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Author Topic: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?  (Read 5583 times)

Offline neilep

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What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« on: 10/09/2012 12:36:42 »
Is Expensive Wine The "Best" Wine ?

Dearest Wineologists.

As a tea-total sheepy I know sod-all about wine !...I occasionally cook with the stuff and it always turns out nice !


Look...hereís some of the stuff !!



Some Winey Stuff Just Moments Ago !


Nice eh ?

A case load being delivered next Tuesday.


I really need help understanding the differences between a £3 bottle and a £30 bottle and then those silly ones that cost thousands and even hundreds of thousands !


Does a £100,000 bottle of wine send you on a  trip of incandescent  sensual fulfilment to the point where your taste buds and olfactory system are enlightened to a higher state of being ?

People use all these adjectives to describe the ďexperienceĒ.......how does the experience differ with the escalation of price ?...and then thereís the whole thing about matching the wine to the food thing.......please explain this also !

I just donít get it !!...Whatís the science behind the quality of wine ?


Cos ewe know what ?...i donít know !!

hugs and shsmishes


mwah mwah mwah


neil
Iím Whining About Wine
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Offline Bored chemist

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #1 on: 10/09/2012 19:56:36 »
"I really need help understanding the differences between a £3 bottle and a £30 bottle".

£27
 

Offline neilep

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #2 on: 10/09/2012 20:52:04 »
"I really need help understanding the differences between a £3 bottle and a £30 bottle".

£27


£27 is one difference ;)
 

Offline JP

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #3 on: 10/09/2012 22:55:53 »
I like to ferment things (mostly beer), but I'm not a big wine drinker.  However, being a geek, I've read up a lot on fermented beverages, including wine.

Wine (and any fermented beverage) generally ends up being a cocktail of all sorts of chemical flavor and aroma compounds in addition to water and alcohol.  Some come from the grapes, some are given off by the yeast during fermentation, and some develop during aging, either from the barrels or from various chemical reactions of all the stuff that's in the wine.  The reason we enjoy some beverages a lot is because they're extremely complex in flavor and aroma (as well as tasting good).  Aside from alcoholic beverages, tea and coffee are similarly complex.

As far as pairing goes, you often pair up like flavors, so if the wine has rich, smoky flavors, it might go well with chocolate or barbecue.  If it's light and fruity, it might pair well with a salad or fruit.  To be honest, I generally go with beer, which has a far broader range of flavors which are far more pronounced, so it's simpler to pair.  :)

As far as the different between differently priced bottles: much of the enjoyment factor of a bottle of wine is psychological, and there has been research showing that price plays a huge factor in enjoyment.  If you think its expensive, you enjoy it more!  I'd guess that for the majority of people buying a relatively cheap bottle is good enough.  Or better yet, spend that £3 on a bottle of beer.  Some of the most well-regarded beer in the world comes in at under that price.  :p
(See: http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/13091)
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #4 on: 11/09/2012 08:54:26 »
There is a relationship between price and quality - but with the caveats that there are often exceptions and the relationship fails to hold as the wine gets to silly prices ("buying and selling" wine rather than "drinking" wine). And, really, it is ultimately a subjective issue as to what wine you like. If you want to enjoy the taste of certain wines (because you have an interest in the subtle taste differences between wines) you may have to pay for the privelege.

Generally in the £3 to £15 range you will notice a quality difference for similar types of wine. From £15 to £30 there will often be a a more subtle taste difference, which a few people may even not like. On the other hand if you buy a £30 Chassagne Montrachet you would unlikely to be disappointed. I think that it is very rare today (in the UK) to be able to get a reasonable wine under about £5 and if you want to be sure that it will at least be OK, then £7 to £10 from a good supermarket will be a safe bet. If you want to explore different tastes then you can spend more. Ultimately it is what you like to drink that matters.

I don't think that many would argue that having a nice meal, carefully prepared, with quality ingredients is a worthwhile experience. It does not mean that fish and chips from the local chippy is not also a good thing but it is nice to have a varied and interesting diet if you can afford to do so. It is also the case with what you drink.

 

Offline neilep

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #5 on: 19/09/2012 10:32:59 »
JP and graham.d ..THANK YOU very much for your wonderful responses,  :)
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #6 on: 21/09/2012 09:52:05 »
re Graham's comments - if you wanna try a good white wine M&S are currently selling Chassange Montrachet for 30 quid a pop.  It's not the finest example in the world - but it is pretty damn good and you know from M&S that you won't get good bottles and bad bottles.  As many people will pay 25-30 pounds in a restaurant for a bottle of plonk - why not shell out for the good stuff at home once in a while.  The M&S Barolo is a great example of an Italian Red.

Most of the time I would prefer to get "a dine in for a tenner" and have 20 quid left in my pocket rather than spend 30 on just a bottle - but everyso often...
 

Offline neilep

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #7 on: 21/09/2012 13:38:32 »
re Graham's comments - if you wanna try a good white wine M&S are currently selling Chassange Montrachet for 30 quid a pop.  It's not the finest example in the world - but it is pretty damn good and you know from M&S that you won't get good bottles and bad bottles.  As many people will pay 25-30 pounds in a restaurant for a bottle of plonk - why not shell out for the good stuff at home once in a while.  The M&S Barolo is a great example of an Italian Red.

Most of the time I would prefer to get "a dine in for a tenner" and have 20 quid left in my pocket rather than spend 30 on just a bottle - but everyso often...

