Last updated: August 17, 2021

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Tasting a good wine can be very complex due to the great variety of products on the market, as each one of them has unique characteristics that make each wine special. Moreover, for each food there is a suitable type of wine.

If you are just starting to have a taste for wine and you are not a wine connoisseur, but you are interested in understanding the magic of this drink and all that it entails, this article will undoubtedly be of great value to you. Besides giving you information about wine, we show you what is recommended to accompany it with.




Summary

  • Wine is a beverage that arises from the fermentation of grapes. The selection of grapes is extremely meticulous, they must be healthy and ripe grapes. The juice obtained from the grapes is completely natural. It uses other components such as water, alcohol, sugars (flavour); tannins (colour and texture); volatile substances (aroma).
  • There are different types of wine, which are classified according to the colour of the wine and its age. In terms of colour, they can be: red, rosé or white. While in terms of age, they can be young, crianza, reserva, gran reserva, among others. You will always find these two classifications together, for example, reserve red wine.
  • The relevant criteria to consider when purchasing a wine are the grape, the body, the sweetness, the brand name and the type of barrels. These aspects help us to discover the unique characteristics of each wine and ensure that they make the perfect match with our preferences.

The Best Wine: Our Picks

Buying Guide

When you consider buying a good wine, you may think that the decision is only a matter of minutes, however, it is essential to consider what you really need. This way, when comparing different types of wines, your selection will be successful. That is why in the following sections we will break down the most important factors in detail.

A glass of wine with friends is undoubtedly a great moment. (Photo: langstrup / 123rf.com)

What is wine and what are its advantages?

Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from grapes. It is the result of the fermentation process of grapes. The selection of the grapes is extremely meticulous, as they must be healthy and ripe grapes. The juice obtained is completely natural. It is mixed with water, alcohol, sugars (flavour); tannins (colour and texture); volatile substances (aroma).

We want you to know the most significant characteristics and properties of wine so that you can have an idea of the benefits of drinking this beverage. We develop it in the following table:

Advantages
  • Combats tiredness
  • Increases the body's endorphins
  • Improves brain function
  • Delays ageing
  • Helps to lose weight
  • Minimises the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Treats gum infections and cleanses the palate.
Disadvantages
  • In excess it generates dehydration
  • Can affect coordination
  • Reduces attention span
  • Demineralises bones and teeth
  • Contributes to liver diseases
  • Can generate osteoporosis

Red, white or rosé wine - what should you pay attention to?

You don't have to be an expert to enjoy a good wine, but the more you learn and master something, the more you enjoy it. This type of product can satisfy any palate thanks to the differences, which are very noticeable, between the different types of wine.

Red Wine

This type of wine is obtained from the must of dark or red grapes. They are subjected to a manufacturing process that allows the colouring matter contained in the grape skins to be transmitted to the must. Essentially, red wines are obtained through two production processes, the traditional method and carbonic maceration.

The colour of the wine depends on factors such as the grape varieties used, the method of production and its age. The shades of red wines range from light red to black. These wines have a maximum alcohol content of 15% and the appropriate temperature for tasting is between 16 and 18°C.

The taste of red wine is often dry, acidic and a little bitter, with hints of red fruits, the sweetness of the grapes is hardly distinguishable in this type of wine.

White wine

This wine is made only with white grapes, although sometimes it can be made with red grapes, but in these cases the skin of the grape is removed before the fermentation of the juice of the fruit. They are usually fresh, smooth and fruity wines. Their shades are straw yellow, greenish yellow and golden yellow.
A white wine is characterised by its virgin production, a term used in oenology to define the fermentation of the must in the absence of solid parts, as opposed to a red wine where the fermentation is carried out with part or all of the skins. The optimum temperature for this wine is between 12 and 16° C.

Rosé wine

As for this wine, it is necessary to clarify that it is a wine that contains the essence of red wine, but only what is necessary to give it that pink hue, which ranges from light pink to violet. The colour depends on the duration and temperature of the mixture between the grape juice and the grape skins during maceration.

Both white and red grapes are used in the production of rosé wine in all its varieties. It is important to mention that it is very appreciated for being a suitable pairing for all kinds of dishes. The appropriate temperature of rosé wine for its tasting is between 15 and 17° C. The taste of these wines is sweeter, stronger and more acidic.

Red Wine White Wine Rosé Wine
Pairing Red meat and cold meats Fish and Cheese Seafood and salads.
Alcohol Up to 15° Between 10 and 12.5° Between 12 and 14.5°.
Ideal temperature Between 16 and 18° C Between 12 and 16° C Between 15 and 17° C.
Aroma Red fruits White fruits and spices Sweet and fresh.

Where there is an important moment, there is a good wine (Photo: Darya Petrenko/ 123rf.com)

Buying Criteria: Factors that allow you to compare and rate different Wines

At first sight, buying a wine is only about finding the one that suits your tastes or is your favourite wine. However, if you want to choose a wine like a true wine taster, there are some very important factors that you have to take into account in order to make the ideal choice.

