Wine 101- basic wine tips for beginners

Drinking wine is an enjoyable experience but understanding all the intricacies surrounding wine can be a bit overwhelming. From learning how to open the bottle to how to store the wine and everything in between is enough to make your head spin. No worries, we have you covered. So grab your favorite glass of wine and sit back and enjoy.

Know the wine types- Wine can be grouped into five basic groups. Keep in mind that even within these five groups there are hundreds of different varieties as well as different wine making styles. So many wonderful types of wine to enjoy.

  • Red- This type of wine is made from black grapes and can range from a light to a bold flavor. Some of the most popular red wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. If you’d like to learn some fun facts about red wine, click here
  • White- The classic chilled wine type that is made primarily from white grapes with flavors ranging from light to rich. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are some of the most common white wines. White wine pairs very well with some lighter meals, such as poultry,seafood and salads. 
  • Rose- The perfect blend of red and white wine. Rose is a still wine that is made by removing the skins of black grapes before they have a chance to stain the wine that deep red color. Rose wine was actually the first wine created dating back to 7000 BC.
  • Sparkling wines-  A sparkling wine can  be red, white  or rose. During the winemaking process a secondary fermentation takes place which is where the bubbles are made. Did you know that this type of wine was actually created by mistake? Due to the climate in Northern France and the chalky soil, the grapes became unexpectedly frizzy. Talk about a happy accident.
  • Dessert wines- Sweet and dry is what comes to mind when you think of  dessert wines. The winemaking style involves fortifying the wine with spirits to produce a dessert wine like a Sherry.  Dessert wines are made mainly from special fruits that were left to ripen on the wine.

Serving and Drinking Wine

There is a reason why wine is served in a wine glass and why any glass from your cabinet won’t do. You need to hold the glass by the stem as this prevents the heat (and smell) from your hand from interfering with those amazing wine aromas. When pouring wine, just pour about ⅓ of the glass and be sure to gently swirl the wine in the glass. Not only do you look pretty fancy, but by swirling the wine you are actually increasing the amount of oxygen which helps intensify the aromas. This is especially true with red wines.

Red wine is ideally served slightly cooler than room temperature at 60-68 degrees, but for most of us, room temperature works just fine. If you would like to be more precise, place the bottle of red in the fridge for a few minutes before opening it. All other wines are served chilled and if you are  looking to keep your sparkling wine as bubbly as possible, we highly recommend a flute shaped glass.

There you have it! Just a few basics for getting just a little closer to that wine aficionado.  If you want to master some of the wine terminology, check out our blog  If you learned a little something, grab a glass of wine, pat yourself on the back and Cheers to you!


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