Learning about Wine: A Brief Tutorial

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As you probably already know, wine is made from grapes. However, they are not the typical grapes you buy at the grocery. Wine grapes feature thick skins, contain seeds, and are sweet and small. While there are over a thousand kinds of wine grapes, some of the more commonly planted varieties are discussed below.

Varietals and Blends

A wine that is made with one kind of grape is called varietal wine whilst a wine made with several grapes is a blend. However, varietal grapes are not always labelled as such. In Europe, wines are named after the place where they originate. For instance, a Bordeaux blend comes from Bordeaux. It is usually a blend of several grapes, including Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A Chianti is a Sangiovese-based blend that comes from Tuscany, Italy.

Vintage and Non-vintage

The vintage of a wine is a reference to when the grapes were grown. Non-vintage wines, designated as “NV,” are blended wines that feature several vintages.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a well-known full-bodied red wine. Its taste is close to that of black cherries and black currants as well as baking spices and cedar (from oak). The wine’s grapes originate in the Bordeaux region in France.  This wine features bold tannins and is often paired with such foods as smoked meats, cheeses, and lamb.

Merlot

You can fine online wine deals to make your wine-drinking experience of Cabernet Sauvignon and other popular wines all the more special. Another wine you can frequently find on sale is Merlot. This wine, which is smoother in character than Cabernet Sauvignon, has a red-fruited flavour profile.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is light to middleweight, and has a higher acid profile and more savoury flavours. The wine is one of Cabernet Sauvignon’s parent grapes.

Meritage

A Bordeaux Blend, also known as Meritage, is normally dominant to Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, but also features other Bordeaux varieties.

Sangiovese

Sangiovese, whose grape is grown in Tuscany, is similar in tannin and acid content to Cabernet Sauvignon. However, it is more elegant and red-fruited.

Tannin

If you are wondering what the tannin in wine is, it is the element in a wine that makes it taste dry. Tannin is a naturally occurring polyphenol that is found in seeds, bark, plants, leaves, wood, and the skins of fruit. About half the dry weight of plant leaves are defined as tannins. A tannin in wine adds both astringency and bitterness, including complexity.

Characteristics

The characteristics of a wine include sweetness, acidity, tannin, fruit, and body. You will learn more about these characteristics when you attend wine tastings and become acquainted with the different varieties. Again, you can choose from wine deals online so you become more educated about the culinary pursuit and art of drinking wine.

The Level of Dryness

The sweetness of a wine is also known by its level of dryness. The perception of sweetness begins at the tip of the tongue. Therefore, our first impression of a wine is its level of dryness or sweetness. If your taste buds tingle on the end of the tongue, it indicates sweetness. Some dry wines highlight a hint of sweetness to carry a more pronounced impression of body.

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