Selecting the perfect bottle of chardonnay for a lunch with friends or pairing some delicious Malbec with your next slow-cooked beef dish isn’t just for wine experts. Exploring the world of wines and learning what varieties you like isn’t just fun, it’s easy too.
If you’re new to the enjoyable pastime of wine tasting or simply want to brush up on your knowledge, read on. In this article, we’ll take you on a whirlwind tour of the different types of wine out there and help you choose the best one for different seasons, meals, and occasions.
Did you know that there are more than 10,000 varieties of wine grapes? Even though they aren’t all used to make wine, the sheer number of varieties grown in wine-producing regions around the world means you’ll have years of tasting pleasure ahead of you.
Every bottle of red gets its distinctive color from the presence of red grape skins during the fermentation process, while skins are removed in the production of white wines. Rosé wines are produced by removing the skins after some time or could be the product of red and white blends
Within each of these broad categories, you’ll find tens, if not hundreds, of grape varieties and blends. Knowing the typical flavor characteristics of each one will help you choose a wine that you’ll probably enjoy, especially if you’re pairing it with your favorite meal
With their golden color, crisp freshness, and the refreshing sweetness of the higher-sugar varieties, white wines are always popular, especially in the warmer months.
Dry white wines include Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay while Pinot Grigio and Viognier are examples of semi-dry wines. Dryness with white wine has to do with low sugar levels which leave a refreshing, slightly tart taste in the mouth
Sweet wines contain more sugar and maybe lighter in taste like Gewurztraminer and Moscato or slightly heavier like White Port
If you’re new to wine, you might want to start with sweet or semi-dry wine and work your way toward the drier varieties. When it comes to food pairings, you’ll want to enjoy dry whites with light meals like fish and salads, while sweet wines match well with spicy dishes, curries, and flavorful cheeses.
Those red grape skins we mentioned earlier play a vital role in creating the rich, deep flavors associated with red wines. They introduce tannins, a strong-tasting chemical compound, into each vat of wine. It may take several years for reds to mellow to the point where they become truly delicious.
Dry red wines include varieties like Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon while Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Merlot are medium-sweet. If you’re keen to indulge your sweet tooth you may want to choose a bottle of Zinfandel, Garnacha, or Lambrusco. Port is among the sweetest red wines of all
Sugar content gives sweet red wines their distinctive flavor. The higher alcohol content produces a heavier taste which wine experts refer to as full-bodied
Food pairings for red wines always tend towards meaty dishes, hearty stews and grilled beef, pork, or chicken. Vegetarian and vegan wine lovers can substitute that with lentil dishes, bean casseroles, and grilled mushrooms as ideal red wine matches
Rosé wines tend to share the characteristics of the red (and sometimes white) wines they’re produced from. Most rosé is ideal for salads, light grilled dishes, and outdoor cooking in spring and fall.
Whether you enjoy Californian sparkling wines or premium French champagne, you’ll enjoy the sense of occasion with this special type of effervescent wine.
The crispness and sense of celebration that accompanies every sip, be it sweet, dry, or medium, makes these wines ideal for special occasions. Ideal food pairings may include canapes, olives, and mild-flavored cheese, or classic french champagne and caviar for ultra-special events.
Dry sparkling wine is often labeled Brut with Demi-sec being sweeter. One confusing thing about champagne is that bottles labeled extra-dry are sweeter than Brut
Blanc de Noirs champagne is made from the juice of red grapes while Blanc de Blancs is made only from white grapes. You’ll also find rosé champagne offerings from champagne and sparkling wine producers around the world