Wine Knowledge

Wine Knowledge

  • Wine Tasting
  • Wine Types
  • Wine Labels
  • Wine History
  • Red Wine – To Chill Or Not To Chill

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting can seem a bit daunting, but it was designed to help people enjoy the wine. Wine tasting is all about using all of your senses which is described as the five S’s.

See notice the wines color against light. The color can give you a prequel to the flavor. Also notice the leg, tilt the glass a little to the side and let the wine slid back down this shows the rate of evaporation of alcohol.

Swirl swirling puts air into the wine which increases the flavor.

Sniff after swirling the wine sniff it and try to associate the smells. Your sense of smell is usually stronger than your sense of taste. In fact half of what you think you taste is what you smell.

Swish take your first small sip and breathe in some air as you swish it around your tongue. You will notice different flavors as the wine rolls across your tongue. You can also feel the texture of the wine.

Swallow after swallowing relax and enjoy the finish of the wine. You will notice a certain crispness lingering on the back of the tongue.

To learn more contact for a wine pairing and wine class.

Wine Types

Types of Wines

There are five types of wine, it is useful to know a little about all of them

Red wines the type of grape and the time it is aged will determine its flavor and color. Red wine is made by leaving the crushed grape skin in with the juices; this is an important step because the color is leached from the skin. They can also be aged longer so they have a strong robust flavor.

White wines are usually made from pale green or golden grapes. They are more delicate with a lighter taste. They will not hold as long and are best served chilled.

Blush Wines this wine is made with red wine grapes, but the skin is removed so there is only brief contact. These are light wines best served chilled.

Sparkling wines are put through a second fermentation adding sugar and yeast to create carbon dioxide. This wine is usually made with the green grape.

Dessert wines are wines were more sugar is added to aid the yeast in higher alcohol content. Dessert wines are sweeter and are usually served after a meal has been consumed.

Wine Labels

About 10 years ago when I first started studying wine my Husband and I decided to have some friends over for a wine tasting. We all met at a wine store to purchase the wines. Every guest was to pick out one red and one white of their choice. This was just as fun as drinking it later. We were all trying to pick what we would be the best wine, but the majority of the group knew nothing about wines or wine labels. In fact most of the wines were picked by how pretty or original the label was.

Labels can be just as complex as the wines.  Wine labels are dictated by the government this helps with deportation and point of sale of wine.

The USDA has five minimum requirements; brand identification, class or type, location where bottled, alcohol content, net volume.

Very few labels actually tell what the wine will taste like. The description on the back label is not governed, but are words used to market the wine.

So picking a bottle is a lot like pairing a wine, it takes no great skill only an appreciation.

Wine History

More than 6,000 years ago man began cultivating and fermenting grapes. The basic simple process of making wine breaks down to: grow, pick, and crush the grape. Then it is placed in a cask to ferment which means the yeast and the sugar react and make ethanol and carbon dioxide. Then the wine is placed in bottles to mature. Of course that all sounds very simple, but we left out all the details that make a fine wine. These details are grape Varity and its origin. You also must take in count what type of cask is used to ferment the wine in. Then of course is how long to age it, which is based on all the other details, some wines age better than others.

This was an abbreviated version of the Miracle of Wine. To learn more contact us for a wine tasting and wine class for you and your friends.

Red Wine – To Chill Or Not To Chill

If you are storing your wine at room temperature (and you don’t happen to live in a wine cave in the hillsides of Burgundy), then chances are the bottle needs to be chilled before serving.  Most reds are best enjoyed at temperatures ranging from 55F to 65F, but the average room temperature is about 70F (or in Florida a lot more).  Serving wines too warm will emphasize the alcohol rather than the flavor and aroma nuances.  For lighter reds like Pinot Noir, Beaujolais or Cotes du Rhone, put the bottle in the fridge for about an hour before serving.  A medium-bodied Rioja or Chianti might chill down for 45 minutes, while a powerhouse Australian Shiraz or a big California Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel would benefit from half an hour of chilling out!