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Buying Guide Wines

▶ Barbera

This grape has been grown for a long time in Italy in the Piemont region. The wines produced with it are full-bodied with a ruby colour, light and acid tannins. In Italy, Barbera is often used to produce sparkling wines with cherry, spicy, blackberry and fig aromas.


Follow this link to see our Barbera wines.


▶ Cabernet Franc

This grape is less rich in tannins than its cousin the Cabernet Sauvignon. It carries aromas of violet, raspberry, and spices. It is also lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, carries more acidity, and ages faster. It is grown mainly in France to produce Bourgueil and Saint-Emilion.


Follow this link to see our Cabernet Franc wines.


▶ Cabernet Sauvignon

This is one of the most grown grape in the world. It is known worldwide through the Bordeaux Grands Crus. The wines made from it are dark red and gifted with a long longevity. They are full-bodied, powerful and structured. They develop aromas or violet, green pepper and cedar. This grape easily grows in hot climates, that’s why Australia, Chile, Italy and California use it significantly.


Follow this link to see our Cabernet Sauvignon wines.


▶ Carignan

This is a very fragile grape, highly sensible to diseases and with a very late maturation. It’s usually used for blending because of its intense colour and the richness of its tannins. It produces soft wines with ripe fruits and spicy aromas. It’s best grown on old vineyards with low yields.


Follow this link to see our Carignan wines.


▶ Cinsault

This black grape was first grown in France – Provence but is known used in other regions to produce soft and fruity wines. South African wine-maker cross it with Pinot Noir to create the Pinotage.


Follow this link to see our Cinsault wines.


▶ Gamay

This is a typical grape of Beaujolais wines. It leads to spicy and fruity wines lacking in tannins. Its wines are good to serve with cheese and pork products. The best vintage have a great ageing potential.


Follow this link to see our Gamay wines.


▶ Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache is used alone or blended. Some well-known estates like Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras know very well how to enhance its flavours. It produces very powerful and aromatic Rose or Red wines, with a high level of alcohol.


Follow this link to see our Grenache wines.


▶ Malbec/Côt

This is a rustic, tannic, and powerful grape. It usually produces wines with a deep dark red colour. It is usually used for blended wines because it brings a good ageing potential and a nice colour. Fragile, it is less and less grown, but some countries in the New World like Argentina now cultivate it.


Follow this link to see our Malbec wines.


▶ Merlot

This is one of the most famous grape in the world. It can be used alone like sometimes for Pomerol and Saint-Emilion wines, but it is also often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon. Indeed, its roundness and its soft tannins are a perfect match for more tannic wines. Moreover, it has a great ageing potential, with a long longevity.


Follow this link to see our Merlot wines.


▶ Mondeuse

It is the most used grape in the French region of Savoie. It is also used in Italy, California and Australia especially for making Port (Porto) wine. The best vintage have a wonderful ageing potential.


▶ Mourvèdre/Monastrell

This grape produces light-bodied Rose and Red wines. The Mourvedre is known for its truffle and game aromas that it will develop when ageing. This is a typical wine of the Rhône Valley. In California it is also called Mataro.


Follow this link to see our Mourvedre wines.


▶ Pineau d’Aunis/Chenin Noir

It is the oldest grape of the Loire Valley in France. It is also called Chenin Noir and it produces light-bodied red wines with pepper notes. These wines are better drunk young.


▶ Pinot Noir

When used for red wines, it produces clear wines that must be aged. It produces wonderful blackcurrant and red fruit notes and very complex aromas. It’s usually used for Bourgogne’s Grand Crus and for Champagne. It is quite delicate and will need a low yield and a lot of attention to reveal its aromas.


Follow this link to see our Pinot Noir wines.


▶ Sangiovese/Nielluccio

This grape is mainly grown in Italy. It produces wines with a very nice red robe, slightly acid, and very fruity.


Follow this link to see our Sangiovese wines.


▶ Shiraz/Syrah

It is a typical Mediterranean grape. It is used alone for the production of Hermitage or Croze-Hermitage or blended for Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It produces wines with complex aromas of violet, Morello cherry, liquorice and various spices. It also brings generous tannins. This grape contains some active ingredients that have proven anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects.


Follow this link to see our Shiraz wines.


▶ Zinfandel

It is the second most used grape in California. It’s characterized by a palate and a bouquet of red fruits when grown in hot regions and of blackberry, anise, and black pepper when grown in cooler regions.


▶ Chardonnay

This white grape from Burgundy is now the most cultivated white grape in the world. Indeed it can adapt itself to almost every climate and soils and develop special aromas for every one of them. It is used to produce white wines either dry, sparkling or liquorish. Chardonnay is well known for its balance between sweetness and acidity that creates well-balanced, mineral and powerful wines like Chablis. It has aromas of flowers and spicy fruits. The best ones develop a great ageing potential.


Follow this link to see our Chardonnay wines.


▶ Chenin Blanc/Steen

This white grape comes from the middle-West of France. It normally produces dry our sparkling wines. It has been exported to South Africa and Australia during the 17th century. It is not a very common grape in France but it is highly cultivated in the New World. It is even the first white grape in South Africa where it is called Steen.


Follow this link to see our Steen wines.


▶ Clairette

Clairette is a white grape from South of France. This grape produces sweet and sparkling wines like Cremant. It is often blended and is used for its sweetness and its powerful fruit aromas.


Follow this link to see our Clairette wines.


▶ Gewürztraminer

This is a grey and red grape used to produce white wines. It was first cultivated in Germany and in the North-East of France. The wines produced from this grape are often liquorish and a bit expensive compared to others because Gewürztraminer is a low yield grape. You may often find it in Noble wines and in late harvest wines. It has aromas that can be easily recognized like rose, litchi and spices.


Follow this link to see our Gewurztraminer wines.


▶ Grenache Blanc

This white grape is mainly cultivated around the Mediterranean Sea. The white wines produced from it are dry and with a very characteristic peach taste.


Follow this link to see our Grenache Blanc wines.


▶ Muller-Thurgau

This white grape was first cultivated in Switzerland and is born from a cross-breeding with Riesling. It produces aromatic white wines with high alcohol level.


▶ Muscat/Moscato

This name covers many grapes from yellow ones to black ones. It is a very common grape in the world and is used to produce sweet white wines with a unique aroma called “Muscaté” in French.


Follow this link to see our Muscat wines.


▶ Pinot Blanc

This white grape is hard to find and is mainly cultivated in Central Europe. It produces dry light-bodied white wines with fine and diffuse aromas.


Follow this link to see our Pinot Blanc wines.


▶ Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio

The Pinot Gris is a grey grape used to produce high-quality dry white wines. These wines develop aromas of fine spices and light acidity. It is sometimes used for late harvest and noble wines. It is full-bodied with complex aromas and a shining golden robe.


Follow this link to see our Pinot Grigio wines.


▶ Riesling

This white grape is well known throughout the world. It’s been born in the North of France and in Germany. It is in these kind of rainy regions with a large temperature range that it develops its best characteristics. It is mainly used to create dry white wines with floral aromas and fresh fruits notes but also liquorish wines like late harvest and frozen wines. This grape is cultivated wherever the conditions allows it: France, Germany, Romania, Australia, South Africa…


Follow this link to see our Riesling wines.


▶ Sauvignon Blanc

The Sauvignon is one of the most cultivated white grape in the world. It is often used to produce dry unblended white wines. The wines are very aromatic with blackcurrant, grapefruit and redcurrant notes. It also develops mineral notes. It can be cultivated to produce late harvest wines.


Follow this link to see our Sauvignon Blanc wines.


▶ Semillon

This white grape can be used either for liquorish wines like the famous French Sauternes, or for dry wines. It develops light citrus, honey and dry fruits aromas. A lot of New World countries are now producing it in Chile, Argentina, Australia, California and South Africa.


Follow this link to see our Semillon wines.


▶ Viognier

This white grape from South of France is now cultivated all around the world. In New World countries it is used pure to produce quality wines, rare and much appreciated! The Viognier produces very aromatic wines that are better drunk young.


Follow this link to see our Viognier wines.

Argentina


Mendoza

Mendoza region is the biggest producer of wine in Argentina. It is located downhill the famous eternal snowfalls of Andes mountains. The mountains protect the valleys from humid Pacific winds. The region is then very sunny and dry with a four season climate. The soil is made of a first layer of clay underneath alluvial and sandy layers.

The iconic grape produced in Mendoza is Malbec, but with the years the region diversified with Cabernet Sauvignon and Italian grapes.

Most of the grapes are grown between 600 and 1100 meters but some vineyards, located in the mountains, grow Malbec as high as 1500 meters.


Follow this link to see our wines from Mendoza


San Juan

San Juan region is the second largest wine producer in Argentina. The climate is much hotter and dryer than the one in Mendoza. The regional grape is Syrah which love dry climates. The soil is made of sand and clay.


Follow this link to see our wines from San Juan

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Australia


Adelaide Hills

In the South of Australia, you can find these nice vineyard on the hills of Adelaide. Surrounded by red tiles houses, most of these crops grow Bordeaux and Bourgogne-like grapes. The combination of altitude, rainfalls, rich soils and various micro-climate produce complex cool climate wines like the Penfold. There are no typical grapes but many different varieties: Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Traminer, Pinot Gris, Tempranillo, Viognier, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Riesling, Merlot, Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.


Follow this link to see our wines from Adelaide Hills.


