It was so great being back home and you can bet I consumed way too much wine while in South Africa. But alas, it’s time to get back to reality. It’s time to learn and share my knowledge with you.
I thought it would be a good idea to ring in the New Year with some basic wine facts as a way to start afresh.
As many of you know, wine is made with grapes. But wine grapes are not the same table grapes you find at the supermarket. Wine grapes are small, sweet, have thick skin, and contain seeds. There are thousands of different kinds of wine grapes around the world and this is what makes wine such an exciting subject to explore.
Common Types of Wine Around the World
Let us begin with /Cab-er-nay-Saw-vin-yawn/
Taste: blackberry, blackcurrant, baking spices, cedar from oak
Style: full bodied
Food Pairing: lamb, beef, cheese
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most common wine in the world. It is full bodied with bold *tannins and a long finish driven mostly by the higher level of alcohol.
*Tannins are naturally occurring compounds that exist inside the grape skin seeds and stem.
Taste: smoother and lower in tannins with a redder fruited flavor
Style: medium weight
Food Pairing: charred meats, grilled meats
(Also known as Shiraz)
Taste: blueberry, plum, tobacco, black pepper, dark chocolate
Style: full bodied
Food Pairing: lamb, smoked meats
Syrah has intense fruit flavors and middle weight tannins.
Taste: exotic fruits from overripe nectarines to red raspberries; sour cherries to blue plums; blueberries to blackberries
Style: light bodied to full bodied red, moderate tannins and high acidity giving it a bold taste
Food Pairing: chicken, pork, cured meat, Thai and Indian dishes
These wines are fruit forward and spicy with a medium finish.
Taste: very red fruited (cherries and cranberries) and a red floral flavor often with appealing vegetal notes of beet, rhubarb or mushroom
Style: light bodied with higher acid and soft tannins
Food Pairing: chicken, pork, veal and duck
Pinot Noir is a dry light bodied wine from France. The U.S. has increasingly become a major Pinot Noir producer as well.
Taste: yellow citrus, pear, apple and tropical fruits. Often cinnamon, butterscotch and toasted caramel notes from the oak
Style: medium to full bodied
These wines are dry and full-bodied; oak-aged and have spicy bourbon notes. Unoaked wines are lighter and have zesty traces of apple and citrus.
Taste: delicate citrus (limewater, orange zest) and apple skin, pear sauce with white floral notes
Style: light bodied white wine
Food Pairing: salad and delicate poached fish
Pinot Gris is dry and light bodied. It is made with white grapes planted in Italy. The wines are easy to drink leaving only a slightly bitter flavor on the palate.
Taste: citrus, lemon juice, white peach and nectarine
Style: floral and fruit driven aromatic white that comes in varying sweetness
Food Pairing: chicken, pork, duck, turkey, Thai and Indian food
Riesling is always very high in acid and harmoniously sweet. People either find it sweet & sour, too dry or too sweet.
Taste: aggressively citrus driven (grapefruit) with some exotic fruits like honeydew, melon, passion fruit, kiwi and always with flavors of quality grass, mint or green peppers
Style: light bodied to medium white
Food Pairing: fish, chicken, pork, veal and Mexican food
Sauvignon blanc’s dry white grapes wines are tart, with typical herbal and green fruit flavors. It is also a parent to Cabernet Sauvignon.
There you have it friends. We have so many different wines to try from around the globe, so you can be sure that 2017 is going to be great!!