For many years now, wine has been one of the most indulged products in the world, with knowledge of wine being considered an expertise and wine collection being a genuine hobby. It’s common for many people to find the subject of wine to be quite intimidating, with it often appearing hard to explain or difficult to understand the different tastes. Firstly, when making wine, there is a slightly different process between red & white; red wine is made from the pulp of red or black grapes and fermentation occurs together with the grape skins, which give the wine its colour. White wine is made by fermenting juice which is made by pressing crushed grapes to extract a juice; the skins are removed and play no further role. After this process, they are usually left to age – with red needing 18-24 months at least before being bottled and white only needing a few months.
What makes a wine really unique is the grape variety that goes into your wine before the fermentation stage, and the region and climate that particular grape comes from. The best way to start learning your wines would be to begin with the most popular; Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot & Chardonnay. As a waiter, bartender or even just someone who enjoys wine, it’s essential to know the most popular types when recommending to customers or friends, so we have devised together a quick guide on these four grapes to help you on your way!
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most recognized red wines, with it being grown in a wide variety of regions and climates such as France, USA, Argentina, South Africa & Chile, and varying immensely in flavours. This particular red wine would be universally dry and considered full-bodied, with dark fruits and hints of savoury tastes from black peppers, vanilla & violet with fruity flavours such as blackberry, blackcurrant and black cherry. Merlot is a dark blue-coloured wine grape variety that can produce variations of soft to full bodied dry red wine. It is the most popular planted grape in the Bordeaux region of France and the second most popular in the US – just behind Cabernet Sauvignon. The flavours of Merlot would be similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, with the main difference being that the skin of the Merlot grape would be a lot thinner than Cab Sauv, which may make it less sharp due to fewer softer types of tannin. It can also be considered a fruiter tasting wine.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world and a one that is very different from other white wines, mainly due to its botanical & green flavours. The flavours of a Sauvignon Blanc can vary all depending on how ripe the grape is when being made. The grape can vary from a zesty lime to a flowery peach. This wine would mainly be considered a dry wine and its most popular regions would include France and Italy for a more traditional, old world taste and New Zealand for a sweeter, new world experience. Chardonnay is a wine that can vary in flavour depending on the climate and the way it’s made. There are two types; classic oak-aged chardonnay which is creamy & rich or lean mineral & dry which would be the un-oaked kind. It ranges in flavours from a barely ripe Chardonnay will have lemon to green apple flavours, with a very ripe having tropical flavours such as pineapple and mango. Chardonnay is perfectly paired with fish or soft cheeses.
With over 10,000 grape varieties available around the world today, it would be a difficult task to learn about every grape that exists, so tackling the four most popular ones will help assist you in gaining more knowledge of the many wines available on the market today. When serving or enjoying wine it’s important to have the right glass to accompany them.Explore our full range of glass ware by clicking here here or shop online at www.hughjordan.com - We love to hear from you so let us know what you feel are the most popular wines on Twitter or Facebook