Barossa Valley

In Southern Australia, right up North of Adelaide Hills is the very famous Barossa Valley. It’s the German people that most influenced the wine production of this region, that’s why you may found some Riesling uplands. This region is most known for its Shiraz and the GSM blend: Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre, but they also grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon, and Chardonnay. Some well-known producers are from this region: Jacob’s Creek and Wolf bass for instance despite the relatively poor sandy soil.


Follow this link to see our wines from Barossa Valley.


Clare Valley

Clare Valley is 90km North of Barossa Valley. This region is mainly known for its Riesling. The climate is very hot during summer and cold during winter, and the temperature range during a same day is quite wide too. But some various micro-climates have created five different inner regions. In the North, you can find a soil made of red dust with layers of limestone. Around the riverbanks, the grapes are better irrigated and the soil is made of slate. You can find the vineyards of Skillogalee, Annie's lane, Knappstein, Pikes or Taylors Wines over there.


Follow this link to see our wines form Clare Valley.


Coonawarra

This region is in the South of Southern Australia. It’s the land of the famous Australian “Terra Rossa”, the red dust. First left being by winemakers, this region is now synonym of quality in Australia. The climate is cooler than the surrounding regions’ one. The soil mixing a lot of “Terra Rossa” over some limestone is said perfect to grow grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon. This grape really develop all its aromas over there. Wynns is a typical producer of the region but you can also have estates like Yalumba and Penfolds.


Follow this link to see our wines from Coonawarra.


Hunter Valley

This region is a hundred kilometres North Sydney. The climate is very hot with temperature often exceeding 40 Celsius degrees. But fortunately, the hottest part of the year (Feb-Mar) is also very rainy. This creates the humidity of tropical countries and allows a good photosynthesis. Thanks to this particular conditions, their Semillon grapes are among the best of the world, and their Shiraz develop unique aromas. The last grape cultivated there is the Chardonnay. Two types of soils are mainly present: a red clay soil on the hills, perfect to grow the Shiraz, and a sandy soil in the valley used to grow the Semillon and the Chardonnay. You can find there Mont Pleasant, McWilliams, Tyrrel, Brokenwood and Lake Folly.


Follow this link to see our wines from Hunter Valley.


Victoria

This is a large region in the extreme South of Australia, with a lot of different climates and soils. Two main grapes are produced there: Shiraz and Chardonnay. As the weather allows it, some winemakers also grow other blending grapes to enhance their productions like Pinot Noir, Mondeuse, Viognier and a lot of others. Victoria’s red wines are generally strong and full-bodied, and their white wines produce some good sparkling wines. Amongst the wines you can find there you have: Yellow Tail, Brown Brothers and Lindemans.


Follow this link to see our wines from Victoria.

Chile


Aconcagua regions

Right between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and with an average altitude of 1500 meters, Aconcagua region has a Mediterranean climate with average temperatures of 14 Celsius degrees over the year without exceeding 30 Celsius degrees. The temperature range during summer is tight and therefore makes the grapes gather sugar. Winemakers have a very good use of the Shiraz and their wines have been awarded multiple times. In the South of the region, white grapes are grown. You can find there the Domaines: Errazuriz and San Esteban.


Central Valley regions

Among these regions you can find the famous Maipo Valley not so far from Santiago. The regional grape in this valley is without hesitations the Cabernet Sauvignon with around 75% of the vineyards growing it. Introductiondeed, this grape enjoys its Mediterranean climates with cool temperatures near the mountains and slightly warmer ones in the windy Western plains. A lot of famous names appear in this Valley such as: Concha y Torro, Undurraga, Santa Rita, Perez Cruz, Portal del Alto, etc…

Another valley is quite famous in this region, it’s the Colchagua Valley. This valley is protected from wind and with a wide daily temperature range and then can easily grow Carmenere, Merlot and Shiraz. But the main grape remains the Cabernet Sauvignon. We can mention the Vina Santa Cruz, Casa Silva, Casa Lapostolle-Clos Apalta, etc…


Follow this link to see our wines from Central Valley regions.


Coquimbo Regions

These regions located in the North of Chile, have a hot and dry climate, almost arid. These conditions produce a very sugary wine made from Muscat and Torontel in the Elqui Valley. The strong winds from the Ocean allow the growth of Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Carmenere. In the South, the Limari Valley is cooled by fresh winds. The clay chalky soil leads to the production of Chardonnay. You can find Domaines like: Luis Soler, Agua Tierra, Francisco de Aguirre, etc…


Southern Regions

These regions are not as easy as the Northern ones. Cold nights, cold and dry wind, abundant rainfalls and very wide temperature range lead to a long and risky maturation period. With Muscat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mission, some producers recently succeeded in creating really good wines. Their acidity is characteristic but nonetheless tasteful.

France


Introduction

France is known for its cuisine and its wines. This country produces the most famous, delicious and expensive wines in the world. The whole French culture is based around wine and French people are the biggest wine-drinkers in the world with 44.2L per person per year.

Two main regulations are used to classify French wines. The main one is Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée or A.O.C.. The wines must be produced in a certain region with a certain process and using only certain grapes.


The second one is Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure or V.D.Q.S. less prestigious than AOC, the wines are however submitted to same kind of regulations. Some regions also have their own regulations like the Bordeaux region.


Follow this link to see our French wines.


Alsace

This Northern French region benefit from an exceptional geographic situation. The vineyards are sheltered from the Oceanic winds by the Vosges Mountains and the pluviometry is among the lowest in France. The soil is various with gneiss, granite, limestone, sand and gravels. Alsace’s wines are usually made from a unique grape. There are two kinds of grapes in Alsace: the noble grapes which are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat; and the commoner grapes which are Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois.

Three AOC exist in Alsace. The first one is Vin d’Alsace. The bottle often also display the name of the grape used. A Vin d’Alsace can become a Vin d’Alsace Grand Cru if granted so by the right authority. The Grand Crus must be made exclusively from noble grapes. The last AOC is the Crément d’Alsace, a sparkling wine made with the same method than Champagnes (Champenoise method), but with Pinot blanc, Riesling and Pinot Gris.

The wines from Alsace are usually sold in their tall slim bottle.

Main wines:

  • The Sylvaner is dry, light-bodied and sometimes sparkling.
  • The Pinot Blanc is soft and nervous and makes a perfect aperitif.
  • The Muscat is dry, fruity and with a very characteristic bouquet.
  • The Pinot Gris is soft, heady and rich.
  • The Gewurztraminer is rich, full-bodied, dry and moelleux for the best vintage. It has a wonderful bouquet, very aromatic.
  • The Pinot Noir has a clear robe, is very dry and fruity.
  • The Crémant d’Alsace is sparkling and can be drunk anytime of the day, whatever its colour.


Follow this link to see our wines from Alsace.


Beaujolais

It’s a southern wine region of the Burgundy administrative French region. The gap of temperature between summer and winter is very wide. Even if the pluviometry is quite important, the winds, average temperature and hours of sunshine are perfect to grow wine grapes. The soil in the North is mainly made of granite and produces the best products. In the South, the soil is made of clay and limestone. Around 99% of the vineyards grow black Gamay with white juice.


There are 10 Beaujolais’ Crus: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Côte-de-Brouilly, Brouilly. To these Crus, we can add the three following Appellations: Beaujolais, Beaujolais Supérieur and Beaujolais Villages. The yield are strictly controlled to comply with the AOC. The maximum yield for Beaujolais is 66 hL/ha, it’s 60 hL/ha for Beaujolais Villages and 58 hL/ha for the Crus.


The Appellations Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages and Beaujolais Supérieur must not be stored and aged. You must drink them during the 2 first years and at a cool temperature of 15 to 18 Celsius degrees. Some of them can earn the appellation Nouveau or Primeur. They are light-bodied, fruity, fresh, softly coloured, and lively.

The Crus can generally be aged for 5 to 7 years:

  • Saint-Amour: ruby robe, delicate bouquet and light-bodied
  • Juliénas: fresh, fruity, darker robe and more bodied than Saint-Amour
  • Chénas: complex bouquet, fruity and generous
  • Moulin-à-Vent: nice dark robe and between medium and full body
  • Fleurie: light-bodied and aromatic. It reminds spring flavours and must be drunk young to have all its fruity and fresh aromas
  • Chiroubles: tender and fruity. Must be drunk young and fresh
  • Morgon: dark robe with a garnet colour. Taste like red currant and kirsch. Full-bodied, robust, generous and with a good ageing potential.
  • Côte-de-Brouilly: dark purple robe, alcoholic and full-bodied. Either fruity if young either with a full bouquet if aged.
  • Brouilly: the typical Beaujolais, light-bodied, fruity and tender.


Follow this link to see our Beaujolais wines.


Bordeaux


Introduction

The Bordeaux wines are produced at the Southwest French Atlantic coast. The vineyards are surrounding the two main rivers of the region: the Garonne and the Dordogne. They are many different vineyards producing different wines. Grown on the riverbanks of the Garonne there are: Médoc, Graves, Cérons and Sauternes-Barsac. Between the Garonne and the Dordogne: Loupiac, Premieres Côtes de Bordeaux and Graves de Vayres for instance. And on the riverbanks of the Dordogne: Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsadais for instance. Only some of them will be described here.


Some of the Grands Crus of this regions are known as the greatest wines in the world. Some vintage are even among the most expensive bottles in the world.


The soil depends on the location with a wide range of possibilities. It’s this diversity that makes each Bordeaux wine so unique. There will be more details on the descriptions below.


The whole region is protected from the Atlantic Ocean’s wind by the Landes’ pine forest. There are no extreme temperatures, thus the grapes can mature slowly.

