What you need to know to be a wine expert
Wine is one of the oldest drinks and continues to expand today. If you like this spirit, you will surely be interested in its history, something more about the professionals working in the sector and what the future holds for this product. Read on because we’re telling you.
1. History of wine
This drink has always played a key role in accompanying multiple cultures throughout history. It can be traced in the texts to Ancient Greece, and even to the Egypt of the Pharaohs.
It is not necessary to tell you that it comes from grapes and that it ferments thanks to the action of the yeasts found on the skin of this fruit. As you know, the transformation of must sugars into ethyl alcohol has been very important in different societies. This is due to the fact that our ancestors were able to preserve drinks without the risk of disease transmission thanks to the fact that alcohol worked as a preservative.
Once they discovered how to make it, many ancient societies placed this drink among the most essential in their daily diet. Among other things, this was due to its analgesic effect, because it has the quality of reducing the sensation of pain (although not as efficiently as the medicines available today).
Next, we are going to explain in more detail its history in our country and how the technologies of its harvest and production have evolved.
1.1. History of wine in Spain
The first data we can tell you about its presence in Spain and its consumption date back to the Phoenicians. This civilization was the one that introduced it in the Mediterranean area, starting in the castle of Doña Blanca, in Cadiz, a strong winemaking tradition.
The expansion of this drink was carried out by the Greeks, who introduced it to the Alicante and Levantine coasts, while the Romans took it to other ports in the north and east of the peninsula.
With the passage of time it did not lose its fame, but it was solidly supported by the Christian doctrine. The Church gave this drink an essential position by equating it with the blood of Christ. And with the conquest of America, Spanish wine began to spread throughout the world.
It was in the first half of the twentieth century, during the thirties, when the first denominations of origin and cooperatives emerged.
1.2. Evolution of harvesting and production technologies
The elaboration of the broth and the harvest have undergone numerous modifications throughout the times. As far as the harvest is concerned, it is possible that its process is one of the least modified, because nowadays the grapes are still harvested by hand. However, the vehicles and the optimization of the terrain have improved the pace of harvesting.
As far as production is concerned, very notable differences have taken place. Thus, the tanks and containers where the material was stored have changed considerably, evolving from ceramics, animal skin or stone to wood, concrete, polyester with fiberglass or metal containers frequent today.
When it comes to obtaining the initial must, we can also speak of changes. The most traditional way of breaking the grape was directly by treading. But over time we have developed other more mechanised techniques such as the roller crusher or the extraction of virgin liquid with presses.
2. Professionals in the sector worldwide
The production of this food has become a process of great exclusivity in which professionals from different fields take part.
It is important to control the production, but also the development of the vineyards where the raw material is gestated. Also the design of wine shops and wine shops requires a great knowledge on the subject, and oenologists have an essential role in the design and optimization of the production of this drink.
Next we will refer to the different professionals who are in charge of vineyards, wineries, wine shops and wine shops and oenologists who play a fundamental role throughout the process.
The care of the vineyards is, without a doubt, the piece on which all the quality wines are based. The first task is to study the area in which the vines are located, as we have to know the type of soil and the microclimate to know how they can affect the final taste of the bottled product.
For this, the professionals work studying the location but also taking care of the plants in the best possible way. Thus, we cannot forget the danger of pests, other nearby vegetation or any other aspect that may interfere with the healthiness of the grape.
This is one of the products with the most professional opportunities in different fields. One of them is that of the warehouse workers. In these places the terrain is studied, but the production of the liquid element is also carried out. It is important that you know everything that has to do with quality control and grape growing. You will also be able to learn about the different varieties that are handled in the same winery and how they can be combined with each other.
The raw material and its treatment are determining factors in the production process. For this reason, this task is very complete and interesting for all the professionals who work in the wineries.
2.3. Wine cellars
Wine cellars are another of the keys in this world, as conservation after production is almost as important as this one. When we produce a broth, we take into account a wide range of nuances so that the aromas, flavour, astringency and other properties are ideal. Nevertheless, if being perfect after the elaboration a broth is not conserved with the best conditions it will lose great part of its interest.
This is why the world’s wine experts take into account not only the temperature at which the bottles are stored, but also other aspects such as humidity, light, ventilation and vibrations.
