How to recognise a good wine?

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Would you like to learn more about oenology? Maison Calvet gives you its top tips for recognising a good wine. From choosing a bottle to tasting, here are 5 steps to becoming an expert on the subject.

The label

How to choose a good wine First of all, it is essential to know how to decipher the labels, which includes identifying the producer, the different grape varieties, the region and the appellation in which the wine was produced.
The year of production should also be taken into account when choosing the wine, as it gives you an indication of the weather conditions, as well as the age of the vines at the time of production.

The appearance of the wine

To recognise a good wine, swirl your glass and observe. A good wine usually has a bright and intense colour, with clear glints. The colour of the wine can also indicate its age and alcohol content. For example, a young red wine will have a deep purple colour, while an old red wine will have more of a ruby or orange colour.
This will also depend on the grape varieties used.

Initial aromas

The nose of the wine is also an indicator of quality when recognising a good wine.
A good wine will have a complex and pleasant nose, with aromas of fruits, flowers, minerals or spices. Take the time to identify these different aromas and compare them with the ones you already know. If you can’t smell anything, the wine may still be closed, so carafe it.

Flavour balance

When you taste the wine, take a small sip and let it roll over your tongue in order to taste all its subtleties. A good wine will be harmonious, with a perfect balance between the different elements that make it up, such as fruitiness, acidity and tannin for red wine. When choosing a good white wine, assess its acidity and smoothness. Other elements help to define its quality, such as the structure of the wine, its roundness or even its vitality.

The last step in recognising a good wine is its length on the palate.

Length is another key factor to consider. This is called aromatic persistence. Its intensity and the quality of the aromas perceived depend on the quality of the grapes and their ripeness.

Finally, to find out how to choose wine to pair with food, Maison Calvet gives you several guidelines for each of its wines, as well as a host of easy-to-prepare recipes.

— Tuesday 19 December 2023 by Olivier