The grapes grown in the region are limited to a few varieties. This is the result of a long selection process since the 4th century:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Full-bodied wines with a full bouquet and a great ageing potential
  • Cabernet Franc: grown especially for Saint-Emilion wines, produces a less coloured and less bodied wine that needs more maturation
  • Carmenère: grown especially for Médoc wines, it’s a perfect complementary grape for blending
  • Merlot: is a perfect complement of Cabernets for Pomerol and Saint-Emilion wines. It makes the wine more moelleux and more alcoholic.
  • Petit Verdot: mainly used for Médoc wines, it produces full-bodied wines, very colourful with strong aromas
  • Malbec: brings its wonderful colour and its ageing potential.
  • Semillon: renders the white wines more delicate
  • Sauvignon: produces golden white wines, full-bodied with a slightly musky flavour
  • Muscadelle: carries a lot of aromas for white wines.


Classification

There are three main categories of AOC among Bordeaux wines: Bordeaux or Bordeaux Supérieurs, regional (Sauternes, Médoc, Pomerol…), municipal with often the name of the castel/Château or Domaine (Margaux, Saint Estèphe, Pauillac, etc…).

The Grands Crus are classified as follows:

  • Premiers Crus (First Crus in English): The best Grands Crus
  • Deuxième Crus
  • Troisième Crus
  • Quatrième Crus
  • Cinquième Crus

If a wine don’t comply with any of the regulations making it part of this Crus classification, it won’t be an AOC. Except for the Médoc region that has a special classification: Bourgeois Supérieurs, Bons Bourgeois and the last rank is Bourgeois.


Médoc

The soil of this region is made of a unique bottom layer of clay that leads to great quality wines. The upper layers are made of sand or limestone.


This is the region of the famous Château Lafite, Château Margaux, Château Latour and Château Mouton-Rothschild that belongs to the Premiers Grands Crus. Médoc wines are said “healthy” because of their high iron content and their low level of alcohol. Let’s describe these wines by municipality:

  • Saint Estèphe (Example: Château Montrose): light-bodied soft red wine
  • Pauillac (Examples: Château Lafite, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste): full-bodied powerful red wine
  • Saint-Julien (Examples: Châteaux Léoville, Château Lagrange): delicious and elegant light-bodied red wine
  • Margaux (Examples: Château Margaux, Châteaux Rausan): very fine red wine with a smooth bouquet
  • Listrac: fruity red wine with delicate bouquet
  • Moulis: fine and moelleux red wine


Sauternes-Barsac

The soil is a mix of gravels, clay and silica. This sub region benefits from a micro-climate of rain, fog and sun. This particular climate allows the development of a microscopic fungus that realizes a particular kind of rot that gives white wines this unique delicious taste.


This region produces unique great white liquorish wines with the AOC Sauternes or Barsac. They have a golden yellow colour with golden reflections. Their bouquets consist of flowers and sweet fruits (peach and apricot). They have a moelleux liquorish palate and are persistent. They have high levels of alcohol (13-16%) and contain a lot of sugar.


Saint-Emilion

There are three distinctive sub regions on the Saint-Emilion domain. Up North, it’s the Graves region with a soil made of an alluvial deposit, clay and silicate. The coastal region near the west bank of the Dordogne has a soil made of marine limestone and clay. The southern region has a soil of clay, sand and gravels.


The most delicate Grands Crus are called “Saint-Emilion, premier grand cru classé”, then there are the “Saint-Emilion, grand cru classé”, the “Saint-Emilion, grand cru” and the “Saint-Emilion”.


This region produces the famous Château Cheval Blanc, Château Figeac, and Château Ausone.


All the red wines produced have a dark garnet robe. They have a very noble, sumptuous bouquet, and a great ageing potential.


Some great Bordeaux are made with the AOC Lussac Saint-Emilion, Montagne Saint-Emilion, Les sables Saint-Emilion etc… They must not be mistaken with the AOC Saint-Emilion. They are made in adjacent regions but they often lack the greatness of the AOC Saint-Emilion, even if their bouquet are similar.


Pomerol

This region is adjacent to the Saint-Emilion region via the North. The soil is also composed of alluvial deposit, clay and silicate. But it has a higher concentration in iron that gives wines a particular flavour.


There is no specific classification except the AOC Pomerol. But there is a world famous cru: Château Petrus.


All red wines have a perfect harmony of aromas and quality. They are colourful, moelleux and with a very well-built bouquet.


Follow this link to see our wines from Bordeaux.


Burgundy/Bourgogne


Introduction

From South to North, you can find in the Burgundy region: Beaujolais (fully detailed as a region), Maconnais, Chalonnais, Côte de Beaune, Côte de Nuits, Côte Dijonnaise, Chablis and Auxerrois.


The climate is continental with cold and harsh winters and warm autumns and summers. The Gamay Noir is the main grape of the Burgundy region. There is also the Pinot Noir which is used in the North. For white wines, the Chardonnay is mainly used. Other grapes are also grown such as Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Aligoté and Gamay Blanc.

The AOC are defined as follows:

  • First the region that varies according to the process, quality and grapes: Bourgogne, Bourgogne Ordinaire, Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, Bourgogne Aligoté, Crémant de Bourgogne, etc…
  • This first AOC can also be defined by the sub regions: Bourgogne Côtes de Nuits Villages, Bourgogne Côte de Beaune, etc…
  • hen comes the municipality: Chablis, Vougeot, Beaune, etc…
  • But each village can be separated vineyard-wise, it’s called climat: Chablis Vaudesir, Vougeot Les Gras, Beaune Le Clos des Mouches, etc…
  • Depending on the quality of the wine, a prestige AOC can be granted: Premier Cru or Grand Crus

Each sub region has its own character. But the Côte de Beaune has the most prestigious white wine and the Côte de Nuits the best red wines. Both of them are made to be stored.


Beaujolais

See the region Beaujolais.


Maconnais

The soil is made of granite and limestone. The wines are called either Macon or Pouilly. The white Macon is dry, rolling and fruity and the red one is full-bodied when drunk young and will slowly become medium-bodied when stored.


Chalonnais

The soil is made of marl and limestone. The AOC are as follows:

  • Rully: dry and light-bodied white wines, and light-bodied red wines
  • Mercurey: the white wines are dry, fruity and with delicate aromas, and the red wines have a purple robe with a fine powerful palate and blackcurrant aromas
  • Montagny: these are dry and fine white wines with a hazelnut taste
  • Givry: purple full-bodied red wines and dry easy to drink white wines
  • Bourgogne-Aligoté-Bouzeron: it’s a fruity noble white wine. It is most tasteful young but can be aged for 2 or 3 years.
  • Bourgogne- Aligoté: this white is lifely and with a full bouquet
  • Bourgogne Passe-tout-Grain: it is a blend of Pinot for its body and Gamay for its fruity taste


Côte de Beaune

The soil is a complex mix of limestone, clay, marl and rock. The white wines of this region are among the best white wines in the world.


Ladoix-Serrigny, Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, Savigny-les-Beaunes are the most noble of them. Each one has its own character but always with a delicious fineness. Some less expensive wines are also sumptuous like Montrachet which is a climat well-known for its dry, powerful but tender white wines with a delicate bouquet and a white gold colour. But this region also produces delicious red wines:

  • Pommard: full-bodied red wines that can easily be aged. They are fine wines with truffle aromas
  • Volnay: Light-bodied, soft fine red wines with violet aromas


Côte de Nuits (Côte d’or)

This region produces some world famous red wines but also excellent white wines.

  • Chambertin: a full-bodied fine red wine with an excellent ageing potential. It has some liquorish aromas
  • Chambolle Musigny: a very delicate red wine. Its bouquet’s mellowness is part of its fame
  • Vosne-Romanée: The red wines Grands Crus of this region are incomparable. Their bouquet, their fineness, their robe, their balance, everything is perfectly where it should be.


Chablis

The soil is made mainly of limestone. This region grows exclusively white wines. They are dry, pale and with green reflections. The nose is light with some fresh mushroom aromas. Their acidity brings some freshness to their fineness.


Follow this link to see our wines from Burgundy.


Languedoc

Languedoc is a French region located in the Lion Gulf on the Mediterranean coast. This region has a great diversity of wines. This article will focus on the main ones.


Corbières region

This vineyard is very old, approximately one thousand years old. This is a very windy region with either very dry winds or hot humid ones. The grapes couldn’t survive without all the underground rivers flowing underneath their roots.

For red wines, the referent grape is the Carignan. It is blended with Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. For white wines the main grapes are Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Maccabeu and Malvoisie.


The red wines are full-bodied with bright colours. The Rosé wines are fine and very fruity and the white wines are dry and fruity as well.


Fitou

The climate is dry and hot. The dominant grape is the one liking the most the Mediterranean climate, meaning the Carignan. They blend it with Grenache and Cinsault.


The red wines produced are rustic at first. But as they age, they develop a complex and complete bouquet. They remain full-bodied wines.


Minervois

This region is often tormented by big storms, and the soil is full of manganese that gives wines a special flavour.


A special AOC exists for the white wines cold the “Muscat de Saint-Jean de Mivervois”. This white wines is a perfect aperitif wine. It is sweet with a unique savour.


The red wines are fine and alcoholic and the Rosés have very interesting aromas.


Côteaux du Languedoc

The soil is dry with many schist layers. This dire conditions leads to low yield but high quality vineyards. The two AOC “Faugères” and “Saint Chinian” for instance are good quality wines, very fruity, round and moelleux with a great ageing potential.