To achieve this, wine libraries have been developed with thermoelectric systems or with a compressor to achieve optimum conditions at all times. The experts can guide you further on which one you should choose in each case, although this will depend on the space you have as well as other personal factors.
2.4 Wine shops
Shops must also be designed with care. Thus, if we want to offer the customer a variety of wines suitable and suited to their needs, we will have to investigate beforehand. Shop experts can specialise in wines from a particular region or, on the contrary, offer their customers an extensive catalogue.
If we focus on a specific region or appellation, the key would be to offer several prices for traditional wines and novel elaborations within that place. For example, if that area produces vegan or organic wine will be a good showcase. At this point it would be important for the shop to have the different varieties that exist in the area and not just the predominant one.
If, on the other hand, you want to create a wide catalogue, prices may vary more. Some shops will offer exclusive copies from different parts of the world, while others will try to combine products of different denominations of high quality, but affordable for the pocket.
In either case, it will be necessary to have a detailed knowledge of the oenological world, as well as being aware of all the novelties produced in it.
Winemakers play a fundamental role in the development of viticulture. They are in charge of designing and guiding the winemaking process, and for this they can decide to opt for newer techniques or make the most of traditional techniques, pampering the product and touching the grape as little as possible.
Some of the newest techniques include the application of genetic engineering in yeasts. That is to say, it would be a question of finding the suitable microorganisms so that they offer us the looked for aromas. Other options would be to add certain substances or to plant the vines in more exotic places.
As far as the most traditional oenologists are concerned, it is those who let nature be the basis of their products. They barely interfere with the process, but their work is essential in determining when to harvest, how long to leave fermentation or which varieties of grapes can be blended.
Having a good oenologist can be the key to getting the best broth. For this reason, the best oenologists are experts much coveted by wineries, who try to attract them to improve as much as possible the quality of their product.
3. Wine culture
As we said, wine culture has changed enormously in recent generations. In fact, today a type of tourism focused on this product is developing vertiginously: the so-called enotourism.
Years ago, this drink was used daily to accompany meals, but now involves a ritual that involves determining what type marida best with each plate of food. Thus, the most exclusive restaurants have sommeliers, people responsible for recommending wines to diners and making a selection for each of the dishes to be served on the menu.
In short, the world of oenology is becoming more and more interesting and activities are being carried out around it in order to enjoy it with friends and family. In addition, its consumption is becoming more sporadic instead of daily as happened in the past.
3.1. Wine tourism
The enotourism or enological tourism is the one that we carry out to enjoy this drink or the locations where it is produced. There are basically three types of tourism linked to this drink: wine therapy, gastronomic tourism and visits to wineries with the corresponding tastings.
The wine therapy consists of a series of beauty and health treatments that have their origin in the product that occupies us. This is applied by topical way for the practice of massages, something that is believed to be very beneficial for its richness in tannins, antioxidant molecules that improve the texture of the skin.
As far as gastronomic tourism is concerned, it usually goes hand in hand with this spirit drink. As we said, restaurants have large wineries that offer their customers to make the dining experience even more rewarding.
In third place would be visits to wineries with tastings. Generally, this tourism can be included within the nature, because in addition to visiting the wineries you can also enjoy their natural environment. In these wineries there are usually tastings to know the wines of a certain area. Although it is not the main objective, it is also combined with the tasting of other products such as cheese or bread.
3.2. Tradition and future of wine consumption
It is clear that the oenological world has been transformed enormously over the years and that now the interests are quite different from those that ruled in the past. However, it is true that there is a tendency to return to the above: to the traditional way of producing this drink. This is because nature is wise and the yeasts naturally present in the grape are generally the best properties that give this drink. Thus, a great deal of research is being carried out into old production systems in order to try to optimise these processes with the grape always as the protagonist.
As for other novelties that are expected, there are those related, for example, to climate change. This will generate differences in the crops causing the product to undergo modifications, which we will appreciate in the coming years. On the other hand, it is also expected that there will be a tendency towards the more occasional and heterogeneous drinker. This would mean a great upsurge in wine tourism and all the activities related to it, which are still on the rise.
In short, we can conclude that the world of wine and vineyards continues to be one of the main attractions of our country. Its future looks promising and it will continue to be consumed, although it will be a more special and pampered product than that consumed by past generations. If you are interested in this sector, we recommend that you contact Grupo Vidasol, where we can inform you in detail about everything that you are concerned about in this exciting world.