Wine is used to make a regular meal and an extraordinary experience or a typical hangout into a memorable moment. Wine can, however, be very intimidating, especially if you are new to it. Wine is very different, and each has its taste, and when wrongly matched with a certain food, the result can be devastating. Wines often have very complex descriptions, some of which you need to learn. According to research, knowing the wine you are taking makes it's tastier and more enjoyable.
Whether you are a beginner or a profession in the wine industry, the following article will give you a breakdown of everything you need to know about wine and how to make the most of the wine.
The most basic guide to wine is understanding wine according to its color and where it gets its color. Wines are made from grapes, and grapes contain a substance called tannin. When the grapefruit ferments, the skins may allow the tannin to get into the wine. Contact with the skin is what gives the wine the white or red color. Wines that have the coats on when fermenting will have more tannin, and they often end up red due to the contact with the skin. Wines that have no skin contact end up having less tannin, and they are white or pink as grapes are naturally white inside.
Redwine can describe as bitter or firm due to the tannin in them. Tannin also makes it smooth or soft and bolder. Tannins get bitter when cold, so it is not advised to drink chilled red wine. Some examples are merlot pinot noir and Malbec.
White wine does not have enough tannin but has some acidity. A flat wine will have small acidity, and white wine with enough acidity can be described as tart
Some popular white wines are chardony semmilion and moscato.
Rose is ordinarily pink in color. It has minimal contact with the skin; thus, the pink color and low tannin.they are more similar to white wine. Examples pinot noir and zinfandel
What Is Dessert Wine and Sparkling Wine
The rose, red and white wine typically have an alcohol percentage of 14% and below. Some different wines are however modified, and some alcohol is added in them, and this makes the sparkling wines
Dessert wine is mostly taken after a meal. Brandy is generally added to the wine. The wine retains its natural sugars, which aids in fermentation.
Sparkling wine is a type of wine that has significant carbon in it. The carbon can occur naturally during fermentation or can be added typically. The wine can be made either red or white, and the wines indicate whether they are sweet or dry. Champagne is an example of sparkling wine.
There’s no right way or wrong way to taste wine. It’s as simple as, do you like what you’re drinking or do you not like what you’re drinking? That said, there’s a formal way to taste wine that reveals more about the wine in your glass, even before you start drinking. Before we start tasting wine let us learn a bit about it.
Wine is the fermented juice of grapes Sugar + Yeast = Alcohol + Carbon Dioxide (CO²) The sugar is in the grape juice and the yeast is present on the grape skins and in the air Fermentation ends when the alcohol reaches around 15%
Three major types of wine
• Table wine: 8-15% alcohol
• Sparkling wine: 8-12% alcohol + CO²
• Fortified wine: 17-22% alcohol (All wine fits into at least on of these categories)
Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from fermented grapes. Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol, carbon dioxide, and heat. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different styles of wine. Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes. ... Wine has been produced for thousands of years. The earliest known traces of wine are from Georgia (c. 6000 BC), Iran (c. 5000 BC), and Sicily (c. 4000 BC) although there is evidence of a similar alcoholic drink being consumed earlier in China (c. 7000 BC). Quoted From:
A glass of red wine (5 ounces) a day has long been praised as good for your ticker. But newer research has also linked moderate alcohol consumption — including white wine and other beverages — to lower risk of heart failure and improved blood pressure.
The Winemaking process Freshly picked grapes are sorted De-stemmed and crushed Placed into a vat with (red) or without skins (white) Fermentation occurs (4- 20 days) Pressed Barreled and aged Filtered and bottled
Most wine is made with grapes, but they're not like the ones you find in the grocery store. Wine grapes (latin name: Vitis vinifera) are smaller, sweeter, have thick skins, and contain seeds. There are over 1,300 wine grape varieties used in commercial production but only about 100 of these varieties make up 75% of the world's vineyards.