The main grapes are the Carignan, the Grenache Noir, the Syrah, the Cinsault and the Mourvèdre. Some white grapes are also grown to produce balanced Rosés, like Carignan Blanc and Clairette.


Clairette du Languedoc

This is a world famous white wine and it depending on the bottles, it can be dry, sparkling or sweet. The most well-known is the Blanc de Blanc thanks to its fineness.


Muscats Fontignan, Mireval and Lunel

All these Muscats are sweet white wines. They all wear a nice golden robe and can be tasted as an aperitif or a dessert.


Follow this link to see our wines from Languedoc.


Loire Valley

This region is once again a great and vast wine producer. Only some of the vineyard are described below. The climate varies a lot along the Loire River. But the winter are mainly very cold and summers warm. These regions experience a lot of rainfalls but no storms violent enough to damage the grapes.


Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule

A soil made of clay and limestone and a lot of sun during the maturing period. This region produces dry white wines better drunk young and red wines that can be stored for 5 years.


Centre

The soil is made of silicate and gravels and the summers are hot for the region. Three AOC are produced:

  • Reuilly: A dry full-bodied white wine
  • Quincy: Fine and dry white wines. Must be drunk young
  • Ménétou-Salon: Fruity, light-bodied white wines.


Nièvre and Cher

These are the lands of the famous AOC: Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire. Pouilly-Fumé is a tender white wine with a unique flint aroma with some fresh fig flavours. It can easily be aged. Sancerre is known for its tender dry white wines. They are better drunk young but can be aged. The Rosés are fresh and fruity, ideal for warm weather. The red wines are also soft and fruity.

Pouilly-sur-Loire is a light-bodied rolling white wine with hazelnut aromas.


Touraine

This region produces some really good Grands Crus thanks to its well-balanced climate. They all are light-bodied with a maximum of 9.5% alcohol by volume.


The AOC Bourgueil is a red wine made from Cabernet Franc. It is known for its peculiar bouquet with a very distinct raspberry aroma. These wines must be aged to reveal their real flavours.


The red wines with the AOC Chinon are produced with the Cabernet Franc as well. They have a violet and strawberry scent. They age quickly and can even be drunk young.


The AOC Touraine produces different wines according to the grape mentioned on the bottle. The Cabernet Sauvignon and the Gamay are the most tasteful.


Anjou

This region is known for its Rosés. Its climate allows a slow and complete maturation of the grapes revealing all the fruity flavours. The grapes used are Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon for the white wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Gamay for the red and Rosés, and only for the Rosé Pineau d’Aunis and Malbec. The main AOC are as follows:

  • Anjou: The white wines are made from the Chenin Blanc and must be drunk young to keep their fruity flavours. The Rosés are lifely, fresh and with nice colours.
  • Cabernet d’Anjou: It is one of the best Rosé in the world. With a dark pink colour, it is very fruity with raspberry aromas. It is a moelleux and very fine wine.


Nantes region

The soil is made of a majority of sand and gravels. The climate is oceanic and some lands, without any winds can even grow Mediterranean plants. The main AOC are the Muscadets. They are all dry white wines. Even if each AOC has its own particularities, they all have a musky flavour.


Follow this link to see our wines from Loire Valley.


Provence

Region of the French Riviera, the Provence has a soil very dry with a lot of rocks. This kind of soil is generally in very dry regions, inappropriate to grow grapes. But the climate is however perfect in Provence. This region grows all kind of grapes: Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan, but this is the region of the fruity Tibouren. Among the AOC are:

  • Cassis: full bodied wines with the best white wines of the region
  • Bandol: Strong full-bodied wines that can be drunk young but will enhance while ageing. The Rosés are particularly known.
  • Côtes de Provence: Full bodied with often a high level of alcohol. They don’t really age well but are delicious served young. You must drink the Rosé and the white wine fresh.


Follow this link to see our wines from Provence.


Rhône Valley

The North of this region has a soil made of crumbly dry granite and has a continental climate with harsh winters and hot summers. This is where the Hermitage wines are made. In the South, region of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the soil is mainly made of gravels and the climate is Mediterranean.

Up North we have:
  • Saint-Joseph: the red wines have a fruity bouquet and the white wines are fruity as well and very fresh.
  • Crozes-Hermitage: The red wines a very light-bodied with terroir aromas. The white wines are are light-bodied, green and fresh.
  • Hermitage: The red wines are fine wines with a complex bouquet of flowers and fruits. They must be aged for two years. The white wines are dry, with low acid, moelleux.

There are numerous AOC with a lot of variations. Up North we have:

  • Saint-Joseph: the red wines have a fruity bouquet and the white wines are fruity as well and very fresh.
  • Crozes-Hermitage: The red wines a very light-bodied with terroir aromas. The white wines are are light-bodied, green and fresh.
  • Hermitage: The red wines are fine wines with a complex bouquet of flowers and fruits. They must be aged for two years. The white wines are dry, with low acid, moelleux.


Follow this link to see our wines from Rhone Valley.


South West

This region has many different climates and soils. This region has the Pyrénées Mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.


Côtes de Marmandais

On the Atlantic Coast, this region produces red wines with a beautiful robe. They are full-bodied, round and yet very fine. The dry white wine is fruity and is a good appetizer.


Côtes de Buzet

In the middle of the lands, this sunny region is cooled by the winds from the Atlantic and the Rivers. The red wines are great wines full-bodied with a bouquet that will develop while ageing.


Béarn

Between the Spain borderline and the Ocean, this region benefits from the fresh humid winds from the Ocean and the warm ones from Spain. The soil is made of the silicate from the Mountains. The most well-known AOC is the Madiran which is a great red wine rich of tannins and that must be aged for 8 years.


Cahors

The region is between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and has a mix of both climates. The Malbec is mainly grown with some Merlot. The red wine is colourful and full-bodied. It has complex flavours of truffle, amber, oak, tobacco, and violet. This wine can be aged for 10 years.


Tarn

The climate is the same as Cahors region. The soil is poor and some local grapes like Duras and Braucol really enjoy it. The main AOC is the Gaillac. The red wines have a dark ruby robe and are full-bodied, but still distinguished.


Follow this link to see our wines from South West of France.


Italy

Italy is a huge producer of quality wines. Some of the vineyards are thousand years old and were first cultivated by Romans. Italy, like France has a peculiar regulation system divided in three main categories. The stricter one is Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita or D.O.C.G., the second one is Denominazione di Origine Controllata or D.O.C. and the last one is Indicazione Geografica Tipica or I.G.T..


DOC and DOCG guarantee process using some specific grapes with a specific vinification process, in a specifi geographic region and with specific tastes. As for IGT, it ensures that the wines are produced in some municipalities.


Abruzzo

This region is right in the middle of Italy on the East Coast. The two thirds of the lands are mountains and the last third are hills. The mountains help blocking the storms from the West but the region still suffer a lot of rainfalls. The climate otherwise is Mediterranean and the soil made of clay and limestone. Two local grapes are grown called Montepulciano and Trebbiano and are completed by the Sangiovese, Barbera and Merlot.


The Montepulciano made the fame of the region with the famous DOC Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with its dark ruby colour, with spicy notes and full-bodied. It can be drunk young but has quite a good ageing potential.


A Rosé called Cerasuolo is made from Montepulciano and is very unique. Its colour is so dark it can be taken for a clear red wine. It has aromas of cherry, spices, and orange.


The DOC Trebbiano d’Abruzzo produces mainly light-bodied white wines, a bit acid and with some subtle aromas. The red wine is hard to find but is great with a deep and round bouquet. This wine must be aged for at least 4 years to reveal the real complexity of its bouquet.


The DOC Trebbiano d’Abruzzo produces mainly light-bodied white wines, a bit acid and with some subtle aromas. The red wine is hard to find but is great with a deep and round bouquet. This wine must be aged for at least 4 years to reveal the real complexity of its bouquet.


The DOC Controguerra produces Primeur Wines using the same technics than Beaujolais Nouveau producers. These red wines must be drunk quickly and are light-bodied and very fruity.


Follow this link to see our wines from Abruzzo.


Friuli-Veneto

In the North-East of Italy, this region is known for its excellent white wines and some of its red wines. The winemakers use a unique savoir-faire to produce quality wines using common grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Merlot, along with very local grapes growing exclusively in this region like the Picolit, the Verduzzo, and the Ribolla Gialla.


The climate benefits from the airflows between the Alps Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. This leads to warm days and chilly nights during the grapes’ maturation period. The soil is made of gravel, sand and alluvial deposits.


The most famous DOCGs and DOCs of the region are the Colli Orientali del Friuli with some excellent dessert white wines with an amber colour and unique fruity flavours brought by the local grapes. Some of these wines are late harvest wines holding the particular tasteful sugars of this kind of wines.


The wines of the DOCs Friuli are often light-bodied and suitable for ageing. The wines made from Refosco, are very fruity and develop a full bouquet when aged.


The Isonzo DOCs are known for their whit dry sparkling wines. They are ideal as an aperitif of with fish. This sub-region also produces succulent dessert wines and late harvest wines.


Finally the Carso DOCs are known for their acid red wines with plum and almond flavours. They also produce white wines with unique honey and almond aromas.


Follow this link to see our wines from Friuli and Veneto.


Piedmont

This is one of the most famous region in Italy when talking about wines. It is the region holding the most DOCs and DOCGs in Italy. Its name literally means at the foot of the mountains because of it is surrounded by the Alps Mountains in the North-West of Italy. The climate is therefore harsh with dry and hot summers and very cold winters with a lot of snowfalls.


