Wine collecting – you’re a new convert to the worship of this heaven-in-a-bottle. At first, you might feel like you’re groping blindly in the dark. You started with a few wine bottles, and now you have over a hundred in your collection. But, you’ve realized being a collector is more than just adding bottles to your stock. There’s so much involved, like knowing how to serve wine, what bottles to open before dinner, and what kind of vino to order from the sommelier at a restaurant when you’re out on a date. Be a true wine enthusiast by first knowing the basics about wine!
Be a Smart Wine Collector – Know the Basics About the Bottles in Your Residential Cellar
No one becomes a master without becoming an amateur first. Even the best wine critics began as novices. So, don’t get discouraged if you think you get confused about the difference between a Muscat and a Moscato. (Although there isn’t really any difference other than their names!)
Before you go into expert level discussions about wine, it would be wise to up your game at the novice’s stage. Gather basic knowledge first. As Maria from The Sound of Music would sing it, “Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start…”
How Were the Wines in Your Home Custom Cellar Made?
Basically, most wines are made from grapes. These grapes are grown and nourished in vineyards all over the world by winemakers. A little emphasis on “by winemakers” because only those who are experts at making wine know how to properly grow grapes. You can’t just plant a vineyard in your backyard if you want to produce your own wine! Terroir or how a grape was grown – the composition of the soil, level of exposure to sunlight, amount of rain – has a tremendous effect on how the end product will taste.
Once these grapes have reached maturity, they are harvested, placed in containers, and crushed. Then, yeasts – either artificially added by the winemaker or naturally gathered from the grape skins – begin to interact with the sugar in the grape juice. This interaction, which is also known as fermentation, will ultimately produce alcohol.
Fermentation requires patience. Winemakers ferment wine from days to years, depending on the kind of wine they’re producing. Wine producers also have to decide where to ferment wine. The two choices of containers are oak and stainless steel barrels. Each one contributes a certain uniqueness to the flavor of the wines stored in them.
Grapes can be divided into two varietals: white and black.
White grapes aren’t literally white. They’re basically the lighter skinned variety. They can be green, yellow-green, or light orange. Black grapes, on the other hand, are the darker types. They’re never literally black, but instead are either red, blue, or violet.
Not all parts of the grape are used in making wine. The stem and seeds are often removed because of their high level of tannins. The skin and pulp are included in the winemaking process. The pulp is the liquid inside the grape and is made up of water, sugars, and acids. The skin is the most important ingredient in making wine because it is the one responsible for giving wine its color. The pulp is colorless. The process by which the pigment from the grape skin is transferred to the wine during the fermentation of the juice is called maceration.
The Six Types of Wine That You Should Have in Your Residential Cellar
You might be the type who wants to have ten bottles of one kind of wine, but doesn’t this lack of assortment become boring after a while? Make your collection more interesting by adding a bottle from each kind of wine variety! Not only will it increase the variety in your residential cellar, but it’ll also help you explore the different flavors. In the long run, you’ll find that there are more wines that will appeal to your taste buds than you think!
The six categories of wines are:
This type of wine contains little to no red pigmentation. More often than not, white wines are made from white grapes only. There are certain instances where winemakers could make white wine from black grapes, and that is if they exclude the skins.
The most popular white wines include Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay.
2. Red Wine
Black grapes, as discussed above, have colorless pulps. They produce red wine when the grape skins are included in the fermentation process. Besides the difference in color, red wines have higher tannin content than white wines.
Examples of the most sought-after red wines include Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
3. Rosé Wine
Also known as pink or blush wines, rosé wines are called such because of their pink color. This kind of wine is made from black grape juice. They don’t completely become red because the grape skins are removed hours after being in contact with the juice.
If you’re planning to add a few rosé wines to your residential cellar, you might want to consider White Merlot and White Zinfandel.
4. Sparkling Wine
This variety can be made from either white or black grapes. What makes them standout is their carbon dioxide bubbles. Winemakers have developed a method to effectively trap naturally occurring carbon dioxide in the wine, in order to make sparkling wine.
The most well-known sparkling wines are Champagne, Prosecco, Moscato d’Asti, and Cava.
This kind of wine is enjoyed as dessert because of its high sugar content. There are various ways to make dessert wines, including harvesting grapes a little later in the season when their sugar levels are higher than normal. Some wine makers, like those who produce the Italian Vin Santo, would dry the grapes on straw mats first to concentrate their sugars before they are made into wine.
6. Fortified Wines
Fortified wines are those that have had Brandy or other kinds of spirits added when they were fermented. Some popular fortified wines include Port and Sherry.