A wine beginner might know the basic differences between a red and a white, but it’s also important to learn all the wine types and varietals. You can explore everything from Chardonnay to Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon to Zinfandel
Top Red Wine Varietals and Taste
The two are related: Cabernet Sauvignon is a cross between Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. But Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine grape, and has success in many parts of the world, most notably in California's Napa Valley and France's Bordeaux region, where it is blended with other grapes to make stately red wines
Taste: Dark, ripe fruits, black cherry, plum, spice, vanilla, cedar or oak from barrel-aging
Notable Growing Regions: Grown in every wine producing country, well known styles from California, France (Bordeaux)
Food Pairing: Grilled meats, roasted meats- beef, lamb
A good Pinot Noir is one of the safest red wines, along with Merlot, to serve to a big group of people. ... Like many other regions of France, Pinot Noir producers do not refer to their Pinot Noir wine as Pinot Noir, but instead call it red Burgundy, after the region where it's made
Taste: Red fruits, bright cherries, strawberry, some spice, vanilla,
Notable Growing Regions: France (Burgundy), California, Oregon, Australia (Yarra Valley), New Zealand (Otago Valley), Italy (Northern)
Food Pairings: Light, flavorful meats - duck, pork, chicken thighs; mushrooms; salmon and heavy flavored fish
Bordeaux Red Blends (Meritage)*
*Mimic the style of Bordeaux reds from the Bordeaux region of France. This blend is generally dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, but also utilize other grapes like Cab Franc, Merlot, Malbec
Taste: Big, bold, dark fruits,; savory flavors; mineral flavors; tannic (drying); cedar, oak, vanilla
Notable Growing Regions: Produced through out the world, notable from California, Chile, similar to Bordeaux blends from France
Food Pairings: Smoked meats, roasted meats; lamb; firm cheese
Malbec is a full-bodied red wine that grows mostly in Argentina. Known for its plump, dark fruit flavors and smoky finish, Malbec wine offers a great alternative to higher priced Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. However, there's more to Malbec than just value
Taste: Dark berry, cherry, black pepper spice, cocoa, wet earth
Notable Growing Regions: Argentina (Mendoza), France
Food Pairings: Pasta, Barbecue or grilled meats, spicy food
Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the color of the grape.
Taste: Raspberries, strawberries, mineral, cedar
Notable Growing Regions: France (Bordeaux), Washington, California, Italy (Tuscany), Australia (South Australia)
Food Pairings: Many foods from chicken and pork to dark meats
Top White Wine Varietals and General Taste
Chardonnay is the world's most popular white wine, and for good reason. It's made from green-skinned grapes that adapt to a variety of climates, and they produce versatile wines in many price points. Chardonnay can be crisp and clean, or rich and oaky
Taste: Wide range depending on stye; lemon, apple, pear, bright fruits; mango, pineapple, peach, tropical fruits; vanilla, butter, baked goods, coconut
Notable Growing Regions: France (Chablis, Burgundy), Italy, California, New York, Australia (South Australia)
Food Pairings: Fish, lightly seasoned chicken, soft cheeses
Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine that owes much of its popularity to winemakers in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley in France. The Sauvignon Blanc taste is very different from other white wines, like Chardonnay, because of its green and herbaceous flavors.
Taste: Green fruits, lime, green bell pepper, pear; stonefruit, kiwi, peach; oaked, vanilla, coconut, butter
Body: Medium to Medium-heavy
Notable Growing Regions: France (Bordeaux, Loire Valley), Italy (Northeast), New Zealand (Marlbourough, Hawkes Bay), California, Chile
Food Pairings: White meats, chicken, pork; white fish, shell fish, lobster, clams; soft, sour cheese
Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris*
*The same grape, called Pinot Grigio in Italy, Pinot Gris in France
Taste: Italian, lime, pear, sour apple; France, lemon, honey, honeysuckle; U.S., white nectarine, ripe stonefruits
Body: Medium to Medium-heavy
Notable Growing Regions: Italy, France, U.S.
Food Pairings: Fresh fish, green salads, shell fish
Rosé is a type of wine made from red wine grapes, produced in a similar manner to red wine, but with reduced time fermenting with grape skins. This reduced skin contact gives rosé a pink hue and lighter flavor than that of red wine.
