Types of wine

Wine is one of the most popular and recognizable drinks in the world. It’s been around for centuries and hasn’t changed much. Sure there are more wines now than 20 years ago but the popularity and health benefits have given this nectar of the Gods a new boost in today’s household. Only the ingredients and the method of wine making have changed. Many people are still under the impression that a good wine is only made of grapes. Well I am here to tell you that isn’t so. Have you tried wines that have hints of Apples, Wild Berries, or Dandelions in their bouquet? Well more and more vineyards including home wine makers are picking and choosing their own secret signatures.

Classic wine making is synonymous with grapes. But now with everyone in the world getting into wine making I have seen flowers like lavenders, plums, lemons, limes, including oranges being added to batches of wine giving them unique tastes. With the proper equipment and ingredients you can make wine at your home, making it an addictive hobby once you can perfect the process. But we can discuss this in a later article therefore I shan’t digress. Traditionally wine is classified into 4 categories:
1. Red
2. White
3. Rose
4. Port

Red wines are made from a variety of red, black and purple grapes. This is one of the many reasons you get various shades of red when looking at a glass of wine. Some grapes are more purple in color than red or with a black blue hue depending on how much sun or rain that crop has received throughout the season.

Wines made from certain grapes will adopt the name of the grape as the namesake. Such as Merlot, or a Cabernet. You will notice they each have a certain color smell and hue that can be attributed to the containers they were fermenting in. They may have a stronger smell and a richer color if aged more than 10 years. Or they may be a light in color due to the young age of the wine. As a result the final liquid will exhibit various shades smells and ultimately tastes of reds, dark reds or Chianti with its signature ruby red colors. Some wine makers will store their wine batch in oak barrels while others in spicy woods or aged woods. Therefore you will hear wine connoisseurs describe wines as oaky, or fruity. But the most important effect you can have on the taste of a wine is by the aging process. Any Sommelier [a waiter in a restaurant who has charge of wines and their service: a wine steward] will tell you that the great taste in wine comes from the age and years of fermentation in specific barrels. Commonly you will find the following hints in red and some white wines.

1. Strawberry
2. Cherry
3. Coffee
4. Pepper
5. Black berry
6. Plum
7. Violet

White wine classically was enjoyed with poultry and fish. Some countries even drank white wines with the change of seasons. For example white wine was only drunk in the summer and red only in the winter. But so much has changed in our drinking habits that now white wines are enjoyed year round. It depends on ones taste. The other difference is the process of the grape. In white wine the grapes are peeled. Making it an arduous process for the wine maker. I am sure you have heard of Chardonnay, needless to say it is a popular white wine. Next time you have a glass of Chardonnay see if you notice a hint of vanilla in it’s taste. Other popular and recognizable white wines are the Italian Pinot Grigio, the German Riesling and of course the Zinfandel.

The last categories for wines are Ports and dessert wines. Most are enjoyed either with a desert or just as a "digestivo" (a digestive after eating a nice meal). These wines have a rather sweet taste. The Ports are broken into 2 categories, from a Ruby to a Tawny. The Ruby being a richer sweeter taste while the Tawny is lighter in taste and dryer. This is the result of the aging process.

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