Tag: Types

Types of Wine Glasses

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Wine glasses come in many shapes and sizes. The structure of the glass is designed to enhance the flavor and aroma of the wine so it is important to choose the right glass for the wine you are drinking. The shape of the glass determines several things: how much surface area is exposed to the air, how much wine can be swilled in the glass, how close your nose can get to the wine, and where the wine falls on your palate as you drink.

If you are drinking champagne for instance, it is proper to use a champagne flute. The champagne flute’s tall, narrow design forces our nose outside of the glass and causes the wine to fall further back on the palate as we tip our head back. In addition to keeping the wine carbonated, the narrow opening at the top of the glass minimizes the surface area that is exposed to the air and keeps the flavor clean and crisp. Since we want to slow oxidization in champagne, there is no need to have a wide bowl for swirling the wine around.

With white wines, a bit more reaction with the air is desirable so the glass is wider and shorter than a champagne flute. A white wine glass is designed to allow a moderate rate of oxidization, enough to release the bouquet of the wine while retaining its crispness. White wine glasses vary as much as the white wines themselves so it cannot be said that there is one standard. In some cases, like with a buttery chardonnay, a wider bowl that you can get your nose into is preferable and may not look like a white wine glass at all. Generally speaking, the crisper the wine is to be kept, that narrower the glass.

Finally, red wine glasses are generally the biggest, having wide bowls and large mouths. These glasses are designed so that a large surface area is exposed to the air and so that the wine can be swilled around to infuse more air while drinking. Some red wine glasses can be quite tall, forcing the wine to sit further down in the glass, keeping the aromas in the glass but the mouth is always wide enough to get your nose in there while taking a sip.

These are the three basic types of glasses and are representative of the spectrum. Between these glasses though there is every size, shape, and style imaginable, each enhancing their own varieties of wine.

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Types of White Wines

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White wine owes its light coloring to the color of the grape used-golden, green, and white being the most common. However, some wineries produce white wine by using only the flesh of a red grape. White wine usually accompanies lighter meals and often pairs well with light meat or seafood.

Generally speaking, white wine has eight different varietals; these are often called “The Big Eight.” These are: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sémillon, Viognier, and Chenin Blanc. All of these wines take their name from the type of grape used in their production.

Chardonnay is the number one selling white wine varietal in America, and is extremely versatile in its pairings. Most Chardonnays come from either California or France. People often describe the flavor as “buttery” with a fruity impression. The Loire Valley in France produces most of the Chenin Blanc on the market, although vineyards in California and Argentina also produce this varietal. Its flavor and acidity can vary wildly depending upon the time of the grape harvest.

Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio comes in two distinct types: Italian and French. The Italian version tends to be less full-bodied than that produced in other countries. Gewürztraminer, coming from a German root word indicating spiciness, pairs well with Asian foods and can have a rose-like flavor. It is produced in a variety of countries.

Riesling wines are known for their versatility; they can be paired with almost anything. The dryness of the wine is often indicated in German on the bottle. New Zealand and France are the major producers of Sauvignon Blanc wine, and the difference in geography shows in the wide variety of flavors that a Sauvignon Blanc wine can display.

Sémillon and Viognier are lesser-known varietals that hail from specific regions of France: the Sémillon grape often is grown in Bordeaux and Côtes de Gascoigne, and the Viognier in the northern Rhône regions. These grapes often figure in blends, and so, as stand-alone wines, they are much more rare and more expensive.

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Types of Red Wines Around the World – Part I

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California is the only place in the world planted with just about all the better known wine grapes, producing variable qualities of wines. Elsewhere in the world, wine and grapes are location specific. While some regions have same grapes, no two regions plant identical grapes and make identical styles of wines.
This article is Part I of the three-part article series on the types of red wines in the world. The connection of grapes, wines and the regions would help the understanding of this lovely drink that we call wine.

Barbera: Indigenous to the most prominent wine region of Italy, Piedmonte, Barbera makes two styles of wine: youthful, lively, with sour-cherry flavor, or oak-aged, complex, with darker fruit, toast, spices notes. The latter is meant for aging with the maturity bringing out the best of its characteristics.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Bordeaux and California are the largest planting and production regions for the King of Red Wines. The different approach in these two regions is that in Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is almost always blended with other regional grapes, while many California producers make varietal Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The advantage of the Californian winemakers is the reliable weather, while the weather in Bordeaux dictates the quality and thus the “vintage” is so much talked about when it comes to Bordeaux reds.

Cabernet Franc: Cabernet Franc’s charms are in its fragrant aromas rich with red berries, blackcurrant leaves, and herbaceous notes, and approachable styles of tannins. With the right terroir – combined elements of the natural environment, for examples, Napa and Sonoma, Cabernet Franc could produce dark fruit, well-structured and complex full-bodied single varietal wine.

