One of the most common questions that people new to the world of wines ask themselves is what sort of wine actually appeals to their taste buds. The simplest way to dive into the complex world of wines is to identify the various styles that appeal to you. You don’t need to know any special terminology to understand the various types of wine and to distinguish between different types of vintages and different wine regions. All you need to do is understand a few basics and keep it simple. A few things that you need to ask yourself is whether you like savory tastes or vegetal aromas, whether you prefer tartness or sweetness in your wines and whether you want delicate, light bodied or richer wines.
Vine Vera reviews the different types of wine available in the world
With more than 1300 types of wine to choose from, it always helps to start off with the basics. Here is a small summary of some of the most popular wines found in the world today.
- Pinot Grigio
- Sauvignon Blanc
Dessert Wines – Dessert Wines are known to be extremely sweet and are normally taken with a dessert course. Some of the most popular dessert wines include –
- Ice Wines
- Late harvest Rieslings
Fortified Wines – Fortified Wines refer to wines that are infused with brandy or other spirits during the fermentation process. Many of these wines are known to have a sweet taste. Some of the most popular fortified wines include –
Rose Wines – Rose Wines are considered to be medium sweet pink colored wines that are usually made from dry grapes. The skins of these grapes are included for the first few hours to give the wine its unique color. Sweeter rose wines are considered to be more popular among those who are new to the world of wines.
Sparkling Wines – Sparkling wines include wines that contain carbon dioxide bubbles, a natural byproduct that comes out of the fermentation process. One of the most famous sparkling wines in the world is Champagne.
Finding flaws in your wine
As with everything else, there are good wines and there are bad wines. However, this does not mean that all bad wines are those that are inexpensive. The main reason for the wine to go bad is a flawed winemaking process. Poor storage facilities and bad corks can also lead to a wine going bad. This is why understanding how to taste wine is so important.
The ability to be able to sniff out one wine from the other is something that most people desire to have, but very few actually manage to achieve. As complex as wine tasting might sound, it is actually quite easy to understand. The first thing that you need to do is hold your nose while you swallow a sip of wine. To your surprise, you would find that the flavor is completely muted. Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with your wine. The key to tasting and understanding your wine is your nose. Therefore, once you understand how to smell wine, you should easily be able to distinguish one wine from the other.
The first thing that you need to do is to be focused and become methodical. Make sure to make it a habit to focus your attention to the appearance, smells and tastes of the wine glass in your hand whenever you get the chance. Run your experiences through your mental checklist and try to figure out type of wine you just tasted.
A few questions that you need to ask yourself are –
- How intense is the smell?
- Is the wine oaked?
- Can you identify the flavors?
- Is the wine sweet?
- Do you feel the presence of alcohol?
- What is the acidity level of the wine?
- How long does the aftertaste last for?
Tips for serving wine
Before you begin to understand how to serve wine, you need to remember that it is imperative to serve your wine at its complete best. To do so, you need to look at three aspects – Temperature, Glassware and preservation.
Temperature – All wines are stored at the same temperature. However, different types of wines are required to be served at different temperatures. In fact, people drink white wine that is too cold and red wine that is too warm all too often, thereby limiting the amount of enjoyment that the wine offers. Here is a list of the ideal temperatures at which different types of wines should be consumed.
- Dessert Wine, Sparkling Wine and Champagne – 40°F
- Chardonnay and Chablis – 48°F – 52°F
- Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot – 64°F – 66°F
- Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio – 45°F – 48°F
- Pinot Noir – 60°F – 64°F
This is easier said than done. As a golden rule of serving wine, you should ensure that you serve white wine chilled and red wine after allowing its temperature to rise a little.
Glassware – Most wine glasses are shaped to cater to the defining characteristics of different kinds of wines. Even though wine can be served in almost any glass, it always helps to have a glass that has been designed for the type of wine being served. The best thing to do is to buy a nice set of stems for your house. The rewards that you reap from these glasses are well worth the effort.
Preservation – Proper preservation is the key to saving leftover wines. Your wine can deteriorate quickly if it is allowed to come in contact with air. To make sure that you slow down the deterioration process, use a vacuum pump to suck out the excess air. Remember, the lesser the air in your wine bottle, the more its lifespan.
Wine with Food
There are different kinds of wine that go well with different types of food. Yes, you can serve any wine on those family get-togethers and dinners with friends, but serving wines that go well with the food can help you to take the entire experience to a new level altogether. However, before you understand what wine goes well with which food item, you must remember these three important tips.
Tip No. 1 – Bitter Food + Bitter Wine is a really bad combination.
Tip No. 2 – The wine should always be sweeter than the food it is being matched with.
Tip No. 3 – The wine should be more acidic than the food it is being paired with.
Here is a list of the various kinds of food dishes and the wines that pair well with them
Salty Food Dishes such as potato chips, sushi, chicken, fish, popcorn and fries – Sparkling Wines.
Vegetable Dishes such as salads, roasted vegetables, chicken and flaky fish – Veltliner, Vermintino, Muscadet, Albarino, Trebbiano and Pinot Gris.
Spicy Dishes and Cuisines such as Oily Fish, Indian, Thai and Chinese – Torrontes, Chenin Blanc, Riesling and Moscato.
Creamy Dishes such as creamy pastas, creamy soups, quiche, lasagne and French cuisines – Marsanne, Viognier, Semillon and Chardonnay.
Richly Flavored Dishes and Cuisines such as spicy dishes, Mediterranean, Indian and Moroccan cuisines – Most varieties of dry rose wine.
Mushroom based dishes such as risottos, pork chops, white pizzas, chicken pies and mushroom soups – Zweigelt, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Counoise and Carignan.
Roasted Dishes such as pork, duck, sausages and lamb –Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Merlot, Zinfandel, Tempranillo and Carmenere.
Rich Meats such as barbecued meat, smoked meat and roasted meat – Petite Sirah, Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sweets and Desserts such as soft cheese, ice cream, cookies and cakes – Port, Madeira, Late Harvest Wines, Sherry, Sauternes, Vin Santo and Muscat.
With these pairing suggestions your food will surely be matched properly with wines, making a well balanced and delicious meal! We hope to inspire you to learn more about wines and try new types with different foods. You can even a wine tasting or a dinner party with paired wines. Vine Vera recently held an event celebrating their wine inspired collection and unveiling the new Resveratrol Cabernet High Potency Powder. The gourmet dinner with wine specially selected to pair with each course and a Vine Vera product was called Wine & Vine.
Have we gotten you inspired to host your own dinner with wine pairings or try out a new type of wine? Let us know in the comments!