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Th e G u i d e t o W i n The Guide to Wine for Beginners*

Wine is more than a drink; it is a lifestyle, a gastronomic adventure, a survey into history and a way to explore different culture. ! Fortunately, there are only a few basic techniques to learn as well as some common wine knowledge. With a little practice you will be over the hump of being a rudimentary wine ‘dabbler’ to becoming an upstanding wino, capable of ordering wine like a pro. The wine for beginners infographic has the answer to your question. Learn the different wine style, wine glasses and tips on tasting like a wine connoisseur.

Wine Style

With over 1300 types of wine out there it is better to start with just the basics. Discover the most popular high quality wine varieties- from Albariño to Zinfandel. In the Basic Wine Guide Chart, you will find them arranged by color.

The Reality About Carbs in Wine

Wine is low-carb by nature but that does not mean you are off the hook! Our bodies metabolize alcohol a little differently than other foods. If health is something you care about, you can create a balanced diet includes a healthy dose of wine.

Q: How many crabs are in wine?

A: A glass of wine has 0-4 grams of net crabs* *This is based on a standard serving of 5 ounces with up to 20 g/L of residual sugar. Dry wines typically have less than 2 g/L RS and ~0 carbs


ne for Beginners !! Where Do Carbs Come From in Wine?

Unfermented sugar. However, in most cases this is not a significant contribution.  Fermented beverages, by definition, start as a high carb (the sugar fructose and glucose) plant, usually grapes (wine) or a grain (beer). During the fermentation process, the yarest eat the carbohydrates producing alcohol, heat, and CO2 (bubbles). Whatever sugar are left over contribute to the total carbohydrate in the beverage, which varies from one drink to another. A dry wine has a little to no residual sugar, whereas a sweet wine can have quite a bit. Liqueur have sugar added, often quite a lot. Distilled spirits (vodka, rum, whiskey, etc.) have nothing left but the alcohol, so are zero crabs. However, mixers are often sugary, so watch for this. Just two ounces (1/4 cup) of the “sweet and sour mix,” often used for whiskey sours, daiquiris and margaritas, has 17 grams of carbohydrate. Liqueurs such as Amaretto or Creme de Menthe almost always have sugar added, and sometimes a lot.

How To Read A Wine Label

Wine labels have a lot of information on them. Some of it is critical to understanding what is in the bottle, and so spot a bargain, and what to ignore. There are 2 main styles of wine labels commonly found in the stores. A wine identified by its brand name or a wine designated by its appellation credentials. A wine that is labeled by it’s brand will indicate what grapes it’s made of on the front label (whether it be chardonnay or ‘red blend’). A wine that is identified by its appellation credentials relies on the appellation’s quality level rules and regulations to indicate what’s in the bottle. A perfect example of an appellation wine is Chablis: Nowhere on a Chablis label is a mention of chardonnay as the grape, nor that Chablis is typically an unoaked chardonnay.Understanding a wine label may not always tell you how the wine tastes but it can help you get a better picture of exactly what you are buying.


9 Primary Wine Styles

Traditionally, there are two ways to understand wines: by variety (e.g. Sauvignon Blanc or Syrah) or by region (e.g. Barossa or Bordeaux). This is a very accurate approach, but it’s not very quick. Fortunately, you can start classifying wine types by style which will make learning about the thousands of wine varieties and regions much easier. There are basically 9 major categories that include all red, white, rosé, sparkling and dessert wines.

Full-Bodied and Rich Red Wines Full-bodied wines typically have more tannin, higher alcohol, and dark fruit flavors such as black currant. Since these wines have so much pigment, they are higher in anthocyanin which has shown positive benefits to cardiovascular health. As far as flavor, these wines are the biggest on the spectrum and thus, pair with equally bold flavored food. Typically you’ll find them served in large-bowled wine glasses.

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Learn Wine With T

Rich White Wines Full-bodied white wines have often been confused as being red wines when served in black glassware. This is because rich white wines typically undergo similar treatments as red wines in the winery to achieve the bold flavor. This usually means some oak aging, to add that classic vanilla or coconut note, as well as a process called ‘Malolactic Fermentation’, which changes the type of acid in the wine to make wine taste creamier. Many fullbodied white wines will age up to 10 years, although most are in their prime at around 3-4 years. Expect to spend about $17+ for a decent rich white wine.

