1st August, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Wine

wine
The Ultimate Guide to Wine-cover

Do you feel intimidated by the wine aisle? We understand.

There are so many bottles, and the prices can get pretty high. It can be difficult to know what to get from reds to whites, and don't forget the sparkling wines!

How can you know you're getting something that will spark joy? The solution is easy, you just need a quick introduction to the most popular wines, and this guide can help!

Whether you're looking for something to pair with your steak or a fun dessert wine, there's a drink out there that can delight your senses. Finding the right drink starts with understanding your options.

Read on to learn everything you need about the different wines available.

Wine vs. Champagne

What exactly is champagne?

Well, for starters, champagne is a type of wine. But not all wines are champagnes. So what makes champagne unique?

For one, champagne is made using a specific type of grape: the black pinot noir or the white chardonnay. Secondly, champagne is only produced in the Champagne region of France.

Champagne is also made using a special method called the "method champenoise." This involves adding yeast and sugar, which undergoes a second bottle fermentation process. This gives champagne its signature bubbles.

How They Make It

How are wines made?

Grapes are harvested and crushed to release their juice. There's a wide variety of fantastic grapes. However, red, black, and white ones are the most common.

After crushing the grapes, the juice is then fermented with yeast. Then it turns the sugar into alcohol. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

After fermentation, the beverage is aged in barrels (usually made of oak). This helps to round out the flavors and give the drink its unique character.

The type of wine they're making can be aged for months or even years. For instance, there's the long-aged spicy Gewurztraminer--- it's intense.

Now that you know a little bit more about champagne and wine let's take a look at some of the different types of traditional wine.

All About Reds

Reds are made using red or black grapes. Sometimes the wines will have a combination of both grape types.

Brief History

Historically, reds were seen as the "drink of kings." Today, it's one of the most popular dinner wines in the world.

Most Popular Types

Some of the most popular types of reds include:

Cabernet Sauvignon: This is a full-bodied red with flavors of blackberry, cassis, and chocolate.

Merlot: This is a medium-bodied red with flavors of black cherry, plum, and chocolate.

Pinot Noir: This is a light-bodied red with flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and spice.

Do a little taste testing to find out what type of red your palette prefers.

What Does It Taste Like?

Red wines are typically full-bodied and have high tannin levels, which give them a bolder flavor. The taste is a lot like fruit, with notes of blackberry, cherry, and plum. It's also a lot like chocolate, with flavors of cassis and spice.

How to Serve It

Reds should be served at room temperature, which is around 18°C (64°F). You can also decant it to help bring out the flavor.

Pairing It With Food

Reds are the perfect partner for red meat, such as steak or lamb. It's also great with hearty pasta dishes and strong cheeses. You can also pair it with chocolate for a truly indulgent experience.

Understanding White Wines

White wine is made using white grapes. The grapes are fermented without their skins, which is why white wine is typically lighter in color than red wines.

Brief History

White wines have been around for just as long as red wines. It originated in Europe in the Middle Ages and has since spread to regions all over the world.

However, white wines aren't just the opposite of red wines. The skin of the grape is removed before fermentation, which is why it gets its light color.

Most Popular Types

Some of the most popular types of white wines include:

Chardonnay: This is a full-bodied white with flavors of apple, pear, and oak.

Sauvignon Blanc: This is a light-bodied white with flavors of grapefruit, lemon, and green pepper.

Riesling: This is a medium-bodied white with flavors of peach, apricot, and honey.

Taste a few different types of wines to see what you like best.

What Does It Taste Like?

White wines are typically lighter in body than red wines. They also have lower tannin levels, which gives them a more subtle flavor. The taste is a lot like fruit, with notes of apple, pear, and citrus. Some white wines also have flavors of honey and oak.

How to Serve It

White wines should be served chilled at a temperature of 8-10°C (46-50°F). You can either put it in the fridge for a few hours or use an ice bucket to chill it quickly.

Pairing It With Food

You can pair white wines with pork. Use these recipes to make the pork tastier than ever before. White wines also pair great with salads, pasta dishes, and cheeses.

Playful Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines usually use red grapes. It's normal to ferment the grapes with their skins on. This helps color the wines. The color depends on whether white or red grapes are used.

Brief History

Sparkling wines have an intriguing history. It comes from the Champagne region of France, where it was first produced in the early 1600s. The method of making sparkling wines was developed by Benedictine monk Dom Perignon, who is credited with its invention.

Sparkling wines became popular in the 18th century when it was first exported to other countries. It remains a popular drink today and is enjoyed all over the world.

There are many different types of sparkling wines!

Most Popular Types

Some of the most popular types of sparkling wines include:

Champagne: This is a full-bodied sparkling with flavors of apple, yeast, and bread dough.

Prosecco: This is a light-bodied sparkling with flavors of peach, apricot, and citrus.

