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Worlds in a glass: the fascinating culture of buying wine and sparkling wine

Wine culture has a rich history and tradition spanning centuries. Buying wine and sparkling wine is not only an act of enjoyment, but also a journey through different regions, terroirs and winemaking processes. From the sun-drenched vineyards of Europe to the exotic wine-growing regions of the New World, the market offers a wealth of aromatic experiences for wine lovers of all tastes.

Before buying wine: The history of wine

Before you buy just any wine in the store, you should also learn a little about the history. After all, wine was grown in parts of Asia as early as the 6th century BC. Georgia and also today's Armenia are often mentioned as countries of origin. At that time, wine already had a high value in agriculture as well as in society and culture. Also in ancient mythologies, various deities such as Osiris, Dionysus, Bacchus and Gilgamesh represented the noble drop. Wine was used for religious worship and to get (apparently) closer to deities in ecstasy. In the Roman Empire, everything from the beginning of the harvest to the cutting of the vines was made a religious affair. According to the Bible, Noah was the first vinedresser in history. In the Christian and Jewish religions, wine is considered a symbol of celebration and redemption. Even in art and culture, wine has always been present, especially when it came to celebration. Even today, you can rarely avoid buying wine when planning a celebration.

The enology

Enology, also known as cellar management, refers to the field of study of wine production and deals with pressing, aging and the entire scope of winemaking. Through these many different aging processes, some of which can last for several decades, the wines are biochemically preserved. In this way, the most diverse aromatic wines are created, which we can buy in many places.

Components of wine

The basic components of wine include water, acid and sugar. The sugar is converted into alcohol during fermentation, leaving a residual sugar content. It also contains phenols (colorants), which affect color, odor, texture and taste, and tannins (tannins), which are responsible for the bitter taste. Tannins and acids also have a preservative effect, which is what makes the wine we buy last so long.

Viticulture

Viticulture is an art that has developed over thousands of years and is practiced in various regions of the world. Vineyards stretch from the sun-drenched Mediterranean to the cool cliffs of the Rhine Valley, their soils, climate and topography shaping the unique characteristics of the wines. Viticulture is not only an agricultural activity, but also a cultural heritage that combines craftsmanship, tradition and innovation.

Terroir is the term used to describe the factors given by nature to influence a specific location and their effect on the plants grown, in this case the vines. These include climatic conditions, solar energy, the shape of the terrain, the composition of the soil and its moisture. A complex interplay of these factors has a significant effect on the development of the vines and their grapes, and ultimately on the wine you choose to buy.

The composition of the soil has a significant impact on the characteristics and quality of the wine. Soils with a high percentage of limestone produce wines with particular delicacy and good conditions for aging. While a high percentage of clay in the soil produces heavy wines, a high percentage of gravel accelerates grape ripening, so that the finished wines can be ready for purchase more quickly. Balanced moisture levels can prove extremely important during periods of low and high rainfall. The microclimate of the region also plays a crucial role. In cooler wine growing areas, this relates to sun exposure and distance from water reservoirs. In order for you to end up buying the ideal wine, an optimal environment for the grape varieties is required.

The cultivation of grape varieties by means of crossbreeding and selection has also been worked out in the course of the long development of viticulture. In this process, crossbreeding was created by nature and also by man, which is why today we can buy a huge variety of different wines. Depending on the location and climate, certain grape varieties can develop better or worse. In order to select the most suitable grape varieties, a special intuition and knowledge of the winemakers is necessary. In the European Union there are certain legally approved grape varieties, which must be strictly observed.

Around 100 grape varieties of the approximately 16,000 existing are cultivated in Germany. Riesling, Müller-Thurgau and the Blaue Spätburgunder are some well-known examples of wines that you can buy here. The largest wine-growing region in Germany is in Rheinhessen. White grapes are grown on 64.2 percent of the vineyards and red grapes on the other 35.8 percent. About 44 percent of the wine consumed by Germans comes from Germany. Today, there are about 13 wine-growing regions in Germany.

