There is no doubt that the consumption of wine in America has increased greatly over the years. It is becoming quite apparent that millennials are becoming quite enamored with all that wine has to offer and can you honestly blame them? Wine is a wonderful and classical drink that has been enjoyed by many over a myriad of centuries and in various places around the world. Wine is the feel-good drink that everyone can enjoy no matter the social scene and the best part about wine is that it is so diverse that you never feel bored of it. Wine comes in so many different flavors and aromas allowing each person to find their individual preference. If you are one of those people who are still on the fence about wine and feel as if you really cannot understand the infatuation with wine, then look no more. Today we delve into the many different types of wine available and what they can offer for your palate and individual preferences. The article will teach you the basics on white wines, red wines, and the infamous rosé wine. You will actually be surprised to find out that wine honestly is a diverse drink worthy of its name and reputation and by the end of this article you can also hopefully become appreciative of this delicious drink!
We start off with the darkest, wine profile of the three types of wine aka the red wine. Red wines are of the dark colored grape varieties and are often accompanied with a dark violet color. It tends to have a more robust body of all the three types of wine and this can be attributed to how the wine is made. Generally, what sets a red wine apart from the white wine is due to the fact that red wines are made differently. The red wine grapes are pressed and fermented, yet not just the grape juice alone is fermented. Often pieces of the dark grape and sometimes even the stem is fermented with the wine and this causes the red wine to have a much darker color in comparison to white wine. The solids inside the red wine are typically not removed until after the fermentation process is over and the bottling process begins. Of course, since there are many different kinds of red wines to choose from, each red wine will deliver to you a different taste and profile from another, but it is easy to classify what you can generally expect from a red wine in terms of taste and profile. Red wines are generally the aromas and flavors that often accompany red wines include dark fruit flavors such as cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, currant, cherries, and more. So, in this case it isn’t hard to imagine that with a red wine you will typically receive a dark, fruit taste with hints of spices here and there like clove, cinnamon, black pepper, and more. Without further ado though, I give you the list of common red wines that you see frequent the social scene and should definitely be worthy to try!
The Cabernet Sauvignon wine hails from the Bordeaux region of France with other notable wine regions being Tuscany, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Australia, South Africa and more! This wine came about in the Southwest of France around the 18th century and was the result of chance crossing between the Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc wine. The grapes of the Cabernet Sauvignon are typically known to have thick skins, vines that are hardy and naturally low-yielding. This means the grapes tend to bud late to avoid frost and are resistant to hazards like rotting and insects. The notable fruit flavors in this wine include black cherry, black currant, and blackberry with other flavors such as black pepper, licorice, vanilla, violet, and tobacco being observed as well. The acidity level of the wine is at about a medium and the tannin level is typically at a medium as well. They typically pair well with foods that are high in fat like charred burgers, pizza, marinated ribeye steak, short ribs, or a nice stroganoff. Whatever you do, do not pair the wine with chocolate. It is not a good clash with the fruity flavors that accompany the wine.
Zinfandel or Primitivo
The zinfandel wine is a wine that is of the black grape variety. Its origins can be traced back to croatia, but other notable regions include California, Apulia, and Dalmatia. The grapes of the Zinfandel wine are known to have a high sugar content after being fermented and therefore the level of the alcohol can exceed 15 percent. Unlike the grapes of the Cabernet Sauvignon, which are generally resistant to viticulture hazards such as rotting and insects, the Zinfandel grapes can often run into these problems without the proper and utmost care. In addition, the grapes can often run into the issue of uneven ripening which makes it difficult to produce the wine correctly with the best flavors. The Zinfandel is known to be a bit lighter in color than other common red wines like merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon; however, I wouldn’t be fooled by the color of the wine. Although it may be lighter in color the Zinfandel wine is actually known to pack a bolder punch to it with a medium tannin level, but a high acidity level (unlike Cabernet Sauvignon). For this reason, the Zinfandel wine is known to possess fruit flavors such as jam, blueberry, black pepper, cherry, plum, boysenberry, cranberry, and licorice. The Zinfandel is often observed to offer fruit flavors in the beginning and end off on a smokier, tobacco finish. Since the Zinfandel wine is typically known to be on the sweeter side of red wines, it is often best to pair with curry spices or food mixed with a lot of herbs and spices. Think of spices such as ginger, garlic, curry, turmeric, cayenne, clove, black pepper, saffron and more. These types of spices pair up the best with the Zinfandel wine and really work to enhance the flavor of the wine.
Now onto the next type of wine known as the Rosé wines. The Rosé wine is typically known as rosado in Portuguese and rosato in Italy. The Rosé incorporates some of the color of the grapes skin, but definitely not enough to quality it as a red wine. Any type of wine grape variety can be utilized to make a Rosé wine. It is typically in the middle in terms of color and gives off a more pinkish color, reminiscent of a peach that is more on the pink than orange side. It is often described as ranging from a pale “onion skin” orange color to sometimes a vivid purple color. Rosé wines, like red wines and white wines, come in a variety of flavors, but are typically categorized as having flavors similar to rose petals, honeydew, strawberry, citrus zest, melon, and rhubarb. They are typically quite sweet and are the perfect drink to sip in the summer (for not only its flavor, but its beautiful color that reminds one so much of summer!)