Cava: This is a medium-bodied sparkling with flavors of apple, pear, and citrus.

Taste a few different types of sparkling to see what you like best.

What Does It Taste Like?

Sparkling wines are typically lighter in body than red and white wines. They also have high carbonation levels, which gives them an effervescent quality. The taste is a lot like fruit, with notes of apple, pear, and citrus. Some sparkling wines also have flavors of yeast and bread dough.

How to Serve It

Sparkling wine should be served icy cold. You can either put it in the fridge for a few hours or use an ice bucket to chill it quickly.

Pairing It With Food

Sparkling beverages are the perfect partner for poultry. It's also great with salads, pasta dishes, and cheeses. You can also pair it with fruit for a light and refreshing dessert.

Delicious Rose Wines

Rose wines are made using red grapes. The red grape skins give the wine its signature color.

Brief History

Rose has an intriguing origins story. It began when people started adding sugar to reds. This made the drink taste sweeter and more like what we know today as rose.

Most Popular Types

Some of the most popular types of rose include:

Pinot Noir: This is a full-bodied rose with flavors of strawberry, cherry, and earth.

Grenache: This is a light-bodied rose with flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and citrus.

Zinfandel: This is a medium-bodied rose with flavors of blackberry, plum, and pepper.

Taste a few different types of rose to see what you like best.

What Does It Taste Like?

Rose wines are typically lighter in body than red and white wines. They also have high acidity levels, which gives them a refreshing quality. The taste is a lot like fruit, with notes of strawberry, raspberry, and citrus. Some rose wines also have flavors of blackberry, plum, and pepper.

How to Serve It

Rose should be served chilled at a temperature of 8-10°C (46-50°F). You can either put it in the fridge for a few hours or use an ice bucket to chill it quickly.

Pairing It With Food

Rose is the perfect partner for seafood. It's also great with salads, pasta dishes, and cheeses. You can also pair it with fruit for a light and refreshing dessert.

Discover Dessert Wines

Dessert wines are made using white or red grapes. The grapes are fermented with their skins, which gives the drink its signature color.

Brief History

Dessert wines have a long and rich history. It's thought to have originated in ancient Greece and Rome.

Most Popular Types

Some of the most popular types of dessert wines include:

Sauternes: This is a full-bodied dessert drink with flavors of honey, apricot, and peach.

Riesling: This is a light-bodied dessert beverage with flavors of apple, pear, and citrus.

Port: This is a medium-bodied dessert drink

What Does It Taste Like?

White wines tend to be more acidic and have lower tannin levels. They're more refreshing and easy to drink.

Best Glasses for Serving Drinks

After careful consideration, you buy your first bottle. Perhaps you get a red or a fun sparkling option. Now how will you serve your special drink?

The first step is to get the right glasses.

The type of glass you use can affect the taste. Believe it or not, the glass's shape helps release certain aromas and flavors.

So what's the best type of glass for serving alcoholic beverages? There are many different types of wine glasses, but the two most common are ones for reds and whites.

Red wine glasses are wider than white wine glasses. This allows more oxygen to reach the beverage, which brings out its flavor.

Glasses for white wines are taller and have a smaller opening. This prevents oxygen from reaching the beverage too quickly, which preserves its delicate flavor.

If you're not sure, ask a salesperson or sommelier at your local liquor store. They'll be able to help you choose the right glass for your drink. You can also peruse our blog for more tips.

How to Store Wines

What if you don't finish the bottle? How should you store it? Storing wines correctly is just as important as serving them. The wrong storage conditions can ruin even the best wine.

Wines should be stored in a cool, dark place. The ideal temperature for storing them is 55°F (13°C).

Humidity levels should be around 70%. Too much humidity can cause the labels on bottles to mold. Too little humidity can cause the cork to dry out, which allows oxygen to enter the bottle and spoil the drink.

The best way to store bottles is in a cellar or fridge. But if you don't have either of those, you can store your beverage in a cool, dark closet or pantry.

Just make sure the temperature stays consistent. Sudden changes in temperature can damage alcohol.

You should also keep your wine away from any strong odors. It's a type of alcohol, so it can absorb the smells around it.

Never store wine near things like onions, garlic, or fish. The flavors will seep into the drink and ruin the taste.

When it comes to storage, red and white wines have different requirements. Reds should be stored on their side, so the cork stays moist. White wines can be stored upright or on their side.

Now that you know how to serve and store wines, you're ready to drink in style!

Finding the Perfect First Bottle

Are you ready to get your hands on your first bottle of wine? Now that you know about the different types of beverages and what to pair them with, check out our selection.

Liquorama is proud to offer a wide variety of spirits, including some of the best wines. Whether you're looking for a traditional red or sparkling fruity explosion, we have something for everyone.

Take a look at our wide selection today. To learn more fun ways to drink in style, you must read this article about peanut butter whisky. Yum!