Buying and storing wine

The higher the content of tannins, the longer the wine you buy will keep. But at the same time this means that the wine needs this development time. So, a wine that can be stored will only become smoother and softer over the years, because only then will the structures of the tannins change so that larger molecular complexes, i.e. sediment, sink to the bottom of the bottle. A few other influencing factors, such as sulfides, acidity, and alcohol content, also affect storage potential. The simplest way to store wine is in a wine refrigerator. However, without a wine refrigerator, it is also possible to store wine according to the following guidelines: It should be stored in the coolest place in the apartment or house. It should be dark and possibly somewhat humid - between 60 and 80 percent humidity is optimal. If the humidity deviates from this, it can lead to a reduced shelf life. The cork can dry out, making the wine more susceptible to oxidation or allowing mold to form on the cork. If you want to store wine, then it should not be exposed to excessive temperature fluctuations. The temperature should be between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. The more constant the temperature, the longer the wine will keep. The perfect temperature for each wine can vary and is individual. However, it should never get below 0 degrees Celsius, because this can lead to freezing of the wine. Equally harmful is a temperature above 20 degrees Celsius, it accelerates the aging process and can possibly lead to cork in the wine. If it is a few degrees too warm at the place of storage, then the wine should be drunk within a few years of bottling. With your order and the packaging we pay special attention to a damage-free delivery. We want you to be able to buy only top quality wines from us. Furthermore, the influence of light sources during storage must be taken into account. Wines should be stored away from light sources. This includes direct sunlight as well as fluorescent lights. Wines with natural corks should be stored horizontally, as this keeps the cork continuously in contact with the liquid and prevents drying out. After this information, you should be equipped to start looking for your perfect wine! Feel free to visit our wine store and find the most diverse varieties of wine, directly from us, on our website.

Buy wine in Austria and the rest of the world

Wine is one of the most important cultural assets of many countries, including Austria. No other beverage reflects the diversity of Austria's landscape as much as wine does: from tart to fresh, from fruity to heavy, and from creamy to sparkling, just about anything goes. Whether red, white or rosé - in the delicando Wine Shop you can buy wines from all over the world. Also sparkling wines may not be missing with us of course. In our wine store you will find a huge selection of champagne, sparkling wine and prosecco.

The quality system of Germany and Europe: Eyes on when buying wine.

Since 01.08.2009 there is an EU wine market regulation for the regulation of the quality of the wines. With this regulation a system was introduced, which is related to the origin instead of the sugar content, which determined before the quality hierarchy. This ensures that you can buy only the best wines in the relevant countries. The EU has two main designations: These would be, on the one hand, wines without and, on the other hand, wines with indication of origin. In the case of wines with indication of origin, there are two other levels of quality: First, a wine that has a protected geographical indication. This is associated with a specific land region, such as the Rhine. Secondly, there is the wine that is of higher quality and is subject to strict rules during production, i.e. has a protected designation of origin. This designates a region, place or location, which are indicators of quality and taste. In Germany, for example, there are two other levels of quality. These are strictly regulated and tested. These include quality wine, which is produced in certain wine-growing regions and uses regionally approved grape varieties, and Prädikat wine, for which the grapes must have a certain minimum must weight. The weight increases due to the sugar content, which increases with advancing maturation and harvest. The first three quality levels allow enrichment by sugar, which in turn increases the alcohol content. In technical jargon, this is called chaptalization. This is not permitted in the case of Prädikat wine.

Types of wine and their production

The alcoholic beverage is widespread both in Austria and around the world. The word “wine” is derived from similar Arabic, Latin and Greek terms. These terms have been widely used in the Mediterranean region for centuries. There are around 16,000 grape varieties worldwide and you can buy six basic types of wine:

On delicando you will find everything from white wine, red wine, rosé wine, sparkling wine to semi-sparkling wine and champagne to make the wine sommelier's heart beat faster. The different types of wine are explained in more detail in the respective wine categories.

The grapes are mechanically or manually freed from their stems and then crushed, resulting in a thick mixture of pulp, skin, juice and seeds, called mash. It is left to rest for a few hours, after which it is pressed, thus producing the must. This is next sulfurized to counteract spoilage and then poured into fermentation tanks. There, after the addition of certain yeast cultures, fermentation takes place, converting sugar into alcohol. Once the fermentation process is complete, the wine is separated from the yeast. Some are then aged for months in steel tanks or in wooden barrels before we can buy the wines in stores.

The difference lies mainly in the order of the operations. In red wine, it is not the must that is fermented, but the mash. The grape skin gives the wine its red color. After fermentation is complete, the red wine is pressed and then aged. Then it is stored, bottled and transported to wine stores & co, where enthusiasts prefer to buy their wine.