Not always the most expensive wine is the right or the best one. Buying an expensive wine assures us to a certain extent its quality, but it is not always the best option. It depends a lot on each taste and the situation in which you are going to consume it. That is why your criteria will also influence the best wine for you. These are:

Grape

If you decide to delve into the world of wine, it is important to know its main ingredient, the grape. There is a great variety of grapes that are differentiated by the growing process and the place where they are harvested. The most popular in the world of wine are those produced in the regions of Europe and South America. These are:

  • Tempranillo: It is the most harvested grape in Spain. It is so called because the grapes are harvested before they reach maturity. It is a grape with very fruity and aromatic notes and is ideal for resting in barrels.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: It is, without a doubt, the French grape most used in most of the best red wines in the world. It has an adequate acidity that is compatible with the wine and pleasant to the palate and its ageing in barrels is extraordinary, therefore, it is frequently used in coupages, to give more body and duration of flavour to the wines.
  • Merlot: It is a grape of French origin and is considered the most aromatic grape for its touch of red and black fruits, as well as its smooth taste. It is commonly used in red wines. The properties of this grape depend largely on the place where it is grown and the climate.
  • Sauvignon blanc: This grape for white wine grows in Chile, in clayey and sunny soils. Its main characteristic is that it has aromas of hay and gooseberry, as well as an intense acidity. Grapes grown in warm areas are ideal for barrel ageing.
  • Chardonnay: It is a Chilean grape and is considered the best white wine grape in the world. The optimal conditions for the cultivation of this grape are calcareous soils and a not very warm climate. Among its properties, it has a neutral aroma, which can be slightly melon-like, and excellent acidity.
  • Malbec: It is a grape cultivated in Argentina, it is ideal for red and rosé wines. Its main property is that it gives a semi-dry taste due to its acidity and an aroma of red fruits and berries. It has an intense colour for red wines and violet reflections for rosé wines.

"Wine when drunk with sincere inspiration can only be compared to a maiden's kiss". Nicanor Parra

Body

The body of the wine is one of the most relevant aspects evaluated by wine tasters. It can be analysed by the sense of sight and taste. Experts can determine the body of the wine by sight, while those who are just starting out in the world of wine need to concentrate on the sensations it produces in the mouth.

In the visual stage, wines with little body can be detected by being able to see through the wine, especially in young wines, while aged wines are much darker, i.e. they have a lot of body. You can also tell when you move the glass in circles, if the drop takes a long time to return to the wine, it means that it is full-bodied.

If we talk about the sense of taste, the wine has good body when tasting it causes the sensation of having something solid in the mouth, that is to say, if you feel the wine heavy, it means that it has a lot of body. In short, the body of the wine measures the density and consistency of the wine when you taste it.

Sweetness

Grapes, like most fruits, contain sugars that become more concentrated as the fruit remains on the plant until the ripening stage. The sweetness in a wine is found in the amount of sugars that were not transformed into alcohol in the fermentation process. This is where we find sweet and dry wines.

Tasters rate wines according to the optimal balance between acidity, sugar content and alcohol content. The driest wines contain 0.2 g of glucose per litre and more than 1 g of fructose per litre. Thanks to them, the sweet stimuli that all wines have are perceived on the tongue.

Good company is the most important thing to enjoy a good wine. (Photo: Andrii IURLOV / 123rf.com)

Recognised brand

It is important to take into account the wine brands that exist on the market, as the best positioned ones inspire quality and guarantee the wine they are making. Wine connoisseurs are married to their favourite brand, i.e. a good wine generates loyalty and trust.

On the other hand, those who are just starting out in the vast world of wine will undoubtedly think about which are the best wine brands as a primary purchasing factor. Since they are not sure which wine to choose, the first thing they will look for is a recommendation based on the brands, so that with the passage of time, they will find their favourite brand.

The globally recognised brands are: 10th Graham's Port from Portugal; 9th Château Margaux from Bordeaux, France; 8th Michel Chapoutier from the South of France; 7th Ridge from California, USA; 6th Guigal de Ampuis, South of France; 5th Viña Errázuriz from Chile; 4th Villa María from New Zealand; 3rd Penfolds from Australia; 2nd Concha y Toro from Chile and 1st Torres from Spain.

"Wine is the only work of art that you can drink" Luis Fernando Olaverri.

Types of Barrels

Wine barrels are the most commonly used for ageing wines, as the wood provides essential characteristics that allow the wine's flavour and aroma to be concentrated. The most commonly used are American oak and French oak barrels.

American oak barrels

Due to the thickness of the wood and its fine pores, the wine does not oxidise easily. It helps to give the wine the properties of the wood to give it a concentrated flavour and an aroma typical of this barrel with hints of cocoa, smoke or coffee.

French oak barrels

This is a very fine wood that allows the properties of the wine to be maintained, concentrating its flavour and maintaining its aroma, as well as the fact that this type of wood is prone to yield more tannins to the wine, improving its colour and thickening its body.

There's nothing like an evening with friends and a good wine (Photo: ammentorp/ 123rf.com)

(Featured image photo: Daniel Draghici/ 123rf.com)

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