One type of Rosé wine you should try, if you are interested in testing out this type of wine is the Grenache. It comes from the red wine grape variety and is originally from Spain. Other notable regions to consider for the production of Grenache is Aragon, Rhone, Sardinia, Rioja, and more. The grape flavor is typically a spicy, berry flavor and produces a wine that is relatively high in alcohol content. The wines made from Grenache are lack in acid, tannin, and color. They produce aromas and flavors like sour cherries, green apples, strawberries, floral scents, apricots, and peaches. Definitely the perfect wine for the summer as it embodies all the beautiful aromas and flavors that we tend to gravitate towards during the summer (and even spring!) Some food pairings to consider while sipping on Grenache is foods that are hearty and less spicy. You can look for braised meats such as beef, chicken, veal, pork, and more. You can also try to pair with other cooked dishes like macaroni and cheese, veggie bake, or even slightly sweet meals like rice with raisins and more! Either way whether you choose to drink this on your own or with some delicious food, the Grenache wine is sure to not disappoint!
The Tempranillo wine is a wine that comes from the Rioja wine region of Spain. Some other notable regions include Ribera del Duero, Portugal, Canada, Australia and even some place within the United States like Oregon and Washington. It is of the black grape variety and carries a profile that is relatively neutral. This makes it prone to being mixed with other wines such as the Grenache and Carignan. The grape is most prone to rotting and therefore special care has to be taken in order to prevent this. The result of the Tempranillo wine grape variety is a beautiful dry and crisp European style pink wine. The tempranillo has a flavor that is quite savory with notes of green peppercorn, watermelon, and strawberry. Once blended with other wines they can also give off a very floral scent and flavor. The best food pairings with this wine include slightly heavy foods like lasagna, barbecue meats, grits, polenta, and dishes with corn. The best food pairing with this wine is noted as being Mexican food like tacos, nachos, burritos, and chile rellenos. The next time you decide to have your own fiesta then be sure to include this wine in your selection!
Last, but certainly not least we now focus our attention on the white wines. The white wines are the lightest color of the wine types with colors such as a yellow green, yellow gold, or a straw-yellow color. The white wine is made of white grapes that are typically green or yellow. Unlike red wines and rosés, white wines are typically most enjoyed before a meal, between meals, or with dessert. They can also be paired with an entree or full meal, but typically are more built to stand alone and cleanse the palate. They are lighter in style and are known to be more refreshing than red wines. In addition to being amazing between meals or with dessert, whites are generally used to cook delicious foods and sauces like alfredo and other creamy dishes. Without further ado, here we go!
Moscato is most popular for being a great choice for a dessert wine (it is a bit too sweet to pair with a main course). It is sweet, low in alcohol, and incredibly easy to drink! It hails from the Italian region of Piedmont which is a region most famous for its barolo wine. It is made from the Muscat grape, which is a grape that is often used for making raisins. The high sugar content of the Moscato is typically what makes the Moscato very popular. The common flavors that are reported for Moscato wine is meyer lemon, mandarin oranges, pears, orange blossoms, and honeysuckles. There are a wide variety of moscatos that one can drink from still to sparkling and semi-sparkling. It has an aroma similar to what is known as linalool which is an aromatic compound that is found in mint, citrus flowers, and cinnamon. Some delicious desserts that you should consider when pairing your moscato wine includes fruity and vanilla desserts such as fruit cobblers, rice pudding, creme brulee, vanilla ice cream, vanilla cake, and more! Think sweet, fruity, and creamy whether deciding what dessert to pair with this lovely classic.
The Semillon wine is a wine that comes from a golden colored grape used to make both dry and sweet white wines. It originally comes from the region of West France, but is now notable in other regions such as France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina etc. One of the main concerns with growing the Semillon grape is the concern of sunburn since it has such a thin skin. The good part is that it is fairly resistant to diseases. The grape tends to produce a flavor that is rather heavy with a low acidity and an oily texture. It is considered to be the 3rd most important white wine in France and for good reason too! The taste of the Semillon wine is typically known to have a more citrusy and sour flavor profile with fruits and aromas such as green apple, lemon, papaya, grapefruit, honeysuckle, fig, honey, ginger, and pears. This wine pairs the best with bolder dishes and strong aromatic smells. You can try out foods such as chicken, turkey, catfish, halibut with spices like turmeric, fennel, shallot, cilantro, chives, dill, and saffron. It also pairs extremely well with delicious cheeses such as cheddar, compté, and gruyere. No matter what, semillon is another great wine choice if you are a little unsure about the best wines to taste!
Now that you have the basics on the different wine types, the certain things you can expect, and more you can now go forth and try them out yourself. See what all the buzz is about and fall in love with all that wine has to offer you!