Most of Piedmont wines are made from local grapes. For instance the Nebbiolo is used for the world famous DOCGs Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara and Ghemme. But it is blended with other grapes like Barbera and Dolcetto. Barolo and Barbaresco red wines have ones of the most complex bouquet in the world. For instance, for the Barolo, when drunk young you can taste: violet, rose, ripped fruits, fruit jams and nutmeg aromas. When it is aged, it develops new flavours such as: tobacco, smoky, leather, pepper and liquorish aromas. They are also known for their robe that develops orange reflections when aged. The Dolcetto DOCs reveal the roundness of this grape with low levels of acidity.


Along with these dark full-bodied and very tasteful red wines, this region is the main sparkling wines producer in Italy. The sweet Asti sparkling wines are very famous around the world. Either very sparkling with Asti Spumante wines or with little few bubbles for Moscato d’Asti, the demand is so high that the region experienced shortages of Moscato grapes. The DOCG Brachetto d’Acqui is a succulent aromatic sparkling red wine.


As for dry white wines, the DOCG Gavi is very elegant and is considered as the perfect match for fish dishes.


Follow this link to see our wines from Piedmont.


Tuscany

Tuscany is the leader about wines in Italy. Located in the West of Italy, this region has a cool climate on the seaside with a typical Mediterranean climate and harsher in the lands with more rainfalls and large temperature ranges. But this region is known for its micro-climates that make, for instance, each Chianti (DOCG) very different to another according to the vineyard’s location.


The grape that made the fame of this region is the Sangiovese. It was first blended but is now often used alone. Sangiovese wines have a dark ruby colour and are full-bodied with floral and fruits aromas. Some think that it is the noblest grape in Italy.


The Chianti is the most representative wine made from Sangiovese. It is produced in 8 distinctive areas located around the original one producing the Chianti Classico. Usually, Chianti wines wear a nice red robe and have a very well-balanced palate. They are perfect to pair with red meats. But they are as many Chianti as there are Chianti producers. Some of them are fresh and medium-bodied, others have a complex and rich bouquet and have an excellent ageing potential. The only way to distinguish them is to refer to their label.


The DOCG Brunello di Montalcino is the noblest DOCG in Tuscany. It is known for its powerful red wines that can be aged for decades. It has remarkable aromas of red fruits with a touch of dark chocolate.


Montepulciano is a sub region producing the long forgotten Vino Nobile. It is an interesting mix between fineness and robustness. It might need some ageing to be less rustic but it is still an excellent wine deserving its DOCG.


A lot of other DOC and IGT produce excellent red wines by visiting and revisiting the Sangiovese.


Follow this link to see our wines from Tuscany.

New Zealand

New Zealand wines are recognized since wine critics claimed that this country produced the best white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc. This success may be attributed to the region Marlborough which wines were said to be a perfect mix between exotic aromas of New World Sauvignon Blanc and some rustic flavours of the French wines.

Marlborough is segmented in islands, mountains and luxurious plains. The wine is produced in the plains with a tempered climate with sunny hot days and cold nights. The soil is mainly sandy. This conditions really slow the grapes’ maturation, that’s why they can develop all their aromas. This region, like the country, is known for its Sauvignon Blanc with aromas that can’t be fin anywhere in the world. It has passion fruits flavours combined with rustic aromas like wood.


Follow this link to see our wines from New Zealand.

South Africa

South African wines are mainly produced in the regions of Stellenbosch and Paarl. Both these regions are located in the South-West of South Africa near the Hawekwa Mountains. Even if the seasons are reversed compared to the North hemisphere, the climate is Mediterranean with cool humid winters and hot dry summers. The rainfalls are rare but violent. The soil is made of granite, schist and alluvial deposits.

For red wines, the main grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and the famous Pinotage. This last grape has been created in South Africa by crossing Pinot Noir and Cinsault and is know the signature of African red wines. For white wines, the region is reputed for its Steen (Chenin Blanc) grapes but also grows Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

The wines are classified first by region: Coastal, Orange River, Breed River, etc… Then by district: Stellenbosch, Paarl, Worcester, etc… Then by wards and finally by producer or estate. The best wines will be the ones with an estate’s name.

The Pinotage gives the red wines a typical blackberry and plum flavour. They usually have a high tannic concentration and are a good match for grilled meats. They can be aged for a while but also drunk young.

White wines are usually made from Steen, they can be either dry or sweet but they always are deliciously fruity. The late harvest are often called Noble Wines and have an intense and powerful sweetness.

They are a lot of different vineyard so they are also a lot of different wines.


Follow this link to see our wines from South Africa.

Spain

Introduction

Summers are sunny all over Spain. While North-West benefits from heavy rainfalls, the South-East is dryer. That’s why vineyards’ yields are decreasing from North to South. The regulation system in Spain is similar to Italy’s and France’s. The highest quality wines are called DOC (Denominacion de Origen Calificada) while the most common appellation is DO (Denominacion de Origen).


Follow this link to see our wines from Spain.


Rioja

Rioja is a region from North of Spain and also a DOC extended to some surrounding regions. Three sub regions can be differentiated.


Rioja Alta is in the Northwest and is characterized by shorter seasons and a climate comparable to Central France. Therefore the wines are considered light-bodied compared to the rest of Spain. The main grape cultivated there is the Tempranillo.


Rioja Alavesa is in the North and receives fresh winds from the mountains. This cooler climate and the rocky soil lead to vines with low yield. Therefore the wines are round, deep and fine. The main grape is also the Tempranillo.


Rioja Baja is in the Southeast and has a climate similar to Mediterranean regions. It is much warmer and drier. This leads to powerful full-bodied wines but less aromatic. That’s why the wines from this sub region are often used in blends. The grape mostly grown is the Granacha.


The typical wines from this DOC are made from a blend of Tempranillo (60-80%), Grenache and two other local grapes. The global yield of the region is very low.


Follow this link to see our wines from Rioja.


Andalusia

This region from the South of Spain produces wines since Antiquity and was one of the first in Spain to sell its wines to Northern Europe. It is well-known for its fortified wines produced by adding alcohol at the end of the fermentation.


The mountains of Andalusia are very recent and have a soil made of volcanic rocks and alluvial deposits around the rivers. It is then very fertile but this fertility is balanced by a very arid climate. Moreover, irrigation is kept for growing fruits, vegetables and other consumables. Therefore the growth of vines highly depends on the climate, and its drought leads to very alcoholic and powerful wines.


Andalusia has a Mediterranean climate with mild partially rainy winters and very hot dry summers. The West part of Andalusia benefits from the Atlantic rainfalls while the East part is protected by the Sierra Nevada.


This region mainly produces white grapes like Muscat, Palomino and Pedro Ximenez.


Ribera del Duero

This region in the middle North of Spain is a DO. Most of the wines produced are red with a majority of Tempranillo. The regulation of the DO forces producers to use at least 75% of Tempranillo in their wines. The other grapes are Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.


The Riserva and Gran Riserva stay longer in the casks and the bottles a have a good ageing potential. They develop complex wooden and fruity aromas. This wines are tannic and well-structured.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate’s 100-points rating system and our Finest Wines category

There are now a lot of Wine critics. But the most famous one remains Robert Parker. This former lawyer became famous for his scoring system now widely adopted by other critics. Whatever the kind of wine tasted, it will be given a mark over 100. It works like this:

  • The first 50 points are granted upfront
  • The robe (visual appearance) is marked out of 5
  • The nose is marked out of 15
  • The mouth is marked out of 20
  • The general quality and ageing potential are marked out of 10


This leads to a segmentation of wines:

  • Unacceptable 50-59 out of 100
  • Below average if less than 70 out of 100
  • Average 70-79 out of 100
  • Good 80-89 out of 100
  • Remarkable 90-95 out of 100
  • Extraordinary 96-100 out of 100


This system is criticized because everyone has different tastes, it is then very subjective to rate a wine. That’s why you can’t denigrate a wine because of a bad mark. It’s also up to you to prefer a 93/100-wine over a 95/100-wine.


But the main purpose of this rating system is to have an expert’s advice that you can use to choose your wines. At the same price you may prefer to taste a 95 over a 94. But this doesn’t mean that you should never taste the 94, you might actually prefer it.


The Wine Advocate also delivers a review of the wines tasted. This is very helpful if you want to get an overview of the flavours you will experience, and to get some food pairing and ageing advices.


Our Finest Wines category features a filter based on Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate’s ratings. Thanks to our partnership with the Wine Advocate, we give you access to their ratings and tasting notes. However, note that this category also includes wines that are not rated by the Wine Advocate because they just can’t cover all the wines in the world. However every bottle featuring in Finest Wines is a highly rated and/or awarded wine.


Follow this link to see our Finest Wines category

Storing & Cellaring

A wine is often an investment. A lot of our wines, often the finest ones, have a great ageing potential. These wines will improve in term of nose and palate if they are correctly stored. Therefore as time passes, a good wine will be more and more expensive.


A wine will improve because the compounds it contains will react along time. First the acidity will decrease and the wine will be rounder. Then the tannins will change and reveal new aromas. Finally the molecules producing the aromas will react and new tastes and flavours will develop. Therefore a powerful, full-bodied wine with rich aromas will have a great ageing potential when light-bodied wines are better drunk young. However this highly depends on the overall composition of the wine, so please refer to the product’s description to learn about your wine.


The cork helps a lot during this process. Oxygen is necessary to allow the chemical reactions but too much of it will prematurely oxide the wine and it will turn bad. Corks are made to allow the right quantity of oxygen to enter the bottle. That’s why a wine has to be stored correctly.


