The world of wine can be a confusing place. It seems like there are so many different types of wine that it would be impossible to learn about all of them. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. While there are a lot of different wines on the market today, you don’t have to know the details about them all. If you educate yourself in a select variety of wines, then that will arm you with enough information to make an educated wine purchase. Today, we are going to begin your wine education by giving you an explanation of the different wine types.
The first thing you should do is to educate yourself on some of the terms and practices used in the wine world. You can do this by reading the articles we have on this site and by reading wine cooler reviews. Once you have done that, you can finish your education with this article right here and learn about some of the available types of wine.
Red Versus White Wine
Okay, all of us here can tell the difference between a red and white wine, so I am not going to waste your time telling you something you already know. What I am going to do however, is tell you why red wine is different from white wine, and vice versa.
Wines get their color depending on whether the vintner leaves the grape’s skin in contact with the wine as it ferments. Skins contain tannin, a bitter substance that gives wine a dry, slightly bitter taste. If the vintner leaves the skins to ferment with the wine, then it will begin to color because of the accumulation of tannins. White wines are wines where the skin never ferments with the rest of the wine. The longer the skins ferment, the more tannin that’s released and the darker the color of the wine. The wine will then change color from white to blush to pink and then finally, to red. Red, of course, has the highest tannin content of all the wine varieties.
Red wine’s tannin content is the core of the wine. It not only affects taste but it also affects texture. The general rule is the darker the red wine the bolder it’s taste is. Because of their tannin content, you really want to avoid putting your red wine in your best wine cooler and lowering its temperature too much. That’s because tannin compounds get more bitter at lower temperatures, so be sure to never serve a red wine ice cold. Popular red wines include: Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
White wine’s tannin content is very low. It has some but not enough to change its color. That is why white wine has a slightly acidic taste to it. Popular white wines include: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling.
And that is all you really need to know about wines. Of course, this article is just a primer for newbies, so as you get more experienced you will want to further your education even more.
Today, we are going to cover the basic types of white wines. This guide is intended as a primer for those of you who have little to no experience with wines and isn’t intended for advanced wine drinkers. In this guide, I am not only going to show you the different types of white wine, but I am also going to show you what food pairs best with these wines and what you can expect when you taste each wine.
Before I start however, I want to emphasis that you need to purchase the best wine cooler available before you start trying out the different white wines varieties. That’s because white wine is particularly sensitive to temperature and needs to be stored correctly to get the best flavor out of the wine.
Chardonnay: This wine really gained a lot of popularity in the 1990s. This type of wine can be found in different varieties. There are Chardonnay wines that have a buttery texture, some that have citrus notes and some that are very velvety. All of these share one important characteristic, however. They all have a very voluptuous body. Chardonnay is best served with fish dishes or with light chicken dishes.
Sauvignon Blanc: This wine is a very versatile one. While all of the varieties of this type of wine exhibit a smoky quality, the primary notes of this wine can change from one to the other. For instance, there are brands of Sauvignon Blanc that have a herb taste to them and there are others that have more of a citrus note to them. Sauvignon Blanc is best served with salads, poultry (particularly duck) and seafood.
Moscato: Moscato is a sweet wine that always seems to have a fruity taste to it. Some varieties also exhibit sort of a grapefruit note to them, while others seem to be more musky. Moscato is a wine that is best served with desserts, but it can certainly be enjoyed on its own.
Pinot Grigio: Pinot Grigio is a dry wine that has a good bite to it. This best versions of this type of wine usually come from Germany and Italy, although there are many good versions made in the United States as well—particularly the versions from Oregon. Pinot Grigio is a wine that goes with just about anything, but its acidic profile makes it a good choice for Thai food or spicy Chinese dishes.
Riesling: Riesling is a fresh tasting wine that are usually lighter than Chardonnay wines and exhibit sort of apple aroma. This type of wine is particularly sensitive to temperature changes, so you should make sure to check out wine cooler reviews so you can select the best cooler possible. Riesling is best served with tuna, salmon, spicy Japanese dishes, chicken and pork.
Gewürztraminer: Gewürztraminer is a dry white that is aromatic and has either a fruity or floral taste to it. The best varieties of this type of wine comes from Germany, but there are some very good examples from both coasts of the United States. This type of wine is best served with fatty foods such as sausage and pork, but it is also a good choice to pair with most Asian dishes.
Today, I am going to explain to you what dessert wines are and the types that are available. Once you read this guide you will have all the information you need to not only purchase one of these wines but also to enjoy it. Dessert wines have always been a special pleasure for me and I know that once you try them out, they will be for you as well.
