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What you've always wanted to know about wine ...

The top three wine questions asked at Campo Viejo winery

If there is one thing we know at Campo Viejo, it’s wine. We experience an endless variety of questions from visitors about our favorite subject and there’s nothing we like more than flexing our wine knowledge muscles; because we know that the more you understand about wine – from making it to drinking it – the more enjoyable it is.

Here, we answer the top three wine questions asked at the Campo Viejo Winery…

What is the difference between Gran Reserva and Reserva?

If they are made with exactly the same grapes, what actually makes them different wines? The answer’s in the ageing.

Essentially, the longer you age a wine in oak barrels, the more intense the flavor, color and aroma compounds of the wine in question. A Reserva wine will be ​aged for a minimum of three years, with at least one year in an oak barrel and two in the bottle. A Gran Reserva wine on the other hand, experiences the longest amount of time oak-ageing, giving it the most tannin structure and oaky flavor. A Gran Reserva wine will spend a ​minimum of five years ageing, with at least two of those spent in oak barrels and three the bottle.

Why do different wines need different glasses?

Wine glasses come in all shapes and sizes for a simple reason: to enhance the taste of the wine you’re drinking. Shape and size. These are the two differentiators for wine glasses, and its simplest to remember when working with the basic rule of three – red, white and sparkling.

For ​red wine​, the glass​ ​typically has a wider, larger bowl and a longer stem. It takes a little more time to bring out the flavors in a red, so the glass’ larger bowl makes it easier to aerate the wine, allowing the flavor and aroma compounds to develop.

With ​white wine​, the style of glass will be thinner and smaller. Most white wines are best enjoyed chilled, and a smaller glass will increase the temperature of the wine much more slowly than a larger one, so you’ll have more time to enjoy the wine cold.

When it comes to ​cava​, you want a flute with a thin, tall stem and a wide bowl with a pointed base (this will develop a fine stream of bubbles). This style of glass preserves the bubbles best for dry sparkling wines.

Why do we swirl wine?

Quite simply, it makes the wine taste even better. Much of the enjoyment from a glass of wine comes from the aromas – before you’ve even tasted it – and swirling wine will cause it to slightly aerate, releasing those aroma compounds.

Fancy giving it a try for yourself? Place your thumb and forefinger at the base of a stemmed wine glass and ‘draw’ little circles on the table. As you get better, you can try drawing these circles without a table beneath the glass!