A Beginner’s Guide To The World Of Wines

For most of us out there, wine is the signifying element of the world of luxury. That being said, it may be difficult to hold a conversation about the beauty and mouthfeel of the wine you are drinking if you don’t know the first thing about it. If you find yourself nodding at this statement mentioned above, then this one is just for you. Mentioned below is everything you need to keep in mind when entering the world of wines.

Where Does Wine Come From?

Wines come from a species of grape known as Vitis Vinifera. The seeds of these grapes are smaller in size and contain a higher concentration of sugar. They also have tougher skin as compared to table grapes.

How Are Wines Classified?

While wines can be classified based on their colour and use (white wines, red wines, dessert wines etc.), to make things easier we’ll go down the tasting route.

With this route, wines can be classified based on the following 5 structures of taste:

1. Sweetness/dryness

2. Acidity

3. Tannins

4. Alcohol

5. Body

The “Tannins” structure of taste is not found in white wines.

 1. Sweetness/ Dryness

Contrary to popular belief, the sweetness or dryness of the wine is not defined by how sweet it tastes, but rather by the amount of residual sugar that is left after bottling. While all wines are technically dry (not sweet), a category of wines known as dessert wines (for example, Sauternes) is specially created with a higher concentration of sugar to pair well with various desserts.

2. Acidity

Two types of acids exist in wine – tartaric and malic. Tartaric acid gives off a sharp, sour taste that one would generally compare with the taste of a cherry tart. Malic acid, on the other hand, tastes like green apples. Sharp and delicious!

3. Tannin

Tannin is the ingredient that is used to help red wine age. It is only found in red wines as the ingredient comes from the skin of the grape. The larger the quantity of tannin in the wine, the longer the wine will last. The tannin present in the wine is what gives the rough flavour to the wine. This occurs when the tannin combines with the protein in the saliva. Red wines are usually paired with red meats such as steak. This is because they act as palette cleansers and clean the mouth of the taste of protein thus preparing the person for the fullness that comes with the next morsel of food. Some of the more common red wines are the Merlot and the Pinot Noir.

4. Alcohol

When it comes to the alcohol content in the wine, remember that the higher the concentration of alcohol, the fuller the body and (of course) the stronger the drink. In most cases, ethanol is alcohol that is found in wine. It is created through the fermentation process. On average, most wines have an alcohol content level of 11% – 14.5%. Wines with a larger alcohol content cause a greater burn at the back of the throat when swallowing.

5. Body

The body of the wine refers to the weightiness of the wine in conjecture to the structures of taste mentioned above. Wines that contain larger quantities of alcohol, tannins and residual sugar are known to have a fuller body as compared to wines with a higher level of acidity.

That’s about it – by knowing the information mentioned above, you are sure to be quite the connoisseur in the world of wines.

If you would like to try some of the wines mentioned above, head on over to Nature’s Basket and sample from their large collection of wines.

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