Before I begin this guide however, I want to give you one tip. Make sure that you have a good wine cooler before you purchase a dessert wine. That’s because these wines need to be served at their ideal temperature to taste their best. If you don’t own a really good cooler, then be sure to check out wine cooler reviews and select one that will suit your purpose. Now that’s been said, it’s time to get on with our guide.
Dessert wines can be broken down into 5 categories which include: Sparkling, Fortified, Sweet Red, Lightly Sweet and Richly Sweet. Each of these have their own unique characteristics. Let’s examine each wine individually.
Sparkling Dessert Wine
This is a very sweet wine but you might not be able to tell because its bubbles and high acidic content seems to cut the sweet taste. Just how sweet or acidic it is can be determined by the label. The less sweet versions (also called dry) have the words Demi-Sec or Semi Secco on the label. Sweet versions have the words Amabile, Doux, Dolce or Moelleux on the label. Of these sweet varieties, Amabile is the least sweet one.
Fortified Dessert Wine
Fortified wine is basically when a grape brandy is added to a wine. These types of wines can be either sweet or dry. Fortified wines have about 20% alcohol content by volume. Port, Sherry and Madeira are some of the wines in this category.
Sweet Red Wine
Finding a good sweet red wine is difficult these days because so many manufacturers are only making this wine in the cheaper varieties. However, there are still a few good ones left out there. These include Lambrusco, Brachetto d’Acqui, Freisa and Recioto della Valpolicella.
Lightly Sweet Wine
Lightly sweet wines are the ultimate dessert wine for fruit-based desserts or vanilla flavored desserts. That’s because they have a sweet, fruity or flowery taste to them. The best wines in this category usually come from Germany, although there are plenty of good American and French brands out there. Some of the lightly sweet wines on the market today include Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Müller-Thurgau and Chenin Blanc. These wines are usually best served cold, so be sure you have them in your best wine cooler at least 24 hours before being served.
Richly Sweet Dessert Wine
This type of wine usually uses the best grapes, aged over 50 years and is unfortified. As the name suggests, this wine is very rich and sweet. Some of the more common brands on the market include Sauternes, Tokaji, Vin Santo and Strohwein.
My last article on the basics of white wine was received so enthusiastically, I’ve decided I am going to cover the basic types of red wines. As in the previous article, please remember that this guide is intended as a primer for those of you who have little to no experience with wines and it isn’t necessarily intended for those who are well versed in wine. In this guide, I am not only going to show you the different types of red wine, but I am also going to show you what flavor profiles you can expect from each variety and what food pairs best with them.
A word of caution before we begin, however. While red wine isn’t as sensitive to temperature changes as white wines—in fact some are best served warm—it is still important to buy the best wine cooler available to store your wine. Especially if you are buying quite a few different varieties.
Shiraz: This type of wine is one that is usually crafted in Europe, but there are also some great Australian and American brands of this wine. Shiraz is a spicy full body red that has a blackcurrant overtone and may has some peppery secondary notes. It is a wine that is best served with roasted meats and wild game.
Merlot: This red wine is one that is recognized by just about everyone; both wine novices and seasoned pros. It often displays plum or black cherry notes and has less of a tannin flavor than its cousin, Cabernet Sauvignon. Because of the versatility of this wine, it can be paired with just about any type of food and it will complement it.
Cabernet Sauvignon: This wine has a full body taste that is sort of acidic. Because of the high tannin level of this wine, it is best to keep it stored at around 52 degrees so that it’s rich flavor profile isn’t altered too much. That is why you should check wine cooler reviews to find a cooler that can operate in this temperature range. A good Cabernet Sauvignon can be served with any type of red meat.
Pinot noir: Pinot noir can be describes as the exact opposite of Cabernet Sauvignon. Instead of a rich, viscous body it has a delicate and fresh tasting body. It often has a fruity flavor that is underpinned by earthy tones. It is best served with lamb, chicken, sushi and salmon.
Sangiovese: This is a medium body wine that is produced in Italy and California. It often has berry or plum undertones. Sangiovese is best served with Mediterranean and Italian dishes.
Barbera: This red wine has much of the same characteristics as Merlot, but isn’t as popular. It has a silky texture that has a good acid level and has black cherry notes to it. Barbera is a red wine that is best served with dishes that contain a tomato-based sauce, but its versatility really allows it to be served with just about any dish.