Red wine 101: The Beginners Guide to Wine

Whether you’re simply beginning a task in the white wine and bar market or working as a server, this guide will stroll you through all of white wine’s fundamental principles … and considerably enhance your fundamental white wine understanding.

Here’s whatever we’re going to cover:

Let’s start!

A Beginners Guide to Wine
Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash

Where to Start: The 4 Pillars of Wine

In easy terms, red wine is stemmed from the fermentation of grapes. These aren’t your typical grapes you’ll discover in the supermarket either. White wine grapes are much sweeter, smaller sized, have various a skin texture, and include seeds.

The distinctions in red wine boil down to 4 production elements such as:

1. Where the grapes are grown (area)

2. Which grapes are picked (quality)

3. How the grapes are gathered

4. The fermentation procedure

Essentially, these 4 aspects comprise the distinction in between the expensive red wines served at fine-dining dining establishments … and the inexpensive red wines you’ll discover at your gasoline station.

Are you a server or bartender?

If so, having the ability to recommend the very best red wine for a visitor is a serving ability you must establish. Understanding red wine’s tastes and fragrances, along with understanding which red wines enhance various kinds of food, is all part of the task. The more you understand about white wine, the much better possibilities you have at making more ideas

A Little History …

Wine is the earliest alcohol ever produced. Going back as far as 8,000 B.C., partakers of red wine thought that drinking alcohol was a spiritual experience. Christians, Jews, and even the ancient Greeks associate white wine usage with spirituality. Dionysos was the Greek god of red wine, and Jesus consumed red wine with his disciples throughout his Last Supper.

Types of Wine Grapes

There are numerous various kinds of grapes utilized in developing white wine, the majority of them being variations of red and white ( thus red and gewurztraminer).

If you wish to widen your white wine understanding and proficiency, the very first thing you need to do is discover the crucial distinctions in red and white grapes … whether it be their taste or the level of tannins included within them.

Red Grapes

Red grapes are the most typical type of grapes utilized in red wine. The skins of these grapes do not get eliminated throughout fermentation. Since of this, red wine originated from red grapes is typically drier in taste than gewurztraminer due to the tannins within their grape skins. Both red and white grapes offer excellent health advantages, however red grapes provide a bit more. Extremely dark red grapes (some even call them black grapes) are likewise utilized in red white wines.

Fun Fact: Few individuals really comprehend what tannins are. Tannins are naturally happening substances that originate from the skins of grapes. They impact the taste of red wine, with greater tannin levels developing a dry taste.

Tannins are likewise a natural anti-oxidant. They’re excellent for you and they keep red wine long lasting longer.

White Grapes

Before white grapes (which are actually yellow-green in color) are fermented, their skins are eliminated. The elimination of their skins avoid the tannins in the grape from impacting the red wine. Overlooking the tannins produces white wine of a lighter color. Gewurztraminer are typically sweeter than their red equivalents, and due to the fact that of this are frequently utilized in cooking.

The Top 10 Wine Regions worldwide

While white wine is produced all over the world, this guide will just concentrate on the nations that comprise most of red wine production. The nations listed below are worlds leading red wine manufacturers:

  1. Italy
  2. France
  3. Spain
  4. United States
  5. Argentina
  6. Australia
  7. Germany
  8. South Africa
  9. Chile
  10. Portugal

Italy, France, and Spain have actually been the greatest manufacturers of red wine for centuries. Jointly, these 3 nations still produce near to half of all the white wine on the planet. The United States, nevertheless, is not too far behind.

Now you may have heard somebody discuss the “character” of a specific red wine. The terroir of an area is what comprises the white wine’s character. Terroir is the conclusion of the elements that can impact red wine production, such as the kind of soil utilized, environment conditions, and farming strategies.

# 1: Italy

Italy is the biggest manufacturer of red wine on the planet, though the crown frequently changes in between them and France. While vineyard production has actually been down over the last numerous years due to Italians minimizing desire to consume red wine, there are still over a million vineyards presently cultivated in the nation. Twenty various areas in the nation produce red wine in Italy, each with somewhat various environments all resulting in a little various tastes.

# 2 France

France is the 2nd biggest manufacturer of red wine worldwide, and they too are cutting down on their vineyard production. Like the Italians, the French individuals consume less white wine than in years past. Rather, they appear to be putting their cash towards more costly red wines. There are numerous areas in France that produce red wine, nevertheless these areas are less succinct than in Italy. For the a lot of part, the northern areas concentrate on gewurztraminer production and the southern parts concentrate on red white wine. France’s vast array of environments have actually permitted rather the variety in red wines produced.

# 3 Spain

While Spain does not produce as much white wine as the nearby nations of Italy and France, the Spanish do exceed them in another classification. Spain has nearly 3 million acres devoted to vineyards– the most worldwide. The areas yield less grapes than Italy and France, leading to in general less white wine production. While a lot of areas in Spain produce red white wines, the northwest areas produce the majority of their gewurztraminers.

