You pour yourself a glass of wine and as you take that delicious first sip, questions start popping into your head. Does this qualify as fruity or floral and how can you even tell anyway? Why does my mouth feel dry after each sip? Should I be embarrassed by how much I actually like this $7 bottle of wine I just bought?
We all have that friend that is a bit of a wine expert, or at least talks with such confidence that it seems that they know what they’re talking about. While you may have all of these questions running through your head, the last thing you want to do is bring attention to your amateur wine knowledge by asking your friend.
Here is a list of answers to the most common questions about wine that have most likely been weighing in your mind. Now, you won’t have to ask that friend of yours and can even showcase this new insight to other friends at the next wine and cheese party.
How can you distinguish the aromatics of a wine?
If you have never practiced the art of wine tasting before, it is going to be much more difficult for you to discern the exact flavor of the wine at first. This takes practice! Wine tasting is about detecting the various flavors and aromas. Try doing a blind taste-test of something else, like jellybeans, and guessing the flavors as a way to understand how this process works.
Why does my mouth feel dry when I drink wine?
There are compounds referred to as tannins that can be found in wine. Don’t worry, this isn’t some sort of dangerous chemical you shouldn’t be consuming. Tannins are naturally occurring and live in grape skins, seeds, and even stems. They attach to the protein in your saliva and dry your mouth out.
Is there a difference between inexpensive and expensive wine?
There is, of course, but this doesn’t mean that inexpensive wines are any less appetizing. For someone who is not a wine expert, inexpensive wines could be just as good, if not better, than a more expensive bottle. The reason why some wines are more expensive mostly has to do with the type of grape used, how long the wine has been aged, and so on. So continue buying those $7 bottles of wine with confidence if that’s what you enjoy drinking!
How can I find the best wines in my area?
If you are just recently starting to explore more wine options, consider going to your local wine shop. The staff should be able to help you find the best wines for you based on your preferences in taste. If you want to support local businesses, take a tour of the diverse wineries in your area! I use an app called Vivino that allows you to scan a bottle of wine and read the tasting notes on it before you decide to make a purchase.
What is the difference between wines that are corked vs. wines that have screw tops?
Wine with screw tops are not necessarily cheaper than wine with corks. Cork is used because it is a great, renewable material that conforms to the wine bottle and creates a seal. But some areas have been transitioning away from corks just because screw tops are much easier to open and you don’t run the risk of getting a bad cork.
Are there any other questions about wine that you would add to this list? I would be happy to answer them in the comments below!