Wine Basics

Wine basics

Wine Basics

By Mark Adams

Mark is the founder of amber crest winery, a professional winemaker, an author and frequent speaker on wine.  He teaches wine classes throughout the United States.

Mark is also the author of The Really Fun Wine Book, one of his wine books.

Below is an excerpt that features some wine basics

There are thousands of wine types (varieties) in the world.  There’s a variety of grape or blend for every taste and every person.  The fun is trying to identify which flavors you like and which ones you don’t.

In future articles we’ll discuss the characteristics of different varieties, but for now let’s focus on the basics of learning wine.

What happens to most people when they are starting out is some well intentioned, experienced wine drinking friend gives you a glass of big, bold red wine that they like and they tell you how good it is.  You trust them, because “they know wine”.

You think if they like it, it must meet some magical standard of what “good wine” should taste like.  You mouth waters in anticipation, you savor the moment of feeling that something good is about to happen, you take a sip and then…aaaah, it tastes terrible.  I mean awful.

wine basicsYou make the bitter beer face expression to your friend and then say to yourself, people drink this and like it?  Well I don’t like it at all.  I guess I’m just not suited to drink wine and then you don’t drink wine for a while.  Sound familiar?

I feel your pain.  This is exactly what happened to me in my early twenties and for the next twenty years I didn’t drink wine.  I finally had another well intentioned friend explain to me that I started at the wrong place.

He said you start out with light and fruity wine with a touch of sweetness and as your tastes develop, then go to white wine and then finally to red.

Now wait a minute, EPIFANY MOMENT HERE. You mean I missed out on 20 years of enjoying wine.  He smiled in a Yoda like way and simply said, yes.

I caught the wine bug.  Over the next couple of years, I began to enjoy wine so much that today I started my own winery.  All from being taught the right way.

I don’t expect any you to follow that path.  But you can take a similar path.  Wine is about exploration and journey, not the destination.  People have completely different tastes not only in wine but all things.

==>Click Here for the Really Fun Wine Book Website<==

You have got to accept that there is no standard of a particular variety.  The best wine is the wine that you like.  I have a motto.  Never let anyone tell you what wine to drink and drink what you like.

As a winemaker, I fully accept that not everyone likes the same thing.  One person’s greatest wine is another persons worst wine.

There are of course scientific reasons to my friend’s logic.  When we taste, we first look for flavors we recognize.  Most beverages we have had, sweet tea, colas, fruits, fun things like snow cones or candy only have two distinct flavors, sweetness and a particular flavor.  We know these flavors and understand them.

Wine on the other hand has much more than two flavors.  Some we don’t instantly recognize.

Since we are looking for flavors we do recognize our taste buds send messages (they probably have an unlimited text message plan with our brains) to our brains that says unrecognizable flavor, don’t know what to do, shut down and then make a bitter beer face.  We then say we don’t like it.

That’s why you should start out with sweeter wines that are light and fruity.  It gives your taste buds and brain time to acclimate to wine.  As you taste more and are ready for the next step you move to whites, only when you can handle the additional flavors.  Then, finally to reds.

A thought to remember, some people never move past sweet wine or past whites.  That’s OK, too.  Remember drink what you like.  Because someone drinks a wine you don’t care for, it doesn’t mean they are higher up on the wine ladder.

You should now have a pretty good understanding of wine basics!

For even more info click here to learn about wine.

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==>Click Here for the Really Fun Wine Book Website<==