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Distinguishing Wines

Posted by Amanda on 1/12/10



Wines are differentiated on various things besides varietals. If you want to become a wine connoisseur or just learn more about the wines you love then you must learn more about the differences with wines.

The major differences between wines are of course whether a wine is white or red. Of course, the color is one way to distinguish the wines, however, you may not know this, but some white wines are actually created by using black grapes. The difference between red and white wines lies with the fermentation process.

When red wines are fermented, the skins and seeds stay intact. When white wines are fermented with black grapes, the skins and seeds are removed which produces the color of straw. For rose or pink colored wines the skins and seeds are left intact for a short while before removing, thus the color. The longer the skins and seeds are left intact the darker and deeper the color of the wine.

The most popular red wines include:
Pinot Noir is a light to medium-bodied red wine with ripe strawberries and raspberries flavor
Shiraz is a medium-bodied red wine with flavor characteristics of dark cherries, cassis, and slightly peppery.
Merlot is a medium-bodied red wine with flavor characteristics of plums, currants, and blackberries.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine with characteristics of leather, earthy and tannic flavor.

The most popular white wines include:
Pinot Grigio is a light-bodied white wine with flavor characteristics of ripe peach and grapefruit.
Riesling is a light-bodied white wine with apples and pears characteristics.
Sauvignon is a medium-bodied white wine with herbaceous, vegetable, and citrus fruit
Chardonnay is a full-bodied white wine tropical fruit flavors.

A few of the thing that make wines different besides red and white include:

Vintner
All winemakers have their own recipe for creating their bottles of wines.

Age
Age has quite a bit to do with the taste of a wine. The longer a wine ages the bolder the flavor mainly with red wines.

Casking
The material used for casking wines can make wines taste differently such as if the wine is casked in wood like oak or in a different wood, the wine will taste different.

Grape Blend
The blend of grapes used to create the wine of course will have quite a bit to do with the aroma and the flavor of the wine. All grapes have their own unique flavor, which gives wine its delightful appeal.
Growing Season
Another thing to look at when learning the difference in aroma and taste of wines is to look at the various growing seasons throughout the world. The climate from one country to another certainly has an affect on the aroma and taste of the wines created in their region of the world.

As you are learning about the various types of wine and what makes them unique it is best to start with the light bodied wines. As you begin to enjoy the flavor and aromas, you will soon be able to distinguish quite a bit about every wine you sip.


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