I enjoy an occasional glass of wine, but I don’t really know that much about it. If you want to be truly enlightened about wine, do yourself a favor and use this resource, Winegeeks. You will learn about the different types of grapes and wines; the wine making process; smelling and tasting wine; buying, ordering, and storing wine; and how to throw a glass of wine into the face of a cheeky scoundrel. (Just kidding about the last one.) Also Kenwood Vinyards has a very helpful glossary of terms pertaining to wine.
It took me a while to acquire a taste for wine. Now I am starting to appreciate both the potent and subtle aromas, flavors, and textures that make each wine unique. Terms like astringent and full-bodied are used to describe the texture. Some wine scientists came up with the “aroma wheel” to describe all the different possible smells present in various wines. My personal favorite: Microbiological: yeast, sauerkraut, sweaty, horsey, “mousey.” Brent likes to use the term jet fuel to describe the taste of wine. Now I wonder how he knows what jet fuel tastes like…
I learned some interesting facts from John Cleese in “Wine for the Confused”. Many growers try to prevent the grapes from growing; they’re kept very small so the flavor is concentrated. Yeasts, which are necessary to produce alcohol, exist naturally in the vineyard and collect on the grape skins. Once the grapes have been crushed, these yeasts (or artificial yeasts added by the winemaker) interact with the sugar in the grape juice to produce alcohol, a process known as fermentation. Wine can ferment for three days or three years, depending on the style of wine the winemaker is trying to produce. The winemaker must also decide which type of container to ferment the wine in. Oak and stainless steel barrels are today’s most popular choices. So what are the differences are between red and white wine?
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