January 18, 2011 0

What is a “vintage”?

By in Questions, The Butler Wine-Show

Little bit of a warm up for the soon to be released Winebox.tv WineSchool Videos: what is a vintage?

People apply vintage to a bottle of wine incorrectly quite often, so to avoid looking like a fool, take heed, its really simple: its the date on the bottle.

If a wine says 2009, that means that the fruit in the bottle was harvested that year. Now, if you’re a wine boffin, you’ll be following the weather, so you’d know for example that in 2009 conditions were perfect for Beaujolais, so you know its a “good vintage.”

In the video I have some 1973 German Red. With a funky brass monkey on the bottle. You’d think: that’s old, and cool and probably will be a “proper” wine.

Wrong: its only good for unblocking the sink. 1973 was a rubbish year for german wine, and its only going to get worse, not better as it sits on the shelf.

Whereas, 1982 was a renowned year for Bordeaux. You see that year on a Bordeaux label in someone’s cupboard, then pinch it.

At the end of the video I’ll give you my tips for wines you’ll see now, even on Supermarket shelves.

There are loads of phone apps for spotting wine vintage – and we’ll review them on another show, but the free Berry Bros and Rudd app is a great start.

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