Zesty Dry White Wines Like a lightning bolt in your mouth, whites in this style are the wine equivalent to a refreshing lager. They’re best enjoyed young, within a year or two of the vintage, to preserve the fresh fruity flavors and mouth-watering acidity. Of all the wine styles, dry crisp whites have the best bang for the buck, at around $10 for a decent wine. Of course, you can find some extremely badass higher-end options, if this style is your thing.

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Rosé Wines Rosé wines are the literal midpoint between white and red wine, however they tend to behave a lot more like a white wine. They are typically served chilled and most are dry (save for White Zinfandel). You’ll find this style very popular close to the Mediterranean around the south of France, islands in the Mediterranean, the Spanish eastern coast and in Italy.

The 9 Major Style

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Dessert & Fortified Wines In order to preserve the natural sweetness in fortified wines, the fermentation is stopped before the yeast gobbles up all the sugar. Typically when you do this, you’d be left with a lower alcohol wine but since fortified wines are allowed to add spirits (in the form of a neutral-tasting grape brandy) the wines are usually around 17-20% ABV. Because of the high alcohol and sugar content, dessert wines are precious and meant to be enjoyed in small amounts (about 2-3 ounces) in tiny glasses. Of course, there are many more options in the dessert wine category than just fortified wines like Sherry, Madeira and Port. Find out more about dessert wines.

Light-Bodied Red Wines Delicately perfumed with very subtle flavors, light-bodied red wines are perfect for people who don’t want to get knocked upside the head with their wine. This style of wine is very popular with both collectors and beginners alike. Light red wines are known for having lighter tannin, bright acidity and slightly lower alcohol with red fruit flavors. They are classically served in a fish-bowl type glass that collects the aromas. As this style of wine continues to grow in popularity, you’ll see more traditionally bold red wines being made in this style.

Champagne & Sparkling Wines The secret to Champagne bubbles comes from the addition of a special mixture of sugar and wine called the ‘liqueur d’expedition’. This is what makes the bubbles. Sparkling wines have bubbles and high acidity and range from white, rosé to red in color. Sparkling wines have been long associated as a celebratory beverage, but actually match with a wide variety of foods.


G e e k Te c h n i q u e o n H o

This method contains the fundamental parts of all wine tasting techniques. In essence, the anything you eat or drink and you’ll find that it makes you incredibly more aware of wh

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What density tells you: Wines that have very little translucence and It’s better to learn how to taste with are rich in color are usually young and from a red wine. This is because red wines warmer regions or highly-extracted (the have more obvious traits (such as winemakers really soaked the crap out of the tannin) that are easier to pick up skins to capture more color and/or tannin). A on. blue-tinged rim on some wines correlate with lower acidity whereas a red-tinged rim How do I taste all the nuances in wine? correlates with higher acidity (low pH). Color doesn’t just tell you acidity level though, if it’s Is your friend picking up ‘ freshly wetted concrete’, a little orangish on the edges, it may be several ‘mulberries’, and ‘nuances of black panda candy’ years (or even decades) old. When you have a in wine and you’re just feeling a wet warming sensation in your throat? While some of these wine very translucent wine that’s weak in color it could be from a cooler region or from a light descriptions are B.S. (and your friend should be red wine. slapped for rubbing them into your face), you What suspended particles tell you: might not be taking advantage of all the tools available to you just haven’t unlocked your skills. If the wine is unfiltered it will have little bits of stuff in it. As a general rule, large productions shy away from this technique Your tools are, of course, you senses: for fear of inconsistency. Also, Old World regions often have entrenched traditions of EYES, what the color tells you about wine using old-school winemaking methods. NOSE, what smell tells you about wine Color of wine is something that professionals TASTE, how to pick out flavors in wine look at pretty quickly. It’s like deciding what FEEL, what is texture in wine? side of your burger to bite into first. You don’t need to spend too much time gazing With the 4 senses used correctly, you’ll be able to into your wine glass unless you’re a fortune quickly assess a wine using the following 4 steps teller.

Why red Wine?

