What Are the Different Types of Wine?
Learn all about the most famous types of wine, from wine ideal for special dinners to wine for cooking. Here’s all you need to know about the types of wine.
Wine is a fantastic drink; it’s incredibly complex but easy to enjoy, all at once. The types of wine available are incredibly varied, and there’s one for every occasion.
Here’s all you need to know about the types of wine, from wine for cooking to fine wine. There’s undoubtedly one for you. What are you drinking today?
How To Taste Wine?
Wine is an exciting drink; no two bottles are alike. In fact, discovering all those subtle differences is what makes drinking wine so much fun! This is how you taste wine through its four key descriptors.
- Sight: Pour the wine into a clear glass and make a note of its opacity, color and hues. The wine’s color alone doesn’t say much, but it paints an image.
- Nose: The nose is where the magic happens. Wine offers dozens of different aromas. Some remind you of fruit, others to vanilla and brown spices. Some wines have floral aromas, and others smell like leather, damp earth or mushrooms.
- Palate: We can only perceive so much in the mouth. In wine, we can pick up sourness, bitterness and sweetness. All wines are acidic, and some are sweet. The secret behind fine wine is balanced between these. Wine for cooking is often unbalanced.
- Impressions: When tasting wine, the last thing to do is take notes and assess if you liked the wine or not, and why! Tasting with others is an excellent way of learning more about wine. Tasting wine is not the same thing as drinking it. To enjoy it to its fullest, you want to taste it slowly.
What Are The Types of Wine?
Now, what are the types of wine? And how are they different? Which one should you choose for a specific meal? Well, here are all the answers. The most significant types of wine are white wine, red wine, rosé, sparkling wine and sweet wine, and each category can be further subdivided to infinity.
Read on and learn a bit more about the most popular types of wine. You’ll surely find the right one for you, for every meal and occasion. It all starts with the most delicate of wines — white wine. This is all you need to know about it.
1. White Wine
White wine is made with white grapes. Although all grapes have a clear pulp and juice, white grapes have a green-yellow skin, and they produce the most refreshing type of wine.
Unlike red wine, white wine has no tannins, those gritty particles that cause a drying sensation in your mouth. As for acidity, white wine is among the crispest wine styles, making it refreshing and the perfect summer drink.
Some white wines are sweet, but most are dry. We’ll cover the sweet kind later on.
Wines to try: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Vermentino, Albariño and Viognier.
2. Red Wine
Red wine is made with red grapes, and this matters because it’s in the red, blue and purple skins where the wine’s color, flavor and aromas come from.
Red wine is unique for having tannins, and some red grapes have more tannins than others. Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Nebbiolo have many tannins, while Pinot Noir, Barbera and others have a milder palate.
When it comes to sweetness, almost all red wines are dry, and they are never as acidic as white wines. For the body, though, red wines are hard to beat, so they’re perfect for pairing with hearty meals and red meat.
Wines to try: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Barbera, Sangiovese.
3. Rosé Wine
Rosé is a trendy wine style and an excellent value as well. These wines are made with red grapes but the grape juice is not allowed to leach out all the color in the grapes' skins. This gives them a pink or salmon hue that’s very attractive.
Rosé is often as crisp as white wine, and you can find it bone dry or overly sweet. The acidity is always present, making this type of wine very refreshing. Literally, all wine regions in the world make some kind of rosé, and producers can use any wine grape. The best, though, often comes from the French region of Provence. Expect cherry and citrus scents with every sip!
Wines to try: Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese.
4. Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wine is just festive. The wine’s fine bubble streams really make experiencing a glass of fizzy wine joyful.
There are two main types of wine for the sparkling category. First, you have those made with the Italian style, like Prosecco, which are fruity and uncomplicated. Then you have sparkling wine made with the Champagne method, which produces more nuanced, sophisticated sparkling wine.
Sparkling wine is always overly acidic; that’s why it’s the ultimate palate cleanser. Still, you’ll find sparkling wine in all sweetness levels, from brut to demi-sec.
Wines to try: Champagne, Franciacorta, Prosecco, Cava, Californian Sparkling Wine.
5. Sweet Wine
Sweet wines can be lusciously sweet or not so much, but they’re all attractive and inviting. The category is quite unique, though, as there are many ways to give sweetness to the wine.
Producers might let the grapes shrivel before processing to concentrate their sugar levels; they can also collect grapes affected by the “noble rot,” which concentrates the fruit’s sugar without damaging it. Finally, producers in cold wine regions can let the grapes freeze on the vine and press them, resulting in a golden and sugary liquid that makes the famous ice wine.
Most sweet wines are white, but you’ll be surprised to know there are a few red versions as well.
Wines to try: Port, Sweet Sherry, Sauternes, ice wine and Italian Passito.
What Is Your Favorite Type of Wine?
Of course, this is just a drop in the bucket. You can divide the types of wine into many subcategories. You can classify wine by country of origin, wine grape, production method and even quality!
What we do know is that there’s a type of wine for every palate, occasion and food pairing. The wine world is just too varied! Try different wines and see which types of wine sing to you. You learn a little more about yourself with every wine glass.
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