We have compiled some basic information about wines. This could be your starting point about wines and enjoying wine for beginners. Hope you enjoy enhancing your basic knowledge on wine and find this an exciting experience into the World of Wines. The Three Main Types of Wine

Still Table Wine

Alcoholic strength, usually 8 – 14.5% (by volume).
Red Wine: made from red grapes
White: Made from white grapes, or red grapes without skins, giving a colorless juice
Rose:  Usually made from red grapes only (the skins are removed when sufficient color has been obtained).

Sparkling Wine

Alcoholic strength usually 13- 14% (by volume)
First as still wine is made, then the sparkle is obtained either by a second fermentation in bottle (Methode Champenoise) or by a second fermentation in tank (tank or chamat method). The effect can also be obtained by injecting carbon dioxide gas under pressure.

Fortified Wine

Alcoholic strength usually 18 – 21% (by volume). White or red wine to which grape spirit (Brandy) has been added either after fermentation (eg. Sherry, Marsala, Sercial and Verdelho Madeira) or during fermentation (eg. Port, Malmsey and Boal Madeira).

Since you know the different types of wine, check out

Know your wine tasting vocabulary

Check out some of the common Wine Tasting Words – enrich your knowledge on wine!

Acidic: A sharp, citric taste

Aftertaste: Also known as FINISH. Describes the taste left in your mouth after swallowing the wine

Aging: Letting wine get older to develop it’s flavor

Apple: A crisp, fruity flavor that you find in some Chardonnays

Aromatic: Grape varieties that have a spicy character, such as Riesling

Balanced: A good mix of all components in a wine

Bitter: An aftertaste, usually associated with tannin or the fruit of young wines

Body: The feel of the wine in your mouth, light, medium or full depending on the wine’s alcohol and extract

Buttery: A flavor descriptor in reference to rich, full-bodied Chadonnays that has gone through malolactic fermentation

Closed: A young wine not yet expressing its bouquet or flavor

Complex: Wines with many different positive qualities often compounded flavors

Crisp: A great apple freshness in white wines

Decanting: Cellar-aged bottled wine is poured slowly and carefully into another vessel, usually a glass decanter, in order to leave any sediments in the original bottle before serving

Dry: A wine that is not sweet

Fruity: A wine with good fruit extract

Gamy: Rough and ready

Grassy: Slightly vegetal-tasting undertone often of the overall character of Sauvignon Blancs and certain other grape varietals

Legs/Tears: When an alcoholic wine is drunk and the glass is put back down, drips of the wine slide back down the inside in long streaks, looking sort of like legs.

Nose: The bouquet of wine

Oaky: The toasted vanilla or coconut smell and taste imparted by oak barrels

Palate: Describes how the wine behaves in the mouth cavity, primarily used to summarize flavors & textures

Round: Flavors and tactile sensations giving a feeling of completeness with no dominating characteristic

Short: A wine with little aftertaste

Soft: A well-rounded wine with mature tannins and little evidence of acidity

Tannic: Red wines have tannins, which gives you that dry, astringent taste derived from the stems, pips and skin of the grapes

Taste: The basic sensations detectable by human tongue. Scientific opinions defines these as sweet, salty, sour and bitter.

Tight: A term for young wines

Toasty: The barrel smell and taste imparted in oaked wines

Unbalanced: Excess of one or more elements in wine

Vanilla: Component detectable in the nose of a wine Well-balanced: Perfect harmony between all the wine’s elements

Now, that you understand some of the basic Wine Tasting Words, check out our Guide to Wine Tasting page and learn how to perform your own wine tasting.

Guide to wine tasting

Tasting wine and getting a personal feel of the wine differs with every individual. In order to judge a wine for its unique character, one should have a strong sense of smell and a palate to truly feel the taste. While the general consumers of wine are not professional sommeliers or connoisseurs, lets check out how to taste wine.