1. What exactly are we assessing?

When you look at wine, it’s not just to verify the color. Look for things like density, viscosity, flocculation (aka bits of stuff floating around), and how intense it looks. This is your chance to size up your wine What viscosity tells you: Viscosity (aka ‘tears’ or ‘legs’) can tell you several things including alcohol level and sweetness in a wine. Since most red wines are dry, you can usually assume that a higher viscosity wine means that it’s higher in alcohol. A higher alcohol wine can only be made with super ripe grapes, which usually come from warmer growing regions (e.g. California, Australia, Spain etc.).

2. How to identify smells in wine

This is the most important part of wine tasting. Actually, this is the most important part of enjoying food. Sense of smell is so underused that if you practice a little, you’ll blow people away with your sudden chef-like badass skills. Try the ‘Disassociation Method’ Most wine professionals I’ve talked to use some variation of what I like to call ‘The Disassociation Method’. Smell the wine (not too long that it burns) and then disassociate that aroma from what it smells like (i.e. a blackberry). A great trick is to pretend you’re not smelling wine and then identify what you are smelling. Perhaps it’s cherry syrup or perhaps it smells like that time when you walked into a parking lot after a summer rain. There are no wrong answers.


o w t o T a s t e R e d W i n e

ere are about 4 things to do when you actively taste wine. You can apply this method to hat’s in your food. So, let’s get started! What exactly am I smelling? Everything you smell in wine is from acids and alcohol: esters, aldehydes, ketones and acetals. Primary Aromas These aromas are from the grape variety or the blend. They will most likely be fruit and berry aromas, although some are very unique such as bell pepper (some Cabernet Franc), hot dog (some Carignan) and anise (some Barbera). Secondary Aromas These aromas come from winemaking, they will have something about them that’s yeasty. Here are a few examples: bread, cheese, beer-like, sourdough, sour cream, etc. Tertiary Aromas These aromas come from oak and/or aging of wines. A very classic and easy to pick out tertiary aroma is vanilla that comes from oak aging. This list also includes smells similar to nuts, spices, woods, toasted breads, leathery smells, smoked or burnt smells, and butter.

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3. What am I tasting?

Besides the generalized flavor of ‘wine’ there’s actually a lot going on. Red wine contains alcohol, acids, tannin and sometimes sugar (if only in tiny amounts). All of these individual components can be identified with our mouths. I say mouths because we taste with more than just the tongue. 

How to taste sweetness in wine? Sweetness is something you have to taste up front and right away. It hits you for a split second on the tip of your tongue. While plain sugar does hang on our tastebuds as a lingering oily-sour note, it’s hard to identify it after the initial burst. Many red wines have just a teensy touch of residual sugar (RS) to give wine more body. Ever heard of Apothic Red by Gallo? This wine tastes ‘dry’ but has 1.65 g/L of RS. How to taste alcohol in wine? The sensation of alcohol is something you feel towards the back of your throat. With experience, you can identify alcohol level within a percentage. How to taste tannin in wine? Tannin is both a textural component and bitter flavor in wine. High-tannin wines almost feel like having a wet tea bag on your tongue; they dry your mouth out. The way the tannin feels can tell you what kind if tannin it is. Grape tannins (which are from pips) tend to be more grippy and will stick the insides of your lips to your teeth. Oak tannins vary quite a bit (depending on the type of oak used) but most oak tannins hit the sides and center back of your tongue. How to taste acidity in wine? Acidity is the tartness or the sourness of a wine. Acidity ranges in wine go from butter-like to lemony. Acidity is something that persists in your mouth after you’ve swallowed. High acidity will make your mouth water.

4. What conclusions can I make about this wine

With the methods used above you can quickly identify specifically what you like or hate about a wine. For instance, if you hate how some red wines taste light and have high acidity, then you can conclude that you might not enjoy a region such as Beaujolais, which is known for high acidity. Make a note how the taste evolves over time in your mouth or even as you drink a glass.


