Ernest Hemingway describes wines beautifully - 'Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.'
Wine making and tasting both are highly developed arts. Assuming you have turned 21, and want to learn about wine tasting, here is information on wine with the most frequently asked questions.
What is Wine?
It is an alcoholic beverage which is made typically by fermented grape juice. It is made out of grapes because, the chemical composition of grapes allow fermentation without any additives like sugars, enzymes, or acids. Wine is made by crushing grapes with the use of many types of yeast. The yeast eats up the sugar which is present in the grapes and converts it into alcohol. Now, let us look at the two types of wines - red and white.
What is the Difference Between White and Red Wine?
There are many differences between these two, some of the main differences are related to their taste, the wine making process, and the way they are served. Red wines are made using grape juice which contains skins, stems, and seeds. This is done for maceration, where the juice is allowed to mix with the woody bits, which allows the finished product to contain tannins. The tannins give the red wine its complexity, also reds are heavier. On the other hand white wines are made with the skin of the grapes separated, and then fermented, which gives them their light character. Red wines are served at room temperature, while white wines are served chilled. There is another type of wine called 'ros', which is in pinkish color and not a very popular one as it is in minor production. Ros wine has a refreshing taste, and it is also served cold. But, start with a good white wine, as it is the lightest.
What is Wine Tasting?
Wine tasting is sensory evaluation of a wine. To check a wine fill one third of a wine glass with the wine and sniff it, then swirl it, inhale it while sipping, swish it in your mouth, swallow, or spit it. Try to enjoy every sip more than the last and note down how it feels. Some common terms used to describe wines are bitter, clean (free of foreign taste), dry (not sweet), fine, sparkling (wines that have tiny bubbles slowly rising when the bottle is uncorked), strong (powerful alcohol content), sweet, etc.
How to Select the Best Wine?
Select a bottle of wine which has a liquid level fairly close to its neck when the bottle is standing up. But as the wine ages the level will decline, so select one which has the best levels. Make sure there are no visible signs of leaks, to check this try turning the capsule, if this happens easily with a high level then you can be sure there is no significant leakage of the bottle. Another important point to remember is that if you open a bottle of wine which smells like wet cardboard, then return it to the store as it has gone bad.
How to Serve Wines?
Serving the right wine is important. White wines like chardonnay should be served with dishes which have creamy gravy, and dishes of cheese, and shellfish recipes. For light recipes like fish or chicken a white wine Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice. For moderate to heavy foods serve red wine like Pinot Noir. For Italian dishes like pastas and pizzas red wine of Zinfandel can be served. To serve the wine use wine glasses and pour the wine one-third high in the glass.
So, select some good wines and remember the above tips on wine tasting for beginners to evaluate the different kinds of wines!