Wine has been around for the longest time, with the earliest evidence of wine found in Georgia, Asia, from approximately 8,000 years ago. Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes. A lot of people, especially wine connoisseurs, would scoff at the oversimplification of wine like that. Still, it is accurate, and to do a very specific description of wine would take dozens of pages. Surprisingly, the United States is not in the top 10 countries that consume the most wine per capita.
- In ancient Rome, it was forbidden for women to drink wine.
- Wine is stored horizontally to keep the cork moist and to prevent it from drying out.
- Kosher wine means that a non-observant Jew or Gentile has never handled the wine. From the picking of the grapes until the processing. The ingredients should also be kosher.
- Wine grapes are the number one all around the world in terms of farm acreage.
- When someone hands you a wine cork, don’t smell it. Inspect it for cracks, breaks, drying, or molds. More expensive wine brands will also have the manufacturing date stamped on the cork.
Wine Buying Guide
Are you confused about buying wine, and you don’t know which type of wine goes with what? Don’t worry; we’ve prepared a buying guide that will give you the basics of choosing the right wine for the right occasion.
- Red Wine – Red wine is best paired with red meat like pork, beef, and lamb. As a rule of thumb, Use red wine intense flavored food. There is no one “taste” to red wine as it can be anything from bitter to sweet to fruity and everything in between.
- White Wine – Pair white wine with delicate-tasting food like poultry and seafood.
- Dry Wine – Dry wine means that there is no residual sugar; this means that the wine isn’t sweet.
Let’s go now to the more specific types of wine.
- Chardonnay – This is the most popular type of white wine. The taste is described as being fruity and buttery with notes of citrus and apples.
- Sauvignon Blanc – Another popular white wine that is very aromatic and has herbal qualities. It may have notes of sour fruits depending on the region of origin.
- Merlot – A very popular soft red wine with chocolatey flavors and plum-like notes.
- Cabernet Sauvignon – For those who like their wine to be a little bit bolder than merlot. This wine has prominent berry tastes to it.
- Shiraz – This wine is a bold and sweet red wine that goes great with grilled meat.
- White Zinfandel – This Rose’ is moderately sweet and dry. One of the best wines to serve cold.
Now, these are just the basics of wine, and it’s tough to get a good grasp of wine only by reading text off a page. The best way to experience the different types of wine is to join in on a wine tasting at your local wineries or vineyards.
Wine Production & Farming in Texas
There are over 200 vineyards in Texas with eight different American Viticultural Areas or AVA. The most commonly planted wine grapes in Texas are Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Aside from those two, Texas wine varieties include Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Viognier, Muscat Canelli, and Sangiovese, leaving Texans with no shortage of wine varieties.
Texas ranks fourth in the United States in wine production, with over 4,000 tons of wine produced every year. Although not as prolific or popular as California in terms of wine production, the fertile Texas soil produces excellent wines that have won awards year after year, with some bottles even making it to the White House pantry.
Another thing about the Texas wine industry is that since Texas has three different growing regions with different microclimate conditions in each region, the wine varieties are very diverse.
Wine is typically bottled in glass bottles and sealed with corks. The corks can be traditional corks from Portugal, synthetic plastic “corks” or just metal screw-on caps. Wines are also “boxed,” where they are packed inside a plastic bladder with a serving tap that’s protected by a fiberboard box. For larger establishments or events, wine can also be sold in stainless steel kegs.
Wine is well, wine. It is good by itself, and it is good to pair with foods. Drinking wine is more than just consuming it; wine should be a full experience.
The first thing you should do is aerate the wine. You can do this by swirling the wine around in your glass to expose it to air so you can appreciate the aroma of the wine. The aroma can be of different spices, herbs, flowers, or fruits.
After experiencing the aroma, it is then time to taste the wine. Taste the wine in small sips and swish it around in your mouth to experience the full flavor of the wine.
Once you’ve tasted the wine, you can gauge how much you need to sip to get the maximum amount of flavor out of every sip.
For the casual drinker, learning how to appreciate the wine and how to drink it is more than enough.
Again, this is not in any way a comprehensive guide to wine. The best way to experience “learning” about how to drink wine would be to attend a tasting session at your local vineyard or vintner.
Wine should be stored at an ambient temperature of around 13 degrees centigrade or 55 degrees Fahrenheit. They should also not be exposed to light, as this can destroy the flavor of the wine.
For opened wine, white wine should be kept in the refrigerator and should be consumed within a few weeks from opening. For red wine, they can be stored in a cool dark place, but they should also be consumed within a few weeks from opening. If it gets warm in your house, don’t hesitate to store them in the fridge.
By no means is this an extensive guide to storing wine. If you are a collector and you plan to store large amounts of wine, it is better to consult your local vintner for the proper storage methods.