Carmenère: Originated in the Bordeaux region of France as a blending grape but never playing a major role, Carmenère has found its stage to shine in Chile as a single varietal wine. Well, there was a little hiccup when it was mistaken to be Merlot in the vineyard and made into wines labeled Merlot, but that confusion has since then be cleared. The Chilean Carmenère offers velvety texture, low acidity and almost-sweet fruit flavors, as long as the grapes are ripen properly, not harvested unripe.

The Top Five Types Of French Red Wine

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Red wine is just perfect for any occasion. In fact, it’s a drink which completes a meal. For those who have tasted red wine would know how wonderful it feels when you roll the drink slowly in the tongue and gulp it down. Even though it is produced in many countries around the world the one that definitely tops the list is France. Along with a great culture and art, this country has been well-renowned for being the best producer of red wine and so we call it French red wine. To get the original taste of what it is visiting the country is a must! Well, don’t feel too disheartened if you can’t because you can still very well manage to get your hands on this aristocratic drink.

All those who are in search for a typical French red wine, we list down top five types of the drink for your future reference –

1.Merlot – This is one of the best types of the French red wine. They are produced in the Bordeaux region of France. Most of the French Merlot comes from this area. This wine can be really well paired with pastas, dark meat and fish.

2.Syrah – Syrah is another type of well renowned French red wine and is mainly produced in the Rhone region. This drink has got a strong fruit taste, something like blackberry and currants. It comes with a purplish color and has a wonderful shelf-life. This particular drink is a great match with grilled Indian meals.

3.Pinot Noir – This too along with merlot can be considered to be one of the best French red wines. It comes from the region of Burgundy. This drink is produced from grapes of the same name. Being a dry type, Pinot Noir is robust in flavor. This too can be matched with meals like pasta, fish and meat.
4.Malbec – This type has originated from South West France. It is said that Malbec is named after a Hungarian peasant who had first spread the grape type in France. Its rich taste makes this wine a much sought after amongst people all around the world. The wine comes in an inky dark color.

To experience true taste and aroma of wine, try out the above kinds of French Red Wine.

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Types of Red Wines Around the World – Part III

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Wine is the product of the nature. The characteristics and styles of wine are the expression of the grapes it is made from, as well as the natural environment of the vineyard. Thousands of grapes are made into wine. However, there are only about two dozens better known red wine grapes and another two dozens of better known white wine grapes. Here are the other major red wine grapes, made into beautiful wines in the world, to conclude the three-part article series, Types of Red Wines around the World.

Nebbiolo: The northern Italy wine region of Piedmont is home to Nebbiolo. It produces wines with scents of roses, violets, tar, and tea leaves. These unique flavors, high acidity and good tannin make Nebbiolo a darling in the eyes of Italian wine lover.

Pinot Noir: There’s no lacking of tales and mysteries surrounding Pinot Noir. A high maintenance grape in the vineyard, and a capricious wine to make in the cellar, it continue to cast spills on winemakers & wine lovers to come back for more of it. More of its roses, strawberries, plums scents, or savory, meaty flavors! Where does Pinot Noir call home? Oregon, California, Burgundy in France, Tasmania and New Zealand all make different styles of Pinot Noir, from age-worthy to fruity.

Sangiovese: Sangiovese makes the wines of Chianti, Brunello di Montacino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from central Italy. Its strengths are good structure and sumptuous flavors supported by the high acidity.

Syrah/Shiraz: Syrah’s give-away is its ink dark color in the glass. Always with a robust structure and body, its medium to high alcohol leaves a warming sensation in the throat, while the flavors of violet, plum and peppery linger in your palate. It is synonymous to its homeland of Rhône Valley and adopted home of Australia.

Tempranillo: Tempranillo gives the un-mistakenly strawberries, bright berries nose. The major Spanish red wine grape, and affectionately called “the little early one” (“Tempranillo”), it makes the intense flavored, medium dark-colored wines in the Rioja region.

Zinfandel: Zinfandel is the blood-relative of the Italian grape Primitivo. It is the most planted red grape in California. When its shortcoming of uneven ripeness in the vineyard could be overcome by great vineyard management, Zinfandel has a lot to offer. Its lively, red fruit – both jammy or bright fruit styles, and spicy notes has long won the love of wine drinkers.

This concludes our three-part series of the types of red wines. However, it is just the beginning of the lasting and rewarding wine experience. I hope you will continue to explore these grapes and the wines they make, as well as more other grapes and wines. Let such wine experience add to your enjoyment of life, and quality time spent with family, friend and associates.

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