Course: Understanding Wine

Class 6: Traveling the Old World

summarize: finish, balance, complexity


Weekend Wines vs. Everyday Wines

The Bordeaux and Côtes-du-Rhône you tasted in the last class were intended to be everyday wines -- affordable and enjoyable, but otherwise at the most basic level of quality. The wines of this tasting are in a different class, one we'll call "weekend" wines. A weekend wine is generally higher in quality than an everyday wine and offers more complexity, better balance and more enjoyment than its (usually) less-expensive counterpart.

Both your Rioja Reserva and Chianti Classico should have qualities that distinguish them from everyday wines grown in their respective regions: For the Rioja, Reservas receive extended aging in oak and bottle, producing a wine with more harmonious flavors and refined mouthfeel; for the Chianti, it is the very favorable soil...

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