Part 1: Grow Grape & Harvest Them A grape vine begins to produce grapes after its third year. Regardless of the vine’s age, grapes only grow on stalks that are one year old. Because of this, viticulturists prune their vineyards back every year to encourage new growth. Wine grapes grow in the most unlikely places of the world. Part 2: Crushing The Grapes Wine grapes are usually destemmed to reduce harsh vegetal-tasting tannin. Sometimes wineries have long sorting table conveyer belts to further check for leaves or bad grapes. Then the grapes are crushed and put into an environment that is conducive for yeast to thrive. Red wines get their deep color from being fermented with the skins. Part 3: Fermenting Sugar into Alcohol The fermentation starts when a yeast culture grows and consumes the available sugar and turns it into alcohol. There are many different kinds of yeast strains that either happen naturally or are added (called innoculation) to control the flavor. Red wines are typically fermented at warmer temperatures than white wines. Also, red wines are usually fermented until all the sugar is consumed, creating a dry wine. Part 4: Fining, Filtering and Bottling Red wines age for anywhere from 4 months to 4 years before being bottled. During aging, ‘fining’ often occurs to make the wine clear. Wine additives are often used that glom onto dissolved proteins. After fining, filtration happens and the wine gets bottled. Some red wine are not fined or filtered to add more body. Unfiltered wines should be decanted before drinking.


Part 1: Crush Grapes and Collect Juice White wine can be made with either white or red grapes. The major difference between white and red wine is that white wines are fermented without the grape skins. First the grapes are pressed off the skins and the sweet grape juice is collected in vats to be fermented into wine. Part 2: Fermenting Grape Juice into Wine White wines are typically fermented much cooler than red wines. This is preserve the fresh fruity flavors. During this time the 2 parts fruity sugar ferments into 1 part alcohol. So, if you start with 2 Brix of sugar content of the juice the higher the resulting alcohol level. White wines are also much more susceptible to discoloration (e.g. turn yellow-brown) and don’t commonly as long as red wines. Part 3: Oaky Wine and MLF Oaking white wine adds vanilla flavors. MLF adds a creaminess to white wine. These 2 processes take time and cost extra money for the winery, that’s why oaky wines tend to be more expensive. Part 4: Filtering and Bottling White wines are almost always filtered before bottling. If you make white wine at home, often it will end up being cloudy. This is because it hasn’t been filtered. Believe it or not, white wines tend to be more unstable than red wines and usually winemakers have to add more sulphites to white wines than red wines.


Getting Started with Champ Why We Drink Champagne 

Champagne. The thing we drink when celebrating… from? Champagne established itself during the Belle Époq France from 1890 till World War I. During this tim entertainment. It was when the Moulin Rouge was

The Regions in Champagne

Montagne de Reims Mostly Pinot Noir, many tête de cuvée wines from major Champagne house come from here. Côte des Blancs Mostly Chardonnay. Chalk-based soils produce wine with higher acidity. Wines are racey. Vallée de la Marne Mostly Pinot Meunier, a grape known for its fruity and unctuous flavors. Côte des Sézanne Mostly Chardonnay with soils of both chalk and marl. Wines are aromatic with less acidity than Côte des Blancs. The Aube (aka Côte des Bar) Mostly Pinot Noir in mark soils, aromatic wines with less acidity.


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‌ but why? And where does champagne

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Where Champagne is From Drive Northeast from Paris about 90 miles and you will be in epicenter of Champagne. Vineyards are everywhere. The local cities of Epernay and Reims are home to the major Champagne producers such as Mumm and Moet Chandon. 82,000 acres of Vineyards produce an average of a million bottles of Champagne a day.


To p C h a m p a g n e B r a n d s Champagne is one of the few wines that can be enjoyed anytime of day or night. The only problem with top champagne brands is that they’re expansive. Fortunately, you can find a few great sparking wines with similar profiles to high-end Champagne that are much more wallet-friendly. Dom Perignon Champagne Dom Perignon is a prestige cuvee owned by Moët & Chandon. DP is aged at least 7 years before release to ensure maximum deliciousness Veuve Clicquot Champagne Veuve Clicquot’s yellow label is perhaps the most well marketed Champagne on the face of the planet

Ace of Spade Champagne

! easy to disregard Jay-z’s hyped Champagne brand, but Armend de Brignac is It’s actually quite well made,. It has creamy bubble finesse and almond orange motes. ! Bollinger Champagne Bollinger is produced with a blend made primarily of Pinto Noir. Fruity and smoky flavors are more common in wines made with black grapes.

