The question of whether good wine can be cheap is not new. Hundreds of materials already exist on this subject, but in order not to re-read them all, we decided to dot the i in one. Below, brand-chef-sommelier of restaurant holding Maison Dellos Sergey Aksenovsky and wine expert Anton Obrezchikov talk about below what price wine is definitely not worth buying, what to look for when choosing an inexpensive wine, how to drink it and other nuances.
brand chef sommelier of restaurant holding Maison Dellos (restaurants "Cafe Pushkin", "Orange 3"
Price is a starting point for those who find it difficult to navigate. I pay more attention to the region and the country of origin.
I would divide the topic of good inexpensive wine into several parts: what to choose, how to choose and how to drink. The latter plays an important role. Unfortunately, few people pay attention to the process of drinking wine outside the restaurant. At home, we usually do not always adhere to the rules, do not bother about the right temperature and the right glasses. But first things first.
What and how to choose
For good expensive wine, I would advise you to go to specialized stores, wine shops, but in the case of inexpensive wine, I, on the contrary, advise going to supermarkets, because of their volumes they can provide a favorable price. You can, of course, stumble upon good prices in the boutique, but this is rather the exception. In the West, by the way, chain supermarkets have long been puzzled by the issue of educating customers through their own wine guides. For example, in the British Tesco for ten years they have been publishing a guide in the form of a booklet. It has its own ratings, its own identification marks, which are designed to help the buyer with the choice of wine. If you want to buy inexpensive, but good wine, you need to go to serious chain supermarkets, such as, for example, Auchan, Perekrestok and so on.
Everyone has their own inexpensive wine. For someone, 300 rubles is the limit; for someone, 400, 700, and so on. But, frankly, it is very difficult to find on the store counter more or less normal wine for less than 600-700 rubles. In fact, this figure is now striving for a thousand rubles. You, as a private client, can order wine from the importer company. So it will cost you much cheaper than in a store and even more so in a restaurant. For this, there are private / corporate client departments in wine trading companies. Once in the database of such clients of the company, you can count on quite reasonable prices and delivery of wine. The conditions for all companies are different. But if we consider supermarkets, I repeat, 600-700 rubles, in my opinion, this is currently an extremely low price indicator, below which you can only take if you are sure that you are taking.
Old World Wines are usually more expensive. This is not news either. Therefore, we focusto the New World
It is clear that the wines of the Old World are usually more expensive, this is not news. Therefore, we focus on the New World - Chile, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. We do not pay attention to screw cork: as we already know, this is not an indicator of the quality of wine (also cork can be rubber, polyurethane, composite and so on, this in this case simply reduces the cost of packaging). Inexpensive wines are young wines that need to be drunk right now, and over 80% of these wines are made with screw corks. If you meet cheap wine on a shelf with some decrepit year - even the year before last - this most likely indicates what wine is from an old purchase (which, again, can allow the store to make a lower price for it). But it could have been stored incorrectly. Not always stores have the correct storage conditions (temperature, humidity, lack of bright light and odors in warehouses, good ventilation). Wine of a democratic format, as a rule, is very popular and quickly diverges. Therefore, we pay attention to the year - the younger, the better for inexpensive wine.
We also look towards white wines. As experience shows, it is white wine that is easier to find at an affordable price. Inexpensive semi-dry white wine is easier to find than normal semi-dry red wine. In addition, we give preference to single-varietal wines, that is, wines from the same grape variety. As a rule, the name of the variety can be seen on the label of the wine. All that is more than one grade is already assembly wines. Monosortovye wines, as a rule, are more understandable.
Varietal characteristics of grapes in wine is the basis, as if a letter in the alphabet, having studied them, you will be able to compose words, that is, gradually recognize them in assembly wine.
Nurture a taste
Taste is muscle, it needs to be educated. Even if you do not possess it, it can be developed, like any skill, if there is interest and motivation. In the case of the body, we go in for sports, in the case of wine, we taste. Thanks to this, receptors become more developed, sophisticated, and over time, they recognize more and more nuances. But only if you do everything consciously. Not just drunk and forgotten. You need to make an effort and, even in the case of cheap wines, read the labels, remember, take pictures.
Now a lot of mobile applications are to blame. For those who are interested in wine, I would recommend using, for example, the Vivino application. This is an extremely simple story: any person, drinking a bottle of wine, photographs the label through the application, the scanner recognizes the wine, and you immediately get access to information about your wine: the internal rating of this wine, reviews, how many people have tried it, price, region, information About the manufacturer. Then you can place in the program the location of the place where you drank, with whom they drank, your impressions of the wine you drank, which will then be seen by another user who has scanned the same wine. The downside of this program is subjectivity. Users are non-professionals, and therefore reviews and ratings are often strange.
To put it bluntly, that is, the varieties are complex, complex, noble, and there are easier. Of the latter, it is easier to find inexpensive wine - for example, merlot, shiraz, pinotage (red), Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling (white). There are more complex varieties - gewurz, pinot noir, nebbiolo: cheap wines from them are, in principle, rare. But, again, I repeat, this is a very crude explanation.
Eveninexpensive wine can be made more interesting, complicate it justdue to the correct filing
Three components of the wine business
Often winemakers themselves distinguish three components of their business. The first is the territory, that is, a set of climatic and natural indicators that ultimately affect wine. This is soil, groundwater, exposure of the slope relative to the cardinal points, remoteness from the sea and so on.
The second component is production. The winemaker has a lot of tools within the framework of the legislation, thanks to which you can influence, adjust the process of wine production itself. This also includes work in the vineyard. This is a whole science.
