The Path to Wine Wisdom
It was kind of a bummer, actually.
Thankfully, they also offer sage advice on how to become a wine god.
The four-step path to wine-godhood may be a bit too much for us mere mortals to take on at once. Especially since we want to look at this as a wine primer. (Clearly we could use a little review, like back in school. And maybe a little help from VinePair.) So we’re going to break it down into the four basic parts, starting with:
Look at your wine
Seriously. Before you drink your wine, start by actually looking at it.
Notice the color. Why? The color of the wine comes from the grape skins left in contact with the wine after the grapes have been juiced. The longer the contact, the more infused the wine becomes with the color of the skins.
Quick aside — if you skinned the grapes and juiced them, never letting them come in contact with their skins, the resulting wine would have no color at all!
Let’s talk about white wine… Look closely at the shade of yellow. Is it light? Bright? Is it clear, or nearly so? Or is it deeper, leaning toward straw?
Light whites have had less contact with grape skins. Usually, they’re crisp and refreshing and have not been oak aged. Deeper yellows are likely oak-aged, and will have a fuller and smoother taste.
Reds, on the other hand… well, they’re exactly the same.
Light reds are bright, refreshing, possibly even tart. Light reds are unlikely to be oak-aged. The darker the wine, the richer and bolder the taste. Also, the deeper the color, the longer the wine has aged in oak barrels.
One last thought on looking at your wine
Another thing people mention in regard to the look of wine is “legs”.
Sometimes called “tears”, a wine’s legs are simply the droplets that run down the inside of the glass if you jostle it lightly. Experts disagree (boy, do they!) as to their significance, but they are an indicator of alcohol content.
So we’ve taken our first step along the pathway to wine-godhood. Next time, we’ll talk about swirling.
In the meantime, don’t drink that wine yet! We’re only past step one, fer cryin’ out loud! Just… uh… stand there and hold it and wait for us! We’ll be back soon with step two.