This raises the question: How to store a wine? The four main factors are: Temperature, position, humidity and luminosity.


First the temperature must be constant and between 10 and 15 Celsius degrees. You must avoid thermal shocks because the cork will lose its elasticity and won’t play its role of airflow regulator anymore.


The position of the bottle is also very important. Indeed, if you keep your bottle in a stand-up position, the cork will completely dry and shrink. Your wine will oxide. You must then lie your bottles down so the wine will moisturise the cork and it won’t shrink. But you must avoid to move your wine too often, so place it in its compartment and avoid moving it all the time.


Humidity must remain between 70% and 80%. This is to avoid the external part of the cork to dry. But be careful, if the humidity is too high, mould might develop on the cork and the bottle.


Finally the wines must be stored in a dark place. UV will accelerate the chemical reactions and alter the taste.


All of this might seem tricky but you can still buy a wine cellar that will do all the work for you!


Follow this link to see our Wine Cellar selection


When you finally want to drink your wine, and particularly if it is a red wine, let your bottle out of the cellar for one hour. Because most red wines, particularly the good ones must be drunk between 15 and 20 Celsius degrees. This depends on the wines though. The white wines are better when served between 10 and 14 Celsius degrees.


In this guide you will find everything you always wanted to know about wines and spirits but were afraid to ask

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Buying Guide Spirits

What is Whiskey?

Whisky (generally Scotch) or Whiskey, is a spirit made from distilled grain mash and with a minimum of 40% alcohol by volume. There are as many ways to make a Whiskey as there are different brands, but they all come from the following basic process:

  • Malting: The grains are soaked in warm water for a few days. This step allows the seeds to germinate and so to produce the sugar that will be converted into alcohol from starch. The germination is stopped by drying the grains in a kiln. The combustible used to power the kiln affects the taste of the future Whiskey.
  • Mashing: The malted grain is milled and mixed with hot water in a mash tun. During this step, the sugars are extracted and concentrated into water. The taste of the future Whiskey also depends on the water used at this step. The liquid obtained is called wort.
  • Fermentation: The wort is cooled in large tanks called washbacks, which canbe made of wood or stainless steel. The yeast is added to convert sugar into alcohol. After a few days, the wort is called wash and contains 4 to 10% alcohol by volume. The fermentation time is different for each distillery.
  • Distillation: Distillation of Whiskey is usually made in copper stills because of the particular interactions between wash and this metal. It can be done multiple times depending on the type of Whiskey. The size, shape and number of stills also play a role in the taste of the Whiskey.
  • Maturation: The spirits then ages in oak casks. This maturation period will give the definitive age of the Whiskey. Thanks to wood porosity, the spirits interacts with ambient air and evaporate. That’s why very aged Whiskies are so expensive but delightfully smooth and tasteful. The history of the cask is very important as the maturing Whiskey will extract its flavours.

Depending on the grains distilled, the location and the distillation technics, a Whiskey will be called Bourbon, Scotch, Rye, Irish… And every type of Whiskey has its own rules. For instance, you can’t call a Whiskey “Bourbon” if it’s not made with at least 51% of corn (see Style - Bourbon for more details).

Different styles of Whiskey

There are a lot of different styles of Whiskies but you can find here the most well-known ones. On Lazada.SG, you can sort our Whiskey selection by style to discover, taste and savour every kind of Whiskey.

▶ Scotch

All Scotch Whiskies must be made from malted Barley in Scotland, must contain between 40% and 94.8% alcohol by volume and must have aged for minimum 3 years in oak casks.

Distillers are allowed to add whole grains of other cereals as well as caramel colouring (E150A).

Generally, during malting, peat is used to power the kiln. That’s why many Scotches have this particular and delicious smoky peat flavour. A Scotch is traditionally distilled twice in Copper stills although there are exceptions in some distilleries. A lot of distillery age their Scotches in casks previously used for Bourbon.

The notions Single Cask, Single Malt and Blended are covered in the section Type of Whiskey.

Try our Scotch selection by following this link

▶ Bourbon

Bourbon must be made from at least 51% of corn, in the United States of America (often the Southern America in states like Kentucky), must contain between 40% and 80% alcohol by volume, must age in new charred oak barrels and the distillation must start at no more than 62.5% alcohol by volume.

There are no restrictions about the minimum aging time for Bourbon. However, for a Bourbon to be called Straight Bourbon, it must age for at least 2 years, and must not contain any added colouring, flavour or other spirit.

As for the other grains used, they can be rye, wheat and/or malted barley. Distillers often add what is called sour mash before fermentation. Sour mash is mash from another fermentation. This ensure a consistent pH across batches. The Bourbon ages in American charred oak casks and gain its colour while absorbing the caramelized sugar of the charred wood.

Try our Bourbon selection by following this link

▶ Rye, Canadian and American

Rye Whiskey actually defines two styles of Whiske. Historically, a Canadian invented a Whiskey made from rye, that’s why Rye Whiskey can define a Canadian born Whisky, even if it doesn’t include any rye in its process. The only rule to label a Whiskey “Rye” in Canada is to have some rye in it and to have the aroma, taste and character generally attributed to Canadian Whiskey. If you compare Canadian Whisky with other whisky, you will notice a unique sweetness often resulting from blending the batch with flavouring whisky made from a rye mash and distilled to a lower proof, or to a high-proof base whisky typically made from corn or wheat and aged in used barrels.

The other style is called the American Rye Whisky. In America, Rye Whisky is made from at least 51% Rye, and like Bourbon, it is distilled to no more than 80% alcohol by volume in new charred oak barrels, and put in barrels with no more than 62.5% alcohol by volume.

Just like Bourbon, a Straight Rye is a Rye Whisky aged for minimum 2 years.

Rye Whisky is known for its spicy and fruity flavour compared to Bourbon which is fuller bodied.

Try our Rye selection by following this link

▶ Irish Whiskey

Irish Whisky must be made in Ireland, it must not exceed 94.8% alcohol by volume and it must be aged for at least 3 years.

There are not a lot of restrictions on Irish Whisky. That would be why we can find so many different kinds of them! However, most of them are distilled three times. What’s more, a noticeable difference between a Scotch and an Irish Whisky is that the Irish process doesn’t involve any contact between grains and smoke during the malting and for that reason you won’t find the smoky taste of a Scotch.

Try our Irish whiskies selection by following this link

▶ Japanese Whiskey

Japanese Whiskey is the rising star among whiskies. First distilled in the early 1920s, it’s based on the Scottish model and goes through the exact same steps.

Their fame comes from the meticulous work of Japanese distillers: they selected the best attributes among Scottish distilleries and combined them in an attempt to create the perfect “Scotch”. Even if some connoisseurs still prefer Scotch from Scotland it’s undisputable that Japanese Whiskies havea particular floral note.

Try our Japanese whiskies selection by following this link

Different types of Whiskey

When purchasing a Whiskey, you have to notice three characteristics: the style (Scotch Bourbon, Rye…), the age, and the type (Single cask, single malt, blended).

We already saw what the style is referring to as well as the age.

▶ Single Cask

This is the rarest type of Whiskey, meaning that the Whiskey contained in the bottle comes from a single maturation cask. Usually, distillers use several different casks to produce a bottle which allows them to mix the colours and the flavours together. Therefore this kind of Whiskey is often found in smaller distilleries.

Single Cask ensures that you taste all of the woody flavours related to a specific maturation cask. By tasting different casks of the same Whiskey (their number is usually displayed on the bottle) you will also taste really perceptible changes. This should show you how complex whiskey is!

Try our Single Cask whiskies selection by following this link

▶ Single Malt

This is the most common type of Whiskey. Even if one can think that this Whiskey is made from a single batch, it is not the case. Single Malt, or Single Grain, means that the Whiskey has been produced in a single distillery. But in order to obtain the best colour and the best aromas, Whiskies of different ages and from different barrels are mixed together.

The age displayed on the bottle depends on the style’s conventions, but usually it is the age of the youngest Whiskey in the mix.

Try our Single Malt whiskies selection by following this link

▶ Blended

There are different kinds of blending. But this term means that the Whiskey contained in the bottle has been made by mixing different other Whiskies from different distilleries. Some distilleries are specialised in blending, they often select the best Single Malt Whiskies and mix them with younger Whiskies.

The purpose is not to decrease the quality and the price of the bottle but to reveal new aromas inexistent in each Single Malt individually.

If the age is displayed, it usually refers to the youngest Whiskey used in the blend. For some American Whiskies it refers to the youngest Straight Whisky (at least 20% of the content) contained in the bottle.

Try our Blended whiskies selection by following this link

How to drink Whiskey?

There are three different ways to enjoy good Whisky. Here is some advice to get the best from your newly purchased bottle!

▶ Neat

A lot of Whiskey drinkers say that a Whiskey is ruined if not served neat. Neat means that your Whiskey is served in a Whiskey glass , at the room temperature and without any water or ice cubes. If you adopt this method, don’t keep the spirit for too long in your mouth: it is a lot stronger than wine! If you do so you run the risk of anesthetizing your taste buds.

▶ With water

To avoid this anaesthesia, some drinkers prefer their Whiskey softly diluted, but if you don’t want to waste any flavour in the process, follow these steps:

First take a sip of your neat Whiskey. You will normally taste a lot at first and then experience the “burning feeling”. This means your taste buds have been anesthetized.

Add a little capful of water (preferably not tap water because the chlorine will affect the taste) and take another sip.

