Wine Basics - Introduction to Wine, Wine Drinking

Wine Basics - Introduction to Wine, Wine Drinking

Do you know what wine is, how wine is made, or what differentiates one wine from another? You don't need to be a wine expert to enjoy wine, but knowing more about it can enhance your wine-drinking experience. Learning the basics about wine will help you to pick out better wines, pair wines with better food, and better understand the experience. You'll also be able to impress your friends!
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Reading Restaurant Wine Lists

Ordering wine in a restaurant is centered around the restaurant's wine list. Unless you can understand the wine list, you'll never be able to make an informed decision about which wine to order. Unfortunately, wine lists sometimes appear designed to make the choice more difficult, not easier. Ordering wine from a restaurant's wine list isn't for the faint-hearted, but it also isn't too difficult once you get the hang of it.

Don't be Intimidated by Wine

Have you ever felt intimidated by the culture of wine, wine drinking, and wine production? Have you ever felt that there was just so much to learn that you couldn't possibly know were to start, much less learn enough to be useful, so why even bother?

Well, you're not alone in this. Lots of people have enjoyed wine enough to want to know more, but have also been so intimidated by wine that they were afraid to start — but you don't need to feel intimidated. It's not hard to learn enough to expand your horizons.

Looking at Wine: Color & Clarity

Tasting wine starts with the eyes, not the mouth, so take some time to consider the details of what your wine looks like. To properly taste wine, you should first look closely at its color, clarity, and consistency. Color is much more than just knowing if the wine is red or white. Clarity is about much more than just whether a wine is light or dark. Consistency is about much more than how thick the wine is.

Choosing a Wine Merchant

If you're fortunate to have more than one specialty wine shop in your area, you should take advantage of this by visiting them all and comparing what they have to offer. Even if you don't know enough about wine to fairly compare their selections, you can still compare other qualities like whether they store their wine properly, whether they have a broad selection of prices and varieties, and the quality of their customer service. Do they, for example, keep trying to sell you more expensive wines or do they listen well enough to your needs and then offer you wines that fit?

Best Shapes for Wine Glasses

The single most important thing you need to pay attention to when choosing the right wine glasses is the wine glass shape. The wrong shape in a wine glass will completely alter the wine tasting experience, even to the point where you can't properly examine or smell the wine in order to evaluate it. You don't necessarily need to get a different glass for every type of wine - though that is possible - but you should try to have a different glass shape for white wine, red wine, and sparkling wine.

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