Ok..chummy imatfaal..I will dive in down Alcy Avenue and grab those two ! *and run like hell without paying*....seriously though....when I get em....do I just drink em ?...lol..silly kweschun but instinct tells me to chill the white and have the red at room temp (assuming I'm not staying in one of them ice hotels)....

...sip it...slurp it...

If I mix the two I get a Rosť yes ?

...and Red wine is healthier eh ?.. because of tannin and stuff ! ?
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #8 on: 21/09/2012 21:49:14 »
I read what it says on the back of the bottle - they normally have a fine guide to what temperature, whether it should be allowed to breath etc.  If you are really panicky or your bottle doesn't have details - look up a posh wine-merchants and most will give far too much detail on best drinking conditions.  Chassange Montrachet should be drunk below room temperature - but not chilled too much; you won't taste anything. White burgundy/Chardonnay are often served far too cold (straight from cold fridge around 3-5 deg C) whilst they will be nice and crisp at this temperature you will miss the lovely buttery smoothness - it should be between 10 and 12 deg C for all Chardonnay .  Now I have made myself sound a complete and total wine-ponce!
 

Offline JP

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #9 on: 21/09/2012 23:32:03 »
...and Red wine is healthier eh ?.. because of tannin and stuff ! ?

Dark colors in fruit (and fruit drinks) often indicate a lot of antioxidants, which are present in red wine.  These are generally thought to be healthy because they help prevent oxidative cell damage.  Just how healthy is open for debate.

There's also resveratrol in red wine, which appears increase longevity in megadoses in lab animals.  The catch is that the amount you get from red wine is tiny compared to the effective doses in the lab, so it probably does nothing for you in the wine.  There's also been no evidence (that I know of) of how it works in humans.

Probably the biggest effect is that alcohol itself appears to protect against heart disease.  This isn't particular to wine--any type of alcoholic beverage will do this.

Of course, there are health risks, too, and the recommended maximum intake is 1-2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women.  If you consume more than that on a regular basis, your risk for many health problems shoots way up and outweighs the benefits.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #10 on: 22/09/2012 05:43:49 »
Imatfaal...JP....*sigh* I have a lot to learn !   It's not that I'm naive I truly have made my way through life without imbibing alcohol. I do remember watching programmes such as food and drink and being astounded at the knowledge base and precision for which Oz Clarke and Jilly Goolden could not just describe the wine but also in  blind tests always be able to identify the wine, region year etc from just one slurp !

Thank you for your advice and guidance.....time to sensibly educate my wine palate...



"cheers"
 

Offline RD

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #11 on: 22/09/2012 08:15:25 »
I do remember watching programmes such as food and drink and being astounded at the knowledge base and precision for which Oz Clarke and Jilly Goolden could not just describe the wine but also in  blind tests always be able to identify the wine, region year etc from just one slurp !

Jilly Goolden is not just a wine expert  :D ...
t=51s
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #12 on: 22/09/2012 10:51:10 »
Spot on, Imatfaal. I especially agree regarding white Burgundies which often get overcooled. I can especially recommend Olivier Leflaive Montagny Premier Cru which I see can be bought for only £10.00 a bottle from some wine merchants. See internet. This is better (IMO) than other more expensive Montagny Premier Cru available from supermarkets. Mind you, I shouldn't make recommendations as it may push up the price! He also does an excellent Chassagne Montrachet at about £34 but I don't often run to that.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #13 on: 23/09/2012 11:05:54 »
Oh dear - just found out that Olivier Leflaive runs a hotel in Puligny-Montrachet and does tasting and seminars there.  I have had his Chablis on expense account ( and Corney and Barrow are currently have his new wines on the first page of their website) - and will make a note to try the Montagny.
 

Offline yamo

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #14 on: 23/09/2012 15:29:12 »
I used to work in a wine shop that had a good reputation and  sold wines for a few dollars more than the wine shops one block north and south of it.  When I asked the owner why he said, "Because I can."  If you pay $30 for a bottle then it is a $30 dollar bottle.  I smoke so my palate is crap.  I NEVER pay more than $15 'cause I can't taste at a high level.  Don't overly chill your white wine.  Let your reds breathe(decant) for 30-60 minutes.  An expensive red tastes bad right after opening.  The bacteria is anaerobic so the yumminess  is those dead corpses.  j/k
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #15 on: 24/09/2012 16:24:17 »
Imatfaal, the hotel is worth going to. It has been recommended to me by a friend who has been there on a number of occasions though I have not managed a visit myself yet. It is unpretentious but the food is good and the wine excellent. It is also situated well if you visit the wineries - usually essential :-)
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #16 on: 27/09/2012 09:18:33 »
I used to do a fair bit of business with a wine shipping agent. On one occasion, I had to collect from a London bonded cellar, a case of 6 bottles of 1947 Pomerol to go to France for re-corking. This case had a quoted value of £13,000.00 for customs purposes.

It seems that fine French wines were often shipped to the UK for storage because their value appreciated better in the UK than in France. The wines might then be shipped back to France for sale in retail/wholesale wine cellars. A bottle might then end up on table of the Savoy in London. So multiple shipping and storage are factors in the price of fine wines. But I think wine snobbery is probably the greatest factor.
 

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Re: What's The Science Behind Expensive Wine ?
« Reply #16 on: 27/09/2012 09:18:33 »

 

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