Sunday, 20 June 2010
Précis: Korean plum wine vs Portuguese red wine
Cheongju - Korean Saké or rice wine aside - the most popular wines in Korea are fruit wines. 'Maesil ju' liquor, which is a kind of plum wine, is made from the fruit of the prunus mume tree, also known as a Chinese plum or Japanese apricot. Korean plum wine is typically golden yellow in colour and sweet like nectar but not strongly flavoured. At around 14% it's also as weighty as Aussie Chardonnay. Not only can you find it in Korean stores and restaurants but also in Chinese and Japanese equivalents.
The winemaking regions of Douro, and neighbouring Dao and Bairrada are where many of the better red wines of Portugal are made, whose secrets are an abundance of indigenous grape varieties, few of which are household names even within the country: look out for Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Baga plus Rioja's Spanish heart, Tempranillo, in Portugal called Aragonez or Tinta Roriz. Like their Spanish rivals they get better with age, and typically spend a minimum six to 12 months in oak before bottling and can improve over five years or more.