If you are a wine lover, you will likely agree when I say that wine is a very intimate and personal drink. It is best enjoyed to end a scrumptious dinner with your loved ones or simply as an indulgent nightcap. Wine gets better with age, they say, but did you know that according to wine experts, only 1% of the wine produced worldwide meant to be aged in a cellar or a commercial wine vault?
So how about the rest? Well, many are actually meant to be enjoyed as soon as it lands your hands!
What are the benefits of drinking wine?
Drinking wine, whether enjoyed with dinner or at a wine tasting holiday, does not only teases the palate or excites the sense of smell, it also has health benefits. Here are a couple of reasons why you would want to enjoy a glass or two on a regular basis:
It is literally good for the heart. Wine contains polyphenols which are micronutrients known for its anti-inflammatory properties and resveratrol to help maintain a healthy blood pressure. There have been studies linking wine and enjoying a glass per night can lower the risk of degenerative heart diseases. Remember that drinking too much is not advisable, make sure to drink wine (like any other alcoholic drinks), moderately.
We all know that grapes are a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are responsible for taking out the toxins in our body, help fight free radicals and prevent premature aging. which can help us fight cancer. Antioxidants also clean our bloodstream. When our bloodstream is clean, the blood can easily move through your veins. This is the same with cleaning our heart. Drinking wine helps it to remove unwanted fats or bad cholesterol from our heart.
How are grapes processed to become wine?
Winemaking is an intricate process. First, the grapes are picked out carefully when they are ripe. After that, the winemakers will crush the grapes in order to get the juice out from the fruits. Once they have done so, the juice is strained with a special cloth in order to remove any residue so that the remaining juice is pure and smooth. Once this process is completed, the juice is then aged in oak barrels.
The barrel itself plays a vital role in the taste of wine. This is why winemakers consciously to select specific oak barrels in order to gain or maintain the taste that they desire. They also have to make sure that the barrels clean and sturdy. The taste of wine will also depend on how long it is aged. During this process, the juice can also be infused with different flavors for a more delectable and distinctive end result.
For true wine lovers, there is probably no such thing as “any bottle will do” when it comes to wine. Note that choosing a wine that resonates with our palate is a largely subjective process. With that in mind, here is a list of my personal picks when it comes to the best bottles of wine ever made:
Cheval Blanc 1947
With only 110,000 bottles produced, the clamor for this Bordeaux is as impeccable as the wine itself. This wine brand was named by French wine writer Michel Dovaz to “defy the laws of modern enology”.
Critics call this wine as “the wine of the century” and the “most iconic wine” ever tasted. A three-liter bottle of this highly sought-after wine was bought in San Francisco in 2006 for US$135,125 or US$33,781 per 750 ml.
Mouton Rothschild 1945
This wine embodies “victory” in every aspect of it. This vintage wine was produced shortly after the World War II has ended. It was produced in a winery that has not been completely supervised by its owner, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, during the war. After the land was confiscated by German troops, it was able to produce around 75,000 bottles of this superb quality wine. Wine critics described this lovely wine to have a deep and rich taste with a hint of spice and an even deeper color. In 1997, an anonymous bidder at Cristine’s London paid a whopping US$ 114,614 which equates to US$23,000 per 750ml (the size of a regular wine bottle).
A vintage wine with a thick and rich texture, it leaves a fruity and spicy linger in the palette. It is best enjoyed when placed in a decanter for at least 30-45 minutes and wait for it to develop sweetness before drinking. Rare bottles of this vintage are currently being sold online for US$2500 to US$22,500 per bottle.
Revered as the best red wine ever made, it’s one the finest wine any wine aficionado could have ever tasted. It is deep, rich and elaborate with the notes of truffle and tobacco. Many regarded this wine as a ‘superstar’ wine. Each bottle currently sells at US$24,000.
Although I do agree that many good wine gets better with age, here are 2 wonderful ‘modern day’ selections which I particularly enjoy just as much:
Dom Perignon Plenitude 2 Vintage Champagne
First introduced in 2008, a whole eight years after it was actually produced, this champagne can technically be considered ‘vintage’. This 18-year old bottle boasts depth in flavors and intensity and sells between US$300.00- US$600.00 per bottle.
Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon
This Australian wine is regarded as the benchmark of modern day Cabernet Sauvignon. It is known for its earthy and bold taste with a hint of dark berries. The great news is, unlike the other wines I’ve included in this list, it is very affordable as it costs only US$ 57 per bottle!
A bottle of a great wine may cost you a pretty penny, but take it from Galileo Galilee’s who eloquently said “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”. When we look wine the way that Galileo does, then it makes sense that a good bottle of wine ought to come with a heftier price tag when compared to other drinks. Whichever wine you prefer, always remember to enjoy it moderately and to drink to savor every sip!
Been wanting to go on a getaway that is entirely focused on wine? Why not sign yourself up for a wine holiday in France? Learn about and enjoy plenty of great French wines all while you’re on vacation!