Ask an Expert

 

Teresa Gomes is one of Portugal’s foremost wine consultants and wine educators who handles the technicalities of production for Vinatic. She was named as the best Portuguese sommelier of the year 2017. We are so grateful for the enthusiasm and expertise she brings to Vinatic!

Ask Teresa anything and learn from the best, without all the fuss. Below are some questions our Vinatics have previously asked. If you don't see your question, drop us a line in the form below or when we run weekly Ask an Expert sessions on Instagram

And, if you're really itching to learn more, Teresa is exceptional with her wine classes, private sommelier services, or even a tour around Lisbon's hidden wine gems. Take a look HERE.

What you've always wanted to know about wine...but were too afraid to ask 

What does hand harvested mean, and why is that important?

Manual harvesting means that the grapes were harvested manually, as opposed to mechanical harvesting. This way, the harvesters can select the best bunches and arrive this way into the cellar in one piece.

Then, the winemaker can decide if s/he uses the full bunch or not. With mechanical harvesting, only the berries arrive to the cellar. If the vines are old or planted on a slope / mountain, this is the only possible way to harvest.

Intimately related to European wine countries, especially some Denominations of Origin such as the regions of Champagne (France) or Douro (Portugal).

Many times, around the world, these grapes harvested by hand go exclusively to the best wines of the winery.

 

What is a rosé wine? I’m guessing it’s not just a mix of red and white wine.

Rosé wines are made from any red grape. There are several ways of making it. Let me to share the most common way – maceration method.

Grape skins come in contact with the juice before fermentation starts. The red pigment is on the grape skins, and so the winemaker can control how "pink" s/he wants the wine to be.

Then, regular wine fermentation it happens.

 

What is a Vinho Verde? Google Translate says it’s green wine?! 

Vinho Verde is a Portuguese "Denomination of Origin" - basically a name of a region where unique wines are produced. It extends across the northwest of Portugal along the Atlantic ocean border.

So, it actually has nothing to do with the color of the wine. From the Vinho Verde D.O., you can enjoy a glass of white, rosé, red or even a natural sparkling wine.

 

I was told screw-top bottle wines are cheap and low quality. Is that true?

Screw-top bottle wines can have poor and good quality, so the answer is both true and false. We can’t judge the wine only by its bottle closure.

What is a fact is that wine in a screw-top bottle is not going to improve - it can’t breathe. That only happens if there is a natural cork in the bottle.

Many producers decide nowadays to use screw-tops, which are made of metal and plastic, for their line of ready-to-drink wines. They choose natural corks for the ones that require time to improve in the bottle.