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The Three Main Features of Fine Wine

There are numerous types of wine available to choose from that it’s easy to get confused as to what exactly is a good or bad wine. This leads to the question – what exactly is a good wine?

Main Features of Fine Wine

 The Type of Fine Wine matters

 Everyone has their own definition of what a fine wine is and it breaks down into various subjectivities. For many connoisseurs, tasters and casual drinkers, a fine wine will be a powerful experience involving numerous flavours. Personal taste is ultimately subjective. 

For some, the cost of the wine is the main selling point – the more they pay, the more value it has to them.  The high in demand aspect of the wine is the appeal.

Aging the wine is a classic example where the more aged the wine is, the higher the quality is. Superior quality is judged by the aging process.

According to the French Master sommelier ‘Laurent Derhe’, there are three defining features of fine wine that apply to all kinds of wine whether red, white, sparkling or sweet.

The aromatic complexity is a key factor in Laurent’s decision making. A wine must have a combination of multiple aromas in order to be considered a fine wine – it would need to be floral, fruity, mineral, spiced etc.  

Derhe also talked about the importance of a balance between all flavours and components including sugar, acidity and tannins. There is a flavoursome harmony between all the flavours that makes it stand out for the taster. This rule applies to wines made from Burgundy Pinot Noir or Cabernet grapes. 

 The length of taste is also a crucial part of a wine’s quality. It is known as Intense Aromatic Persistency. The flavour of the wine disappears quickly, then it would be considered a bad wine but if the flavour persists for a certain period of time, then it is of a high quality. This is known as “caudalies” – one caudalie equals a second. A strong fine wine will leave the flavour on the tongue for longer than 9-10 seconds (9-10 caudalies).