For some, wine can appear intimidating, especially for newbies who have yet to come across the ‘real’ thing. You do not have to be an expert wine connoisseur to enjoy a good glass of wine from time to time, and the good news is you do not have to break the bank to enjoy one.
Choosing a bottle of wine is much like choosing a book to read – there are practically one hundred and one options you can choose from. You can for starters ask the recommendation of a good friend to get one, however know that unless you truly get your feet wet so to speak, you are taking a risk of whether or not you will enjoy your selection.
You do not have to be a pro in order to enjoy wine and have smart conversations about it. Now that fall season is upon us, it is time to have basic wine knowledge and know the varieties, types, vintages, and more of your select fine wine.
We are here to teach you the basics, put in mind that you only have two criteria – first is that it has to taste good, second and last it must fit within your budget.
Finding The Right Wine Selection
Wine offers a wide array of varieties that it is hard to find the right one. You can make all the work easy by narrowing down your options.
Basic Wine Types
Wines are categorized into the following:
Red Wine. These kind of wine came from red or purplish black grapes. They can range from pinkish red to the extremely dark purple types. Your most popular red wine varietals are the Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and the Pinot Noir.
White Wine. As the name suggest, wines like these came from white or green grapes. They vary in color from clear to very deep yellow ones. They can be Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, or the famous Chardonnay.
Sparkling. This kind of wine has some carbon dioxide added to give it its tiny, fizzy bubbles. They are often made of white wine grapes. Champagne is a popular sparkling wine, others are Cave, Prosecco, and Brut.
Dessert. Dessert wines as the name imply is the kind of wine served with dessert. Dessert wines are very sweet concoction.
Rosé. This wine is made from red grapes; however it is the outer skins of the grapes that is the main source of the wine’s color. The type of rosé hue depends on the kind of grapes used. The grape choice impacts the shade of pink and its overall taste.
From these categories you have a myriad of selections to choose from depending on your preferences.
Reading Wine Labels
Although you can’t judge a book by the cover, you can however judge a wine by merely reading its label. Once you have learned how to interpret each element, you can easily and immediately assess any bottle of wine.
Varietal. The varietal indicates the type or grape or blend of grape that’s in your wine. The name of the varietal shares the name of the grape for instance Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are used to make the same brand of wine.
Vintage. This is the exact year when the grapes used for the wine were harvested. As a matter of fact, the wine may be manufactured later.
ABV or Alcohol By Volume. Sweeter wines like the Moscato can have an ABV of as low as 5%, while sherry can have 20% or more. Oftentimes, wines are around the 12%-16% range.
Appellation or Region. The region is where the grapes were in fact produced. The region can be as broad as the county itself, but oftentimes a certain percentage of the grapes must come from a certain location in order for that place to claim the wine bottle.
Brand Name or Producer. For the discriminating wine buyer, brand name is everything. Some brands are superior over the other in terms of pricing and taste, so choose the right one for you.
Top Tips For Saving On Wine
Now that you know the basics, you might want to start your own collection to enjoy this fall season. But before you start, we’d like to share with you these top tips for saving on your wine purchases, here they are –
Always compare prices.
Before you take the plunge, first of all check and compare prices. If you have your heart set on a particular wine type, call around wineries to check prices. Or simply go online and check on prices for that wine.
Buy in bulk.
At this juncture, you can buy big for the wine that you fancy. Many wine sellers would gladly offer you discounts for your bulk buy. Look for a good deal today.
Subscribe for major sale alerts.
Signup to their newsletter to be in the loop for major wine sale alerts. You’ll never know when the ‘big sale’ day is unless you subscribe.
Join wine clubs.
If you are passionate about wines and want to enjoy it on a regular basis, signing up to a wine club will make perfect sense. A lot of wine clubs offer certain number of wine bottles a month and you pay for a flat fee for the wine. What you will do is provide them information about your wine choices, then the wine club will curate a selection based on your preferences. You can save more if you join wine clubs that charge you a flat fee with free shipping each month.
This fall season, enjoy wine with your loved ones and family!