Taste: Varying styles; Light, rose petal, underripe strawberry, limestone; Medium, strawberry, summer fruits; Heavy, ripe fruits, floral, spice hints
Body: Light to Medium-heavy
Notable Growing Regions: France, Spain, California, Italy
Food Pairings: Dependent on style anything from light salads to barbecued meats
After you’ve tasted the wine, now you have the opportunity to consider the wine’s quality. Here are some of the questions to ask yourself:
- Is the wine in balance? This is a question referencing the notes you made in the tasting section. Wines that are “in balance” have tastes that are balanced between one-another including acidity, tannin (if it’s a red), and alcohol level. While different wines have different intensities, a quality wine will be in balance with itself.
- Is the wine complex? If you have a great deal of tasting notes for this wine and can still think of more, you’ve got a pretty complex wine on your hands.
- What is your opinion? Now that you’ve properly assessed the wine, what do you think of it (overall)? We use a very simple 3-point system for this assessment (ew, meh, yay!) but you can use any kind of rating system that works for you.
At first glance, a wine label can be confusing to those just getting started. Luckily, New World wine producers have made it easier on wine beginners by listing the grape(s) directly on the label. Old World regions have typically relied on the wine consumer to be familiar enough with the region to know, for example, that Red Burgundy is Pinot Noir.
Old World Wines might read like this:
Château Moulin de Grenet 2009 Lussac Saint-Émilion
New World wines might read like this:
Cakebread 2006 Merlot, Napa Valley
When you go to smell the wine, stick your nose all the way into the glass and close your eyes — sure you might feel silly doing it, but you’re going to notice a lot more smells this way — then breathe in deep. As you smell the wine, think about what scents you’re picking up, and keep in mind that there are no wrong answers! If it’s a white wine, maybe you smell bananas, lemon rind, pineapple or even that scent that is always in the air when you go to the beach. If it’s a red wine, you may smell prunes, cherries, strawberries, peppers, plums or tobacco. In both situations, you may say you just smell grapes, and that is totally fine too. Your brain can only pick up scents that are in your memory, meaning they are scents you’ve smelled before or smell often. That’s why ten people could be sitting around a table smelling the same wine and say they smell ten different things!
How To Describe The Taste of Wine
If you are running a wine discussion, identifying the different types of wine may be just the tip of the iceberg. You have to give the wine more description, mostly how the wine tastes. Though the taste of wine sparkles a lot of debate, some certain assets are generally agreed-upon. To get the taste of the wine, you have to understand how to describe the taste you are getting full. The following are used to describe the taste of the wine
1. Sweetness. Wine can either be sweet or dry. Some are semi-dry with a little sweetness.
2. Acidity. Since you already know this is in white wine, the acidity level will determine the taste. Lower acidity makes the wine fat," and if too much, the wine tastes sour. The right level of acidity makes the wine crisp.
3. Tannin. This is for the red wines. Lower tannins in a glass of wine make it smooth and soft and more drinkable. The more the tannins, the bitter the wine is.
4. Body. The body is determined by the viscosity and the weight of the wine. Some wine is like water and feels thin while others are full-bodied and feels thick.
Something else to consider when tasting wine is the flavors. Some flavors may be present in the wine includes fruity, earthy, among others.
- The oldest winery that we know of is Armenian, dated to 4100 BCE.
- The Phoenicians spread wine around the Mediterranean in the tenth century BCE, introducing the drink to the ancient Greeks, who in turn inspired the Romans to become wine fanatics and grow grapes across their empire.
- The Greeks and Romans took their wine seriously, dedicating gods to their favourite fermented fruit juice. Dionysus was known as the god of the grape-harvest to the Greeks, while Bacchus was the deity of choice for Roman oenophiles.
- People have been drinking too much wine for centuries. Everything from the Odyssey to the Bible mentions the perils of overconsumption.
