One thing I love to do is learn and share. I enjoy speaking with people from different walks of life. I like to learn about cultures here and abroad and wine is usually a great ice breaker or commonality with which I can share with any one of many people. I've seen the most hardened, closed lip attempts at a discussion open up with the mere mention of wine. And if you are in the position to offer a glass, I've witnessed a war of words cease. I've also noticed creased brows in crowds of people when winespeak occurs. There are times those brows are mine, but I've learned 2 major secrets to wine: 1) ask questions when I don't know (no matter how simple or silly the question may seem 2) research
Now we all know how to ask questions but many of us don't know how to research. It is much simpler than wine snobs make it out to be. Research is nothing more than trying the wine. How do you try wines? By trying them.
I know wine can be expensive. The task of picking a decent wine that you'll probably like, can be daunting, especially when faced with thousands of bottles adorning cute (not so much) critters etched on labels and seemingly complicated names and descriptions. The good news is you don’t have to be confused by fancy labels and complicated names anymore. The better news is you only need to start from what you like. The Grape.
Wine can be made from almost anything: fruit, grains, starch etc. With the exception of the properties listed above and for example, a tropical wine like lychee and pineapple, the grape is the main ingredient.
So, starting with the grape you ask yourself: do you like white or red? If you don’t know, here are some clues: white is usually lighter, you drink it at a chilled temperature and range from very sweet to very dry or tart. Red is usually dry(tart), consumed best at a cool temperature, not room temperature (we’ll discuss temperature in detail at a later date) and robust or strong on the tongue. Most novices make the mistake of thinking because the wine is red, it is going to be sweet. We think of red or purple grapes of generally being sweet, however in wine that is usually not the case.
Notice I use terms like usually, exceptions, almost and some because in wine nothing is absolute and there can be a million and one exceptions. Next up: Pt.2 Tips for trying new wines…Cheers!