We are delighted to welcome wine and spirits journalist and presenter, Adrian Smith as a guest contributor to Der Kern. Over the coming months Adrian will be recommending wines to impress even the most discerning of dinner party guests, along with advice on how to correctly store your wine so it can be enjoyed to its fullest.
“Wine aficionados everywhere will understand the importance of storage and ensuring bottles are kept according to the varietal. Important factors to consider are temperate, humidity, darkness, and the angle at which the bottle is sustained. Why, you might ask? Correct storage allows for the wine to continue aging properly so when you uncork, you still have a fine tasting wine. Keep in mind though that wine packaged for immediate consumption (or non-aging wine) will begin degrading from the day the bottle is corked but can survive a hefty 8-12 months without much quality loss if stored in the right conditions. Without paying attention to storage factors, you risk aging a bottle of wine and its quality and lifespan. Most wines should only improve with age.
While many products exist on the market claiming to be up to the challenge, the Miele Freestanding wine conditioning unit with FlexiFrame and SommelierSet has all the necessities and more. This is the ultimate wine connoisseur fridge that not only looks the part but also has all the parts. The all in one unit allows not only for the optimum storage of wine, but also has a preparation station and glass-chilling racks perfect for white wines and champagnes. All equipment is on hand and easily accessible alongside all your bottles. Adjustable racks hold and suit every size and variety, so all bottles can be positioned ideally. For your favourites or the highlights of your collection, the Selector presenter lets those bottles appear slightly raised under the soft light in the unit.
Before wine should be served, however, the bottle should be at the correct temperature. In most fridges, there is one temperate panel for the entire unit, which would leave those who enjoy different varietals needing to purchase multiple fridges. Realising the importance of having separate temperature options, Miele designed the KWT6834 SGS Wine Conditoner with three temperature zones. Each zone can be temperature controlled individually so your reds, whites, and champagnes are totally safe and can be properly stored in the same location under the perfect conditions. Once the temperature is set, the DynaCool system continuously circulates cold air to ensure uniform temperature as well as maintain a 70% humidity to prevent corks from drying out.
Wine, in an essence, is based on chemistry, even the smallest differences to the environment whether it be temperature, something in the air, or even light can directly affect the wine’s composition. Air quality in the Miele Wine Conditioner is controlled via the Active AirClean Filter. Using a combination of active charcoal and chitosan, all odours are eliminated. While instances in the air are known to alter chemical composition, light is also a culprit. In addition to an air filter, the KWT6834 SGS has an integrated UV filter within the specifically made tinted safety glass. Flush LED lighting on the inside provides the right light but does not heat the surrounding air.
Miele has truly thought of everything. You can entrust your most prized bottles to the careful protection of the Miele Wine Conditioner. Pour and sip without fear.
As Winter comes around, here are some top picks to drink as the temperatures begin to plummet and you seek warmth from the comfort of your home.
Festive Sparkle, White & Rosé
On the nose a burst of fresh citrus and lemon peel with freshly sliced apples and a distinct sweet toasted macadamia nut. On the palate, there's a crisp and clean medium body. A delightful combination of fresh red /green apples, extremely well balanced citrus and pear. A delicate fizz enables you to truly enjoy the palate as a little hazelnut and macadamia come into play before a long, vibrant and refreshing honey crisp apple on the finish.
Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
A vibrant explosion of green and fruit based vegetal notes erupt from the glass. A mixture of green and yellow peppers with a little tomato and a sweet timber that lingers. The taste offers a hint of oak, pleasant on the mid-palate while still bringing forward that staple acidity you'd expect with a little pink grapefruit on the finish.
Lychee, vanilla, ripening strawberries and a fresh sea breeze on the nose. More of those stable tropical notes you expect on a good Provence rosé. Fresh Granny Smith apples with a little freshly cut grass also noticeable. Extremely refreshing. The palate gives you a mellow and relaxed flow - apricot and nectarine with a sweet ting upon the finish.
The Winter Warmers
A huge robust black plum kick is immediate on the nose with dark chocolate cocoa. There's a wonderful elegance about the nose that leaves you wanting yet another sniff. On the palate, a gorgeous and sweet-acidic berry concoction comes to play. Oozing with vanilla, milk chocolate caramel and bright tannins. Voluptuous and delicious!
Paraje Altamira, Argentina
Super complex with so many delicious flavours going on inside the bottle and silky tannins that just roll off the tongue. A sensational deep red colour presents itself upon pouring, with incredible notes of strawberry and cherry jam, stewed plums and a touch of clove. This boldness and intensity of flavours continues on the palate with a well-balanced acidity and an incredibly long finish. A must-have for every Malbec lover.
What an exceptional wine. For someone who is into their sweeter style wines, this is a stunning example of sparkling reds. Specifically, Shiraz, it comprises the same density and boldness (2008 vintage) as a dry shiraz from Southern Australia, but has a distinct light sparkle and sweet ting to it that makes me want to keep coming back for more. One of my favourite wines of the year so far. I couldn't recommend this more and urge you to buy a bottle and explore it yourself!
Four Vines Biker Zinfandel
Biker Zinfandel is an absolute gem, showcasing some seriously bold flavour combinations. Rich dark fruits, raspberry pie, burnt brown sugar, hot vanilla and a slight spice with very little tannins sit in the glass. It's smooth and my goodness can you get through a lot of it.
Sonoma is globally renowned for producing some A class Zinfandels and this is by far no exception to that rule. A spicy wonder, lush black fruits and a big push of raspberry. A bloody good structure with a little earthiness to it that balances things out. By far a Zinfandel wonder oozing with vibrant and jammy flavours that take you into a long and excitable finish! Yum.
The Rioja Reserva is part of the Beronia collection series, showcasing some of the better vines within their holding. A voluptuous and soothing dark plump black cherry is what you'll come to find straight off the bat. This is brought together by a dusting of dark chocolate cocoa, cassis and layers of tobacco leaves. The taste offers a flow of ripened red cherries, red currants and ripening plums. There's a slight sweetness that really brings together the flavours alongside subtle tannins that linger on the palate.
The nose is flooding and oozing with dark berry brambles, blackcurrant, dark cherry and ripe black plum bound with a sweet freshness a little fresh grass and toffee. Continues to evolve as the wine opens up. Upon taste, you're presented with fresh meadow berries, ripe with a lovely finesse. Dark brambles, black cherry and fresh blackberry liquorice hit the mid-palate with slight tannins reaching the back of the tongue. A little cedar oak with freshness and gorgeous tannins that end the story in perfection. Beauty.
A deep rich hue of sticky blackberries and brambles with a wonderful glazing of thick plum jam and brown sugar. There's a light tobacco and cocoa dusting that graces the nose, continuously evolving with every minute that passes. The palate gives you a plethora of deliciously ripe brambles, black cherry and blackberries enhanced by subtle white pepper and a dash of vanilla before developing into climatic finale once the tannins come into play. Sweet, sophisticated and complex.
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