vintage wine

What is a vintage wine

Vintage wines are beverages produced in a strictly defined region from the same grape varieties and aged for more than 18 months. The peculiarity of vintage wines is their stable taste, which does not change for decades due to the strictly aged production technology. It makes the wine popular and in demand among the lovers of fine spirits. 

What makes a wine vintage?

High quality beverages must meet the following criteria in order to qualify as a vintage wine:

Production by special techniques;

  • It is aged for 18 months, except for the Kakhetian wines, which are aged for 12 months;
  • The wine is made from certain varieties approved by the producer;
  • The grapes are grown in a very specific area
  • The soil in the terroir must be homogeneous;
  • The grapes must be sorted when the grapes are harvested.

Compliance with all requirements is verified by the Central Tasting Commission. After confirmation by this body, the beverage can be given the status of a vintage wine.

vintage wine

Popular brands of vintage wine

Vintage wine is produced in many countries around the world, most beverages are characterized by a higher alcohol content. Some of the best known and most popular brands include:

Vintage wines come in traditional and gift packages, and many brands are hallmarks of well-known brands.

These wines are often considered to be of higher quality than non-vintage wines and can be aged for many years. Here are some popular vintage wines:

  1. Chateau Margaux 1787 – One of the most expensive vintage wines ever sold, this Bordeaux wine was authenticated as having been part of the personal collection of Thomas Jefferson.
  2. Penfolds Grange 1951 – This Australian Shiraz is considered to be one of the greatest wines ever produced in Australia.
  3. Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982 – This Bordeaux wine is often cited as one of the greatest wines ever produced.
  4. Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1990 – This Burgundy wine is one of the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world.
  5. Masseto 2010 – This Italian wine made from 100% Merlot grapes is considered to be one of the finest wines produced in Italy.
  6. Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 2016 – This port wine from Portugal is considered to be one of the best vintage ports ever produced.
  7. Opus One 1997 – This Napa Valley wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
  8. Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial 2020 – This Spanish wine is a blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon and is considered to be one of the finest wines produced in Spain.
  9. Dom Perignon 1996 – This vintage champagne is considered to be one of the greatest champagnes ever produced.
  10. Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 1996 – This Champagne made from Pinot Noir grapes is considered to be one of the best vintage champagnes ever produced.

Serving features

Enjoy the complex tasting characteristics of vintage wine with classic serving rules. It is recommended to chill white wines to 10-12 degrees, red wines to 12-16 degrees, taking into account the high alcohol content of the drinks. At this temperature all the organoleptic flavors shine through, and the aroma is no longer alcoholic. The vintage wines are poured into big wine glasses of thin transparent glass on high stems.

When choosing the gastronomic accompaniment one should take into account the peculiarities of the drink. Reds are favored with hot meat dishes and whites with seafood and fish. Vintage wines go well with salads, lean meat, fruit and unsweetened desserts.

Vintage wines can be used to make bright alcoholic cocktails. Beverage segment is diverse, allowing you to create mixes for every taste. From madera you can make “Mint Borov” with chinar, mint and bitter herbal liqueur. On the basis of white dessert wine create “Parmesan Power” with pisco, lemon juice, honey and parmesan, “Second Blush” with grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur and soda. These drinks will be the centerpiece of the party.

A little history

Wines have been made for several millennia, and the tradition of producing aged drinks is many centuries old. It is impossible to say exactly when vintage wines appeared, and in the classifications of different countries these drinks were fixed in the twentieth century, although they were produced long before the approval of the legislation. The name of the category is traditional for wines created in post-Soviet countries, but in France AOP drinks are produced according to similar requirements.

Vintage wines are an impeccable choice for a meeting with best friends, a romantic evening or a festive event. All variants of white, red, rose, dry and sweet vintage wines are worthy of attention of admirers of noble drinks. These products are remembered for their bright taste and variety of flavors.

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