Open a bottle of wine, we recommend a number of corkscrews to make this starting experience fun. Pour a glass, maybe a third of the way full. Always hold your glass by the stem, so your hand doesn’t warm up the wine and you have no fingerprints on the glass that might interfere with checking the clarity of the wine. Proceed your tasting session with…

Color: Examine the wine both from the side and top. We recommend holding up the glass to the light, preferably against a white background. How is the color? Is it consistent? The wine itself should always look clean and bright.

Bouquet: Swirl the wine around so the edges of the wine just reach the top of the glass. The swirling motion has released a set of odors. Now sniff the wine and try to describe what you smell. Does it smell of fruits, flowers, vegetation, vanilla, honey and even organic fragrances of leather, oak, wood, coffee beans or chocolate?

Taste: Something worth knowing about tongue – that gives you the taste of wine. The tongue has different “zones” which senses different flavors. The tip senses sweet, the front sides salt, the back sides acid and the very back bitter. Now, take a third of the wine from the glass into your mouth and swish it around onto your entire palate to examine the texture, and finally, the aftertaste – the flavor that lingers in the mouth once you have swallowed or spit out. How does it feel in your mouth? What flavors can you taste and smell? What aftertaste continues to appear? Did the wine seem balanced, or was it too sweet or tart? You can now keep a note of the different types of wines you taste and enjoy.

Since you now understand how to taste you wine, like the professionals, isn’t it important to know how to correctly pronounce those different types of wines? Check out …Correctly Pronouncing Wines Made Easy!

Correctly pronouncing wines made easy

Nothing can be more annoying to be afraid of embarrassing yourself because you were not sure how to pronounce the names of the wines you liked.

Well, hope we can make you better pronounce the names of several of these wines.

Barbera (bar-bear-ah): a red grape variety.

Beaujolais (boe-zho-lay): light, fruity red wine.

Cabernet Franc (cab-er-nay frahn): a red grape variety.

Cabernet Sauvignon (cab-er-nay so-vee-n’yon): a red grape variety.

Carignan (cair-ih-n’yahn): a red grape variety.

Chablis (shah-blee): a white grape variety.

Charbono (shar-bo-no): a red grape variety.

Chardonnay (shar-doh-nay): a white grape variety.

Chenin Blanc (sheh-nan blahn): a white grape variety.

Chianti (ki-ahn-tee): a red grape variety.

Dolcetto (doie-chet-oh): a red grape variety.

Gamay (gam-ay): a red grape variety.

Gewürztraminer (guh-vertz-truh-mean-er): a white grape variety.

Grenache (greh-nah’sh): a red grape variety.

Merlot (mer-low): a red grape variety.

Mourvedre (moor-ved’r): a red grape variety.

Muscat (muss-kat): a white grape variety.

Nebbiolo (neh-b’yoh-loh): a red grape variety.

Pinot Blanc (pee-no blahn): a white grape variety.

Pinot Noir (pee-no n’wahr): a red grape variety.

Riesling (reece-ling): a white grape variety.

Rioja (ree-oh-hah): a red grape variety from Spain.

Sangiovese (san-joe-vay-zeh): a red grape variety.

Sauvignon Blanc (so-vee-n’yohn blahn): a white grape variety.

Semillon (she-mee-yohn): a white grape variety.

Syrah (see-rah): a red grape variety.

Viognier (vee-oh-n’yay): a white grape variety.

Zinfandel (zin-fan-del): a red grape variety.

We hope our guideline to the basics in wine was fun and a learning experience, especially for the beginners. You can now judge for yourself, what Wine & Food Pairing you enjoy most. But remember, the Wine Cellar Express helps you age your wine to perfection in 30 minutes, the EZ VAC Wine Saver helps retain the freshness & flavor of your partially used bottle of wine for weeks, The Perfect Corkscrew makes opening a new bottle of wine so easy and always use Vin Chilla to chill your white wine…4 minutes is all it takes. Enjoy moderate wine…for your healthy lifestyle!

Want to learn more about wine and food ???