The one and only time it's okay to talk about weight...
Here at SAVVY, we are pretty classy (we only observe Casual Friday five days a week because we are overachievers) so you’ll never find us discussing a person’s weight or body, but when it comes to wine, we discuss the subject ad nauseum!
You may remember our Same Weights, Great Mates post awhile back, where we shared a couple of easy pairing tips. Today we want to dive a little deeper into what ‘body’ means in the wine world, what creates it and a few suggestions for lighter bodied reds that will be the perfect complement as we transition into fall.
How do you get a great body? No, it’s not endless pull-ups or 5-minute plank holds - sorry to all the CrossFit and yoga lovers out there, wine plays by its own rules! Body describes the way a wine feels in our mouth – a good way to think about this is considering the different mouth feels of skim milk, whole milk and cream (to see this in action, go here and use code SAVVY to gain free access to this module, part of our Wine Diva course). The main contributor to body is the alcohol content - alcohol is responsible for the viscosity in wine, the more viscous, the heavier wine feels in our mouth.
Let’s dive into the fermentation process a bit here, so we can understand how differing levels of alcohol are achieved. As we learned in last week’s Facebook Live Tasting, the more time the grapes spend on the vine, the more sugar they’ll store. During fermentation, yeast feed on the sugar in the grape juice and alcohol is a byproduct of this feeding process so, more sugar = more alcohol in the final product. This means that typically, wines from warmer regions will have a higher alcohol content and thus, result in bolder, heavier bodied wines (think Napa Cabernet & Zinfandel) and cooler regions will likely have lighter, more refreshing wines (think Beaujolais & Cabernet Franc from Northern France) that pair perfectly with our summer and early autumn weather and cuisine.
A few fun, lighter bodied reds to add to your rotation:
Domestic Pinot Noir (California, Washington, Oregon), Beaujolais, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Grenache…Lambrusco. Yes, you read that right – Lambrusco! Lambrusco has come a long way since it gained that bad reputation in the ‘70’s (but so did denim on denim and we’ve certainly embraced that). For more information on lighter bodied reds, how Beaujolais came about, what 'tannin' really means and the specific wines Miss Fox tasted (including the Lambrusco, which was only 8% alcohol, making it a wine you can practically drink for breakfast) listen to this episode of the Twisted Cork podcast!
Cheers to a great weekend!
Penny, a SAVVY Staffer
P.S. Thirsty for more? Check out our SAVVY Wine Shopper page for helpful shopping hints, live events and to join our private SAVVY Tasting Club, with Sommelier guided tastings, informative educational materials and like minded wine lovers!