There is no way – the world of wine often seems inaccessible and extremely specialized. What are tannins? Is it possible to feel woody notes? What is a terroir? How can a wine be full bodied?
One of the first steps in deciphering this world and choosing the best bottle is to understand the label. It is he who brings the name, the type of wine, the vintage, who is the producer, the grape variety, the region in which it was made and the alcohol content, for example.
As with any product, the name takes on more importance. Good design entices the buyer, but it’s important to take the next step – and check out the type of wine, which can be categorized by color, flavor and presence of gas.
In color, red is produced by fermenting the juice of black or red grapes, while white, in general, arises from white fruits. Rosé, on the other hand, can result from mixing the two or removing the rind during fermentation.
In flavor classification, styles are defined by the amount of sugar. The mellow has a sweet taste and is generally a gateway to the world of wines. On the other hand, drought can frighten those who are unfamiliar with it. Among them is the semi-dry or demi-sec, which includes slightly sweet options.
Finally, there is the presence or absence of gas. Sparkling wine is made with a second natural fermentation of the wine, while sparkling wine is obtained during the pre-production of a sparkling wine, which generates a lighter and refreshing drink. If there is no gas, the wine is said to be still.
But what about the harvest, the producer, the region and the variety? The vintage indicates the time at which the grapes were harvested and, although it is not a mandatory element on the label, it is common to appear there. If it is not written on the bottle, it means that the drink was made from fruits of different harvests.
The producing region is important because it identifies the famous terroir, which is talked about a lot in the wine world. It’s nothing more than a collection of factors – like climate, soil, and location, for example – responsible for the specific flavor of this drink.
Knowing the grape variety and alcohol content, it’s easy to tell if a certain label is what you’re looking for.
But, if all of these explanations sounded like alphabet soup, we chose four wines available at restaurants and bars in São Paulo to illustrate. In the end, the sips will certainly be more precise.
99 roses 2019
Following a recent trend towards more natural wines, this one comes from an organic cellar, that is to say it is cultivated and produced without chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. Domínio de Punctum also follows the principles of biodynamic agriculture, which respects the phenomena of nature throughout the process of making the drink, responsible for indicating the best times to perform certain activities in the vineyards. The result is a fruity and fresh blend, with a medium body and very versatile in harmonization and, of course, easy to drink.
1 – 99 Roses – This is the name of the wine.
2 – Chardonnay – One of the grape varieties used in the production of the drink. Of French origin, it is considered the main white grape variety, with yellowish-green skin and thin skin.
3 – Viognier – Another type of white grape, aromatic and not very acidic.
4 – Brazilian Organic Product Seal – Certifies that the product contains at least 95% organic ingredients in its composition. In the case of wines, they must be produced with grapes grown without the use of chemicals.
5 – Map of Spain – In white, it indicates the main wine-growing region of the country, Castile-La Mancha, where the farm of the wine producer, Domino de Punctum is located.
6-750 ml – Standard volume of wines.
7-13% Vol. – The alcohol content of the drink.
Where to order
R. Dr Melo Alves, 728, Gardens, West Region, Tel. (11) 3061-3323. Mon to Thu: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fri and Sat: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sun: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Delivery via iFood and the menew.com.br/adega-santiago website.
Price: R $ 115 per bottle, in Adega Santiago
White Raven 2018
Found exclusively in western France, the Folle Blanche grape is a rare grape variety, best known for its use in cognac production. This wine was born when a frost destroyed almost the entire harvest between 2016 and 2017. Its culture is also biodynamic, with manual harvesting and an initial fermentation based on indigenous yeasts. Of the four chosen, it has the lowest alcohol content, leaving the most sour flavor. It is bottled after 11 months of maturation in cement vats, resulting in a drink with citrus and spicy notes, which goes very well in the relaxing moments of summer.
1 – Corbeau Blanc – “Corvo branco”, in French; is the mark of the label.
2 – Vincent Caillé – Wine producer, originally from Loire, France, a wine region that produces different styles of drink, such as rosé, red, white and sparkling wines.
3 – Gros-plant du Pays Nantais – Refers to the type of dry white wine produced in the district of Nantes, a French city. Drinks under this name are generally made entirely from the white folle grape, known in this part of France as the “gros plant” (hence its name).
4-2018 – Year of the harvest.
5 to 11% vol. – It is the alcohol content, which can be considered low. It is usually expressed by the term ABV, which stands for alcohol by volume, which generally varies between 10% and 15%.
6 – 75 cl – This is the volume of the wine – 75 centiliters or 750 ml.
Pairing: rice with octopus honey.
Where to order
R. Commander Roberto Ugolini, 129, Mooca, eastern region, tel. (11) 97574-3213. Thu. to Sat .: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sun: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mandatory reservation. Delivery via Goomer and iFood.
Price: R $ 210 per bottle, at Borgo Mooca
RESERVE GARZÓN TANNAT 2018
Aged for a year in French oak, this wine is one of the best-known wines from Bodega Garzón. For those who like thicker labels, this is a good choice. It’s a bit more potent than the previous suggestion, but has very similar notes of dark fruit, spices and coffee, plus an alcoholic strength that balances the drink.
1 – Garzón – Wine producer, originally from the village of the same name in the southwest of Uruguay.
2 – Seal of the best cellar – La Bodega Garzón was voted best cellar in the new world – that is to say the American continent – in 2018 by the Wine Star Awards, an annual award from the specialist magazine Wine Enthusiast.
3 – Tannat – This is the type of red grape, native to the south of France and popular on Uruguayan labels, dark purple in color and thick skin.
4 – Reserve – It is the wine produced with selected grapes and which goes through a period of aging in wooden barrels and aging in the bottle itself. These are more elaborate labels, which usually sit for years before being marketed.
5 – 750 ml – Volume of the drink.
6-2019 – Year of the harvest.
Pairing: chorizo steak.
Where to order
R. General Mena Barreto, 793, Jardim Paulista, western region, tel. (11) 3887-8870. Mon. to Thu: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fri to Sat: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sun: 12 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Delivery via iFood and WhatsApp (11) 99973-1238.
Price: R $ 206 per bottle, at Varanda Grill
2017 ZINFANDEL CARNIVAL
The grape chosen is strong and intense, dark in color, characteristic of California, which produces very varied wines – in this case, medium body, fruity, with soft tannins. This is the type of wine that can appeal to many types of consumers, as it is not very “cheeky” – a popular term that refers to the dry mouth feel, linked to the tannins. The alcohol content (14.5% ABV) is also important for the result of the drink, as this is what allows the detection of complexity and balance. In this case, the smoothness of the palate is evident, without overkill of acidity or astringency. More educated consumers can experience notes of cocoa and blackberries on the nose and woody notes on the palate.
1 – Carnivor – This is the name of the wine producer.
2 – California – Region where the grapes were grown. With a Mediterranean climate and a soil favorable to the cultivation of vines, the American state is the first responsible for the production of wine in the United States, a country which is second only to Italy, France and Spain. in this regard.
3 – Zinfandel – Grape variety, cultivated mainly in Californian soils since the 19th century, rich and full-bodied red wines are often produced, with a dark coloring.
4 – 2017 – Harvest, or the year of harvest of the grapes.
Pairing: meat on the plate, cheese risotto and even a hamburger and fries.
Where to order
Av. Pedroso de Morais, 1.037, Pinheiros, western region, tel. (11) 99160-3691. Mon to Sat: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Delivery via the Wine app (Android and iOS).
Price: R $ 125 per bottle, at Wine Pinheiros