An Introduction to Wine
Here it is, Wine 101, an introduction to wine for beginners! Getting into a new hobby is fun and if you are like us then you want to gather as much information about your new love as possible. Well the world of wine and wine tasting doesn't have to be intimidating. With a little experience you can start down the road to being a true wine aficionado. Some of the things that can be scary when first trying to decipher wine is understanding a lot of the terminology used with wine. Beyond that, understanding where wine comes from, how to taste it, different wine styles, and other characteristics are all important. Here in Wine 101 we hope to introduce you to many of these basics about wine so that you can start off on the right foot and not feel intimidated. In addition to Wine 101 sure to explore some of our other sections as well, like How to Taste Wine and How to Serve Wine, for even more detailed information about wine, wine service and wine tasting.
- How is Wine Made?
Wine making dates back centuries and probably millenia! While techniques have changed somewhat, the basics have remained the same. Here we will give you an introduction into the basics of how wine is made, from growing the grapes to aging the bottled wine.
- What Makes a Wine Great?
Wine is a subjective thing, but here is a bit of my wine philosophy about what wine should be and what makes a wine great.
- Wine Varietals
As we all know, wine is made from grapes and only grapes. However, there are hundreds of different grape varietals (varieties or breeds) that vary quite dramatically. Here is an introduction to grape varietals so that you can start to understand the differences between wines. Don't worry, you don't need to memorize hundreds to start out! There are only a handful that account for most of the world's great wines.
- Wine Regions
Wine is made in hundreds of regions (often called appellations) throughout the world. Again, for starters, lets start simple and cover some of the most famous, common and important wine regions so that you will know what the differences are and what the birth-place of a wine means to its style, aging and flavors.
- Wine Characteristics
Find out about the characteristics of wine that you should be paying attention to. The various components of a wine, its color, aroma and flavor, all have unique characteristics you should learn to look out for and recognize.
- Wine Tasting Terms
Another confusing aspect to learning about wine is the strange nomenclature and descriptors often employed to describe it. Learn about some of the basics so that you can explain what you are tasting and understand critics and friend's descriptions.
- How to Read Wine Labels
One of the most intimidating things to a wine novice is deciphering the often confusing wine labels, not to mention that they are often in other languages! Wine 101 to the rescue! While not every label is the same, as an introduction to wine there are many generalizations we can make that help you to figure out what everything means so that you can tell what style of wine it is, where it is from, who the producer is and other important info.
- Aging Wine
One of the mysterious and romantic characteristics of wine is its amazing ability to improve with age. While many of the best wines improve with aging, it need specific conditions to do so and in fact not all wines do improve with age.
- Wine Ratings
There are dozens of wine critics out there who give ratings and scores to wines. What do all these numbers mean and should you pay attention to them? Here are some points on how to use wine ratings.
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