! Cristal Champagne ! Cristal has a golden hue and honeyed nuances that carry on in a lingering finish, Cristal is a prestige vintage Champagne by family owned Louis Roedere. Kurg Champagne The process of making both Kurg and Salon is a serious time investment. Aging Champagne imparts more tertiary aromas of croissants and frangipane. Perrier Jouet Champagne Perrier Jouet is offered at a value price for the most champagne at a low price for a bottle. Perrier Jouet taste of pear and touch of creaminess. It’s slightly sweeter than Veuve Clicquot.


W i n e G l a s s The Importance of a Wine Glass You’re probably wondering why some people are such sticklers about wine glasses. What’s the big deal if you prefer your wine out of a Solo cup? If the wine is cheap and you only want it for its ‘therapeutic’ benefits, then a Solo cup is fine! However, if you’re trying to understand wine and want to be able to taste all of the nuanced flavors, then you may want a proper glass.

How a Wine Glass Works

Releasing aromas. Enjoying wine is all about aromas. It’s the same joy as smelling bacon frying or sniffing a hot cup of Chai tea. With wine, the aromas are released as the alcohol volatilizes from the surface of the wine. Having an increased surface area is a benefit to optimize releasing aromas while drinking. There have been studies to show how to swirling wine increases surface area. Collecting aromas. It’s a surprise that not more coffee and tea cups have ‘aroma collectors’, because they’d benefit from the same effect that the bowl of a wine glass offers to wine. Depending on the style of wine, you may want a large aroma collector or a smaller one. There are no set rules for this logic, however we’ve seen that white wines typically have smaller aroma collectors and bowls to maintain their temperature whereas red wines typically have larger bowls to showcase their aromas. Thin lips. There are differing opinions on the lip of a glass, however the general consensus is that the thinner the lip of the glass, the less ‘in the way’ the glass is to the drinking experience. We’ve seen this in all types of glasses, from water to whiskey.!

You should be able to throw (maybe swirling can do it) the wine around in the glass in order to unlock all the aromas. A wine glass is normally more narrow at the top for two reasons: so the wine doesn’t end up on the floor when swirling it helps collect the unlocked aromas and makes it easier for us to smell them


There are a gazillion different types of wine glasses out on the market. So, what should you buy? Discover what glassware fits your wine drinking habits and what the best options are to build a proper wine glass set.  Check out this cool chat on the different types of wine glasses. Identify the different style so that you can better decide what to buy based on your need


Make Your Own Famous Blends

Check out the classic white and red wine blends form around the world. Creating the blend might just be the most creative part of being a winemaker, It is the moment where you get a chance to exercise your skill at avor balancing,


Ever wonder how you stand up to other wine drinkers? In this day and age it’s difficult to know everything about wine (because it’s such an enormous topic), so people choose to focus around the parts they love the most. You could be the best at buying value grocery store wine or be very skilled at understanding what wines caller the longest. Take the simple 6 question quiz below to find out where you stand! Types of Wine Drinkers Wine is a Grocery

Wine is part of your life in the same way as toilet paper, coffee or bread. You love it, but mostly for its effects. Some say you’re lazy, but you could care less. What to watch out for: Yellow stickers. Just because a wine looks like it’s discounted doesn’t mean you’re getting a great tasting wine. A wine like this may have actually declined in flavor (e.g. a 5 yr old Prosecco) or was initially marked up in order to fool you. Yep — This kind of thing happens all the time. Wine Geek You are a wine min-maxer: minimum expense, maximum experience. You seek out hot value regions and learn new things in order to have a great time. What to watch out for: Bad information. There is a lot of faulty information online and off that can mislead your choices.

Wine Snob

You spare no expense with your wine habit and your obsession makes you look like a snob. To be fair, you’ve worked very hard to get where you are. What to watch out for: Ratings and reviews that appeal to your high-brow tastes, not all that glitters is gold… some is just hype.

Wine is Art

You love how wine bottles look and the colors of wine… maybe even more than the actual wine. What to watch out for: Beautiful labels and bottles catch your eye; make sure it’s something you want to drink before buying it.


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