Welcome to Wine Deluxe!
This site aims to be an introduction and guide to all things wine and wine-related. We cater both for the first-time wine drinker, and to the more experienced conoisseur looking for specific information on a certain type of wine or wine product. Before all that though, make sure you read the…
Introduction to the World of Wine
Historical citations of the existence of wine go back for centuries, and the culture and production of this silky textured alcoholic beverage are a global obsession.
The Wine Basics
The red or golden hued beverage in that stem you are holding is the product of fermented sugars from ripe grapes. How ripe they are at the time they are picked affects the final product and is the prerogative of individual wine makers. All wines are not created equal, and besides differences in color, (red, white, or rose’) they are further divided based on post harvest production techniques. Grapes can be turned into an effervescent sparkling beverage, the still versions we know as red, white, or rose’, as well as aromatic wines like vermouth, and fortified creations like Madeira or sherry. These varieties result in dry or sweet tastes, or a combination of the two, depending on the residual sugars left in post-fermentation.
To make any of the types listed above, the beginning of the process is the same. Harvest ripe grapes from the vines, crush them to get the juice, and either the naturally occurring yeast in red grapes, or added yeast in whites, converts the sugars into alcohol. The fermentation process takes place in oak barrels or open steel vats, and after it is complete, additional processes such as filtering or fining are used to clarify the liquid. How long the juice ferments will depend on the time that it takes the yeast to consume the majority of sugars; it can also continue until the yeast has died.
White, red, and rose’ wines follow a different procedure after the grapes are harvested. For white, the seeds and skins are discarded, and the juice ferments with added yeast. Red grapes sit in an open vat with the skins and all, which rise up in a layer called must. During the process, the must and juice are mixed together at regular intervals. To create a rose’ or white zinfandel, red grapes are used as though they were white, tossing out the skins and seeds. The result is a tinted wine in varying shades of pink. The final step involves aging the wine in oak casks in a cellar, where frequent samples will be taken to determine the wine’s readiness for drinking.
Varietals means a wine produced from a specific grape type. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon is made from the grape variety of the same name, as is Merlot, Chardonnay, etc. Common red varietals include:
-Cabernet Sauvignon (creates a strong, complex wine.)
-Merlot (smooth, traditionally a grape mixed with other varieties.)
-Barbera (A popular planting in Italy.)
There are many more red varietals, and today many winemakers combine grape varieties to concoct new taste sensations. Common white varietals include:
-Chardonnay (the original variety for white wine of Burgundy, France.)
-Sauvignon Blanc (a lighter and crisper white than Chardonnay.)
-Pinot Grigio (also known as Pinot Gris in some regions.)
-Gewurtztraminer (Originally from Germany and Austria, now popular in major regions like California and Australia.)
Finding a Wine You Like
With so much to choose from, both new and experienced wine tasters have the envious task of sampling a wide selection to discover those that are most pleasing to their taste buds. Fortunately, wine specialty shops will allow customers to buy mixed cases, or purchase half a dozen bottles of various types at a discount.
Because the world of wine is always evolving, try multiple regions. Explore California and Washington wines, but delve just as deeply into Spain, Argentina, and of course, France. Simply tasting bottles from around the world is a mind-opening experience. Embark on your journey today by visiting a local wine store. Find one with friendly, knowledgeable staff and it will be a rewarding experience.
So – now that you’re up to speed, what else can you find here? The answer is clear and illuminating information on a staggering variety of wines, wine racks, glasses and wine producers. You’ll also come across a selection of how to guides ranging from making your own wine to a homemade wine cooler.
So, where to get started? Our featured articles are on the right, and we suggest you check them out. Alternatively, feel free to use the search box to find particular articles – located in the top right hand corner of the site. Enjoy!