I am by no means a wine connoisseur; I have just begun to dabble in wine tasting. Living in the Columbia Gorge region of the Pacific Northwest, wine is a part of my local economy. From wineries to wine tasting to websites like ours, there’s no shortage of fermented grape juice know-how!
Follow me as I journey to develop an appreciation for the taste and history of wine, and I’ll share with you what I learn.
There are 5 Basic Types of Wine
The possibilities of wine are limitless; there are hundreds of different grape varieties and various winemaking styles, but all wines can are loosely organized into five basic categories.
Red wines are a ‘still’ wine made from black grapes and can vary greatly in sweetness and color.
Shiraz, Merlot and Zinfandel are examples of red wine.
White wine is also a ‘still’ wine. It is produced predominately from green and sometimes from black grapes. White wine boasts a wide range of flavors, from rich and smooth to crisp and zesty.
Pinot Gris and Chardonnay are examples of white wine.
Like red and white wines, rose wines are a still wine. Rose wine is produced from black grapes which have had the skins removed before the wine has a chance to absorb much of the color. It can also be formed by combining red and white wines. Rose wines can be dry or sweet.
White Zinfandel, Pink Champagne and White Merlot are all examples of a rose wine.
Sparkling wine is unique in that it involves a secondary fermentation that causes bubbles. Red, white or rose can be made into a sparkling wine with this style of winemaking.
Champagne is the most common of the sparkling wines.
This is another style of winemaking that involves fortifying wine with spirits, often brandy. This is common among dessert wines but dry-style fortified wines are also available.
Port, Sherry and Madeira are all fortified wines.
Dry vs. Sweet, What’s the Difference?
In wine terminology, a wine that is considered dry is not sweet and one that is described as sweet is, well, sweet.
What Does Still Wine Mean?
A still wine is one that is non-effervescent. So any wine that is not sparkling, is still.
What Gear Do I Need?
One of the first major purchases I made was a Cuisinart Wine Cooler, as recommended by Dream Kitchen Solutions. Check them out – their wine guy Vinny Couture knows his onions.