Wine Basics

Sorted by:  

How Wine is Made

Wine is essentially liquid, fermented fruit. After grapes are gathered from a vineyard's grapevines and crushed, yeasts(tiny one-celled organisms that exist naturally in vineyards) come into contact with [more…]

Why Color Matters with Wine

It’s okay to like some wine colors more than others. You may prefer white, red, or rosé (blush) wines. The winemaking process and the color of the grape determine whether a wine will be white, red, or [more…]

Understanding How Wines are Named

Most of the wine names that you find in your wine shop or on restaurant wine lists are named in one of two basic ways: [more…]

How to Pronounce Wine Names

Nothing will set a wine snob on your case more quickly than a mispronounced name of a famous wine or wine region. The pronunciations of dozens of wines and wine regions appear in the table below, for easy [more…]

How to Discern Wine Quality

Wine producers constantly brag about the quality ratings that their wines receive from critics, because a high wine rating — implying high quality — translates into increased sales for a wine. But quality [more…]

Understanding How Grapes Used in Wine Vary

Many attributes distinguish each grape variety from the next. The attributes of grape varieties fall into two categories: personality traits and performance factors. [more…]

The Most Popular White Grape Varieties

Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio are the most important and popular white grape varieties today. The wines made from these grapes can be varietal wines, or place-name [more…]

The Most Popular Red Grape Varieties

The most popular red grape varieties today are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz, and Zinfandel. You’ll encounter these grapes in varietal wines and place-name wines. These red grape [more…]

Less Common Red Grape Varieties Used in Wine

Some less common red grape varieties used in many wine regions today include Aglianico, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Grenache, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo. These red grape varieties may not [more…]

Less Common White Grape Varieties Used in Wine

Some less common white grape varieties used in many wine regions today include Albariño, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Sémillon, and Viognier. Although these white [more…]

Ten Terms for Describing Wine

Wine descriptors are common terms that you can use to describe a particular wine. Descriptors can help you put words to the wine you’re tasting. Unless you want to drink the same wine for the rest of your [more…]

Part of the Series: Companion Content from the E-Book Buying & Serving Wine In A Day For Dummies

Tips for Smelling Wine

When you smell wine, you're sniffing out its aroma, or flavor. Wine may deliver the aroma of fruits or flowers, tobacco or toast, chocolate or butterscotch. You may detect a hint of herbs, vanilla, mocha [more…]

Quick Guide to Wine Pronunciation

Correctly pronouncing wine names is one way to keep from irritating a wine snob; the following table can help you out. The stressed syllable in each word is italicized; if no syllable is italicized, all [more…]

Useful Terms for Describing Wine

When describing wine, wine merchants, restaurant servers, and your oenophile friends will use specific language to tell you about its characteristics. Knowing these words will help you understand the wine [more…]

Easy Wine Identifier

Most wines you find in shops and restaurants are named in two basic ways: for the variety of the grape or for the place the grapes are grown. This instant guide decodes common wine names and tells you [more…]

Ten Wine Myths Debunked

Some common thinking about wine is really common misinformation — common myths that aren't true. The following sections set the record straight about these wine myths. [more…]

Reliable Wine Choices at a Restaurant

With all the thousands of wines in hundreds of styles out there, you can't be expected to remember all the wines and how they pair with food. To make it easier for you, here is a shorter list of a few [more…]

Texture and Flavors of California Wines

A driving force behind the popularity of California wine is their flavor. Generally, California wines are very fruity (that is, they have aromas and flavors that suggest fruits) and very flavorful [more…]

What’s a Good Wine?

A good wine is, above all, a wine that you like enough to drink, because the whole purpose of a wine is to give pleasure to those who drink it. After that, how good a wine is depends on how it measures [more…]

What’s a Bad Wine?

Strangely enough, the right to declare a wine goodbecause you like it doesn’t carry with it the right to call a wine bad just because you don’t. In this game, you get to make your own rules, but you don’t [more…]

Understanding Wine Names by Region

Unlike American wines, most European wines are named for the region where their grapes grow rather than for the grape variety itself. Many of these European wines come from precisely the same grape varieties [more…]

Finding Indications of Origin on Wine Labels

The European Union has set up a system to recognize and protect agricultural products (such as wine, cheese, olives, hams, and so forth) that come from specific places so that companies in other places [more…]

Winemaking Vinification Terminology

Producing wine actually involves two separate steps: the growing of the grapes, called viticulture, and the making of the wine, called vinification. The vinification end of wine production falls into two [more…]

Managing the Wine Presentation Ritual

The wine presentation used to occur with such ceremony that you’d think you were involved in high church or temple services. The hushed tones of the waiter, the ritualized performance, the seriousness [more…]

How to Store a Wine Collection

If you’ve decided to collect wine — or if you discover that a wine collection is happening to you — please take heed: Poorly stored wines make disappointment after disappointment inevitable. [more…]


Sign Up for RSS Feeds

Food & Drink