I don’t enjoy drinking. I was that party pooper who prefers water or orange juice at a party where everyone else is getting slammed. On the rare occasion where I wanted to fit in with the “cool” kids, I’d settle for a glass of wine.
I knew nothing about wine varieties and their taste profiles. I just ordered a “nice” glass of wine. But now that my wine vocabulary has improved, I can do better than simply ask for a “nice” red or white wine. I can tell you that I like a light, off-dry Semillon or a Riesling. On the top of my list is a fruity Moscato.
It’s ok if these names mean nothing to you. They were strange to me too. You’ll find out what these are in a bit. First, Let me tell you how I started enjoying wine.
I tasted this fruity, sparkly sensation at a dinner event, organized by Mma Austra, my Naija/Britico/Aussie sister. My first glass turned into a second glass and like a greedy child who just discovered delicious candy, I wanted more.What was that bubbly explosion in my mouth and where could I get a bottle or a dozen?
That variety of Moscato is produced in Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s major wine regions, popular for its wine culture and wine tasting tours.I was first on the roster when Mma Austra suggested a trip to the wine valley, as I like to call it. There are several vineyards and a LOT of wines. By the time you’re done with the tour, you’ll know a thing or two about wines and wine drinking etiquette.
I’ve been to Hunter Valley twice. The first time was for the experience.
Someone should have warned me that wine tasting is not wine gulping. It’s a slow twirl, a sniff, a sip, then a deliberation on the combination of flavours. I guzzled each glass of wine.
There was a reason we had a dump bucket and a vase of water.
My second trip was better. I was a more discerning wine taster with an idea of what I was spending my $$ on.
or these white wine grapes:
What is a meal without wine?
This handy chart is great for ideas on wine and food pairing.
To wine well, you have to talk the talk.
Finding the right words to describe wine is a skill. Tannin. Body. Acidity. Dryness. These are just a few words used to describe taste. Tannin is the astringency or bitterness of the wine. It comes from the skin of wine grapes. Body refers to the richness or fullness of the wine. Dryness is simply the level of sweetness while acidity describes how tart the wine is.
Some pictures from the tour:
That’s it! My crash course on wines. I meant to write this a while back but my biggest challenge was how to condense everything into a concise and interesting post. There’s so much information available.
This link is a good place to start if you’re fascinated by it all as I am.
Thank you for reading. I hope you learned a thing or two about wines.