Gourmet wine: Discover unique flavours and wine secrets

via Dawid Lipiec

Wine is not only an alcohol, but above all a tradition. Vines have been cultivated for hundreds of years. It is a beverage that works well for a celebratory dinner, a romantic supper or a crazy evening out with friends. What do you need to know to choose a good wine? 

Wines from local vineyards: Poland, Italy, France

Many people are convinced that wine has only been grown in Poland for a short time. Nothing could be further from the truth! Tradition polish vineyards dates back to the Middle Ages.

Polish wines are made in the vineyards Małopolska, Lower Silesia, Opole or Podkarpacie. The most common are noble varieties such as pinot blanc, pinot noir, chardonnay or riesling. Polish wines, however, are often hybrid. The most well-known combinations are Odessa muscat, regent, jutrzenka or hibernal.

Italians are the largest producer of wines. Italian wines amount to 54.8 ml hl. The most famous wine-growing region is Piedmont. The wines produced here are strong and tart.

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French wines are mostly red spirits from varietals such as grenache, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc or pinot noir.

Exclusive wineries for connoisseurs: The search for exceptional wines

The choice of wines is huge. This does not mean that every wine is of equal value. How to choose winethat will satisfy even the most demanding palate?

The first step to selection of good wine is to read the label carefully. When choosing Italian, French or Polish wines, it is important to know which variety they are made from. The region of origin and the ageing time are also important. The next step is to recognise the colour, structure and aroma of the wine.

A good white wine will have a golden, vibrant and intense colour. A red wine with a light shade will be younger than one that is darker.

Light wines will have no more than 10.5% of alcohol. Polish, French and Italian wines that have more than 16-18% of alcohol are heavy, and wines with 12% of alcohol are considered intermediate.

An important element in the assessment of wine is its smell. It is important to remember that we smell wines oxidising at a certain distance from the nose. Assessing the aroma of wines is very individual and already requires a lot of skill.

Natural and organic wines: new trends for conscious gourmets

Choosing a wine usually starts with deciding whether we want red or white. The next step is to delve into what is on the label.

One often comes across the term 'natural wine'. What does this actually mean?

Polish natural wines assume the least possible intervention in cultivation. This applies to both the cultivation of the vines and the subsequent production process. The grapes are harvested by hand. No artificial substances, sulphur compounds or acids are added during production. It is also important to minimise the amount of sugar added. Wild yeast is used in the fermentation process. Also, the temperature is not controlled during the winemaking process.

Organic wines are also made in vineyards where the use of plant protection products and fertilisers is excluded. The garden is treated as part of the ecosystem, so winemakers remember to plant plants original to the region between the vines and use niches for animals. In caring for the soil, they use crop rotation, mulching or natural herbal sprays and fertilisers.

Wine culture through the ages: Tastes and traditions

Wine has been in the culture since ancient times. However, its production has changed over the centuries.

The simplest way to say it is that wine is the result of fermentation of vine juice with yeast. However, it is worth remembering that Polish wines had an episode in their history when they were made from pears, plums, currants, apples or hawthorn. Fortunately, these times have long since been forgotten, and today Polish vineyards can boast of good products which are becoming more and more appreciated every year.

Italy's most popular wine is chianti, which is made from the Sangiovese grape, which originated in Tuscany and is now grown throughout the country. It is a wine that is bottled in distinctive, cracked bottles with a rooster.

Wine legends: Discover the story of illustrious winemakers

When learning about Polish, Bulgarian, Italian and French wines, one cannot forget about their makers, who put a lot of work and heart into making drinks that delight the palates of gourmets all over the world.

One of the best-known winemakers is Alvaro Palacios, who comes from a famous family with a long winemaking tradition. It is worth mentioning, however, that he did not follow the beaten path but - together with other young winemakers - created a cooperative in Priorat.

Jair Agopian is a man who has been hit hard by life but has found the strength to create a recognisable wine brand. Today, he has a winery called Casta Rubra - Red Fortress. It is thanks to him that Bulgarian wines have gained worldwide fame.

Olivier Bourdet-Pees comes from a family of cooperative winemakers. Although he has seen wine being made since he was a child he has also gained knowledge in other countries. He took part in a project in Uruguay. Today, he is technical director at Plaimont Producteurs.

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