A Beginners Guide to Understand Wine

Updated: Mar 21

We all love sipping our favourite drink to relax and unwind. Wine is one of the most respected and cherished drinks across the world. The Wine market is yet to pick up in India however, the journey has begun.

Each one of us has a different taste in the wine and the current Indian market offers a range of Non-alcoholic as well as Alcoholic Wines. As we all know, the very basic ingredient for manufacturing wine is Grapes - Green and Black Grapes. By the way, these Wine Grapes are different from the table grapes. However, It takes a series of processes and time intervals to be called wine. Technically any fruit is capable of being used for making Wine (like apples, cranberries, plum etc.)

Along with time, the processing and ingredients of wine have also been modified just to create a specific kind of taste and more variety. But the question is if there is only one ingredient from which wine can get manufactured then what is the thing that makes them differ from each other? The answer is its process of manufacturing.

Wine is an alcoholic beverage (10% to 15% alcohol content) made from fermented Grape Juice. The wine grapes are different from normal grapes which we eat as fruit. The wine grapes are sweeter and have a lot of seeds. There are 5 kinds of Wines: Red Wine, Rose Wine, White Wine, Sparkling Wine and Dessert Wine. Let's see how they are different from each other.

Red Wine

One of the most loved and prominent kinds of wine. It is made up of dark coloured skinned grapes.

Characteristics- The winemaker adds pressed grape juice named ‘must’ to ferment with the skin of the dark grapes which adds flavour to the wine. It has high tannin levels. With time, the yeast converts grape sugar to ethanol and carbon dioxide. It comes in various flavours like Blueberry, black olive, coffee etc.

Colour- Hue, opaque purple, ruby and close shades to such colours. As long as red wine ages, its colour gets darker and darker, sometimes even brown.

Food combination- As red wine is high in acid so Italian cuisine, Chinese food containing tangy flavours will go best with red wine. Red wine with red meat dishes like steak can be a delicious combo. Also, it can be added to after or with dinner beverages.

Life span- Though wine is said to have its best quality for years only if kept properly at a specific temperature. Red wine should be kept at about 12°C and should be served at about 15–20 °C. If kept above 24°C then its fruit flavours will turn mushy and probably get cooked. Keeping in low temperatures will increase the ageing of the red wine.

White Wine

White Wine is made from green-skinned grapes though it is also produced by dark-skinned grapes just by removing their most exterior skin.

Characteristics- Majorly the grape variety from which white wine is manufactured is Chardonnay, Pinot Gris etc. It comes in flavours like Green Apple, Lemon drop, Pear, Honeydew, Citrus, Pineapple, Papaya etc. One of the most loved varieties of white wine among people is the one made of Chardonnay grapes.

Colour- Golden, Yellow, Tint from light to rich.

Food combination- White wine complements seafood like prawns, fish, crab etc.

Life span: A standard White Wine remains best for consumption for about one to two years. While once the seal of the wine bottle gets opened, it's better to keep it in the refrigerator.

Rose Wine

Rose wine is generally made by the same variety of grapes of which red wine is manufactured. The only difference of macerating juice from grapes for rose wine is that the juice from the grape skin got fermented only for some hours due to which the rose wine is very low in tannins.

Characteristics- Rose wine is also made by blending red and white wine together. Both dry and sweet styles of rose wine are preferred by the people. Rose wine is also preferred for formal giftings such as during corporate events or investors' meetings. The most durable variety of rose wine is the wine which is made from Dom Perignon rose. It has the taste of red fruit and a slight floral.

It comes in flavours citrus, melon, flowers and celery.

Colour- Blush Pink

Food combination- It tastes perfect with anything spicy like sushi, barbeque food, grilled chicken or salad.

Life span- Rose Wine remains the best when kept in about 10–12°C of temperature. In other words, rose wine is served a little colder as compared to red wine and kept in the refrigerator to be at its best quality.

Sparkling Wine

It is a gassy wine having carbon dioxide bubbles that gives it a glittery look which is why it is named sparkling wine. Champagne is one of the most preferred and the most prominent sparkling wines.

Characteristics- Its procedure contains double fermenting within pressurized containers. It has very low tannin levels. It is made from red and white grapes. The two most common methods of manufacturing sparkling wine are the “traditional” and “Charmat” methods. France and Italy are the most common regions known for producing sparkling wines. It tastes slightly sweet, nutty, or sometimes citrus. It comes in flavours like vanilla, apple, strawberry, cream etc.

Colour- Red, White or Rose.

Food Combination- Sparkling Wine goes well with creamy or cheesy food, dessert or seafood etc.

Life span- Unopened bottle of sparkling wine can last for 2 to 3 years. It demands to be kept at a very cool dry place and served chilled with ice at the required temperature. The best hack to let the bottle last longer is not to put it straight instead keep it aligned so that the cork of the bottle will have its moisture last for some time.

Dessert Wine

Dessert wine is generally sweet wine. As it was manufactured by partial fermentation of the grape juice. Due to which the sweetness of the grape stayed in the resulting juice. Dessert Wine is made from grapes having moderate to high sugar levels.

Characteristics- The dessert wines were also mixed with spirits. It has moderate to low levels of tannins. If the grapes don’t have high-level sugar then the winemakers intentionally add more sugar essentials like honey or white sugar to make the wine sweet. The process of adding more sugar to the grape juice is called chaptalization. The juice undergoes a deep fermentation process to be a fortified dessert wine. It has dry, sweet and nutty flavours.

Colour- Red, Rose or White

Food Combination- Generally, Dessert Wine is meant to be enjoyed alone but if someone wishes to have something then it will best go with snacks or other spicy eatables. The only advice for the consumption of dessert wine is not to have it with sweet snacks or edibles.

Life span- Dessert Wines are best stored at 10–12°C temperature and humidity level around 70%. Again dessert wine also demands a cool and shed storage away from sunlight. That will not only impact the wine’s life but also prevents the bottle from decaying. The approximate time of Dessert Wine is around 5 months.

Now, you all would have known about the basics of several kinds of wine by now. Being a wine bag manufacturer, we find it our duty to let you be updated with such facts and information. Along with providing the best experience of carrying your favourite drinks we also believe in providing you with the best of knowledge also. On that note, we at Outer Woods have introduced a full new range of Insulated 4 Bottle Bags with Laptop Compartment. Yes, these 2in1 bags will not only keep your drinks fresh but carries your work too. So you can start celebrations as soon as your work is over.

Check out the range of Outer Woods Insulated Bottle Bags here.

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