Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Wine 101: Day One!

I love a good glass of wine. Some of you may be wondering, what constitutes a good glass of wine? Does it have to be from a certain area, or be a certain price? Is good wine red, white, or sparkling?

Wine Wednesday Noble Grapes
About to enjoy some wine in Paris, France
Wine Wednesday with the girls
Wine nights with the girls in Minneapolis are always my favorite!
Wine with my husband in Cancun, Mexico!

Here's the good news to the above questions: A good wine is entirely up to you and your taste buds! I have enjoyed wines from all around the world, from the USA to Chile to Italy to South Africa to China. I have enjoyed wines that were $8 a bottle, and wines that were upwards of several hundred dollars a bottle. I enjoy red, white, and sparkling wine- however, I will say that I am not a fan of rosé wines, but that is just a personal preferences. Because I love wine so much, my husband suggested to me that I start a wine series. So, from now on, here on Hockey Wife Hockey Life, Wednesdays will be entirely dedicated to wine and spreading some knowledge about it! So, lets get into some wine knowledge!

The classy way of drinking wine before my wedding!
"Relax"-ing with a Riesling this summer!
All wines are made from grapes. Internationally, there are 18 Noble Grapes that are recognized as being international grape varieties that appeal to a wide range of people, and cover the entire spectrum of wine drinking. Of course, there are many more than 18 grape varietals- however, these Noble Grapes are just international varieties. Because I'm in a white wine mood, we will cover the 9 white noble grapes today and next week explore the 9 red noble grapes. While listing the 9 white noble grapes, I will list them from lightest to the most rich.

  1. Pinot Grigio: Pinot Grigio tends to produce a very light, crisp, fruity, and acidic or zesty wine. When you try a Pinot Grigio, your mouth may begin to water after drinking it- this is the acidity in the wine!
  2. Riesling: Rieslings produce very tart wines that can be either dry or sweet. Rieslings are one of the most aromatic grapes, so make sure to smell this one before tasting it! 
  3. Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is a very green, herbaceous wine that can have a great variety of flavors. It is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world, and can be found throughout Old World countries (think France & Italy) and New World countries (think USA and Australia.) Almost all Sauvignon Blancs will be dry wines, although a select few have began producing sweet wines. 
  4. Chenin Blanc: Chenin Blanc is a fairly light wine similar to Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. It is unique because it can be enjoyed either as a dry or sweet wine. Chenin Blanc is very versatile and produces a large range of flavors.
  5. Moscato: Moscato tends to be a fairly sweet wine that can be a little bit bubbly. These bubbles are called "frizzante". Moscato is relatively fruity and can be slightly acidic. 
  6. Gewürztraminer: Gewürztraminer is naturally high in sugar content, producing more sweet wines. Gewürztraminer is aromatic and can also be known for being slightly frizzante. 
  7. Semillon: Semillon grapes will produce wine that is dry with a medium to full body. Depending where Semillon is grown, it can be either similar to Chardonnay and rich, or more like a zesty Sauvignon Blanc.
  8. Viognier: Viognier is a more full-bodied white wine that often has a very floral scent to it. In 1965, Viognier almost went extinct when only several acres were planted in Rhône, France.
  9. Chardonnay: Chardonnay is one of the most well-known white wines, and tend to be very full-bodied and rich. Depending how Chardonnay is aged, it can range from a very buttery to a very oaky taste. 
You may not have heard of each of these grape varietals, and that is A-OK! The grapes are just one of the inputs that go into wines, and often wine will be a mixture of several grapes. For example, many people have heard of Chardonnay, unaware that Chardonnay is a variety of wine but also a variety of grape. Many times, these grapes will be blended in order to create a more complex and flavorful wine. 

9 Noble Grapes White Wine

As you can see from the pictures and information, I have enjoyed wines from all over the world, all over the world! My question to you as I begin this new series: What do you want to learn and know about wine? 

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