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What Does Wine Taste Like: Beginner’s Guide

What Does Wine Taste Like: Beginner’s Guide

Jonas Muthoni

Wine is an alcoholic drink created from fermented grape juice. Technically, one may use any fruit (apples, cranberries, plums, etc.) to make wine, but if it just reads “wine” on the label, it’s made with grapes. The difference between wine and beer is that beer is made from fermented grains, while wine is made from grapes. Simply said, wine is created from grapes, whereas beer is derived from grains. Few instances stretch the limits of beer, but that is a topic for another day.

Types of Wine

1. Red Wine– The wine is produced from black grapes. Red wines range from mild to strong.
2. White Wine- A still wine made from white and sometimes black grapes. White wines have a wide range of flavors, from light to robust.
3. Rose- Still, wine is made from black grapes by removing the skins before the wine turns into a rich crimson color. Rosé is also created by combining red and white wine. Rosé in both dry and sweet flavors is popular.
4. Sparkling– A type of winemaking that involves a fermentation process that produces bubbles! Sparkling wine can be red, white, or rosé and range from lean and dry to rich and sweet.
5. Dessert wine– A method of winemaking that involves strengthening wine with spirits. Dessert wines are often sweet. However, numerous dry, fortified wines exist, such as dry Sherry.

Tasting Notes

1. Acidity:

Wine, as a beverage, is on the acidic side of the pH scale, with a pH ranging from 2.5 (lemon) to 4.5. (greek yogurt). Wine has a tangy flavor.

2. Sweetness:

Depending on the kind of wine, sweetness in wine can range from having zero sugar to being as sweet as maple syrup. The phrase “dry” refers to a bottle of wine lacking sweetness.

3. Palate:

Alcohol has a spicy, palate-coating flavor that warms the back of your throat. The typical alcohol content of wine ranges from 10% ABV (alcohol by volume) to 15% ABV. Of course, there are certain exceptions: Moscato d’Asti has an ABV as low as 5.5 percent, while Port is fortified with neutral brandy, bringing it up to 20 percent.

4. Tannin:

Tannin is present in red wines and adds to their astringency. Put a wet black tea bag on your tongue to get a good idea of how tannin tastes.

5. Scent Compounds:

The intricacies of the wine’s tastes and aroma may be found inside the wine’s minute details. Aroma chemicals are present at varying degrees in each grape type. Certain wines have a berry aroma, while others have a floral aroma. Aging is another component that contributes to the smell of wine. Almost all red wines are matured in oak barrels, which provide flavor components and function as a conduit to expose the wine to air. The wine develops a variety of distinct characteristics due to oxidation and age, including nuttiness and dried fruit/flower flavors.

How to ‘Explore’ Wine

Each red and white wine has a distinct flavor, and knowing how to taste wine is vital for determining what separates one brand from another. Tasting wine entails much more than simply tasting it and passing judgment based on first thoughts. Everything from the color of the wine to the shape of the bottle, our attitude and disposition, and the manufacturing process all impact how we experience wine.

While the color and scent of wine are strong indicators of what it is composed of, there are specific techniques to taste it that allow you to thoroughly enjoy it. To aerate your red and white wine, swish it around a few times before taking a sip. Check to see whether any drips of wine remain on the edge of the glass after the wine has been removed. Once they do, the alcohol is likely to be greater than usual, lending the wine what is known as “body.” This is how heavy this wine is on your palate.

1. After a Sip

Glide the wine along your cheeks and over the different areas of your tongue. While performing this step, try to inhale some air via your mouth. Aeration may take some practice, but it will revolutionize how you experience wine. While drinking wine, another thing to keep in mind is that it needs to spend some time in your tongue. This is because the flavor of wine changes with time.

See Also

2. Following the Taste of the Wine on Your Palate

Try chewing on it. Yes, chew! Chewy wines are often strong in tannin; a substance used to make wines taste drier. Too much tannin, on the other hand, might make you thirsty and make the wine harsh. When you’ve had your fill, swallow the wine and appreciate the aftertaste for a few seconds as it goes down your throat. This is another time when a wine tastes unique at the beginning and conclusion of its life.

3. What to Look for When Tasting Wine

Although flavoring additives make up just 2% of white and red wines, this relatively modest amount can include a vast range of flavors and characteristics. An excellent wine typically has a nice mix of sweet, acidic, salty, and bitter tastes. Tannin, as previously stated, is usually the cause of bitterness in the wine. Although saltiness is uncommon, spicy is a popular term for wine, believe it or not.

  1. The wine’s significant components are its sweetness and acidity (sourness). The production of saliva is an excellent indicator of how sour wine is. It is acidic if it does.
  2. Another distinguishing feature of great wine is that its varied notes are harmonized in some proportion rather than separate. Young wines often struggle with this trait, but a skilled vintner will be able to impart subtlety to some of his wine’s tastes.
  3. Finally, whether wine tastes like vegetables is a definite sign that it hasn’t been appropriately prepared. Some flavors, such as mushroom and celery, are frequent, but anything else is usually symptomatic of an error.

See also: Can you Mix Red and White Wine? And What Does it Taste Like?

4. Differentiating Between White and Red Wine Flavors

Two variables primarily influence the difference in flavor amongst white and red wine. The first is related to grapes used to manufacture either beverage.
White grapes are used to make white wine, while red grapes are used to make red wine. These ‘white’ grapes are anything but. They are greenish-yellowish and occasionally pinkish.

Aside from the color of the grapes, white wine is often prepared only from the grape juice that is squeezed out before fermentation. Red wine is prepared by fermenting the entire grape, including the skin and seeds. This contributes to red wine’s generally harsh taste, but white wines are fruitier since tannins generated from grape skin are absent.
According to studies, persons who aren’t skilled in wine tasting have difficulty distinguishing between the two wines. Experienced tasters and sommeliers, on the other hand, can tell the difference between wines. As a result, pricey wine isn’t the rip-off that many believe it is, and there is a difference between a $10 and a $1000 bottle.

Check, this video for more.

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