Different Types of Wine and Their Proper Storage
If you recently discovered the joys of drinking wine, you must know that there is more to wine than just giving your palate a delightful tasting experience. Knowing about the origin of the various types of wines and how they were made will give you a new sense of appreciation for every wine bottle you open. Below are some basic facts about wine that should jump start your learning experience.
Wines are classified by six categories: red wines, white wines, sparkling wines, rosé wines, dessert wines and fortified wines.
Red wine is made by fermenting black grape varieties. Extracts from black grapes are usually colorless. In order to achieve red wine’s ruby hue, grape skins are included in the wine making process. Tannins are commonly found in grape skins as well, and as a result, red wines have more tannin content than any other type of wine. If you ever felt a puckering feeling in your mouth after drinking red wine, that would be due to the presence of tannins. Some well-known red wines are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chianti and Merlot.
Contrary to its name, white wine is not white but has more of a yellow hue. White wine is usually made from green and yellow skinned grape varieties. Although red grapes are also used, they only extract the juice and discard the skins. White wines are known to have a crisp flavor that is refreshing to the palate, so if you ever plan on hosting an event during the summer months, white wines would be an ideal drink for the occasion. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are some examples of popular white wines.
Sparkling wine contains carbon dioxide, which is responsible for its fizzy appearance. Although most sparkling wines are white or rosé, there are certain countries that produce sparkling red wines (e.g. Australian Shiraz). Some famous sparkling wines are Cava, Espumante and Champagne. An interesting fact about sparkling wine is that it can only be referred to as Champagne if was produced in the Champagne region of France.
Rosé wine is a type of wine that has somewhat of a pinkish color. There are three ways to produce this wine: skin contact, saignée and blending. Skin contact is when dark skinned grapes briefly come into contact with the extracted juice. Saignée is a process wherein the pink juice that has been extracted during the fermentation process of red wines is transferred to a separate vat and fermented again to produce rosé. Blending is simply combining red wines with white.
Dessert wine is a sweet beverage that is best served, as its name implies, with your favorite dessert. It is made from grape varieties that are harvested late. This type of wine has a high concentration of both alcohol and sugar.
Fortified wine is produced when brandy and other spirits are added to the wine while it’s fermenting. Fermentation is halted due to the presence of the brandy, which eventually makes the wine sweeter. Common examples of fortified wines are Port and Sherry.
Your knowledge about wines should not be limited to their type or kind, but should also extend to its proper storage which plays a vital role in maintaining the condition of your wines.
Keep in mind also that there are three key factors that influence the quality of your wines: light, humidity and temperature. All three should be regulated and kept at constant levels in order to maintain the correct conditions for your wines.
Here are some essential tips about wine storage: first, wine bottles should be stored on their sides. This keeps the cork moist as it remains in contact with the wine. Keeping the cork wet at all times prevents it from drying out. Second, the ideal temperature in which to store your wine is between 50-59 °F. Humidity levels should be maintained as well and they should be kept between 50%-75%. Did you know that exposure to light can also damage your wines? Unfortunately, this is true. So that brings us to number three: store your wines in dark places where they’re safe from the harmful effects of light and especially UV.
Different wines have their own unique storage needs.In order to achieve optimum results during wine storage, here are some temperature guidelines: for red wines, temperature should be between 55-60°F; for white wines, temperature should be within 49-56°F; for sparkling wines, temperature should be around 43-47°F; and between 49-51°F for rosé wines.
Wine cellar cooling units are the key equipment to ensure efficient wine storage. Click on these links to learn why: