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What Every Wine Lover Should Know

Updated on August 21, 2016

Are you new to appreciating wines? If you want to know a thing or two about wines, this article is a very good start for you. I’ll show you that there’s more to simply buying a bottle from the supermarket and storing it in your refrigerator or kitchen cabinet.

But then again you don’t have to be a connoisseur to learn some handy facts and tips on how to drink, appreciate and store wines. It’s simply about learning how to better handle a bottle or glass of great-tasting vino.

So let’s get started!

1. Know the types of wines.

Generally there are two major types of wines, red and white. Under each type we can further name sub-types or varieties. For example for white wines there are the Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Blanc. For red wines we have Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz.

2. Grape skins give color to the wine.

Simply explained, red wines are of that color because they’re made from black grapes which have a red tint to it. And since the grape juice is basically colorless, the skins are added to give it its color. White wines, on the other hand, are not really completely white. They’re made from lighter skinned grapes and thus have lighter colors like green and yellow green.

3. Pair your wine to the right food.

The great thing about wines is that there is sure to be one type that can be perfectly paired to almost any dish. The easiest way is to do it regionally. For example, if you’re having Italian food then it’s only wise to pair it with Italian wine. Another simple way is by pairing red meats with red wine and white meat with white wine.

Of course there are other more specific ways to do it. If you’re eating an acidic food (think dishes with lemon or vinegar) then it’s best to match it with an acidic wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chianti.

If you’re eating a salty dish, it’s wise to pair it with a sweet red wine or a sparkling wine just to balance out the meal.

4. Learn to store wine bottles the right way.

Don’t just put your wine in the cabinet because there’s a better way of doing it. Always keep in mind that heat is the number one enemy of wine, so store the bottles in a temperature-controlled environment. That is why it is a good idea to invest in a quality wine cellar. Choose one that can set the humidity level and have UV protection built-in, like having tinted glass (the same reason wine bottles are dark).

Make sure that your wine cellar stores the bottles horizontally to avoid the risk of tainting. The shelving should also be free from any movements or vibrations as it can adversely affect the quality of the wine. I suggest that you read a reputable source on how to properly store wines and how to select wine cellars.

5. Learn the lingo.

It’s not enough to know what the different types or varieties of wines taste like, you also need to learn the language of the industry, so you know exactly what you are getting. Here are some wine-related terms that you should keep in mind:

Full-bodied. This refers to the texture of the wine. These wines typically have higher tannins, alcohol level and a darker color.

Earthy. Simply put, it should remind you of the earth. Not that it’s bad-tasting, but the taste brings images of freshly-cut grass or mushrooms.

Dry. This one is very easy to understand. A dry wine is not sweet.

Vintage. Vintage refers to the year the grapes were grown and harvested. Don’t mistake it for the year that the wine was bottled.

Bouquet. This refers to the smell or aroma of the wine. Each variety has its own unique bouquet.

Corked. This doesn’t simply mean an unopened bottle of wine. It means that the cork has been contaminated even before the wine has been bottled.

Let’s drink the good stuff!

There you have it. Drinking a good bottle of wine is more than simply knowing that it costs a lot and that it tastes great. There is much more to wine appreciation, as you may have discovered from this article. But at the end of the day, a glass of wine can be relaxing and also a way for you to entertain friends and loved ones.

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