Wine is an acquired taste, but it’s also one of the most versatile beverages around. With so many varieties and styles to choose from, you can find a wine to complement almost any food. But if you’re new to drinking wine or if you’d like to learn more about it, here are some things to know about every single type of wine.
Red Wine: Red wines are usually made from dark grapes like cabernet sauvignon and syrah. Red wine has the highest tannin content of any other style of wine, which helps preserve it for longer periods of time.
White Wine: White wines are made from green or yellow grapes that have been left on the vine until they’re very ripe. They often have a milder flavor than red wines do because they’re lower in tannins.
Rosé Wine: Rosé wines are made using red grapes that have been allowed to stay on the vine longer than usual so they’ll develop a pinkish hue when they’re picked off the vine at just the right moment. Some rosés are made entirely from red grapes; others are a blend of red and white grapes (the latter called “blush”).
Red Wine vs. White Wine: What’s the Difference?
There are two main types of wines — red and white — and they’re made from different grapes. Red wines are made from dark-coloured grapes that have been fermented with their skins, while white wines are made from light-coloured grapes that haven’t had their skins exposed during fermentation. Red wines tend to have more tannins (that’s what makes your mouth pucker), while whites tend to be smoother and lighter in flavour. Some white wines do have some colour added for aesthetic purposes, but those aren’t technically “white” anymore.
When you’re drinking wine, you have to be mindful of the varietals you’re drinking. Here’s what you need to know about each grape.
Known for its buttery taste, Chardonnay is a popular white wine varietal that comes from France and California. It’s also one of the most common grapes used in sparkling wine production.
This grape produces a light-bodied white wine with subtle citrus notes, which makes it one of the most popular choices at restaurants across America. Pinot Grigio is also known as Pinot Gris when it’s made outside Italy or France.
Sauvignon Blanc is another common white wine varietal that has a fruity flavor and high acidity level — making it acidic enough to stand up well on its own or pair with foods like seafood and shellfish. Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with green vegetables, goat cheese and other creamy cheeses.