- Thomas Jefferson may be responsible for the California wine boom. After being sent to France, Jefferson brought vine cuttings back to the United States.
- 2017 saw a drop in global wine production to a level not seen in sixty years thanks to poor weather conditions.
- 2020 Due to Corvin 19 wine sales hit very high sales numbers while people were social distancing.
187.5 ml Piccolo or Split: Typically used for a single serving of Champagne.
375 ml Demi or Half: Holds one-half of the standard 750 ml size.
750 ml Standard: Common bottle size for most distributed wine.
1.5 L Magnum: Equivalent to two standard 750 ml bottles.
3.0 L Double Magnum: Equivalent to two Magnums or four standard 750 ml bottles.
4.5 L Jeroboam: Equivalent to six standard 750 ml bottles. (In sparkling wines a Jeroboam is 3 liters)
4.5 L Rehoboam: A sparkling wine bottle with six standard 750 ml bottles.
6.0 L Imperial: (aka Methuselah) Equivalent to eight standard 750 ml bottles or two Double Magnums.
9.0 L Salmanazar: Equivalent to twelve standard 750 ml bottles or a full case of wine!
12.0 L Balthazar: Equivalent to sixteen standard 750 ml bottles or two Imperials.
15.0 L Nebuchadnezzar: Equivalent to twenty standard 750 ml bottles.
18.0 L Solomon: (aka Melchoir) Equivalent to twenty four standard 750 ml bottles.
All wine is stored at the same temperature, regardless of its color. But reds and whites are consumed at quite different temperatures. Too often people drink white wines too cold and red wines too warm, limiting how much you can enjoy the wine. A white that’s too cold will be flavorless and a red that’s too warm is often flabby and alcoholic.
Ideally, whites should be between refrigerator temperature (40°F) and storage temperature (55°F) and reds should be somewhere between storage temperature and room temperature, which is often as high as 70°F. If your wine is in a temperature-controlled unit, at 53-57°F, pop your bottles of white wine into the refrigerator half an hour prior to service and take your reds out of storage half an hour prior to service. This allows time for your whites to chill and your reds to warm up. If you have yet to invest in a wine storage refrigerator and your wines are kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator, you’ll do the opposite. Put your reds in the refrigerator for half an hour and take your whites out of the refrigerator for half an hour. Dessert wines, sparkling wines and rosés are best enjoyed at a cooler temperature than whites. Refrigerator temperature will do the trick.
Wine handling and serving
People often forget the basics of handling the wine when opening it. To successfully open a wine, you need to carefully insert the screw in the cork and twist about six half turns. Lever the cork out slowly and wipe any sediments
It is vital to serving the wine in the correct glassware. A wine glass needs some space to gasp the tastes and the aromas properly
• Small bowled glasses are best for serving white wine. They help maintain a cold temperature while preserving the aromas.
• Large glasses are suitable for serving bolder red wines. The expansive space helps the wine taste smoother while allowing ethanol to evaporate.
• Standard glasses can serve regular red wine. The small vase allows you to taste the flavors when drinking the wine.
A Few Tips:
Invest in decent stemware. Look for glasses with medium-sized bowls, which are versatile enough for all wines, and thin rims, which always make wine taste better. Hand washing will keep them looking their best, but if the stems are dishwasher safe, use only the top rack.
Be sure to pour the proper amount of wine into your glass to get the best possible wine experience.
- When drinking red wine, bring the bottle to the glass and gently pour your red wine until your glass is half way full. ...
- When serving white wine, wrap a napkin around the neck of the bottle for insulation before pouring.
Add yourself to the store’s email list to stay informed about in-store events and sales. Attend free tastings to “try before you buy.” Ask for bargain wine suggestions—clerks are happy to share great finds.
Any time a wine is topped with a cork, it should be stored on its side. A cork is used as a topper because it expands in the neck of the bottle to protect a wine from oxygen. But if the cork starts to dry out, it will start to let air inside, causing premature oxidation.
