The Easiest Explanation of Wine Types you Will Ever Read

The following guides will help you easily understand the different types of wines even if you are a one-tooth redneck who’s never drunk anything other than Mountain Dew with bourbon.

Last updated on March 29, 2020 12:44 pm

OR you can just read our manual..

Red vs. White: Is there a Difference?

At first glance, the difference between red and white wine goes much deeper than color. But if you really want to impress your girlfriend, you should know what it is that makes each taste so unique. The reason they taste different is because of something called ‘skins’ and its byproduct, tannins.

Taste Buds, Meet Tannins

Tannins are a textural element that gives wine its dry taste. It is an occurring substance in grapes and various crops like tea.. Tannin’s taste is usually characterized as bitter, creating a dry and torrid sensation in one’s mouth. Tannins can be found in the wine as the vintner enables the skins to settle in the grape juice during the fermentation process. This is also how wines gets its color. Wines with little to zero skin contact will become either pink or white, with much less tannins. Wines that ferment with the skins for a longer time frame become red, with high tannin content. It should be noted that red grape skins boast more tannins than white grape skins.

Tannin is the backbone of red wine. It is for this reason you may characterize a red wine as “rigid” or “leather-like” or perhaps even as “sour.” Tannin also provides red wine with its signature composition, giving it a “smooth” and “light” or “tough” and “gamey” texture. Essentially, darker wines, have a higher tannin count and a “stronger” taste.

White wine has tannin, but not nearly as much as red. Rather, white wines are catalyzed by acidity. That’s why many find white wine to be “crisp” or “tart.” On the other hand, if a wine lacks acidity, it may be described as “loose” or “flat.”

Rosé, (otherwise known as blush wine), boasts a paleish pink color. It looks pink because it remains in contact with the red grape skins for a shorter period of time compared to red wine. If wine was a color spectrum, rosé is closer to the white/light side, with a lower tannin count.

wine tasting

Why You Should Never Serve Red Wine Cold

Although no law exists against drinking refrigerated red wine, there is good reason why not to. Hint: it’s the tannins idiot. Tannins usually taste bitter when chilled. This means that darker red wines will not reach their taste potential when chilled. Conversely,  low tannin content wines such as white and rosé taste great when refrigerated. Just don’t let them get too chilly, or you’ll lose a lot of its flavor. Obviously, it is a matter of taste. Some prefer whiskey on the rocks while others prefer room temperature…whatever floats your boat.

Dessert Wine & Sparkling Wine

Rose, white and red wines that have 14% alcohol or lower are known as “table wine” in the America. and “light wine” in Western Europe.

Dessert wine earned its title because it is usually sweeter and is served after the meal. Brandy is often added to a dessert wine to maintain its natural sugars, which are often lost during fermentation.

Sparkling wine are highly carbonated. This could be an organic element of the fermentation process or through CO2 (carbon dioxide) infusion following fermentation. Many sparkling wine labels will display phrases that imply its sweetness and or dryness.

Sparkling wine originates from a wide variety of both red and white grapes.

Varietal & Regional Wines

Varietal wines made primarily from a single grape variety. They usually display the name of that named grape variety on the label. This means that a bottle of Merlot contains primarily Merlot grapes. In many jurisdictions, the minimum amount of single grape is roughly seventy-five percent. For example, you might have a blend of eighty-five percent Zinfandel and fifteen percent Syrah and it can still be considered Zinfandel. There is no need to mention Syrah on its label.

Although one could select a wine according to its grape variety, it doesn’t guarantee consistency. The reason is different grape varieties can hail from a wide range of regions implementing a variety of wine-making procedures that influence the end product.

In Europe, wines are named according to the region or country they hail from. Oftentimes, it’s easy to remember where certain grapes come from. For example, Pinot Noir is grown in the Burgundy region of France. But Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in Bordeaux. This means that simply ordering a “Bordeaux” could mean either red or white.

Wine Tasting Videos:

Wine Tasting with Simon Woods: Spanish Tempranillo - Rioja & Ribera del Duero A quartet of Tempranillo-based reds, two each from Rioja & Ribera del Duero. Glass in hand, Simon Woods digs in... For tasting ...

Wine tasting LADRON DE GUEVARA Reserva DOC Rioja

The 89 points from the Guia Peñin 2015, the 89 points from the Guia Peñin 2014. The Bodega-Museum of Bodegas Valdelana won the second time the “Best of” ...

Was this information helpful? Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section below.


We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply