, white sediment is formed. Copper opacity, when due to the excessive content of copper, reddish sediment is formed, if I give just a few examples.
Faults in taste are, for example, taste for metals due to incorrect processing of grapes. The taste of medicines is caused by very rotten grapes. Smoky flavor due to air pollution. The taste of the stone and the like. A fault of taste and smell at the same time is the taste of mold, which is a sign of bad hygiene in the wine cellar. Not only wine but also the stopper should not have a smell of mold. Likewise, the stopper should not have a smell of stale water or chlorine.
Lactic Acid Bacteria
If too many lactic acid bacteria develop in the wine, there is a scent of horse sweat and old wet clothes. For wines aged more than ten years, such a smell is positive and is avoided by ventilation (decanting). The smell of the old is typical of ripe wines, but if we notice the smell or taste of linseed oil and the varnish, then this means that the quality of the wine is already down.
The faults of the wine are also bubbles in a calm wine. Carbon dioxide can be up to three grams in a calm wine. If it is more Carbon dioxide, a starter is formed, and the wine becomes cloudy. Of course, the opposite is true of sparkling wines, when bubbles have to be as numerous as possible in several chains, small, fine, and durable.
Wine Can be Cured
Most of the defects and mistakes of the wine can be eliminated even in the cellar with various procedures, for example, by adding sulfur, activated charcoal, racking, and the like. For example, too little sugar is corrected by sweetening the must. To raise one percent of sugar into a hundred kilograms, add 1.25 kilograms of sugar that are directly dissolved in the must. Acidity is lowered with calcium carbonate. If the acidity is too low, the wine is smooth. According to our legislation, it is permissible to repair too-low acid by 1.5 grams per liter of tartaric acid. Of which may be 0.5 grams per liter of citric acid. It is allowed to add 15 percent of must or wine to improve the color with a more intense color from the same wine-growing environment.
But if the wine is too damaged, it cannot be repaired.