How Much Do You Know About Wine -- Really?

How Much Do You Know About Wine -- Really?

Are you aware that there’s a difference in table grapes and wine grapes? Table grapes are bigger, crunchier, and have no seeds, while wine grapes are smaller, have thicker skin, and have seeds.

Do You Know the Different Wine Styles?

When you order a glass of wine dining out, most people don’t stop to think about which wine style they are ordering. The fact is there are nine different wine styles:

  • Sparkling Wine
  • Light-Bodied White Wine
  • Full-Bodied White Wine
  • Aromatic (sweet) White Wine
  • Rosé Wine
  • Light-Bodied Red Wine
  • Medium-Bodied Red Wine
  • Full-Bodied Red Wine
  • Dessert Wine

Pairing Wine with Food

Learn food and wine pairing basics and what to look for in a recipe to make great wine matches. A great food and wine pairing creates a balance between the ingredients of a dish and the characteristics of a wine. Here are some tips on how to pair wine and food.

  • The wine should be more acidic than the food.
  • The wine should be sweeter than the food.
  • The wine should have the same flavor intensity as the food.
  • Red wines pair best with bold flavored meats (e.g. red meat).
  • White wines pair best with light-intensity meats like fish or chicken
  • Bitter wines (e.g. red wines) are best balanced with fat.
  • It is better to match the wine with the sauce than with the meat.
  • More often than not, White, Sparkling and Rosé wines create contrasting pairings.
  • More often than not, Red wines will create harmonious pairings.

Learning to Identify Wine Flavors

Wine’s flavors come from aroma compounds —stereoisomers as scientists call them— that are released during fermentation.

So, when you smell wine, the alcohol evaporates into the air and carries these lighter-than-air aroma compounds into your nose. Each wine can contain hundreds of different aroma compounds and each compound can affect the flavor of a wine.

Our brains often have multiple responses to one stereoisomer. For example, the lychee fruit flavor in Gewürztraminer can also smell like roses.

Fruit Flavors in White Wine

White wines offer two main fruit types: tree-fruits and citrus fruits. The more you taste white wine, the more you’ll realize that the same type of wine will vary wildly depending on where it’s grown. For instance, tasting a Chenin Blanc from South Africa, will exhibit peaches and lemons, whereas Chenin Blanc from Anjou in the Loire Valley, France, will have much more lime and green apple fruit aromas. This has a lot to do with the climate where the grapes were grown.

Fruit Flavors in Red Wine

The first, most obvious flavors to identify in wine are the fruit flavors. Fruit flavors in red wines typically fall into two different categories: red fruit and black fruit flavors. Being able to tell the difference between the two types will make it easier to identify your favorite types of wine. Each wine variety can offer a range of flavors. For example, Pinot Noir generally exhibits red fruit flavors, but those can vary from tart cranberry-like flavors to sweet black cherry or raspberry-like flavors.

Wines with more black fruit flavors tend to be more full-bodied, including wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, but this concept is fairly reliable.

Learning about wine can be fun and enjoyable. We’ll be exploring more about wine in future blogs so visit us again for more wine know-how.

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