Hi there fellow wine enthusiast and welcome to our first ever wine-blog. In the next few months, we will share some fun-facts and burst some myths about wines. We will also explore different wine cultures from various parts of the world. Our series of blogs will be both entertaining and educational, suitable for any person that looking to learn about wines in a laid-back, interactive and enjoyable environment. Come on the wagon. Now that we are all settled in it is only appropriate to have a general introduction to the basic wine categories let’s get into it.
Today we will cover the basics. You probably know your wine or you are looking to learn more. This article will touch on specific wine categories that you need to know before getting started on your wine journey.
Oftentimes, people think that red grapes make red wine and white grapes make white wine. However, that is not true. The difference between white wine and red wine is in the winemaking process. When all the grapes are squeezed, they give out a clear juice. The colour of the wine comes from the skins. The longer the skins sit in the mixture, the more colour seeps out. Therefore, a red wine grape can also make white wine. During the making of red wine, the skins are left on the grape for a long time. However, in winemaking, the grapes suitable for red wine and those suitable for white wine are different. That is why you see names like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir written on the bottles. Red wine grapes include but are not limited to Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir among others.
Fun-fact: In some parts of the world (eg Australia), wine is named according to the grape used to make it. Spare a minute and look at the 6212 Nauticals wine labels, you will notice that each has a grape variety indicated.
White wine, on the other hand, is wine where the skins have not been left in contact with the grapes for a long time during the winemaking process. The examples of white wine grapes are Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc among others.
No, rosé wine is not made from mixing white wine and red wine. That would be a tragedy. Okay, we exaggerated a bit. However, rosé is made in the same style as red wine only that the grape skins sit on the grape for a short time and they are taken out before they can release a lot of color to the wine. It is up to the winemaker what color of rosé he wants that’s why we have different colors of rosé ranging from light pink, blush and even salmon colored.
Sparkling wine is a wine that has some carbon dioxide and this makes it bubbly or fizzy. It has many names depending on the region that it is grown and made. For example, Champagne is a sparkling wine made in France and it is made in a set of standards specific to the region. Other regions also have their sparkling wine. In South Africa, they have the MCC (Method Cap Classique). We can have different types of sparkling wine including red and the more common white and rose sparkling wine.
Dessert wine is a sweet wine drunk after a meal. It can range from sweet, lightly sweet, fortified and even sparkling. The wine is made with very sweet and sometimes ripened grapes. In fermentation, yeast turns sugar into alcohol. In dessert wines, this process is stopped by overcooling teh mixture or adding brandy.
Those are some of the main wine classifications. Do you have any wine name/ classification that you have seen on a bottle and did not know the meaning of? Leave your thoughts down below.