Go back to wine basics with Wine Folly's guide...
Decanter.com has teamed up with the publisher of Wine Folly’s book, A visual guide to the world of wine, to bring you several excerpts on understanding wine.
What is wine?
Wine is an alcoholic beverage made with fermented grapes. Technically, wine can be made with any fruit, but most wines are made with wine grapes…
Wine grapes are different to table grapes. They are much smaller, they have seeds and they are also sweeter than table grapes.
Grapevines take a year to grow grapes. The wine harvest in the northern hemisphere is August to October, and the harvest in the southern hemisphere is February – April.
Vintage refers to the year when the grapes were harvested. Non-vintage (NV) wines are a blend of several harvests.
Single varietal wine
A single varietal wine is made with one grape variety (e.g. Pinot Noir).
A wine blend is made by mixing several wines together (e.g. Bordeaux blend).
A temperate climate is where grapes grow best. In North America, grapes frow from northern Mexico to southern Canada.
Regions with cooler climates make wines that taste more tart.
Regions with warmer climates make wines that taste more ripe.