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A Beginners Guide To Learning Wine

by Khushi Multani

A Beginners Guide To Wine

Have you ever wanted to learn about wine? Are you interested to know which wine pairs with which food item? Maybe you simply want to know about the different types of wine? We are here to tell you everything you need to know about wine.

So, Let’s get ready to get on this exciting ride and learn from the expert.

What Is Wine?

Wine is a fermented liquor made from the juice of grapes. It is an alcoholic drink. The grapes that we eat are different from the grapes which are used to make wine. The grapes which are used to make wine are of Vitis Vinifera species. Wine also has a biblical reference and has enough alcohol to get an individual drunk.

Types of wine

Different Types Of Wine

There are many different subtypes of wines, but the primary differentiation of wine can be categorized into three varieties: red wine, white wine, and rose, sparkling, and fortified wine.

Red Wine: It is usually identified by its dark fruity flavor and tannins, which typically make them a good pair with the food. Red wines are mostly aged.

White Wine: They are usually refreshing compared to red wines. They are very aromatic and have a touch of citrus, flowery, and orchard fruity flavors. They are lighter to drink and have low alcohol content.

Rose, Sparkling, and Fortified: Rose wine is paired with food in summers, Sparkling wine is usually popped during special occasions, and people prefer fortified wine after a big meal.

Basic Wine Terminologies You Should Know:

Acidity: Wine with the right balance of acidity and other factors will often add crispness and liveliness to your palate.

Aeration: The process of inducing oxygen to soften the wine

Body: The deeper categorization of wine is light, medium, and full-bodied. The weight that you feel of the wine in your mouth.

Corked: This means that the wine has been contaminated, and you can know this after the smell and taste of the wine that the bottle of wine has been ruined.

Complexity: A trait of wine that has a lot of depth and is rich in flavors and aromas.

Grapes For Wine

Earthy: Dry wines which have flavors of the earth and are most commonly found in red wines.

Jammy: The wine has been made of cooked fruit, especially the berries, which tastes like jam.

Nose: It describes the aromas and bouquet of a wine that helps our brain process the flavor.

Tannins: It creates a drying sensation in your mouth, and it determines how dry your mouth feels after taking a sip of wine. It also is related to bitterness.

Vintage: The yield of the wine from the vineyard during a particular season. The year of the wine, it was bottled.

Finish: The flavors and texture left in your mouth after swallowing the wine are the lasting impressions. A longer finish indicates good quality wine.

The 5 S Of Wines

See: To see the color, the best way is to either put the glass or hold it against the white background, in a well-lighted room, at such an angle that we can see the colors of the wine. It gives one an idea of the grapes and how old it is. The color saturation tends to go hand in hand with the taste of the wine.

Swirl: Without tasting the wine, one cannot say if the wine is thick or light. Thus, before actually taking a sip, one tries to determine the order in which the wine should be appealing to the eye and on the nose. Thus, swirling will help you determine whether the wine is thick, deep, viscous, or intense.

Sniff: The primary sense used in wine tasting is the sense of smell. It is the most important as it helps determine the wine’s quality by the complete aromatic experience. The bouquet also helps in recognizing any faults in the wine, which may make that bottle stale. Take your time and live the experience as this is a more incredible feeling than actually drinking the wine.

Sip: Take a slightly larger sip, hold the wine in your mouth for 2-5 seconds, and let it stay. After allowing it to coat the mouth, it comes in contact with the body heat and liberates the aromatic experience further. Here is where the complex taste experience of the wine actually commences.

Savor: The finish is the feeling you get after swallowing the wine, and it is pretty different from the taste you get on your palate. Truly extraordinary wines have an excellent lasting period, which is around 27 minutes. It is absolutely necessary to have a good balance.

Best Food Pairings With Wines

Food pairing with wine

Red Wines

 Pinot NoirShirazMerlotCabernet Sauvignon
Cheese/Nutsgoat cheese, brie, walnutssharp cheddar, Roquefort/ blue-veined cheeses; hazelnuts, walnutsParmesan, Pecorino-Romano, chestnuts, walnutscheddar, gorgonzola, walnuts
Meat/Poultry lamb, sausage, filet mignon(steak), chicken, muttonroasted game, pepperoni, spicy sausage, braised pork shouldergrilled meats, steakIndian meat curries
Seafoodahi tuna, salmonahi tuna, salmongrilled meatier fish, ahi tunagrilled ahi tuna
Fruits & Veggiesmushrooms, dried fruits, figs, strawberriescurrants, stewed tomatoes, beetscaramelized onions, tomatoes, plumsblack cherries, tomatoes, broccoli
Herbs & Spicestruffle, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloveoregano, sagemint, rosemary, juniperRosemary, juniper, lavender
Sauces mushroom sauces, light-medium red saucesBBQ, heavy red saucesbolognese, bearnaise brown sauce, tomato sauce
Dessertscreme brulee, white chocolateblack forest cake, rhubarb pie, coffee-based dessertsdark chocolate, berries, fonduebittersweet chocolate

