1-Grapes can only be grown in some places, but wine can be made anywhere. In most cases, grapes grow between 30° and 50° latitude. This covers much of Europe and the U.S., as well as the southern tips of South America, Africa and Australia. However, wine can be made anywhere! Wine-makers can source grapes from all across the world to make their own wine.
2-You don’t have to spend a lot of money for good quality wine! Finding a “good” bottle at a “good” price is relative to what you like and can afford. You don’t have to spend $400, $75, or even $30 on a quality bottle of wine because quality is somewhat subjective. My sweet spot is $15 a bottle. Over my 20 years of wine consumption, I’ve experienced that spending between between $12-$18 per bottle will get me the consistent quality I enjoy at a price I can afford. Read More
3-Screw-caps don’t mean the wine is “cheap.” Many producers are using more screw-caps these days to avoid “cork taint,” which can ruin the smell and taste of a wine sealed with a bad cork. Cork taint affects about 5% of wine bottles. Screw-caps avoid this common problem, while still delivering a consistent product of wine. In fact, many premium bottles are made with screw-caps. Furthermore, the majority of wine in New Zealand and Australia are made with screw-caps. It’s becoming more and more popular!
4-You can train yourself to like dry wine. There are several good reasons you may want to ditch the sweet for dry. First, many of these sweet wines have LOADS of sugar– they are the perfect cure for a sweet-tooth. However, if you’re a stickler for sugar intake and calories, you could be consuming way more than you know. Second, so many of the mass-produced brands (the big names you recognize) get away with producing mediocre wine because the quality is masked behind all the sugar. Third, it’s harder to appreciate the delicate primary, secondary, and tertiary flavors of wine when your mouth is full of cloying sweetness. Read More
5-Swirling your wine unlocks more flavors and aromas. Swirling a glass of wine before you smell or taste will cause a couple things to occur. First, the aromas and flavors will be stronger and more pronounced. Second, you may be able to pick up on even more aroma and flavor compounds that were more dormant in the unswirled glass. So instead of identifying 3 aroma/flavor characteristics, you may now be able to smell and taste many more notes. Read More
6-Sulfur isn’t causing your wine headache. Sulfur amounts in wine are usually so low and often undetectable, it would be highly unlikely to cause a headache or any discomfort for the average drinker. Sulfur is used in tiny quantities to preserve the wine, keep it from spoiling, and eliminate the odors caused from bad bacteria. Without sulfur in food and beverages, they could go bad very fast. Red wine has about 150 ppm (parts per million) of sulfur. But guess what has even more? French fries come in at 2,000 ppm of Sulfur! In most cases, the headache is from hydration. Read More
7-White wine can be made from black grapes. If you make wine by gently pressing either a white or black grape to release the juice, and you choose not to mix this juice with the skins, the wine will be clear and categorized as a “white” wine. Examples of this are Chardonnay (white grape) and Champagne made with Pinot Noir (black grape). Notice that the end results of both wines are white. In the case of Champagne, the grapes are pressed so delicately that the dark Pinot Noir skins have very little, to no contact with the clear juice. Read More
8-The dry texture in red wine is called tannin. Tannins are not a flavor. Rather, they are polyphenols (astringent chemical compounds) found in grape skins. They are also found in fruits, veggies, wood, seeds, stems, leaves, bark, and a plethora of other livings plants. The compound results in a cottony mouthfeel when we eat grapes or drink wine. The best way to understand how tannin influences grapes or wine is to peel the skin off of a black table grape and put it in your mouth, without the juicy pulp. When you chew the skin, you should be able to feel the cottony effect of tannin on your teeth and around your mouth. Read More
9-Barrels can add flavor and fill 300 bottles of wine. When wine sits in oak for extended periods of time, it develops flavors of cedar, vanilla, spices, etc. French oak imparts more subtle spicy flavors into the wine, whereas American oak creates stronger flavors of coconut and vanilla. These aromas and flavors naturally exist in oak and mix with the wine as it sits. The higher the toast level (barrels are toasted with fire to extract the wood flavors), the stronger some of these flavors and the more “Smokey” a wine may taste. Read More
10-Most wines are made for immediate consumption and don’t improve much with age. In other words, the majority of wines will die an early death in your cellar if you hold on to them for too long. However, there are some grapes that mature better than others, and some wines that are intentionally made to withstand an aging process. These are the wines you can store in a cellar for years, or even decades until they reach their best flavor potential. Read More
11-Wine is super trendy! If orange wine has been around for thousands of years, why is it suddenly so popular? There’s no real reason, except that there is always some sort of wine fad happening. In the 80s, White Zinfandel was all the rage. In the 90s, Merlot stood in the limelight. In the 2000s, rosé took center stage. What will the next big trend be???
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