Posted on: 22 May 2017
Wine tastes can be hard to figure out. There are a lot of different types, and even within the grape varieties and wine-making and aging processes there are differences in brands and years. Spending the money to taste everything before finding a taste that you actually enjoy can get expensive, but there are flavor guides out there to help you. Here are a few general categories to help you understand not just the process used to make the wine, but the way it tastes and feel when you drink it.
Dry Wines For Complex Tastes With No Sugar
The term dry simply means that there are no residual sugars from the grape aging process. This means that the wines aren't sweet, and instead hold different properties of the grape, aging cask, and other elements of the wine-making process.
People often mistake the term dry for the drying sensation that some wines give upon immediate taste. Some residual features of certain wines will leave a coating on the tongue that is thin enough to not feel filmy, but instead leaves a dried out feeling as the alcohol evaporates from the tongue. Saliva is also displaced from the tongue to a small extent, which exaggerates the effect.
The United States has a sweet tooth, which can play a huge part in what types of wines you like. Expecting a sweet taste from a dry wine is one major disappointment, but it can be offset by searching for other flavor hints and changing the way you explore taste.
Never take an initial taste with the tip of your tongue. Although all parts of the tongue receive all flavor sensations--contrary to a common misconception about taste centers--the tip of the tongue can be more sensitive to bitter tastes and lead to a less pleasurable sensation. The science is still out on that sensitivity, whether it's the number of receptors in a small area or some other phenomenon, but you can experiment with taste differences and intensity with your own tongue.
Red Versus White Wines
There are more differences between red and white wines than just appearance. In addition to the process used to make the wine, the grapes are physically and visually different. Just think back to any time in a grocery store; white wines come from either green, yellow, or close to white grapes with semi-transparent insides, while red wines come from red, purple, blue, or other darker grapes.
Every grape has its own flavor, ranging from tartness to subtle fruit notes to sweetness. These individual flavor differences are what make a bigger difference, although other ingredients such as the addition of fruits (such as in sangria) or flowers such as geraniums and citrus blossoms (Moscato and Riesling respectively).
If you're looking for something in the sweet range without a tart challenge, a good Riesling should be your target. Other sweet and semi-sweet wines are Port, Madeira, Brachetto D'Acqui, and Tokaji Azsu. They range from a hint of sweetness to a tasty, almost fruit punch-like taste.
For something with more of a tart bite, look to Lambursco Semesecco (semi-sweet), Prosecco, Madeira, or Lambrusco Dolce (very sweet with a tart touch).
As you explore through different flavor possibilities and tread through handcrafted wines, speak with a professional wine guide to find something that fits your favorite drinks or meals as a start. For more information about wines, visit the Chankaska Winery.Share