Knowing about wine is probably something like knowing how to play an instrument.
Maybe you can play a few bars, and you probably know someone who's 'a bit of an expert'. Thing is, it's so hard to get good at, and there's never a point where you know everything about it, so why start?
Simple. Aussies love plonk.
40% of the alcohol we drink is wine. Over 400 million litres of the stuff each year! So what if without spending an extra dollar you could enjoy every bottle that little bit more? Read on.
In simple terms the overall experience of a wine, it's body and soul, is made up of 4 basic factors. So let's break them down.
It's the first thing we perceive when slipping something in our mouth because our sweetness receptors are located right on the tip of our tongue. Sweeter wines will usually have a thicker viscosity and are softer and easier to drink. Sweetness should only be used to describe the residual sugar in the wine and never the fruit flavours. We'll get to that later.
Like biting into a lemon, acidity in wine can have a massive impact on your receptors. Wines with a high concentration of acid (low pH), like Riesling and Sparkling White feel fresher and lighter. Those with lower acid, like Chardonnay and Marsanne having a feeling of richer body and sit slightly heavier in the mouth.
Sweetness & acidity go hand in hand. It's all about balance, so in wines with some noticeable residual sugar, look for the acidity that lurks beneath as a sign of good quality.
Tannins are the most misunderstood thing about wine, so what are they exactly?
Natural chemical compounds that give a flavour of bitterness and a feeling of dryness in the mouth. Tannins are found in some pretty everyday items, like Tea, and understanding their impact can really make a difference to how you enjoy your wine.
Next time you brew a cuppa try putting the damp tea bag in your mouth to taste the bitterness and feel the drying sensation.
Pretty much all wine varieties are characterised by the fruit flavours it shows the most of. Start getting to know what they are and you're in the box seat.
Sauvignon Blanc - Passionfruit. Snowpea.
Riesling - Lime.
Pinot Gris - Spiced Pear.
Shiraz - Blackberry.
Pinot Noir - Sour Cherry.
Tempranillo - Raspberry & Ripe Cherry.
They say knowledge is power, so nail these four basics of wine and you'll feel more confident the next time you've got a glass in hand. We even think it might taste better too...