Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas and Wines

Something about the mini bar from a disposal in Dusit Hotel prompted me to write something about wines. My sister-in-law works in a hotel and is an expert on food and beverages, she knows the ingredients of most prepared foods, she knows a lot of cheese names and especially wines.

As for me I am confined to the red and white wines, and the "black fly in your chardonnay" song of Alanis Morrissette that is all I know.

During Christmas and New Year or any celebration, you can always find wines, especially in weddings and on Valentine's Day so I guess not only at Christmas.

People give wines as a gift though, because it is affordable and within the range of a giver's budget.

My father-in-law has a collection of wines, the cabinet wine is already overflowing so they displayed all the wine at the top of another cabinet. To best keep the wine it should be placed in a wine cellar where they are stored to keep their taste and spirit intact. So I am not sure if these wines taste as good as it gets old.

I took some pictures of the wines displayed inside the house. I tried to search something about wine from the internet and here's what I found out.

There are four categories of wine.

We have the following:

1. Appetizers - Sherries, white Vermouths, flavoured wines - lead into a meal
just as hors d'oeuvres and soups do.

2. Table wines - the white Chablis and Rieslings, the pink Roses and blanc de
noirs, the red Burgundies and Cabernet Sauvignons- go with the main dishes.

3. Dessert wines - Ports, Angelicas, Cream Sherries, Muscats-accompany the

4. Sparkling wines or "bubblies"

It is still a puzzle to me.
So here are some more categories for the wine and it depends on the name and the variety.

For the names, It is traditional in France to use the name of the Region in which the grapes are grown. Examples include Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Chianti, Champagne, Loire, Pies porter, Rhone etc.

For variety, Wines labelled by the kind of grape are termed " varietals" ... Outside Europe, it is usual to use the name of the grape variety that the wine is made from (i.e. Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, etc.)

Many of the world's finest wines are a blend of varietals: almost all Bordeaux red wines contain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

Almost all Champagnes contain Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

What is the most expensive wine in the world?

The most expensive wine ever sold is a bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafite which sold at Christie’s London in December, 1985 for £105,00 (about US $160,000). The wine is reported to be from the cellar of Thomas Jefferson, the former US President, and this most expensive bottle of wine had the initials Th.J etched into the glass bottle.

Chateau Lafite is a famous winery situated in the village of Pauillac, France. The winery has been occupied since at least the 14th century, and the majority of the vines were planted around 1680. Jefferson first sampled the wine while in France but continued to be a customer of these expensive Bordeaux wines throughout his life.

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