Are you someone who loves to wine and dine but are not sure about your wine knowledge? I’ve got you covered. So wine is an alcoholic beverage made with fermented grapes. The grapes used for winemaking are not like the ones you’ll find in the grocery store. Wine grapes are smaller, sweeter, have thicker skins, and contains seeds. These attributes give the wine its unique acquired taste. With so many options out there, how do you hone in on your favourites? Well, as diverse as wine is, most wines can be categorized into 9 styles-
Sparkling wines are characterized by carbonation caused by a second fermentation. This gives bubbly wines distinct yeasty and bready aromas.
Sparkling wines come in all styles (white, rosé, and red) and sweetness levels. The label terms “Brut,” “Extra Brut,” and “Brut Nature” is the driest (e.g. not sweet.)
Light-bodied White Wine
Light-bodied, easy-drinking dry white wines may not command high prices but are some of the most-sold wines in the world (even if red wines get more attention.)
Light whites have increased acidity and thus, pair with a wide array of cuisines. Aromas range from sweeter stone fruits to savory, herby, and peppery flavors.
Full-bodied White Wine
Full-bodied white wines are great wines for red wine lovers because of their rich smooth taste and subtle creamy notes. What makes white wines so rich? Ageing white wines in oak barrels cause several interactions to occur that increase body. So, be sure to look up the ageing program to ensure the wine has had some barrel ageing (usually from 6–12 months.)
Aromatic White Wine
Aromatic grapes include some of the oldest wine varieties in the world. In fact, Cleopatra was noted to the love of Muscat of Alexandria–a rich, aromatic sweet wine from Greece.
Expect explosive, perfumed aromas that spring out of the glass. Aromatic whites are available in dry or sweet styles, but often taste a touch sweet because of their sweet aromas.
Rosé is made by “dyeing” the wine for a short time with red grape skins. Rosé first became popular in the late 1700s when French Bordeaux wines imported to England had a pale colour and were called Claret.
Nearly any red grape can be made into rosé. Also, it’s possible to blend in white wines to add acidity and complexity.
The world’s largest rosé region is Provence, France.
Light-bodied Red Wine
Light-bodied red wines are typified by their translucent colour, light tannin, increased acidity, and delicate, floral-herbal aromas. Light-bodied red wines are very versatile food wines they make a perfect match with poultry. This style is growing in popularity given that it pairs with a wide variety of cuisines.
Medium-bodied Red Wine
Not too light nor too heavy, this is the “baby bear” red wine style. There are a wide array of choices (and thus, flavours) in this red wine category. Tannin is moderate, and expect most to have slightly higher acidity.
The aforementioned traits make for a wine that can pair with most foods (but avoid super delicate dishes.) Additionally, many of these wines have the structure to age well.
Full-bodied Red Wine
Full-bodied red wines are the deepest, darkest, and highest in tannin of the red wines. Despite what you might have heard about it, tannin is what gives wine antioxidant properties. Additionally, it ensures many of these wines will age for decades. Bold red wine pairs well with fatty, umami-driven foods because of their high tannin. Truthfully though, you might want to ditch the food altogether – they drink well solo.
In the 1800s, sweet wines were more popular than dry wines. In fact, several of the most exalted wines in the world, from Sauternes in Bordeaux to Tokaji Aszú from Hungary, will age just as long as bold red wines (or longer!) The dessert wine style is actually a catchall for some of the more rare wines of the world. Each is made with a unique method and range from dry to sweet.