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Beginners Guide To Trying Wine For The First Time 

Beginners Guide To Trying Wine For The First Time 

Jonas Muthoni

Trying wine for the first time can be daunting. From its rich history that stretches across many civilizations to the enormous types and varieties it has, the intricacies of wine can be overwhelming. If you’re an amateur, this guide will be walking you through the adventure of discovering wine. 

What Is Wine 

Wine is a popular alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of grapes. Fruits like apples, plums, and even rice can also be used in making wine. Many grape varietals are identified with specific wine-growing regions or areas around the world. 

Wine seems to be a simple drink that turns more complicated the more you study it. But the true appreciation for wine depends on the understanding of its complexities. Unraveling its diversities start with knowing how it came to be. 

How Wine Is Made 

The exact steps in processing grape into wine may vary depending on the type of wine produced. But there are five fundamental steps on how to make wine.  

  1. Picking—The grapes are cut from the vine and then collected to be delivered to the crushing pad.  
  2. Crushing—Stems are removed from the cluster of grapes in preparation for the crushing process.   
  3. Fermenting—Fermentation is the process where sugars from the fruit are turned into alcohol.  
  4. Aging—It comes when the intense flavor of the wine is formed.  
  5. Bottling—When the full process of aging is reached, the wine is set to be bottled. 
  6. Storing—Most bottled wines are stored in coolers to be preserved. These coolers can be bought in stores like and similar outlets. 

Characteristics Of Wine 

Understanding the key characteristics of wine will help you identify the kind that suits your taste. The basic aspect of wine includes:  

  • Acidity  

The acidity in wine usually tastes tart and zesty. You might feel a tingling sensation on the side and front of your tongue when you take a sip. If you prefer a richer type of wine, then you should choose a less acidic one.   

  • Tannin  

Tannin comes from the skin of grapes and oak barrels where wine is aged. This component adds texture, complexity, and bitterness to the wine. If you like the bitter taste, you should choose a wine that’s high in tannin. 

  • Sweetness  

The sweetness of wine comes from a higher level of residual sugar. You might sense a sweet flavor on the tip of your mouth, which can cause your tastebuds to tingle.   

  • Alcohol  

The average wine has 10-15% alcohol content. Wines with a higher concentration of alcohol have a bolder taste. 

Types Of Wine 

After knowing the characteristics of wine, you should learn about its five primary types.  

  • Red Wine  

Red wine is made from a combination of grape juice and grape skins. This combination gives the wine its dark color. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel are good choices for wine beginners.  

  • White Wine  

Some may think that white wine is made from white grapes alone. But it’s also made from red and black grapes. It highlights more of the acid notes and the fresh flavor of the grapes.  

  • Rosé Wine  

This bright pink-colored wine is produced with a shorter fermentation time. Another style to make this wine is by mixing red and white wine.  

  • Dessert Wine  

Dessert wine is known for its sweetness and the occasion of serving it after a meal. It has high-level residual sugar.  

  • Sparkling Wine  

Sparkling wine, or champagne, is commonly used during parties because of its bubbly characteristic. The sparkling bubbles come from the second fermentation process.  

See Also

How To Taste Wine 

The last fundamental part of appreciating wine is having a taste of it. Here are some easy steps on wine tasting.  

  • Look  

Examine the wine’s appearance and identify the most prominent color. Swirl the wine in the glass and notice the wine droplets developing on the side of the glass. This indicates the presence of alcohol in the wine.   

  • Sniff  

Smell the aroma of the wine and identify it to make a clear impression. There are several aromas found in a glass of wine.   

  • Taste  

In tasting the wine, focus on the flavor and feel. Swish it inside your mouth to get the full effect of its taste. You may recognize the sweetness, tannin, acidity, and alcohol content in the wine after tasting it.   

  • Analyze  

After tasting the wine, you can now consider its quality. You can also focus on the aftertaste and how long it will linger on your palate.  


Trying wine for the first time can be intimidating because of the wide variety it offers. But the key to appreciating wine is the knowledge of its character. Learning more about wine will turn you from amateur to connoisseur.  


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