Repeat the process until the “burning feeling” is not overwhelming anymore. With this small amount of water you can enjoy all flavours of your drink!

▶ On the rocks

This is a very controversial way to drink Whiskey. Two reasons for that. Firstly, you will add a large amount of water that may affect some of the fine and delicious flavours of your Whiskey.. Secondly, ice cubes are often made from tap water containing a lot of chlorine that will affect the taste.

Beginners might prefer this way because their palate is not yet used to the explosion of flavours experienced when drinking Whiskey. Ideally you should use rock cubes instead of ice cubes and if you want to dilute your drink, don’t add tap water. Then try to progressively drink your Whiskey neat or with water.

▶ Cocktails

Some cocktails like Firewhisky, Jim’s Root Beer, Sea sunrise or Weng Weng are delicious and must be tried! Nonetheless, you should never use a high-class Whiskey to make a cocktail.

How to get started?

You should start with a well-known Whiskey such as Hibiki, Yamazaki, Jameson etc… The flavour of these Whiskies are described on the Product Description on Lazada.SG, so you can read up and work out the best Whiskey for you.

Then you should play around with different Styles and Types of Whiskey. They all have their particularities and everyone has their own preference!

Once you have found your own Whiskey , you can start buying premium class Whiskies from prestige batches, very aged, or even the best blends.

What is Vodka?

Vodka is the most famous spirit for cocktail making! The reason why is Vodka is more often only ethanol (pure alcohol) and water. We then tend to think that Vodka is absolutely tasteless, that’s why we mix it into cocktails. But that’s not absolutely true, some quality products have their own flavours and Vodka amateurs always drink it neat or on the rocks.

Vodka is made from various types of grains but also from fruit, potatoes, grapes, rice… Actually everything that contains starch and/or sugar can be distilled to make Vodka. Here how it works:

- Distillation: There are no rules for distilling a Vodka unlike other spirits and wines. The particularity of this distillation is the removal of the “fore-shot”, “heads” and “tails”. These components contain some flavourful molecules (highly sought for spirits like Cognac ) and Vodka must be neutral. Distillation is repeated until reaching up to 98% alcohol by volume.

- Filtering: Even if the tasteful molecules are removed during distillation, the Vodka-to-be is filtered through activated charcoal filters to remove all the aromas. This operation can be done before, during but often after distillation. Some countries don’t filter their Vodkas to give them their own character.

- Diluting: To obtain the usual 40% alcohol by volume of a Vodka, the ethanol is diluted with water. This is when Vodkas are differentiated because depending on the water used, the minerals for instance modify the final taste.

Some distillers add flavours afterwards like red pepper, ginger, fruit, citrus flavours, vanilla, chocolate, and cinnamon. There is one famous Vodka that is even mixed with buffalo grass!

How to drink vodka?

Good Vodka can be tasted neat or on the rocks. Even if some countries drink it at ambient temperature (neat), most Eastern European countries prefer to drink it cold with or without water.

This spirit is really strong so you may want to take a small sip at first and to roll it in your mouth. That way, your tongue will get used to the alcohol.

Vodka is generally drunk in cocktails. There are an infinite number of these cocktails because the neutrality of Vodka will alcoholise every soft drink (or liquors) without altering its taste. Here are some examples: vodka martini, vodka tonic, Screwdriver (orange juice), Greyhound (grapefruit and Gin), Black (coffee) or White (coffee and cream) Russian, Bloody Mary (tomato juice), and Sex on the Beach (peach, orange, cranberry).

Try our Vodka selection by following this link


How to get started?

Buying Vodka is actually simpler than buying any other spirit. Flavoured Vodkas must be chosen either for a particular cocktail, for instance you can mix a mango vodka in a mango based cocktail, or to drink it neat.

As for unflavoured Vodka, you have to find the right Brand for you as they all have their particularities! Some will be better served in cocktails and others pure, so ask your friends, look on the Internet, but everyone has different tastes!

We have pure vodkas and flavoured ones on Lazada, try them by following this link


What is Rum?

A Rum is a spirit made form sugar cane and its derivatives: sugar cane juice, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses or other sugar cane by-products. It must contain between 40% and 95% alcohol by volume. The process to make a Rum is as follows:

- Selection: The final taste of the Rum highly depends on the canes chosen and on the derivatives used. There are no best choices, but some types of Rum require a specific selection of raw materials.

- Fermentation: Rum producers first add water and yeasts to the products selected. The warm weather of the countries where Rum is produced leads to a unique fermentation. The selection of the yeasts used is very important and influences the final taste. After 2 days top, the wine produced is between 3% and 6% alcohol by volume.

- Distillation: Some distilleries still use the traditional pot still, but most of them use column stills. This method has a better yield and is more adapted to mass production. The liquid extracted from the vapours is between 60% and 90% alcohol by volume.

- Ageing: This steps highly depends on the type of Rum. It is usually done by storing the Rum in oak cask. As oak is porous, the rum evaporates with time which explains the higher price of old Rums. This step can last from 3 months to several years and the older a Rum is, the darker it will be.

- Dilution: By adding water to the Rum, the distillers reach the concentration standards.

Types of Rum

Different types of Rum are featured on Lazada.SG but this classification is not regulated. Use the appropriate filter to buy the Rum you’re looking for.

▶ White

White Rums also called Light Rums aren’t necessarily young as you may think. A lot of distilleries such as Bacardi, produce a 2-year-old Rum for instance and then filter it to get rid of the pigments. This method produces sweeter Rums.

This type of Rum is commonly used to make cocktails and “arranged rum” .

Try our White Rums by following this link

▶ Gold

Gold Rums are generally aged for more than 2 years. They are medium-bodied Rums that take their colour from the wooden barrels. They present more aromas than White Rums because of the absence of filtration. You may detect citrus, vanilla, or coconut will drinking it, depending on the barrels used.

They are good to drink pure as well as in sophisticated cocktails requiring stronger spirits. They are a good Quality/Price compromise between White Rums and Darker ones.

Try our Gold Rums by following this link

▶ Black Rum

They are the darkest kind of Rum. Their colour is due to their age but also the charred and fired barrel used. These barrels will release much more aromas and pigment into the Rum. Some distilleries also add brown caramel. Molasses is mainly used and often caramelized as well.

They are very tasteful with strong wooden and caramel flavours. They are widely used in cooking recipes and by the candy industry. You must try to drink them neat or on the rocks!

Try our Black Rums by following this link

▶ Premium Aged Rum

Also called Anejo in Spanish speaking countries, they represent the high-class Rums. The distilleries that produce them keenly select their ingredients and the barrels to ensure the best aromas. For instance, only some sugar cane crops are “good enough” to produce them, and the barrels often come from the production of good quality Bourbons (darker colour) or Cognacs (red colouration). They are usually old and even very old. As their production is meticulously monitored and as the ageing process imply losses, they are quite expensive.

They can’t be drunk any way but straight. Close your eyes and feel all their aromas: Vanilla, Almond, Caramel, Coconut, Malt, Grapes…

▶ Vintage

Rums are usually blended to get the best flavours from different vintage. But some Rums are made from a unique vintage. Rain, sun, temperature affect the sugar cane growth and composition. These Rums are labelled with the year they are bottled.

The distiller will recognize the qualities of each harvest and enhance them through the distillation and ageing process. Each vintage has its particularities and connoisseurs appreciate them for their unique character.

▶ Agricole

This is the most regulated type. The Martinique even has its own AOC label just as wines and cognacs.

They must be made from pure fresh sugar cane juice. The fermentation is highly restricted to discontinuous fermentation. This means that instead of being able to add as much juice as the distiller wants during the fermentation, only one batch of juice at a time is fermented. The yeasts used must be from the Saccharomyce family. The pitching (addition of yeast) is also regulated but won’t be detailed here. The fermentation must not exceed 72 hours and the wine must be at a minimum of 3.5% alcohol by volume. Usually the fermentation ends when there is no sugar left to transform or when the level of alcohol is lethal for yeasts (15-20%).

The stills used to distillate the Rum must comply with various criteria such as the number of trays in the column, the diameter of the column, the injection of new Rum etc… After distillation, the Rum must be between 65% and 75% alcohol by volume.

The ageing must last for more than a year for Martinique Rums. But you can find every king of age among this kind of Rum.

These Rums can’t be mixed with other ingredients. Therefore they taste less like caramel and the aromas are more focus on the wooden flavours. As only sugar cane juice is used, the initial concentration in sugar is less important. Therefore herbal and fruit aromas can more easily be developed.

These Rums can be drunk straight or in cocktails and are often used for arranged Rums.

▶ Cachaça

The famous Brazilian spirit is made from pure sugar cane juice but is often little or not at all aged in barrels. Thus, they have fresher flavours like citrus fruits. The aromas are much more volatile than for the other types of Rum, that’s why you can feel these keen fruity tastes explode in your mouth.

They are usually used in cocktails such as the famous Caipirinha, but it is also appreciated on the rocks.

▶ Flavoured and Spicy Rum

The chapter How to drink Rum will explain to you how to make your own arranged Rum. But some distilleries also do that for you. Rum mixes perfectly with fruits and spices. By infusing spices like: vanilla, ginger or cinnamon and fruits like: citrus, pineapple, coconut or other tropical plants, they obtain very tasty spirits.

You can use them for cooking, for instance a banana cake is perfect with some banana flavoured Rum. But you can also use them for your cocktails. Try to match your ingredients with the aromas present in the Rum.

Try our Spicy Rums by following this link

How to drink Rum?

Before trying any of these technics, read everything written on your bottle. You can learn how your Rum has been made and what are the flavours you are about to experience. If you want to use it in cocktails, this will also help you to find the perfect match. As for Whiskies , I invite you to read the full product description on Lazada as well.

▶ Neat and On the Rocks

Neat means drinking your Rum without any source of water and at ambient temperature. It is the best way to taste all the aromas. Indeed the warmer (don’t overheat it, just keep your bottle out of the fridge) the Rum is, the more volatile the aromas will be.

But some prefer to drink it with ice cubes or stone cubes to avoid the “burning feeling” of the alcohol that can anesthetise your tasting buds. Then make sure to limit the quantity of water added.

Serve it in a glass with a large base to leave space for the volatile aromas and the oxygenation, but with a tight chimney not to burn your nose. The same glasses than the one used for Whiskies are ideal.

Sight: Its colour is a sign of its age. The darker it is, the richer it will be. You must be able to see through it and it should shine a bit. For very old Rums, you may see a green disk over the liquid. It’s an optical effect due to some specific aromas.

Smell: Without agitating it, smell it at a reasonable distance. You must smell the first aromas: fruits and flowers. Then circulate it in your hand. While doing so, you can observe the marks it forms on your glass. These are called legs, the longer they are, the more bodied the Rum will be. Then smell it once more to feel the secondary aromas: wood, spices, honey, caramel.

Taste: Take first a small sip to adapt your tasting buds to the alcohol. Let the spirit roll in your mouth. Then take a bigger one and focus all your attention on the aromas you read about. Find out which come first and which one stay longer. When you’re not sure, take another sip!

▶ Cocktails

A lot of exotic cocktails involve Rum because of its tropical taste. I list here some of the most well-known but there are a lot of them and you can even be inventive. If you want to create your own cocktails, always use at least one sugary ingredient. The only thing is to use relatively young Rum otherwise it’s a waste of their aromas (see the Types of Rum). As for flavoured Rums, make sure to match the ingredients with the flavours of the Rum.

Daiquiri: Rum, Lime juice and fruit syrup.

Mojito: Rum, Mint, Lime, sugar, soda water.

Pina Colada: Rum, pineapple, coconut cream.

Caipirinha: Lime, sugar and cachaça.

▶ Arranged Rums

Or “Rhum arrangés”. It consists in flavouring your Rum with fruits and spices. You just need to cut slices and bit of your fruits, add some selected spices and put it in a bottle with your Rum or in any jar you can close. Then let it macerate for several months.

There are an infinite number of recipes but it is always better to try yourself and make your own ones. Always buy fresh and ideally organic fruits. Peel them unless recommended otherwise. The Rum must be White and ideally Agricole (see type of Rum ). The macerating period highly depends on the place you will keep your bottle. The best thing to do is to wait for it to become darker, and then taste it. You should shake your mixture every month to ensure a perfect diffusion of the aromas.

Once you feel the aromas you expected, filter your Rum, and it’s ready to drink or even to store. You can eat the fruits as they are or use them in a cake for instance.

Here are some recipes:

- 1L of White Rum, 1 banana, 1 mango, 1 piece of ginger (get rid of the skin and scare before adding), 1 pod of vanilla (scare before adding), 4 spoons of honey, 4 spoons of sugar cane syrup. Macerate for 3 months.

- 1L of White Rum, 1 red chili pepper (scare before adding), 20 coffee seeds, 2 pods of vanilla (scare before adding). Macerate at least 3 months.

- 1L of White Rum, 1 coconut (add the milk), 2 pods of vanilla, 20cL of sugar cane syrup. Macerate for 6 months.

- 1L of Agricole Rum, 9 passion fruits, 1 slice of dry Victoria pineapple, 4 slices of green lime, 2 pods of vanilla, a third of cinnamon stick, 5cL of liquid honey. Macerate for 6 months.

How to get started?

It really depends on what you want to do. The funniest thing is to create one or several arranged Rums. You can see the section How to drink Rum? or go on the Internet to get some more recipes. Then buy some good White or Agricole Rums from our selection and get started.

Otherwise you may need Rum for your cocktails. Then depending on the type of cocktail, you may need a White Rum (if mixed with flavourful ingredients) or a darker one (see Type of Rums). If you choose a flavoured Rum, make sure its favours match your ingredients.

If you want to taste a pure Rum, then you can choose a good quality Rum like a Dark or a Black one. Read the description, follow our tasting advices (see How to drink Rum?) and smoothly enjoy. Once you discovered the joys of good Rums, you can start your collection of Vintage Rums and Premium Aged Rums (see Types of Rum). Taste them, find there aromas and share your experiences.

Try our Rums by following this link

Cognac?

Cognac is a type of Brandy made in the French region of Cognac. Brandy is a spirit obtained by distilling wine and usually contains between 35% and 60% alcohol by volume.

Similarly, Armagnac is also a Brandy made in France, yet it comes from the region of Armagnac and is subject to different regulations.

The names and quality of Cognac depend on the region where it is produced, some examples are:

  • Grande Champagne
  • Petite Champagne
  • Borderies
  • Fins Bois
  • Bons Bois
  • Bois ordinaires

Every distillery has their own method to make their own Cognac, but here is the basic process:

  • Choosing grapes: Cognac is produced from white grapes- usually Ugni Blanc, Colombard or Folle-Blanche.
  • Pressing: the grapes are pressed to get the must, this step is regulated and not every kind of baler is allowed.
  • Fermenting: the must is fermented for 1 to 3 weeks. An acidic and slightly alcoholic wine is then obtained which is not fit for consumption.
  • First distillation: the wine and its dregs are distilled in a regulated alembic to 30% alcohol by volume.
  • Separation: The distiller selects the condensates he wants to keep and adds some condensates from previous second distillations.
  • Second distillation: The selected condensates are distilled a second time to 68-72% alcohol by volume. The distillation period is limited to the 31st of March of the year following the grape-harvest.
  • Aging: The resulting spirit matures in oak casks from Tronçais or Limousin forests. Thanks to the porosity of the wood, the Cognac reacts with the ambient air and evaporates. The minimum aging period is 2 years and a half.
  • Blending: The age displayed on the bottle is the age of the youngest Cognac used in the blend. In order to obtain the best aromas and the best colour, different Cognacs are blended together.

It’s strictly forbidden to add sugars throughout the process, therefore the delicate sweetness of Cognac is 100% authentic!

Different types of Cognac

It’s the maturation period of the youngest Cognac in the blend that determines the final type of a Cognac. Many subcategories have been created along the years to accurately name a Cognac, but the three main categories remain V.S., V.S.O.P., X.O..

▶ V.S.

V.S. stands for Very Special and is sometimes called *** (three stars). It’s the youngest among Cognacs and has matured for at least 2 years in the casks.

It offers hints of spice and is the least sweet; it’s with this type of Cognac that you can best perceive the tastes of the grapes!

Try our VS Cognacs by following this link

▶ V.S.O.P.

This stands for Very Superior Old Pale and is sometimes called Réserve or V.O. (Very Old). It has matured for at least 4 years.

It is a good balance between the older sweet and fine Cognacs and the spicy young ones.

Try our VSOP Cognacs by following this link

▶ X.O.

X.O., or Extra Old is sometimes called Extra or Napoleon. It has matured for at least 6 years; distillers often sell older Cognacs that are often called X.O. even if some of them have matured for over 50 years.

As the age range is very wide, we can’t really define the taste of an X.O.. But their quality and sweetness place them among the most appreciated and expensive spirits in the world.

Try our XO Cognacs by following this link

How to drink a Cognac?

Usually Cognac is drunk as digestive because of its sweetness but you can also drink them in any situation.

Cognac must be appreciated with all senses such as wines. First, serve your Cognac in a small Tulipe glass (13cL). If you don’t have the small model, a regular Ballon wine glass works as well. Fill the glass to its fifth to leave room for the aromas. Then warm your glass in your hands for 8 to 10 minutes. Never use another source of heat, otherwise a lot of flavours will evaporate.

Sight: Bring your glass close to a light, to eye level and observe its colour. These amber reflections tell you a lot about the age of your Cognac. The darker it is, the older it is.

Smell: Without stirring your glass, gently bring your nose over the glass and breathe in the aromas: rose, violet, iris, pear, apricot, jasmine, orange… Flowers and fruits will fill your nostrils. Then circulate the glass in your hand and discover the full bouquet with woody and sweet variations.

Taste: First take a very small sip and let it roll in your mouth. This one is not to taste it but to prepare your taste buds for the flavours and alcohol. Then take a real sip and enjoy all the aromas. Each part of your tongue is dedicated to a specific savour, try to activate them all. Each sip must reply to the questions raised by the previous one.

If you want to drink your Cognac as an aperitif, you can add a bit of soda water, lemon juice and/or orange juice. But only use V.S. and V.S.O.P. to do so.

How to store Cognacs?

As opposed to wines, you must store your Cognac vertically. The spirit should not be in contact with the cork otherwise the strength of the alcohol will deteriorate it.

Once opened, the air will affect your Cognac. To avoid this problem, you can transfer it into smaller bottles, but the best thing to do is to avoid keeping it more than 6 months once opened.

How to get started?

Like whisky you may want to buy a V.S. or a V.S.O.P. at first. There are less delicate aromas in these two types, so you can train yourself first. Don’t hesitate to look at the product description on Lazada.SG to help you find the aromas.

Then, you can buy the finest Cognacs and enjoy it the right way!

Try our Cognacs by following this link

In this guide you will find everything you always wanted to know about wines and spirits but were afraid to ask

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