Whether you’re a big drinker, casual drinker, or non-drinker, it is a beneficial attribute to have a basic knowledge and understanding on wine and common grape types. If you’re out to dinner with clients, or with your boss, and they put the heat on you to order a bottle for the table, it is nice to have some sort of an idea what it is you’re ordering. Without further ado, here is some basic knowledge on wine that can come to your benefit:
Common red grapes and their components:
1. Cabernet Sauvignon: A “Cab Sauv” is meant to be a full-bodied wine. Meaning it will be thicker, heartier, and fuller than most wines. It is meant to give a warm, toasty taste and is often a wine people enjoy with steak.
2. Merlot: A Merlot is normally a decently full-bodied wine, but not as heavy as a Cabernet. This wine is meant to be smooth with a plum-like taste.
3. Pinot Noir: My personal favorite grape for a red wine, is a lighter red wine, with hints of cherry flavors and earthy hints. If you don’t want the heaviness of a cab, go for pinot noir.
4. Zinfandel: This type of wine is usually a wine preferred by women. It’s fruity, more sugary and sweet and is often used to make rose wines.
5. Syrah: A grape the Aussies have seemed to conquer, is usually meant to have a hint of pepper taste to the wine. Another red that can be enjoyed greatly with steaks.
Common white grapes and their components:
1. Chardonnay: A common stripper name… But a better enjoyed white wine that is usually best when the wine has a certain buttery taste/feel to it. A chardonnay is going to be a very full-bodied white wine and will have a much stronger and recognizable taste than any other white wine.
2. Pinot Grigio: A white wine that is meant to be dry, crisp and refreshing. Pinot Grigio is meant to be lighter and is often enjoyed in warm weather times, however, should not be put away for cold weather seasons if you’re going to treat yourself.
3. Riesling: Riesling is normally a sweeter wine that can often times have a peachy taste. It’s light, sweet and sugary.
4. Sauvignon Blanc: A wine that is meant to be citrusy and a bit acidic. This wine is going to be a bit dry and have a bit of that leafy/earthy taste to it. Not an overly sweet white wine, but a great choice.
Temperatures wines should be enjoyed at:
Red wines: The common and appropriate temperature for a red wine is 65 degrees F.
White wines: 50 degrees F is the norm for a white wine, but I enjoy it at a temperature a bit lower than that at times. Most people won’t complain about a white wine being too cold, but remember that it does take away from the win if it is too cold.
Champagne: 40-45 degrees F is a safe play for this wine.