Witty Wine Week: Gender of Grapes
Wednesday July 18, 2018
We all have been surrounded by wines – in the dinners, we take with friends, during that rainy season you feel like drinking a glass or two, or a momentous celebration worth opening a bottle of Champagne [BUY NOW].
Drinking wine [BUY NOW] almost all the time can make you knowledgeable about wines, making us feel like we are somehow experts in our own right. But there is still this satisfying feeling to know to continuously learn something about our most favourite drink.
Did you know that grapes have the gender?
Grapes are always known to be grown in the wild. The difference between those [wines] found in the wild and the ones that are cultivated and harvested in wineries has something to do with gender. Yes, grape varieties have genders too like most plants. But this situation is not always the case.
Wild vines have both male and female plant varieties whereas those in vineyards are considered as a hermaphrodite. To explain, the wild vines reproduce sexually and the blooms that will grow on the wines can either be male or female. Meanwhile, for those breeds specifically by growers, these grapes have what is called as ‘perfect’ flower – meaning it is both male and female.
In reality, it takes both gender to bear more fruits, so hermaphroditic grapes are often found [and are preferred or desirable] in wineries because they are self-pollinating. Also with this setup, a lot of other factors can be controlled by the wine houses in order to get that ultimate concoction inside a well-designed glass bottle.
Interestingly, there are wine grapes that are called as hybrids. Though, there is still a debate for some if hybrid wine grapes deserve a spot in the fine wine category. In the world of fine wines, there is only one king – the terroir. This is one angle we can look into as to why hybrid grapes still have to prove itself to oenophiles and critics. Still, it is something fun to know.
Hybrids, as they are called, are grapes that have been engineered to resist any diseases and are considered as productive. These grapes have known to start in France as a measure to create a solution or counter against phylloxera (an infestation that eats the roots of the grapes which started in the United States).
Here are some hybrid grapes for your reading indulgence and as a reference for the next wine purchase you will make.
Invented during the 1930’s by Jean-Louis Vidal, it is a cross between French-American Rayon d’Or and Trebbiano (or French Ugni Blanc). It is described as having thick skin with incredibly rich flavour and high resistance. Vidal blanc’s other characteristics are being versatile (crisp, dry, or tingly icy wines) and have distinguishable fruity, citrusy flavours.
Food to pair with: tuna, poultry, or sweet fruits.
A hybrid grapevine that was recently developed by the University of Minnesota in 2006. Marquette is described to be light-bodied, high in acidity, and has a rustic character. Its complicated flavour profile makes it quite a learning curve to produce but winemakers have a new approach for this complex wine grape, and that is to use less new oak.
Food to pair with: Chilis, sausage, cheeseburger.
This vine is used to create a delicate and aromatic drink with notes of flowers. Made from a clone of Pinot Noir and American-French hybrid, Vignoles is also called as Ravat. This hybrid wine is something for those who are in love with Riesling [BUY NOW].
Food to pair with: Cheese, tropical fruits, spicy peppers.
A hybrid vine created during the mid-20th century that is considered to have strong resistance against cold weathers. This is used to create white wines and is said to be productive with an early ripening stage.
Food to pair with: Seafood, salad, poultry.
Looking for other single-vine variety? Visit our Buy Now store for other selections.