Wine is a complicated topic that is a part of many cultures, geology, agriculture, and history around the world. So, where can you start learning about wines when there are so many details that can overwhelm you?
For many regions and for the longest time, the kind of wine is associated with the region where it was first made. However, the regional lines become blurry over time, as many previously unique factors in France are also adapted in countries like the USA. It’s now time to get information that can easily be grasped by anyone wanting to learn about the wine.
Fundamentals of Wines
1. What are the Most Popular Varieties Out There?
There are over ten white and red noble grapes that you can find around the world. They range from zesty white, clear to the deep dark reds that are popular in many countries. Some will prefer the Pinot Noir made from the lightest red grapes and the Sauvignon Blanc, which is considered herbaceous and green.
The sweet white varieties like the Riesling to Syrah’s dark reds can be tried by anyone who is over 18 years old. You can also develop a personal preference once you get to taste each of them, and you become good at handling the drinks.
2. What are the Popular Wine Regions?
The top three wine-producing countries are Spain, France, and Italy. Many vineyards and owners have mostly made a cellar for wine cooling, and each country supplies the bulk of what the world consumes. The second reason why they provide most of the supplies in many countries is that they are the producers of the best wines.
While Italy and France commonly compete for production, they are also trying to reduce each year. Some of the major grapes found in France are Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Trebbiano Toscano.
In Italy and Spain, the value and quality of their wines remain at a premium for decades. The vineyards in Italy are producing Sangiovese, Prosecco, and Montepulciano. You’ll likely find wines made from Airen, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Garnacha in Spain.
3. Why Do Some Wines Have Tart Taste?
Now that you have a good idea of where wine is coming from, you may find out more about their flavors’ characteristics. You may notice that some of them may taste tart, and this is called acidity.
The burn or the warmth that you may feel on your throat after you drink it is its alcohol content. In some cases, these fermented drinks may leave you with a dry or bitter taste. This bitterness is associated with tannin, and you can learn other characteristics in other sources.
4. Why Does the Drink Taste Sweet Even without Sugar?
In many parts of the world, this taste is commonly called fruit-forward. Some may ask about how it is that the drier grape varieties without residual sugar taste sweeter than other wines? The factors may include the region where the drink came from, oak aging, and grape variety used in the making.
For example, if you got a Malbec from Argentina and another Malbec from France, you can be sure that the former will taste more delicious and sweeter. You can read more about Malbec here: https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-are-malbec-wines-3511186. The regions are essential factors that will affect the overall flavor of the wine.
5. Learning the Badass Way of Drinking in a Social Setting
If you go to a lot of 5-star restaurants, you can be sure that you’ll be presented with a list of their expensive bottles. You don’t have to panic, though, as you can learn the basics of wine and the social etiquette associated with it if you take the time to do so. Even in the most intense situations, you can find dinner to be enjoyable when you know the following:
Swirl, Taste, and Clink Glasses
The act of swirling will improve the flavor by decanting your drink and coating the glass with aroma. Hold the bottom of the glass with your two fingers and make circular motions while standing or while the glass is on the table.
When it comes to tasting, you need to look for the opacity and color first. Note the intenseness of the red color or the richness and viscosity of the drink. Take time to smell and make sure that it will be a big sniff. Take a sip the size of mouthwash and ensure that the liquid coats your entire tongue. Notice if it makes your tongue feel dry or if you can name a mineral, fruit, or spice.
There’s also clinking etiquettes that you should follow through. Make sure that you find a clinking buddy, angle the glasses so that the rim is away from your friend while the bells are aligned. Clink the glasses gently and look for those sustained rings.
6. Why the Tastes Vary Every Year
You may see this happen to you. You found an awesome bottle, and you bought a lot of its kind. Eventually, you stash the bottles into the cellar and take a sip on your first stash. You end up trying the second one after a month, and you notice that it tastes different. You don’t have to worry since you are not crazy!
You can check the vintage to make sure that you don’t fall prey to Vintage Variation. This happened when the bottle came from regions with cooler climates. If you love Pinot Noir, you can be sure that the higher variable weather in the region,
Vintage variation means the difference in how a wine will taste year after year. This is based on the weather’s influence on certain grapes when they are in a growing season. Many regions in the world have highly variable climates, and the poor timed bad weather may devastate the production of the drinks for that year.
Rain at the end of a growing season may lead to lesser flavors as the grapes will be more watery. The frost may kill new flowering buds, and dampness will affect younger vines. Fortunately, many vineyards and producers can handle these climate changes, so it’s better to look for them if you want to have great-tasting wines.