The third is marketing. Making wine is one thing; it’s important to be able to sell it. And here often the efforts of one winemaker can not do. Wine producers unite in associations, consortia, unions for the protection, promotion, popularization of their own wines, regions of wine production. As an example, the situation with Austrian wines in Russia. Holding annual salons of Austrian wines in Moscow for several years has done its job. Austria produces amazing wines, but here conscious product promotion is important. Now any wine list of a decent Moscow restaurant does not do without Austrian wines. Therefore, it is impossible to neglect marketing.
If we talk about marketing in terms of its share in the price of a bottle of inexpensive wine, then it’s probably worth looking for serious brands, because they can afford to keep the level of quality, it’s easier for them than for small producers. By the way, as a rule, small producers sell their wine material to larger ones, which mix it and produce it under their own brand. If we pay attention to the company, then we should choose large manufacturers.
How to drink
Already a lot has been said and written on this topic. Allegedly, you can also screw up good wine so that you don’t experience anything: if you serve it at the wrong temperature or drink it from the wrong glass. Following this logic, it turns out, and inexpensive wine can be made more interesting, complicate it just by proper delivery. Of course, wine for 320 rubles, served at the right temperature, will not become an ambrosia in your Riedel glass, but at least try it. It will be a rewarding experience.
If you bother with a picnic, bother with a glass, the temperature of the wine. Enjoy more. Of course, you can, as in your student years, drink wine from plastic cups, but in this case, you just pour something into yourself. In principle, one cannot speak of any organoleptic.
What is the correct feed? This is primarily temperature. It is necessary to cool both red and white wines. Why is it important? Different aromatic components have different weights and evaporate at different speeds at different temperatures. If you serve the wine warm, you will simply lose most of the aromatic components: they will disappear. It’s better to slightly cool the wine and let it warm in the glass (for a picnic you can cool a little more and wrap the bottle in foil so that it keeps the temperature longer). By the way, it heats up very quickly in it, so you need to hold the glass by the leg so as not to heat it by hand.
All red wines should be chilled to 16 degrees. Pink and white need to be cooled more, from 9 to 11 degrees. Just put the bottle in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.
Get one universal glass. It has a Bordeaux shape - with a non-welded, cut edge. There are such anonymized wine glasses, the so-called jokers, made of thick glass, of which any wine will be the same in aroma and in language.
At home, like any person who deals with wine, there are several glasses, because I know that this affects the perception of wine. I don’t bother much: I have five glasses. Two for sparkling wine: narrower and higher for prosecco and larger for champagne wines, which is more reminiscent of wine - the more serious champagne, the more voluminous a glass should be. Aromatics appear due to evaporation, due to the interaction of oxygen with wine, and the larger the contact area, the larger the evaporation area, and the more vivid the aroma will be. If the glass is wide in the middle and narrowed up, the aroma will be more concentrated. In addition, there is one glass for white wine - Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, one universal Bordeaux glass, another large Bordeaux glass for Bordeaux and the largest - for serious wines, such as Pinot Noir.
Well, do not forget: the simpler the wine, the easier the snack should be. In the end, wine has always been and is a companion to the meal. Drink wine, taste, write down your impressions, study wine. Everything is relative. We all once started with inexpensive wine.
Wine is such a matter, which it can sometimes be difficult to evaluate, as objects of art. There is poor-quality cheap wine, but there is also an unsuccessful expensive one. Obviously, there is a certain lower price threshold, after which almost nothing is included in the price of wine "on the shelf", except for the cost of a glass bottle and the cost of corking it.
A bottle of wine made in Europe cannot cost one euro simply on the basis of the labor costs of winegrowers. At the same time, let's say, already for one and a half euros in Italy, for example, if you know the places, it is quite possible to buy a liter of sane table wine in bulk - from a vending machine that looks like a gas station. This wine will not be outstanding or memorable in its characteristics, but if it is just normal, without jambs, made under a certain set of circumstances, with the right people and in the right place, you can drink it with great pleasure, for example, at a spontaneous picnic with some local snacks.
What follows from this? In wine, the emotional component is extremely important. Of course, a wine for 100 euros per bottle will differ from wine from a gas station - it will be more saturated, with more complex aromas in a bouquet, it will live and develop in a glass, and you will understand it without difficulty, while wine for one and a half euros you will simply drink food - like water, but only wine.
Will a wine differ for a thousand euros per bottle from wine for a hundred euros per bottle? Undoubtedly, but if you compare both of them with wine "from a gas station", you are unlikely to notice the difference - rather, they will need to be compared to each other. Can a thousand euro wine be bad? Yes, it may turn out to be spoiled, for example, by a disease called "cork", but if you buy such wines, you can probably prove the defect to the people who sold it to you, and, in a good way, they should return the money to you, be it a sommelier in a restaurant or an importer.
In addition, expensive wines are sometimes faked, as are objects of art. Is it worth it to overpay the conditional difference between a bottle for a hundred and a bottle for a thousand euros? This is, frankly, someone like. Wines for 5, 10, 15, 50, 10, 500 and 1,000 euros per bottle can be magnificent in their own way, the main thing is not to try to compare them with each other solely in terms of price and prove to someone with foam at the mouth that a bottle of “Massandra”, which you took at Auchan yesterday for 400 rubles, is cooler than this Portuguese port for 4 thousand rubles. If the winemaker set such a price for his wine, apparently he wanted to say something by that. If the price of your favorite wine hurts you compared to European, try to find something similar in style, but only cheaper. All wine is different - this, in fact, is the main meaning of the "message in a bottle."