Wine for Beginners: 5 Different Types of Wine Explained
None of us starts an expert. In everything we get into, we begin as novices. There's always a learning curve to the things we pursue, whether for passion or profession.
That same rule applies to one's journey toward becoming a wine connoisseur. You start by tasting all the types of wine you can get your hands on. The more varieties you try, the more discerning your palate becomes.
Soon, you'll realize you're more aware of the nuances of the different wine types you drink. With that comes the appreciation for the various labels stamped on wine bottles in your growing collection. For example, the age of the wine, where it's from, or from what kind of grapes.
Once you evolved into a connoisseur, you could use your knowledge of wine for food pairing or choose the most appropriate type of wine for the occasion. Better yet, you could exhaust your expertise to make your own wine using a winemaking kit.
Are you feeling excited about this possibility? Here, we'll discuss the five basic types of wine every beginner should familiarize.
1. Red wine
This is arguably the most famous wine type. Connoisseurs often describe red wine as "leathery" or "firm." As for texture, it can either be "rough and chewy" or "soft and smooth."
Those descriptions owe to the tannin content of red wine, which is also responsible for its color. Tannins are naturally occurring compounds abundantly found in grape skin. Grapes fermented with the red grape skin intact produce red wine. Red wine's aroma ranges from flowery to fruity and earthy to spicy.
2. White wine
While red wine's backbone is tannin, white's character hinges on acidity. That's why a mediocre white wine is described as "flat" while top-tier varieties are "tart" or "crisp." However, do not be mistaken—white wine has tannins, too, just in small portions.
As for aroma, white wines are typically fruity. That serves its original purpose well, which is the food pairing. White wine's acidity either enhances the flavors of dishes or reduces its fishy tang, in the case of seafood.
This type of wine is also called blush wine, thanks to its pink color. Think of rosé as red wine's softer and less fuller body sibling. That has something to do with its relatively low tannin, made possible by the shorter duration of red grape skin infusion in the fermentation process.
As for flavor, rosé resembles light red wine, with notes of crispiness and fruitiness. The most sought-after rosé are generally white zinfandels.
4. Dessert wine
True to its name, dessert wine is traditionally served after a meal like a typical dessert. Some prefer drinking it alongside a solid dessert that tends to be sweeter.
Yes, dessert wine is sweeter than the average red or white. To maintain its natural sugars, dessert wine is added by fortifying with a strong alcoholic beverage such as brandy during the fermentation process. That's why it packs a stronger punch, given its high alcohol content.
For your sweet tooth, must-try dessert wines include our White and Red “Port” dessert wine as well as ice wine in our specialty wine kits.
5. Sparkling wine
Sparkling wine is made from different kinds of white and red grapes. It sparkles because of the significant carbonation achieved either from the injection of carbon dioxide after fermentation or via natural fermentation processes.
Sparkling wine appears either white or pinkish/light red. Its taste ranges between very dry and sweet and typically smells fruity and earthy. Must-try brands of sparkling wine include the Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, Schlossgut Diel Riesling Sekt Brut Nature 2008, and Segura Viudas Brut Reserva.
Wine Does Not Discriminate
Some people shy away from drinking wine, thinking it's too fancy for them. But the truth is, wine can be enjoyed by all. No matter the level of understanding, we all know what “tastes good” and what doesn’t; using that as your starting point is all you need to enjoy a glass of your very own wine.
So do not close your door on wine. Let it in—or, more accurately, drink it up. And once you've fallen for wine, consider making it yourself. Visit Danny's Wine and Beer for all your winemaking needs.