Learn About Wine An Easy Explanation of Wine Types. After reading through this guide, you should have a working knowledge of the different types of wine and enough vocabulary to set out and buy your first serious bottle. And maybe impress your girlfriend with a thing or two. September,2. 01. 1By Jack Busch Photos By Andrew Snavely. A Drinking Mans Intro to Wine This is the second part of our series on becoming a wine appreciator. Notice that I wrote wine appreciator and not wine snob. While we wont be discussing the best way to polish a monocle or the proper angle at which you should tilt your nose into the air, there is some basic wine knowledge that you should master or at least familiarize yourself with in order to find the glass of wine thatll please your palate the most. All wine bottles are not created equal Wine bottle shapes differs greatly from one another based on the type of wine they carry. Are you a victim of chronic flat hair Avoid caking your hair with socalled volumizing products with these 10 natural methods for fighting flatness. Define flat. flat synonyms, flat pronunciation, flat translation, English dictionary definition of flat. Having a smooth, even. Shopping for wine Read about types, and other mustknow topics in our wine buying guide to make an informed choice. How To Keep Sparkling Wine From Going Flat' title='How To Keep Sparkling Wine From Going Flat' />After reading through this guide to learn about wine, you should have a working knowledge of the different types of wine and enough vocabulary to set out and buy your first serious bottle of wine. And maybe impress your girlfriend with a thing or two. Lets get started. Red Wine vs. White Wine Whats the DifferenceOkay, you probably dont need any help recognizing a white wine versus a red wine. They look different and they certainly taste different as well. But since were in this to find you a bottle of wine that youre going to enjoy, its worth your while to try and understand why they look and taste so different. The culprit in both cases the skins, and a little something they bring to the party called tannins. Remember the word tannin and what it means, because wine people talk about tannins a lot. Tongue, Meet Tannins. Tannins are a naturally occurring substance in grapes and other fruits and plants like tea, for example. The taste of tannin is often described as bitter, causing a dry and puckery feeling in the mouth. Tannins end up in your wine when the vintner allows the skins to sit in the grape juice as it ferments. This is also how wines get their color. Wines that have little or no skin contact end up pink or white, with far fewer tannins. Wines that ferment with the skins for a longer period end up red, with high tannin content. As youd imagine, red grape skins have more tannins than white grape skins. Fun fact you can get a white wine from a red grape by removing the skins from the juice immediately. All the color comes from the skinseven red grapes are white inside. Tannin provides the backbone of red wine, which is why you might describe a red wine as firm or leathery or just plain bitter. Tannin also gives red wine texture, making it feel smooth and soft or rough and chewy. In general, the darker the wine, the higher the tannin and the bolder the taste. Popular red wine varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Barbera, Sangiovese. White wine has tannin, but not enough to make it the star of the show. Instead, white wines are backboned by acidity. Thats why you might say a wine is crisp or tart. Or, if there isnt enough acidity, you might call a white wine flabby or flat. Popular white wine varietals Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Moscato Muscat, Pinot Grigio, Gewrztraminer. Dessert Wine and Sparkling Wine. Red, white and ros wine that has an alcohol by volume content of 14 or less is considered table wine in the U. S. and. Ros, or blush wine, is pink in color. It gets that way because it is allowed to stay in contact with the red grape skins for relatively short time compared to red wine. On the spectrum between red and white, ros is much closer to the light side, with relatively low tannin. Popular ros wine varietals Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese. Why Cant I Serve Red Wine Cold Theres no law against drinking chilled red wine, but theres a pretty good reason why you shouldnt, and again, its the tannins. Tannins tend to taste bitter as they get cold, which means your darker red wines wont taste their best when they are as cold as the Rockies. On the other hand, white and ros wines, with their low tannin content, taste just fine when chilledbut avoid getting them too cold, or youll miss out on a lot of the flavor. Of course, its all a matter of taste. Some people enjoy their beer at room temperature and their pizza cold. Whatever gets you there. Dessert Wine and Sparkling Wine. Red, white and ros wine that has an alcohol by volume content of 1. U. S. and light wine in Europe. How To Cut Ginger. That excludes anything that is sparkling or fortified i. Dessert wine gets its name because it tends to be sweeter and comes after a meal. Alcohol usually brandy is added to a dessert wine so that it can retain more of its natural sugars, which are usually used up during the fermentation process. Popular dessert winesfortified wines Port, Madeira, Vermouth, Sherry, Marsala. Sparkling wine is wine that has significant carbonation, which can occur as a natural part of the fermentation process or via carbon dioxide injection after fermentation. When reading sparkling wine labels, youll also encounter terms that indicate its sweetnessdryness. From driest to sweetest, these terms are Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra DryExtra SecExtra Seco, DrySecSeco, Demi SecSemi seco and DouxSweetDulce. Sparkling wine is made from a wide range of red and white grapes. Champagne proper is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier andor Pinot Noir. Increasingly, wine drinkers and producers are using the term sparkling wine and champagne interchangeably, in the same way we might call any facial tissue a Kleenex. Purists insist that only wine produced in the Champagne region of France should rightfully be called champagne or Champagne, but there are no laws in the U. S. governing that distinction. So, if you think youre getting a steal on a bottle of imported champagne for only 1. Varietal and Regional Wines. Varietal wines are wines that are named after the primary grape variety that the wine was made from. So, if you pick up a bottle of Merlot, it means that it contains mostly Merlot grapes. In most jurisdictions, the minimum is about 7. For instance, you could have a blend of 8. Zinfandel and 1. 5 Syrah and still call it a Zinfandel without mentioning Syrah anywhere on the label. You can certainly choose a wine based on its grape variety, but thats a poor guarantee for consistency. Thats because different grape varieties can be grown in a number of regions and microclimates using a wide range of winemaking methodologies that affect the final product. Try a glass of California Riesling after a dry German Riesling and youll see a difference. In the EU, they name wines according to the region or country they come from. Sometimes, its easy to remember which grape comes from where. For example, they grow Pinot Noir in the Burgundy region of France. But in Bordeaux, they grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle and others, meaning you wont even know if youre getting a red or a white if you order a Bordeaux without any other parameters. At this stage in our wine education, this is all too much to memorize. No reasonable person should expect you to be able to look at a menu and know what a wine will taste like based on some obscure region, vintage, producer and varietal. For now, its okay to ask a store clerk or server for suggestions based on taste. Describing Your Favorite Wine. So, to recap red wine is red because it was fermented with the skins, making it more tannic. White wine has less tannin, and is more acidic. Dessert wines have higher alcohol content and are usually sweeter, and sparkling wine has bubbles. Easy, right Of course not. Stopping at red vs. If were going to peg the kind of wine that you enjoy drinking, were going to have to get a bit more specific. Yes, that means were going to have to talk about how a wine tastes. This is where wine drinkers lose most of us. There is perhaps nothing more subjective about humanity than taste, and trying to find common ground when talking about wine with our limited vocabulary seems ill fated from the start.