# 4 The United States of America

Most of the red wine produced in America originates from just a few states. California leads the charge, producing 84%. While there are vineyards all over the nation, the west coast of the United States is where the majority of it is produced.

How To Make Wine From Grapes

Below is the red wine production procedure, beginning with grapes and winding up with bottled white wine.

Step 1: Harvesting Grapes

Picking the grapes utilized in red wine production is no simple job, and is typically carried out in 2 various methods …

  • Machine Harvesting

    One concern harvesters face are with grape stems. Eliminating grape stems can be a tiresome procedure. If you’re choosing speed, effective innovation can assist simplify the cultivating procedure. Big mechanical harvesters strike grapes to remove them from their stems. While these makers can cover an excellent location in a brief duration of time, they aren’t ideal. Leaves and other little particles can often get gathered.
  • Manual Harvesting

    Because of the ineffectiveness of mechanical harvesters, lots of vineyards choose utilizing manual work to choose grapes from their vines. Manual harvesting assists avoid choosing clusters of grapes that aren’t ripe or are musty.

Step 2: Fermenting Grapes

Once the grapes are gathered, the fermentation procedure starts …

Fermentation starts by carefully pushing the pulp of grapes to launch the liquid while at the exact same time including yeast. Throughout this procedure, the yeast transforms the majority of the sugars in the grapes to alcohol. This procedure can take anywhere from one to 2 weeks.

Red white wines require to ferment at much greater temperature levels, generally in between 80–90 o F. White white wines, on the other hand, ferment much cooler– around 50 o F.

Step 3: Storage

From here, white wine enters into a barrel, bottle, and even a tank. What takes place next is something the French call “élevage.” This word explains what you’ll be needing to do next– “linger.”

This lingering duration can last for weeks or perhaps years, depending upon the manufacturers choices. There is some argument among the red wine neighborhood about for how long to wait, however research studies have actually revealed that after about 5 years the taste does not alter much.

The Different Types of Wine

There’s over 10,000 kinds of white wines produced worldwide … and while we can’t note them all, we’ll stroll you through today’s most popular lineup.

Popular Red Wine s

Cabernet Sauvignon

The most typical red wine consumed in America originates from the famous Cabernet Sauvignon grape. The dark grape utilized in this red wine has strong levels of tannins, producing a dry taste, making it the best compliment to red meat meals.

Pinot Noir

The Pinot Noir grape provides a lighter body with less tannins, leading to a fruity tasting white wine. Since of these tastes, Pinot Noir sets effectively along with cheese. If you’ve ever been served white wine and cheese, possibilities are the white wine was Pinot Noir.


Merlot’s taste sits someplace in the center in between Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. It’s primarily dry taste gets balanced out by a tip of fruitiness. The grapes utilized in this red wine get their name due to their crimson color. In French, the word “merle,” suggests “little blackbird.” The tannins in this grape supplies a smooth aftertaste.


Bold, abundant red wine with a dark fruit taste. Frequently discovered and produced in Australia.

Popular White Wines


Chardonnays have a dry yet citrusy taste. Chardonnay sets well with numerous kinds of seafood, consisting of crab and lobster. This grape is among the most convenient to grow, making it the ideal kickstarter for those who are checking out brand-new red wine operations.

Sauvignon Blanc

If you’re searching for strong fruity tastes with your red wine, Sauvignon Blanc has you covered. In addition to the fruity tastes, Sauvignon Blancs have actually even been understood to incorporate mint/grass scents into the fermentation procedure. The name originates from the french words for wild (” sauvage”) and white (” blanc”).

Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio)

Pinot Gris, likewise called Pinot Grigio, has greater level of acidity levels than other red wines, causing somewhat spicier tastes. Lots of Pinot Gris likewise use a subtle flower scent to cancel its hot flavoring. This white wine goes finest with food on the bitter side.


Sweet, fruity, and like the Pinot Gris however extremely high in level of acidity. Level of acidity levels integrated with strong fruity tastes can be frustrating for some.

Other Types Of Wine


These white wines are rather popular in the U.S., although they’re still less typical than both red and gewurztraminer. Think about Rosé’s as the middle brother or sister of red and gewurztraminers. In some cases, rosé white wine is produced by just blending red white wine with gewurztraminer.

Zinfandel(Red or Pink)

Grown just in California, this red wine has a distinct spiciness to it.

At the end of the day, red wine is among the simplest beverages to comprehend.

While numerous liquors spend some time for their tastes to be gotten, red wine is among the much easier ones to adjust to.

The next action to increasing your white wine understanding is to taste and check out all the various kinds of red wine, and see how they couple with numerous foods.

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