In the words of Galileo “Wine is sunlight held together by water.”
It has been enjoyed for centuries, since the beginning of civilized culture. There are thousands of varieties and is made all over the world.
There are Three Basic Types of Wine:
Red, made from red grapes.
White, made from white grapes,or red grapes with skins removed.
Rose, usually made with red grapes, with the skins removed early.
All three can be found in flat and sparkling.
All these wine can be dry to very sweet, depending on how it is harvested and then made.
Old World vs. New World
"Old World" means that it is produced in a classic wine making area with grapes which are proven over time to be suited to the locality where the grapes are grown.
“New World” means that the wine is either produced in an new area for making wines, like Chile, Australia, even California. It also refers to wines made in those places or Old World regions, using modern wine-making techniques.
The year that a wine is made, it’s vintage, only grapes harvested in that year can be in the wine.
This has become less important over the years, because of advances in wine making. Wine makers have learned how to adapt their process in response to weather conditions.
It is less important in regions like California where the weather is consistent.
It can be very important in the European countries.
Non-Vintage wines like many Champagnes and other sparkling wine are better because juice of better years can be blended with juice of less favorable.
Screw Caps vs. Corks
While many people prefer the classic cork, screw caps are really better for preserving the wine. It is very romantic to pull a cork, hear a pop, but screw caps are just a lot more efficient.
Once relegated to inexpensive wines, many premier wines are being bottled and shipped with screw caps.
Wine Serving Temperature
So often wines are served at the wrong temperature, too cold for whites that are often stored in the refrigerator and to hot for red, often stored in a heated room.
Light dry white wines, rosés, sparkling wines: Serve at 40° to 50° F
Full-bodied white wines and light, fruity reds: Serve at 50° to 60° F
Full-bodied red wines and Ports: Serve at 60° to 65° F
Wines are affected by heat, light, and vibration. Best way to store wine is laying on its side in a cool dark place free of major vibrations.
Decanting and Glassware
When wine is opened it needs time to open up and breath. White wines usually a short while, but reds take longer. The deeper more intense the wine the longer it usually takes to open up.
Proper glasses truly enhance the wine experience and flavor. See Article Select, Serve, Savor.