What You Should Know about Wine

Wine is very complex topic that comes mixed with history and culture. Because man has been drinking wine for so long, it has become mixed with religious and social customs of some people. Because of its long history, wine drinking has also developed traditions and customs on its own. This means that anyone who wants to get into wine drinking should also learn a lot of things.

Some people become overwhelmed when they find out that there are so many things that they have to learn about
wine drinking . In some cases, that prevents them from trying to know more about wines. But this shouldn’t be the case. There are ways that you can know more about wines without being swamped by the small details.

For a long time people studies wines by region, but this is no longer as valid as it once was since wine is now being produced everywhere. This means that the traditional wine regions have been blurred. It’s about time that we learn new ways of knowing more about wines.

If you are just getting started when it comes to wines, then this article is a good way to get going. We have compiled here some of the more basic things that you need to know about wine.

The Most Popular Types of Wine

One of the most basic things that you need to know about wines are the most popular types that are available. These types are based on the varieties of grapes that are used in the production. The quality and the characteristics of the grapes would determine the quality of the wine produced. Some types of wine are more popular than others.

There are 18 varieties of grapes that are known as international varieties. It is best to get started with these varieties since they are the most popular and the most common ones. When you have mastered this list, you will have an easier time understanding the common flavors of wine. These varieties include Pinot Noir, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Those are just for the red wine varieties.

The Top Wine Regions

It was mentioned earlier that the wine regions have become blurred since winemaking has become more common, but that does not mean that it has become totally irrelevant. It is useful for you to know about the major wine regions in the world. That can be helpful when you want to buy wines of the highest quality. The most popular wine varieties in the world all come from Italy, Spain and France.

The Basic Characteristics of Wine

Once you have covered the different wine varieties and the best sources, it is time to deal with the common wine characteristics. This is the kind of knowledge that would help you in picking the best options. There are five characteristics that are basic to wine and these are the following:

    • Sweetness
    • Acidity
    • Fruit
    • Tannin
    • Body


Sweetness is also known as the level of dryness. The perception of sweetness mainly starts at the tip of the tongue. That is where the taste buds that are dedicated to the detection of sweetness can be found. When you taste a wine that leaves a tingling sensation at the tip of your tongue then that is a sweet wine. Another indicator of sweetness includes an oily sensation at the middle of the tongue that will linger.


Another important characteristic of wine that you should learn about is acidity. Acidity is zesty and tart. Do not confuse acidity with the taste of high alcohol content. A lot of people get confused with those two. Wines that have higher acidity often feel light since they are usually spritzy. So if you are after something that’s more full-bodied then you should aim for wines that lower acidity.


Another way of identifying wines is through the main fruit flavors that they have. By tasting and knowing the fruit flavors of wines, you will have an easier time identifying what your preferences are. If you prefer wines with notes of strawberry for example, that would lead to different varieties if you were to look for blackberry.


Tannin is the most often misunderstood wine characteristic. It is often confused with the level of dryness and that’s because tannin can really dry your mouth, but it is more than that. Tannin means that phenolic compounds are present which can add bitterness to the wine. These phenolic compounds can be found in the seeds and the skins of grapes. In some wine making process, it can also be added to the wine during the aging in wooden barrels. While describing tannin might sound like it’s a bad thing, it is actually very important in wine. It adds balance and complexity to the wine.


The last wine characteristic that you should know as part of your basic wine knowledge is the body. The body of the wine is determined by several factors. That includes the variety, where it was made, its vintage, its alcohol content and the sort of process that it undergoes. The body of the wine is the quality that is often matched with the food that goes with it.

Getting the Wine That You Like

One reason why it is important to know about the various characteristics of wine is so that you can get or ask for the wine that you really want. It helps to know the varieties and the regions that you like, but when you know about the different qualities of wines, you can use that in order to ask for the sort of wine that you really prefer and like.

Wine Storage

Around 90% of all wines are meant to be consumed in the same year that they are released. There are some that do improve with age, but that’s a small minority of all the wines that are produced around the world. Don’t think that keeping a wine bottle for several years will make it better. The wines that improve with age are usually expensive ones. Wines that age well have several qualities. These wines have high levels of acidity for example; they also have high tannin contents. The wines that age well also tend to be sweet. Another important characteristic of wines that age well is that it has low alcohol content.

Vintage Variation

You might have liked a particular wine, and when you bought a batch of it again you were surprised to find that it tasted differently. That’s likely a case of vintage variation. Vintage variation simply means that the quality of wine can vary from vintage to vintage. Regions with cooler climates tend to have more vintage variation. So when you are buying wine you need to consider that fact.

If you are drinking wine just for the sake of getting drunk then you’re missing out on a lot. Drinking wine can be a great experience that can open a whole new world to you. You should try it out and learn as much about it as you can. You have to be willing to try out some new things and be ready to experiment. That’s the only way that you can fully experience wine drinking and get all the benefits that can be derived from it.

Categories: Food/Drink