White Wine

 Sauvignon Blanc/Chenin BlancChardonnayRiesling
Cheese/Nutsfeta, goat cheese, pine nutssemi-soft cheeses, almonds, and nearly anytoasted nutgouda, candied walnuts, or pecans
Meat/Poultrychicken, porkchicken, porksmoked sausage, duck
Seafood fatty white fish, oysters, scallops, lobster, shrimp, sushihalibut, shrimp, crab, lobstersea bass, trout
Fruits & Veggiescitrus, green apple, asparaguspotato, apple, squash, mangoapricots, chili peppers, pears
Herbs & Spices chives, tarragon, cilantrotarragon, sesame, basilRosemary, ginger, Thai or Indian spices
Saucescitrus and light cream saucescream sauces, pesto BBQ, spicy, chutney
Dessertssorbet, key lime pie, meringue, mangobanana bread, vanilla puddingapple pie, caramel sauce

How To Store And Serve Your Wine In A Right Way?

Storing wine can seem like a difficult task, but it is very easy to store and serve wine if done correctly.

Most of the time, White wine and Rose are ready to be served, and there is no need to lay them. You can have an excellent tasting red wine of good quality by carefully storing them in dark storage at 12-degree Celsius or 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wine cellar

A Few Do’s And Don’ts With Wines To Remember Before You Get Started

Do – Store wine at a proper temperature. Ideally, store it below 25 degrees Fahrenheit and above 68 degrees Fahrenheit or -4 degree Celsius and 20 degrees Celsius. The temperature should be stable; otherwise, it will increase the aging process and destroy the volatile compounds.

Don’t – keep your wine in your kitchen fridge for long. It dries the cork of the wine due to humidity and thus adds a musty smell to the wine unless it is a wine refrigerator.

Do – Store the wine bottles horizontally as it has maximum storage and easy access. Also, keeping the wine on the side will keep the cork moist and prevent the wine from getting premature.

Don’t – Store wine on the top of your fridge because it can ruin your wine via the vibrations that the compressor gives out when the cycle is on, and also, the heat generated from the refrigerator has high chances of spoiling your wine.

Do – Store wine at the proper humidity because the fluctuating temperature can have a negative impact on the wine, thus always keeping your wine at a constant temperature.

Wine corks

Don’t – Store wine upright for a long time because of the same reason that if the wine does not touch the cork, then it will get dry and result in malodorous wine. Therefore, keep wine upright for more extended storage of wine wherein the wine touches the cork and keeps it good.

Do – Store wine somewhere convenient as wine is supposed to be a conversation starter, and it is a warm welcome to the guests at home. Therefore, You should not store it somewhere away but at an easily accessible place.

Don’t – Keep wine at room temperature for a longer time as it is not a good idea to serve wine warm and store it at a warm place for a longer time as well. It makes the wine flat band dull.

Do – Keep your wine somewhere where viewing and choosing wine is more accessible as it is crucial to know your collection and where to find it.

Don’t – Store your wine under direct sunlight and harsh interiors because our usual household lights release heat which is not suitable for the wine, and UV rays are harmful too.

Common Wine Myths

All wines taste better with age: – Myth.

Only exceptional quality wines with high tannins help to preserve wine taste better with age. Most wines are supposed to be drunk within a couple of years of bottling.

Red wines should never be chilled: – Myth.

Best red wines to try when chilled are usually light to medium-bodied wines with low level of acidity. But never be afraid to experiment.

Wine in a box is mediocre: – Myth.

Don’t judge the wine by its packaging as it does not make the wine stale but is available in such a way in the market as they want it to make wine easy to be consumed.

White wine should be served ice-cold: – Myth.

Any good wine will taste good even if it is served cold or at room temperature. If the white wine is served too cold, you won’t be able to taste the flavors.

Screw top wines are garbage: – Myth.

Because of new technology, screw tops can be more dependable than the corks and avoid oxidation. The wines which have screw tops should be consumed within 2 years.

Chardonnay is always buttery and rich: – Myth

It depends on the soil it has been made in and on the winemaker.

Natural wines don’t lead to hangovers: – Myth.

It generally depends on the alcohol content and not the tannins, whether one feels drunk or not. Just watch out for the alcoholic content of the wine and drink a wine w high alcohol content only if you are looking to get drunk.

Sweet wines should be paired with desserts: – Myth.

Some wines do not have that level of sweetness which needs to be paired up with desserts. Thus, wines that have a touch of sweetness are not to be paired with desserts.

Wine tastes like the soil it comes from: – Myth.

Wine takes only those nutrients which they need for growth from the soil. So the mineral content of the soil does not come up in the taste of the wine.

Expensive wines taste the best: – Myth.

Some of the world’s most excellent wines are available at affordable prices. It mainly depends on the demand and supply factor.

Don’t you feel like a wine connoisseur already? No? I thought so.

We have a course on wines coming up that will answer all of your questions, and to top it up with, it is by Gargi Kothari, an expert in the same field.

Gargi Kothari Wine Workshop On Demand
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