Wine 101

Learning about wine and some tips to assist you in enjoying their flavors! 


“Wine and friends are a great blend” Ernest Hemingway

 “Everytime time I open a bottle of wine, it is amazing trip somewhere” Jose Andres

How to Store Wine:

  • Keep in cool dark, dry place no matter what type of wine. If the wine is exposed to too much light, it could interact with the compounds in the wine. Too much light exposure can ruin the flavor of the wine.  If you don’t have a cellar, just use a dark pantry or a closet to store the wine.  Just make sure it’s as dark as possible.  

  • Avoid shaken the bottle of wine. 

  • Store wine bottle sideways – reason why is just once the wine is exposed to oxygen, it will start to oxidize. The oxidation process turns the natural sugars into acid which will then give the wine a vinegar taste. Wood expands when moist, so storing the wine sideways will keep the wine in contact with the cork will stay moist and in turn prevent oxygen from getting into the bottle. 

  • When you are ready to drink the wine after uncork it, let it aerate for about 5 mins.  Then enjoy!

Types of Wine: 

White:

  • Chardonnay: Dry, flavors of apple, citrus, and tropical fruit flavors, medium-bodied.

  • Riesling: Ranges from off-dry to sweet, fruity flavors of green apple and lime, light-bodied.

  • Moscato (Muscat Blanc): Sweet, juicy fruity flavor, light-bodied.

  • Pinot Grigio/Gris: Off-dry, light fruit flavors like peach and citrus, light- to medium-bodied.

  • Sauvignon Blanc: Off-dry, green fresh fruity flavors, light- to medium-bodied, acidic.

Red: 

  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Dry, flavors of black cherry and black currant, full-bodied.

  • Merlot: Dry, flavors of black cherry and chocolate, medium- to full-bodied.

  • Pinot Noir: Off-dry, flavors of cherry and raspberry, light- to medium-bodied.

  • Zinfandel: Off-dry, berry and fruit flavors, medium- to full-body, high alcohol level.

  • Malbec: Dry, flavors of dark fruit and chocolate, full-bodied.

  • Syrah: Dry, flavors of blueberry, plum and chocolate, full-bodied.

Other Types of Wine:

  • Rosé Wines:  The wine is made from red/black grapes, but they’re lighter in color than red wine because the skins are only left to soak (macerate) in the grape juice for a short period of time. Types of Rosé can vary just as much as Reds and Whites, from dry to sweet, and are made from all different types of grapes.

  • Sparkling Wine: The difference between wine and sparkling wine is the bubbles, a result of carbon dioxide that gets trapped in the wine during a second fermentation process. These can also be made from various types of grapes, and range in flavor, sweetness, and more.

  • Riesling Wine:  Has a beautiful and rich fruit aroma with noticeable flavors of apricot, green apple, peach and pear. The Riesling wines have a distinctive high acidity that prolongs their shelf life, that adds to their crisp, delicious taste, and can enhance their juiciness. 

How to Choose a Good Wine: 

Choosing a “good wine” starts with understanding what you like and don’t like. Doing a lot of wine tasting helps too, of course!

Here are some questions so you know what types of wine to choose: 

  • Do you prefer sweet or dry wine?

  • Do you like light fruity flavors, or do you prefer richer flavors?

  • Do you prefer wines that are tart or smooth?

  • Do you like full-bodied wines or light-bodied wines?

  • What kind of aromas or flavor notes?  

Personal tip:  Drink whatever you like.  Take a sip, decide whether you like it or not.  Decide that a wine you would just like to enjoy another glass and/or have again.  Stick to the ones you enjoy. Tip: take a photo of the wine bottle or have a notebook and document the wines you like.