“My only regret in life is that I did not drink more wine.” – Ernest Hemingway
Happy National Wine Day! With a vast array of options, wine is an exceptionally versatile beverage. Before we share the best Brantford spots to make-your-own-wine, we thought we’d prepare you by giving you the tools you need to pick yourself the perfect wine! Experts use five common characteristics to classify and describe wine and if you’ve ever felt lost when wandering wine aisles, here’s a basic guide:
1. Sweet vs. Dry – sweet wines have a higher level of residual sugar creating a higher viscosity or “thicker” appearance. You can see evidence of this when you swirl wine and it is slower to settle down the sides of the glass. You can also note a sweeter wine by paying attention to the front tip of your tongue. A sweeter wine will create a tingling sensation. Be careful not to confuse sweet, more viscose, wines for being full-bodied.
2. Acidity – wine’s acidity is indicated by a tart or zesty quality on the tip and sides of the tongue. Acidic wines are often lighter in body.
3. Tannins – this characteristic of wine comes from the skins of the grapes and the oak barrels that are used for aging. Tannin is the characteristic of bitterness in a wine. Having trouble understanding what that means? For comparison, many black teas are high in tannins. That bitter, dry feeling that you get in your mouth is the result of tannins. High tannin, because of the dry mouth sensation it create, is often confused for a wine being dry, which as you now know, actually means it’s low in sugar.
4. Alcohol – wines are usually between 11% - 14% alcohol by volume (ABV), but can range anywhere from 5% - 20%. To determine alcohol content, experts pay attention to the warming sensation that is created at the back of the throat, and the best connoisseurs can guess ABV within 0.2%.
5. Light vs. Full-Bodied – the body of a wine is determined by a combination of many factors from sugar and alcohol content, to how it’s made and where it’s from. Bottom line, if the taste of the wine lingers in your mouth, it’s likely full-bodied.
Now that you have the tools to be a wine connoisseur, here are some local wine shops for you to explore. On top of the wide range of occasions that are enhanced by wine, wine itself is enhanced by participating in the process and shopping local. Each of these locations offers a wide range of wines to choose from and expert staff to help you mix your batch. They will then store your wine on site during the fermentation process and help you to bottle and label the wine when it’s ready.
Vinters Cellar Brantford | 164 Colborne St W. #1a | 519-752-0001 | vinterscellarbrantford.com
Vin Bon Brantford | 190 King George Rd #1 | 519-304-9463 | vinbon.com/locations/vin-bon-brantford
Wine Kitz Brantford | 358 King George Rd | 519-750-0861 | winekitzbrantford.com
Positano Wine Making & Gourmet Food | 250 King George Rd | 519-751-1221 | positanowine.com
Urban Sunset Wine Company | 125 Stanley St | 519-753-2962 | urbansunsetwinecompany.com
Each of these retailers has adjusted their business for the safety of their customers, but this has not hindered the exceptional quality of product and service that they offer. For more information on bottling your own wine at any one of these shops please reach out and give them a call.