Rosé wines are produced by subjecting red wine grapes to the process of white wine production. In addition, the mash is left to stand for a while, which allows the rosé to take on pigments from the grape skins, giving it its characteristic color. The rosé wine is especially popular with women because of its beautiful color, but also because of its smooth taste.

Buy wine: The color spectrum of the wine

The color of wine comes from several factors. Wine gets its particular color from the grape variety, the production process and the age. In most cases, it is actually not the juice that determines the color, but the grape skins. These are fermented together with the juice. This is called mash. The color intensity of the wine can be changed individually by punching down and turning over the mash. In this way, you can later buy the different colored wines. For example, the color spectrum of red wine ranges from light pink to blue black. The nuances of rosé wine can range from salmon to cherry, and the hues of white wine range from colorless to yellow-brown. Particularly warm regions such as Australia, Italy and Spain tend to produce darker red wines than colder regions such as Germany or New Zealand. A younger, dry white wine tends to carry a lighter to colorless hue, while late selections, dessert wines and older wines, on the other hand, have color characteristics ranging from yellow gold to amber. Have you ever noticed the shine when buying wine? From this, the acidity can be roughly determined. The more it sparkles, the more acid it contains. However, the duller it appears, the older and more mature it is. However, if the wine is cloudy, it may be inferior and possibly unpalatable.

The right choice when buying wine

As a rule, on a wine label when buying wine you will find the following information: The name of the wine, the grape varieties used, the vintage, the origin (country, winemaker, winery and bottler), the grade, the alcohol content, the bottled quantity, the official examination number (AP-NR) and any additives, i.e. allergy information. The official examination number is intended to serve as a guide. Labels of quality wines guarantee that the wine is sensory perfect. The last two digits indicate the year of bottling. On our website you can filter by some information such as brand name, country of origin, category, grape variety, region of origin, residual sugar, vintage, accessories, content, rating, taste and characteristics to get an overview when buying wine.

Buying wine made easy: The additional designations at a glance

Cuvée: If you buy a wine from us that has this addition, it can have several meanings. They differ by country and product. In the production of sparkling wine Champagne, cuvée means the first and best pressing. In Germany, the term means the blending of several grape varieties of one vintage. In countries in the south, it is a common way of making wine. However, it is also increasingly used in Germany, because it offers the possibility for the winemaker to blend different grape varieties in optimal proportions. Riserva: This term is used when you buy Italian wines. It refers to Italian wines that have been aged first in wooden barrels and then possibly in bottles. In Spain, it is customary to age wines in wooden barrels, which leads to three classifications: a wine labeled Crianza aged for 24 months in a bottle or barrel, of which at least six months must have taken place in the barrel and twelve in the bottle. Reserva wines mature for one year in a barrel and two more years in a bottle. And Gran Reserva wines age for two years in barrel and three years in bottle. Wines labeled Vino joven, Cosechero or Vino de año do not age in barrel in Spain and must not be kept for more than one year. Thus, they are produced for early consumption.

Buy and test the wine

The wine labels of our wines, through which you can browse in our wine store, give an indication of taste and aroma. After buying wine, there is the easy option of simply tasting it. However, professionals, for example, additionally test the wine by determining the color, looking at the texture by swirling, inhaling the smell of the aromas, testing the taste, and thereby analyzing and evaluating the overall package. Practice makes perfect.

Depending on the food we enjoy with our wines, we perceive the aromas of the wine and the food differently. Thus, for example, there are different sweet wines to buy. They can be differentiated by the sugar content per liter. Dry wines contain four to nine grams of residual sugar per liter. Semi-dry wines contain 12 to 18 grams, sweet wines 18 to 45 and sweet wines contain more than 45 grams of residual sugar per liter. In addition, wines are described as mild or feinherb. Mild means sweet with low acidity, whereas feinherb is a fashionable term for semi-dry.

You can find in our wine store, where you can buy all kinds of wine, for each of our wines the description of all the necessary information that is important for the wine. This also applies to the recommended drinking temperature. This is so important, because only at an appropriate temperature all the flavor aromas of the wine can fully develop. Therefore, most wine connoisseurs recommend the following general drinking temperatures: white wine: 8°C - 14°C rosé wine: 10°C - 14°C red wine: 12°C - 18°C chambrating red wine means slowly warming it up to room temperature.