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Wine Basics - A Beginner's Guide to Drinking Wine

Marie Gabrielle

Posted on July 16 2021

“From a fermented grape juice to a bottle of wine” is probably the most common misconception about wine. Guess what? Winemaking is a complex process. Grape variety, fermenting technique, and age affect the taste profile of the wine.

Drinking wine is a pleasurable experience worth exploring; it is more than just consuming an alcoholic drink. Whether you're just getting started with drinking or work in the industry, these easy-to-follow guidelines will help you to discover and enhance your taste preference, as well as a foundation for your long and delicious journey in appreciating wines.

The Basics

Wine commonly comes from grapes, but it is not like the ones you can find at a local grocery store. Instead, winemakers use grapes or Vitis Vinifera varieties in creating their wines. This type of grape is smaller, sweeter, has thicker skins, and contains seeds.

Around 1,300 grape types are for commercial production, but about 100 of these kinds account for 75% of all vineyards worldwide. Today, winemakers use popular and quality grape varieties in their vineyards.

Five Major Types of Wine

Wines have five categories. Each category has different winemaking processes and grape varieties.

White Wine

White wines are from white and occasionally black grapes, ranging from light to complex taste. Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Gris are considered some of the most popular white wine grape varieties.

Red Wine

Red wines are from black grapes and range in flavor from light to bold. Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, and Grenache are some of the most popular red wine grape varieties.

Rosé Wine

The production of rose wine is done by combining white and red wine or from black grapes in which winemakers remove the skins before it gets a deep crimson color. Moreover, both dry and sweet versions of Rosé wine are popular.

Dessert Wine

Dessert wines are often sweet. However, there are a variety of dry, fortified dessert wines available, such as dry Sherry.

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine ranges from lean and dry to rich and sweet, and it also comes in white or red. Secondary fermentation produces bubbles in this type of winemaking.

The Process Of Tasting Wines

  1. Check the bottle's label; this will provide us information about the wine's origins, such as the grape variety and age.
  2. Glasswares should be appropriate for the type of wine served. So, be sure to select the right glass for sparkling, white, or red wines.
  3. Properly hold the stem of the glass wine; this will keep your hand's heat and odor from interfering with the wine's scents.
  4. Pour one-third of the glass and gently swirl it around. Swirling it will amplify the wine's aroma, promoting more oxygen in the wine glass.
  5. Sniff the wine; the intensity of the aroma will determine the wine's complexity. Simple wines will have primary fruit scents, whereas complex wines will contain secondary fragrances developed during the winemaking process. Finally, wines that have been aged will include tertiary aromas of vessel aging, such as oak.
  6. Take a sip of wine. Swish it around in your tongue to absorb the flavors rather than swallowing it. Take a moment to consider the robust flavor before consuming for the finish. The taste of good wine will linger in your palette for a reasonable amount of time.


Wine is a pretty straightforward beverage that grows increasingly complex as you learn more about it. The funny thing is that everyone can still appreciate it no matter how little they know. In a sense, wine is gratifying!