We know: 1-Minute Lesson on Wines

What exactly is wine?

Wine is an alcoholic beverage that is made by the fermentation of fruits that contain sugar. Most wines are made from grapes.

What are the basic classes of wine?

APPETIZERS. These wines include sherry, vermouth, flavored wines and are used prior to the meal.

TABLE WINES. These wines are used with the meal or main dish and generally include:

  • White wines, such as Chablis and Riesling
  • Pink wines, such as the pink rose and blanc de noir
  • Red wines, such as Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon

DESSERT WINES. These wines are served after the meal and include port, angelicas, cream sherries, and Muscats.

SPARKLING WINES. These are wines with bubbles, such as Champagne. They are served before, during or after meals, depending on the occasion.

What is a 'varietal' wine?

Varietal means that wine is named for the variety of grape from which the wine is made, instead of the region. (see next question)

Here are the names of some red varietals:

  • Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz, and Zinfandel
  • Here are the names of some white varietals:
  • Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chablis, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris

What is a 'regional' wine?

Sometimes French wines are classified by region. So, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Champagne and Alsace refer to the region of the country where the grapes are grown.

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