No Drip Method
Rotate the bottom side of the bottle away from you as you deliberately stop pouring. This trick does require some practice for perfection but it should throw any last tiny drips off route to the back of the bottle. You can also use a napkin or paper towel to catch drips.
What makes a wine have strong or weak tannins depends on how long the juice sits with the grape skins, seeds and stems after the grapes have been pressed. The longer the skins, seeds and stems soak in the juice, the more tannin characteristics they will impart. This explains why red wines have stronger tannins than white wines. When producing a red wine, the winemaker wants the skins to impart more color, thereby adding more tannins to the juice. Further, by extracting the characteristics of tannins, they are able to add deeper complexity to the wine.
Keep experimenting. Tasting is the key to learning about wine. So continue to try new ones, in addition to sticking with tried and true favorites.
The Whole U Speaker Series was thrilled to have Dr. Michael Wagner, assistant professor of Operations Management at the Foster School of Business, join us to explore the fascinating world of wine. Watch this video to learn about wine regions and varietals, wine characteristics, tasting terms, how to read labels, classical pairings, markups, and ratings.
The ability to sniff out and untangle the subtle threads that weave into complex wine aromas is essential for tasting. Try holding your nose while you swallow a mouthful of wine; you will find that most of the flavor is muted. Your nose is the key to your palate. Once you learn how to give wine a good sniff, you’ll begin to develop the ability to isolate flavors—to notice the way they unfold and interact—and, to some degree, assign language to describe them.
To drink wine, start by pouring it into a wine glass so that it's about half full. Then, swirl the wine around in the glass to intensify the aroma. Next, take a small sip of the wine and swish it around in your mouth to absorb the flavors. After 5 seconds, swallow it and take note of the taste it leaves in your mouth.
Food and wine pairing
To properly pair the wine and the dishes, you need to balance the components of the wine and the foods. You can choose to contrast the taste of the wine and the nutrition or you can consider the intensity of the food and the wine you want to serve.
Some tips to successfully pair your wine with the food include
• The acid in the food should be less than in the food
• The wine should be more sweet compared to the food
• Red meat is best paired with red wine while white wine is good with fish and chicken
• Rose and sparkling wines are mostly not the best wine to pair your dishes with
• It is more important to use the sauce to make the pairing other than utilizing the meat
The above are the necessary steps that you need to learn when it comes to wine. This vast knowledge is beneficial, especially if you are looking to make something extraordinary from the ordinary routine. The above tips are enough to make sure you weigh in in the next wine debate.
The pairings suggested in the infographic are mere guidelines, there are no set in stone rules for wine pairings, everyone’s taste buds are different and matching food and wine is a matter of personal taste.
The truth is, there are myriad factors to consider when evaluating and buying wine. Apart from the obvious fact that each person will have his or her own preferences and opinions on what makes a good wine, each bottle will vary depending on the geography and climate that the grapes were grown in, the type and generation of grapes used, and how the grapes were treated from the time they were harvested until they entered the bottle.
Andrew Baker, our fount of endless knowledge and Buyer Director, shares his expert insight into the world of wine and what's on the horizon in 2020. In this video blog we talk through latest trends, including the increasing demand for provenance and the low sulphur movement, and touch upon his top tips for great value wines to look out for next year. So, sit back, plugin, and get clued up for the year ahead!
- 2 bottles Sauvignon Blanc
- 1/2 bottle Peach Wine
- 3/4 bottle Cranberry Wine
- Bag of cranberries
- Bag of frozen peaches
- 1 liter Sprite or 7up
Mix ingredients and allow to sit in refrigerator for 6-12 hours prior to serving. Serve chilled.
- Peach Wine
- good quality vodka
- fresh-squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
- club soda
- peach slices for garnish
- mint for garnish
- Fill a tall Collins-style glass with ice.
- In a cocktail shaker mix equal parts wine, vodka, and grapefruit juice
- Pour the combined wine, vodka, and juice over the ice, then top off the glass with sparkling water or club soda.
- Garnish with a slice of peach or a sprig of mint.
As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Oeuvres complètes en seize volumes
Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.