Sticking with the college theme, here are the basics of wine. At first glance, wine seems like an extremely involved and complex topic. But if you just get the basics, the rest will come easy. The first thing to know is that there are a couple of ways to describe a wine. There is the color:

  • Red
  • White
  • Blush (Rose’)

And the kind of grape:

  • Sweet
  • Dry

The colors of wine are determined by what kind of grapes (or varietals) are used to produce the drink. For example, a red wine appears red and that is because the grapes used to produce that wine are a deep red, purple or even bluish. So, the white wines are white or a faint yellow or green color because that is the varietal being used.

The varietal is also where the wine gets it’s name from. The kind of grape used to make the wine is how it is named. For example, Shiraz is a red grape and when you are in the store looking at kinds of red wine, you will see many brands of Shiraz.

Many drinkers of wine that I know often describe themselves as being “white wine drinkers” or “red wine drinkers.” This is something that I never really understood. With my limited wine drinking experience I feel that the better way to describe a wine preference is a “sweet wine” or “dry wine” drinker.

Dry wine is natural. There are no sugars added to it and it is fully fermented. Sweet wine has sugar added to it and is generally a thicker consistency. Here is a great site that will take you through the steps of how to really tell if a wine is sweet or dry. A red wine can be dry or sweet and the same goes for white wines. So, it appears to me that a person would prefer a wine to have the sweeter taste or the dry taste as opposed to the red or white grape.

The great thing about wine nowadays is that one does not need to spend $45 for a bottle to get a good wine. This is also great for my cheap college budget! Walking through the store there is a huge variety for under $20 and most under $10!

Now that you and I now know the basics of wines, my experimentation will begin tonight! I have a sweet white wine ready to go tonight. Expect a post soon!