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Understanding the Different Types of Wine and How They’re Made

Understanding the Different Types of Wine and How They’re Made

The different types of wine have unique characteristics, but most have some common traits. They are all made from grapes and vary depending on how they’re grown, the climate in which they’re grown, the style of winemaking, and more. The best way to understand the differences between these wines is to learn some basic information about the grapes and how they are made. Learn the best info about Understanding the Different Types of Wine.

Grapes

Two main types of grapes are used to make wine: white and black. White grapes tend to be green-colored, while black grapes tend to be red-colored. They are the basis for many types of wines, including sparkling and dessert wines.

Red Grapes

Many grapes can be used to make red wines, and each has a flavor profile. Some are considered aromatic (meaning they have healthy fruit and floral aromas), others semi-aromatic (meaning they have less distinct fruit aromas but respond well to winemaking processes like oak aging), and neutral (suggesting they have little to no smell).

Taste

The flavors in wine can vary quite dramatically, depending on where it’s made, the ripening process, and the specific expression of the grape varieties that went into it. Some wines are earthy and spicy, while others may have a jammy, ripe fruit flavor.

Tannins

Tanning is a natural substance found in grapes, and it can be a critical factor in determining how wine tastes. When a wine has been fermented with grape skins for an extended period, it will have more tannins than if it’s been bottled unfermented.

These tannins are what give red wines their color. The higher the tannins in a wine, the more dry and bitter it will be.

Some winemakers add distilled spirits, like brandy, to their wine during fermentation, creating “fortified” wines. These can taste sweet or dry and are usually enjoyed after a meal.

Body Types

The tannic structure, acidity, sugar, and alcohol content determine a wine’s body type. Light-bodied wines have fewer tannins and higher acidity, while full-bodied wines have higher tannins and more weight on the palate.

Medium-bodied wines are a mix of the above. These wines balance the three qualities well and will leave you with a more complex impression on your palate overall. Examples of these wines include Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley and Nebbiolo from Piedmont in Italy.

Extra-dry Champagne is the most popular, but many other sparklers, such as extra-brut and prosecco, have a slightly sweeter taste.

Sparkling Wines

Some winemakers create sparkling wines by mixing white and red grapes, then fermenting them briefly. They can be made in many styles, often paired with other foods or served independently.

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