Wine, a short attempt at a description
Wine is one of the oldest cultural drinks of mankind and a complex natural mixture of well over a 1000 different substances. The composition is subject to fluctuations depending on the vintage,
it depends i.e. on the weather, grape variety, location and soil type, fertilization, harvest quantity, harvest time and cellar treatment.
The most important components of wine are water, alcohol, sugar, tartaric and malic acid. In addition, there are about 30 minerals, 25 other acids, 25 nitrogen compounds, 10 vitamins and hundreds of – partly still unidentified – extract and aroma substances in minute quantities. These also include substances to which pharmacological, health-promoting effects are attributed.
Every wine is produced through alcoholic fermentation. Sugar present in the grape must (measured in degrees Oechsle) is converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide by yeasts.
The great differences between – for example – a Riesling and a Gewürztraminer with the same alcohol, residual sugar and acid content are caused by substances that make up less than a thimbleful per litre and yet contribute decisively to the quality, individuality and development of the wine.
Wine development, aging
During the aging of wines, a variety of complex chemical processes take place, some of which are still unknown. Oxidation is probably best known and most important, i.e. the absorption of oxygen by phenolic substances (flavanoids). The decrease of the free sulphur dioxide level, the loss of carbon dioxide and the release of aromatic substances are also of great importance.
White and red wines age very differently, because red wines contain about ten times more flavonoids than white wines and therefore “tolerate” considerably more oxidation. This is even necessary; with increasing aging it provides the full-bodied, round taste of aged red wines.
Our white wines often astonish with their impressive lifespan.
There is a reason for this. Our careful harvesting and gentle processing of the grapes, as well as cooling the musts while settling the lees, results in increased – and desired – must oxidation. As a result, bitter substances are already precipitated in the must and
do not even reach the later wine.
Liberated from this ballast, the Riesling wines, carried by crisp tartaric acid, tangy carbon dioxide, high extract content and, whenever adequate, some residual sweetness, enter into a slow ripening process accompanied by freshness and fruit, unfolding incredible taste nuances.
Complex Spät- and Auslese, Beeren- and Trockenbeerenauslese, Eisweine, Barrique wines, Striehween need several years for their optimal development and, with appropriate storage, will keep for decades at the highest level.
The medium quality wines develop a little more quickly, but can get into a more or less severe “puberty” after about two years. During this period the wines sometimes taste more unbalanced and closed off than before. After that, however, the wines continue to develop beautifully, soon reaching their highest quality and keeping it for another ten to twenty years. Very simple wines show a steady, slight upward trend and last for three to five years.
As a rule of thumb for the life of wine, the simpler the wine, the sooner it should be drunk. Of utmost importance for optimal maturity in the bottle is the storage temperature, which should be between +10 and +18 degrees. Cooler wines mature somewhat slower, warmer ones a little faster.
Enjoying Stein Wine
We produce individual and authentic wines in our steep slate vineyards, from simple table wine to the complex “Striehween”:
light, uncomplicated entry-level wines:
Dry Riesling “Traubenflüsterer” in the liter bottle, off-dry Riesling”Weihwasser”, dry rosé “La vie” and the red “Cuvée X”.
medium level wines:
Dry Riesling Alfer Hölle, “Blauschiefer” and “Domwein”,
the light Spätburgunder “Red Light” and the Grenzgänger “Redvolution” and Elbling.
top level wines:
Dry and off-dry Riesling Kabinetts and Spätlesen from the
terraced vineyards Himmelreich, Palmberg and Alfer Hölle 1900.
Sweet Auslese, Beerenauslese and – unique in Germany – “Striehween”, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot.
The wine list is supplemented by elegant sparkling Riesling wines from the Klosterkammer vineyard and Rosé Seccos and smooth brandies.
Not drinking damages your health
There is no doubt that excessive alcohol consumption leads to health problems. And not just the morning after. However, there are also strong indications that not drinking is equally risky. And not only when drinking water.
More than a hundred serious studies on more than a million people from all over the world have come to the conclusion that abstinence leads to a significantly higher mortality rate than moderate wine consumption.
The results prove a clear health-promoting effect of both red and white wine, and this in comparison to the consumption of beer and spirits.
Various secondary plant compounds, so-called polyphenols, have a variety of healthy effects on the human organism. They have an anti-inflammatory effect, lower LDL cholesterol and the risk of thrombosis, reduce diabetes and osteoporosis and significantly reduce the probability of developing dementia or Alzheimer´s disease.
Moderate wine consumption correlates with higher life expectancy and better quality of life – regardless of age, sex, education, income, lifestyle, but directly due to its active ingredients. Depending on the study, moderate consumption is considered to be 0.4 to 0.6 liters of wine per day – for men. Women tolerate around 30 percent less because of their lower body weight and slower alcohol breakdown.
Which is why it must be good decision, in every respect, to produce wines that are rich in taste and aroma, but low in alcohol.
Wine & diabetics?
All dry and feinherb Stein wines are also suitable for diabetics. Yeasts prefer to ferment glucose under cold conditions. The remaining residual sugar therefore consists mostly of the largely insulin-neutral fructose. Our dry and semi-dry wines contain glucose values below the legal limit of 4 g per liter, even our sweet wines lie just above it with 5- 8 g of glucose.