The purpose of the cork is to favor the ageing of the wines and protect them until served.
A good cork must be solid and have no pores on the smooth surfaces.
The wine must be in contact with the cork so the bottle shall be stored horizontally.
Thus, a water-tight seal is created; otherwise the wine would spill or oxygen would get into the wine and ruin its ageing.
The wine glass must be preferably colorless. The small diameter of the opening allows for the concentration of the wine aromas when it swirls inside the glass.
Glasses should be cleaned with mild soap but, if there is none, rinse them several times with clean water. Leave them upside down so that the water drains on its own. The wine glass should always be held by the stem, holding it by the bowl would lead to warm the wine.
A decanter is a bottle-shaped recipient, with a wide body, the double purpose of which is to decant the solid remains of the wine besides letting it “breathe” so that the aromas are better revealed. Decanters may vary in volume, shape and design. As a rule, they may be made of inert materials (such as glass) and its volume is equivalent to a standard bottle of wine (0,75 L).
It is advisable to keep the wines at around 15 °C avoiding drastic fluctuations. Darkness is an essential factor since the light prematurely ages the wine. Also, humidity must be moderate (70%) to prevent the cork from drying or cracking, which would lead the wine to seep out and oxygen would get into the bottle damaging the wine. It is considered that, at 20 °C, 3 cm3 of wine is lost every 10 years.
Varietals are wines made from at least 85% of one grape variety. The “varietal” wine concept is mostly associated with America and began to become popular around thirty years ago. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon stand out among the most worldwide famous varietals. Malbec, Chenin and Torrontés have also been widely developed in Argentina. Wines known as generic are made by a blend (mix) of two or more grape varieties.
A barrel is a wood container used for ageing the wine. The barrel allows micro amounts of oxygen into the wine (during periods of up to 21 months) and provides texture and aroma to soften its flavor. They usually have a 220-L capacity. Among the different types of wood, oak is the one that best meets these requirements. French and American oak stand out among all the oak types; however great results are currently achieved through many other oak types.
Tannins are compounds derived from plants (polyphenols), which are found both in the wood of the barrels and in the skin of the grapes. Tannins are revealed by a bitter and astringent taste (dry feeling in the mouth). For instance, they are quite noticeable when we bite into a grape seed. All the wines have tannins, and red wines have more tannins than white wines. But if they have too many tannins (whether grape or wood tannins) we will perceive a very strong wine.
The Grape Harvest in Mendoza is synonymous with folklore, a set of traditions, beliefs and customs including music, poetry, meals, superstition, and celebrations. It is the “unwritten story of the people” but transmitted by tradition. The celebration of the grape harvest and processing expresses the people’s love and supportive feeling towards an activity that derives from the work and the collective wealth.
It is the study of the vine varieties and its characteristics. Its name refers to Ampelos, Dionysus’s young friend, who was given a grape vine as a present by the God. The vine was pending from an elm tree, full of exquisite bunches. Ampelos wanted to taste the fruit but fell from the tree and died. Dionysus, heartbroken over his death, turned his friend into a constellation.