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Wines that ferment with the skins for a longer period end up red, with high tannin content.
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Fun fact: you can get a white wine from a red grape by removing the skins from the juice immediately. All the color comes from the skins—even red grapes are white inside.
Oz Clarke - Wikipedia
White wine has tannin, but not enough to make it the star of the show. Instead, white wines are backboned by acidity. It gets that way because it is allowed to stay in contact with the red grape skins for a relatively short time compared to red wine. That excludes anything that is sparkling or fortified i. Dessert wine gets its name because it tends to be sweeter and comes after a meal.
Alcohol usually brandy is added to a dessert wine so that it can retain more of its natural sugars, which are typically used up during the fermentation process. Sparkling wine is wine that has significant carbonation, which can occur as a natural part of the fermentation process or via carbon dioxide injection after fermentation. Sparkling wine is made from a wide range of red and white grapes. So, to recap: red wine is red because it was fermented with the skins, making it more tannic.
White wine has less tannin, and is more acidic. Dessert wines have higher alcohol content and are usually sweeter, and sparkling wine has bubbles. Easy, right? Of course not. Stopping at red vs. This is where wine drinkers lose most of us. There is perhaps nothing more subjective about humanity than taste, and trying to find common ground when talking about wine seems ill-fated from the start.
Needs no explanation. The opposite of sweet is dry. A wine can also be medium-dry or off-dry i. We already talked about this. High tannin wines are astringent, maybe even bitter and inky. Lower tannin wines are smooth and soft, and depending on your tastes, more drinkable. A full-bodied wine feels thick, coating the sides of the glass as you swirl. A light-bodied wine is almost like water.
A medium-bodied wine is in-between. The best way to wrap your taste buds around the four primary wine descriptors is to make yourself a strong cup of tea. Sip it black, without anything added. Now, add a squeeze of lemon juice and taste it. Combined with the tannic taste, it should taste astringent. Now, stir in some sugar for some sweetness. This mellows everything out to make it taste soft. There's a fifth thing to be aware of when describing wine—flavor.
Unlike the four key descriptors, flavor encompasses every descriptor under the sun and is far more subjective. Instead, stick to the most relatable flavors like fruity, earthy, spicy, smoky, or flowery. Not sure which is which? Go to a wine tasting or visit a wine store and simply ask for some contrasting bottles of wine.
Manual Gamay: Beginners Guide to Wine (101 Publishing: Wine Series)
Plus, happily, these types of reds taste delicious chilled! Here are six key reds to seek out:. An oldie but a goodie, Pinot Noir is a wine that tends to be medium to light bodied, easy drinking, and importantly, available almost everywhere.
In general, cooler-climate, Old World Pinots will be lighter and earthier, whereas warm climate, New World Pinots will be bigger and more fruit-forward. Despite its bad rap as the basis for cheap Beaujolais Nouveau , Gamay is perfect for so many occasions. Try: Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour, Beaujolais , a super pretty cru Beaujolais that smells like roses and happiness.
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Some Barberas can be quite earthy, so this is a great wine for those who want to ease into earthier reds. Try: Scarpetta Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont , a juicy, medium-bodied Barbera with just a touch of earth, made by an American chef-Master Somm duo. It tends to be very light and soft, with an air of Alpine freshness from the neighboring mountains. For those who like a full chill on their wine, look to Schiava.
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Warning: Zinfandel is not a light-bodied wine! But for lovers of fuller-bodied whites like Chardonnay , a heavier red that has a touch of oak can be seen as a natural counterpart. Unlike a tannic, structured red like Cabernet Sauvignon , Zinfandel remains juicy, round, and not too tannic, making it friendlier, so that the fruit will still stand out if the wine is chilled.
Try: Dashe Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, Sonoma , a deep, full-bodied red Zin that packs tons of black raspberry and chocolate flavors without being overly tannic. Here are six key reds to seek out: Pinot Noir An oldie but a goodie, Pinot Noir is a wine that tends to be medium to light bodied, easy drinking, and importantly, available almost everywhere. Gamay Despite its bad rap as the basis for cheap Beaujolais Nouveau , Gamay is perfect for so many occasions. Zinfandel Warning: Zinfandel is not a light-bodied wine!