Five Secret Tips to Understanding Wine
It can be difficult to grasp wine. You go to the local wine shop to purchase wine for dinner. It’s your goal to impress your friends by choosing a wine that goes well with the dinner. But where should you begin?
We stick to the wines we love and have only tasted one or two wines. It’s not worth taking the chance to try something new for our hard-earned dinner party. It’s not often that we can do something new on a low-key night in.
To truly understand wine can be costly and time-consuming. Where do you begin? There are thousands of wine producers and many grape varieties, so it’s no surprise that the wine industry’s biggest problem is confusion. The tasting notes can be a bit confusing too.
What can we do? We can simplify our lives by focusing only on certain grape varieties and placing a few foundational components in place. This will allow us to pull back the curtain and show our Wizard of ‘Wine Oz…or something similar.
Tip #1 – Focus on a few grape varieties
Common Grape focuses on 7 Noble Grape varieties. These grape varieties are known as Noble Grapes because they are the most widely produced around the globe and still retain their core characteristics. It means that no matter where it is produced, a Pinot Noir will retain its core flavour profile. While some might be richer than others, and others may be lighter, the essence of Pinot Noir (flavours, aromas, body, colour, and flavor) remains constant.
These top 7 wines are easy to find in wine shops, grocery stores, and restaurant menus. These 7 wines will work with any food.
What are they? Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Chardonnay Chardonnay, Chardonnay and Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah/Shiraz.
Tip #2 – Know the Best Regions
It is important to know the best regions for wine selection. Wine shops can be organized according to country, region, or grape varietal (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay). Knowing that Willamette Valley in Oregon is home to some of the finest Pinot Noir, you can head straight to the Pinot Noir section to find a Willamette Valley wine.
Restaurants also benefit from this. You know that Cabernet Sauvignon is the best Cab you can get in California’s Napa Valley. Napa Cabs are expensive, but you can’t go wrong if you choose a Napa Cab. The secret is that you don’t need to know the names of the wineries. If the region is well-known for a particular style of wine, you can pick the wine based upon the region. Could you keep it simple?
You will discover your favourite wineries once you have visited them all. You can do it yourself, however.
Tip #3 – Know Your Taste Profiles
A tasting is the best way to know the different wine taste profiles. This is where the fun begins! You can try the reds and whites side by side. This is the best way for you to get familiar with these wines.
A DIY Wine Tasting has been set up that highlights each of the 7 Noble Grapes. This is a CliffsNotes-style way to get familiar with these wines.
Tip #4 – Know your Body, Color, and Aroma
It is a great way to learn about wine. You can taste it get familiar with its aromas, full-body, colour variations, and flavours. This will give you a better understanding of how a Cabernet or Pinot Noir typically tastes, looks, and smells.
Chicago Union League members were invited to a high-brow tasting event. They asked us to identify which wine was Sauvignon Blanc and which Chardonnay. I find these wines very different, but many people in the room didn’t get it right. It was surprising that the attendees knew more about wine than I did. Understanding the key characteristics of each wine can help you determine which wine you’re drinking, even if you have never seen the bottle.
Tip #5 – Tips 1-4 Lay the Basis for Wine Pairing
When you narrow your focus to 7 Noble Grapes and are familiar with their typical aromas, body, colour, taste, and taste profiles, pairing food with them will be easier.
Understanding Wine by Simplifying
Wine is overwhelming for most wine enthusiasts. There are many choices, and the tasting notes can be confusing. It can also be costly to gamble on wine that you don’t understand. You will be a better wine lover than most wine enthusiasts if you know the top wine-growing regions and the typical tasting profiles. Have fun with learning and tasting. Cheers!