The Guide to Wine for Beginners
Wine is more than just a drink; it’s a lifestyle, a survey into history, a gastronomic adventure, a study in farming, and a way to explore different cultures. But with so many different angles to approach wine, how do you get started?
Fortunately, there are only a few basic techniques to learn, as well as a little common wine knowledge. With some practice, you’ll be over the hump of rudimentary wine “dabbler,” and on to becoming an upstanding wino, capable of ordering wine like a pro.
The wine for beginners infographic has the answers to your questions. Learn the different wine styles, wine glasses and tips on tasting like a wine connoisseur.
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- Wine Styles
- With over 1300 types of wine out there, it’s better to start with just the basics. Discover the most popular high quality wine varieties–from Albariño to Zinfandel. In the Wine for Beginners Chart , you’ll find them arranged by color.
- Wine Glasses
- Which glass do you use for Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay? You can discover every type of wine glass out there, or just start off with a basic set.
- Secrets to Reading Wine Labels
- On US wine labels “Reserve” doesn’t officially mean anything, but there are a few tips you can learn. For instance, the alcohol level says a lot about the style of wine and the vintage tells you a lot about the quality.
- Calories in Wine
- Even though alcoholic beverages aren’t required to list calories, that doesn’t mean they are calorie-free! Learn the calories of wine by style including common wines like Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Moscato.
- Wine and Food Pairing
- We’ve illustrated wine and food pairings before, but the method above will inspire wine pairing with common dishes you might enjoy at home.
- Common Bottle Shapes
- It doesn’t matter what type of bottle you use (unless it’s for sparkling). However, there are some standards in the business. Did you know that Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Grenache are almost always bottled in a more feminine style low-shoulder bottle? Also, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are nearly always bottled in a masculine high-shoulder bottle. These facts can help you identify what’s inside the bottle when the variety is not listed.
- Tasting Tips
- Check out the video on tasting wine if you’d like to know how to taste like an expert.
- Common Flavors in Red and White Wine
- After you get past the “wine taste,” what else do you smell or taste in the glass? A handy list of common wine flavors may help you fill in the blank.