A bottle of wine can be the perfect gift for any occasion and they are available in different brands and variants. Knowing the main types of wine is the first good step to start knowing the world of wine. Although many people may think that identifying wines into such the red or white wine can be as simple as using your eye to classify the colour. Each wine type actually has its own character and identity such as grape varieties and wine region and also including tannin level, aroma and bouquet, sweet, and alcohol level which all affect the flavors in some way. Wines can simply be classified into 5 main categories; Red, White, Rose, Sweet or Dessert and Sparkling.
The production of red wine is quite similar to making white wine but only with the addition of grape skin, grape pip and seed incorporated into the fermentation process. Red wine will be fermented in higher temperature, to extract colour, tannin, aroma and flavours with different level of concentration varies by duration of fermentation.
Many people think that white wine is made of white grapes alone judging by its name while actually, it can be either red or black grapes. The exact way to make white wine is to extract the red pigments away and utilize grape juice only. White wine will mostly have flavour character including bright, savory, and creamy, based on the inputs.
Rose wine with a pink rose colour is made from red or black grape with a short fermentation time, about 12-36 hours only. However, another popular style to make this Rose is by blending red wine and white wine together straight away. The flavour of this wine ranges from dry to sweet and comes with a pale to dark pink colour and a lower level of tannin.
The sweet/Dessert wine got its name because of the character of sweetness itself with the occasion of serving with desserts after the meal. But in some countries such as the United Kingdom, people usually drink sweet white wine as an aperitif, before the meal, and sweet red wine to rinse their palate after. The sweet wine can be categorized into Port, Tawny, or Sherry and so on.
Sparkling wine is mostly associated with a celebration. The sparkling bubbles from carbon dioxide (CO2) occur naturally or specifically are added during the fermentation process. Sparkling wine can be categorized further by region, for example; Cava in Spain, Asti or Prosecco from Italy and Champagne from the Champagne region in France.
i. Check the Back of the Bottle for Details
You cannot tell how good a wine is by just its appearance. Front labels can be enticing, but you need to check out the full package before you purchase. Read back labels for more information about a wine. Sometimes there are some clues about the wine like fruits, flavors, the aging process, importers, and region. Keep an eye out for any stamps of approval like awards or reviews which are all signs of a good wine.
ii. Swirl, Sniff, and Taste
This is where the two rules of tasting wines come into play. Does it have those slender lines of liquid that slowly drip down the sides of the glass? Although this could mean little when it comes to a good wine, it can clue you in on its alcohol content. Another way is to Sniff. What do you smell? Chances are, the more you smell, the better the wine may taste. The taste is actually confirming what you smell.
iii. Check the Balance
Balance is an important aspect of a wine. If you had a bottle that was out of balance, you probably wouldn’t like it even if you didn’t know why. When a wine is in balance, none of the components of acidity, tannin, alcohol, or fruit stand out as the main event. If the high level of acidity makes your eyes water or the searing levels of tannins feel like you drank wool instead of wine, the wine is not balanced. If however, you notice a nice freshness to the wine, the tannins are supple and proportioned, the fruit is plentiful but not overpowering, and the alcohol is imperceptible. In this case, check for the balance of the wine.
iv. The Age of the Wine
If you do some homework and know your years and some favorite regions, you’ll know if climate and weather conditions produced a perfectly ripe harvest—and good wines. Extreme heat or cold or too much rain can take a toll on the quality of some grapes. Do some research before you buy, particularly if you’re trying a new region, and don’t be fooled by age. It is important to note that older wines aren’t necessarily better. In general, you can drink white wines one to two years and reds wines two to three years after bottling. The more expensive wines have more staying power and can last three to ten years or more.