約兩年前,當我剛購買 iPhone 的時候,曾經搜索 iPhone 上關於葡萄酒的程式,但結果實在令我失望,一些所謂葡萄酒必備的最佳程式,似乎都是由一些不懂葡萄酒的人所開發,有些的內容甚至有不少的錯誤。事隔兩年,以乎終於有些改善。除了之前介紹過的 Wine Spectator Vintage Chart, Food and WineSlow Wine 2011 外,今次想推介的是 AG Wines。

這程式的內容相當豐富,例如當介紹葡萄品種時,除了介紹葡萄品種的特色,還會把各地區細分。例如介紹 Pinot Noir 時,便介紹了 Chile, Argentina, France, USA 和 Australia 的 Pinot Noir。它也會加入一些主觀性的評價 (但我大致同意它的評價)。以下是它有關法國 Pinot Noir 的介紹。

Pinot noir is the quintessential red grape variety of Burgundy and this is where it achieves its greatest expression. The pinot noir is known for being a particularly challenging grape variety, temperamental, highly sensitive to both overproduction (high yields) and temperature (as achieving optimal ripeness is challenging). Stylistically, pinot noir-based wines are all about finesse. Given its relatively thin skins, pinot noir typically yields lighter colored, lighter bodied, lower tannin wines. Flavors favor the red fruit side of the spectrum (think strawberries, cherries, and raspberries); other elements of the flavor profile include coffee, gentle spice, game, and earth.

It’s rarely found in vineyards in the South of France – they are usually too hot, Limoux AOC is an exception, and also the Haute Vallée de l’Orb. It makes it into the blend of local sparkling whites (with mauzac, chenin blanc, and chardonnay) to give them a more Champagne character. In the vineyards of theYonne (Northern Burgundy), the flavours tend to be light, fresh and delicate. Finally, in the Loire Valley, pinot noir comprises only a small portion of overall production, but quality is high and the wines are expressive.

除葡萄品種外,它對葡萄酒區的介紹也十分詳盡,除了大酒區如 Loire Valley 的介紹外,它還會把它再細分,作詳盡的介紹。以 Loire Valley 為例,它便介紹了 Anjou, Bonnezeaux, Bourgueil, Cheverny, Chinon, Coteaux du Layon, Menetou-Salon, Pouilly-Fume, Reuilly, Sancerre, Saumur, Touraine  和 Vouvray 等。

以 US$3.99 來說,真的非常超值。要批評的話,最大的缺點是它還未能覆蓋所有重要的酒區。例如勃艮第和香檳區都仍未包括在內,希望它能快些更新,覆蓋更多地區。以下是它對 Loire Valley 的介紹。

The Loire River Valley, with its cooler temperatures and mineral-heavy soils, offers some of France’s most impressive wines. The best part is that this region is still largely overlooked by the wine drinking public; as a result, Loire Valley wines are tremendous values.

The Loire consists of five sub-regions (running from west to east) — Nantais, Anjou, Saumur, Touraine, and Central Vineyards; the region’s mineral-rich soils are key to the complexity displayed by its wines.

The Loire is home to many fruity, friendly, yet complex ‘bistro style’ red wines based on the cabernet franc grape variety. For the best, look to the Chinon, Samur-Champigny, Bourgueil, and St Nicolas de Bourgueil AOCs.

If you are white wine lover, however, you are in for a special experience; this is where the Loire really hits its stride. The region is a veritable treasure of excellent whites:

• The ever-so-subtle and mineral-driven muscadets from the Nantais sub-region, the perfect pairing for shellfish.

• The Loire’s sauvignon blanc-based wines are the model for the rest of the winemaking world.  The best are from the Central Vineyards sub-region: Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé AOCs.

• The best of them all, however, are those based on the chenin blanc, which must be tasted to be believed; there are no better than those from the Anjou and Touraine sub-regions: Coteaux du Layon (half-sweet to sweet wines), Vouvray (off-sweet to half-sweet wines), and Savennières (dry wines) AOCs.

The Loire Valley is a region whose special wines are certainly worth exploring. Enjoy!

除此以外,最重要影響一支葡萄酒,往往是它的生產者。但這程式就沒有對任何生產者作出評價。

雖然如此,它仍是我至今見過內容最豐富的程式之一。

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