Buying and Drinking Wine, and Everything in Between

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The history of wine dates back thousands of years and it has been made and enjoyed by people all over the world in almost every country and culture. Wine is an alcoholic drink, fermented from grapes and is a major feature on restaurant menus, at parties and wedding celebrations and is also enjoyed regularly by people at home. If you’re feeling down, you may want to reach to your dual zone wine cooler, and pop opens a bottle of Cabernet.

There are so many different varieties of wine, each with their own unique aroma, flavor, and features. Once upon a time, wine was viewed as somewhat of an elitist drink, enjoyed only by the wealthy or so-called “wine buffs”. These days however, it is universally bought and enjoyed by people from every walk of life.

In this article, we will explain everything that you need to know about buying and drinking wine, and everything else in between.

1. What Are the Characteristics of Grapes Used to Make Wine?

The grape is the most important determinant of wine’s taste, aroma and quality, and so learning about grape varieties will help you to identify the perfect wine for you. The experts at WineCellarHQ.com explain that the type of grape used in each bottle of wine will be right there on the label so it is a simple task to know exactly what you are drinking. The grapes that are used to make wine are different from the regular grapes that we eat. They are smaller, sweeter and more grainy. 

There are two different colors of grape used in wine production: red grapes and white grapes. Here are some of the most common varieties used and the features and food which they are most associated with.

Red grapes

There are many varieties of red grape that are used to make wine but two of the most popular are Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each grape produces different flavor notes but typical flavors of these grapes are coffee, dark chocolate, blackberries, cigar boxes and tobacco. Choosing the right dishes to match with your wine is really important and recommended foods to pair with red wine are red meat, strong cheeses and dark chocolate.

White Grapes

When it comes to white grapes, some of the most popular are Chardonnay, Chasselas and Chenin Blanc. These have fresh, citrus flavor notes like lemon, lime, apple, peach, pear, pineapple and vanilla. White wine should be matched with lighter meals and recommended dishes to pair with white wine include fish, pasta and salads.

2. How do you Correctly Taste Wine?

There are 4 main steps to take when tasting wine:

Observe

Pour no more than half a glass, and always choose a thin and clear glass so that you are able to observe the color of the wine. Check the color, opacity and viscosity. For old, high-quality red wines, you will observe a dark brown color whereas younger, cheaper wines are more ruby in color.

Swill

Don’t rush the tasting just yet. Swill the wine gently around the inside of the glass to observe the adhesion more closely. Never grip the body of the glass, hold it at the stem so that you don’t disturb the taste of the wine.

Smell

Put your nose into the mouth of the glass to smell and experience the natural and unique aromas of the wine.

The smell of wine is divided into 3 main categories:

  • Primary Scent: from the grapes themselves.
  • Secondary Scent: from the fermentation process.
  • Tertiary Scent: from the aging process.

Taste

This is the final and most important step to experiencing the wine. Take a little sip of wine and let it roll over your tongue. Allow a little air into your mouth, because that will enhance the flavor notes.

3.   How to Choose a Good Wine?

There are thousands of delicious wines in the world with almost limitless vintages and price tags. You can easily become confused if you don’t have any experience and selecting quality wine can be difficult.

Before you plan to buy a wine, identify when you will be drinking it. If for example you want to have dinner with family you need to know what food you will be cooking in order to pair the wine and food correctly.

If you are planning to give the wine as a gift, try and find out what kind of wine the recipient enjoys so you can choose accordingly. If you are buying wine for a big celebration, Champagne or Prosecco are usually your best bet.

The most expensive wine is not always the best, so don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune. Do some research and check out user reviews online and it will help you to make the right choice.

There are so many different vineyards, vintages and Chateaus, all of which promise their wine is the finest available. When it comes to wine however, it is all about personal preference. The great thing nowadays is that there are so many wine stores with their own in-house experts, as well as the massive amounts of information online, that it has never been easier to make an informed wine decision.

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