Wine Tastings and Wine Musings:
Wine has always been my favorite drink. Initially, the only wine that I knew about was Port Wine! Port is a sweet, red, fortified wine from Portugal. Port is most commonly enjoyed as a dessert wine because it is rich and sweet.
However, now due to my travels and others who travel, have introduced me to a number of different types of wines and I must say that I am keen in exploring the various vineyards, wineries and tasting the wines that the world has to offer, which brings us to our topic of wine tastings and wine musings!
Before I go any further, may I first make it very clear that I am no expert on the subject (just an amateur). Whatever I have written here is been taken from bits and pieces from across the World Wide Web (Internet!) and have mentioned their respective links here for reference. Also, this blog post contains one affiliate link, which means that if you click on a link within the blog and make a purchase, I will earn a small referral fee at no extra cost to you.
It all started when I visited Austria, I tasted a few varieties of wine, which intrigued me and tantalized my taste buds! Checkout my blog post: Journey through a Glass: Austrian Wine Tales. It made me want to know more about wines.
This took me next to Italy and it was An Italian Affair to Remember. As much as I would have wanted to explore most of Italy’s vineyards, got a chance to visit just one vineyard in the Chianti Region of Italy.
The Chianti area in Tuscany, offers a unique landscape, with green, gentle hills covered with wide fields of vineyards and olive groves, small stone villages, characteristic parishes and countryside homes in stone.
We were very fortunate to stay in a rustic farmhouse in Montepulciano, which produced its own wine, olive oil and honey. You can book your accommodations here: Travelbliss Booking.com
After Italy, it was time to visit Napa Valley. Roughly an hour’s drive north of San Francisco in USA and boasting of more than 400 wineries, Napa Valley is a connoisseur’s paradise, inviting visitors to explore beyond the region’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The Napa Valley is located east of Sonoma under the backdrop of Mount Saint Helena and as a whole contains several climate regions, and this provides an ideal terroir for growing a variety of wine grapes due to the variation in temperature and precipitation as well as variations in soil composition and topography.
How do you like your wine dry or sweet? Robust or acidic? Different types of wine have many different flavor profiles, and each wine offers something different for your senses.
Knowing the main types of wine is the first good step to start knowing the world of wine. Although many people may think that identifying wines into such the red or white wine can be as simple as using your eye to classify the color.
However, each wine type actually has its own character and identity which according to grape varieties and wine region and also including tannin level, aroma and bouquet, sweet, and alcohol level which all affect the flavors in some way.
Despite the variety, there are several essential types of wine to keep in your collection at all times. By having these wines, you will be ready for any type of dinner party or entertaining situation.
1. Moscato Wine:
Moscato is a sweet dessert-style white wine. Moscato is the Italian name for Muscat Blanc – a very ancient grape. Among the most notable members of the Muscat family are Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, which is the primary grape variety used in the production of the Italian sparkling wine Asti (also known as Moscato Asti) made in the Piedmont region.
Moscato wine is characterized by its sweet, fruity and sometimes floral aroma and taste. Moscato is sweet, so ideally you should pair it with foods possessing opposite flavors—spicy, sour, salty, bitter. While its sweet fruity essence can make it difficult to pair with a main course, Moscato is perfect with appetizers, sweet brunch dishes, dessert, and alone as an aperitif. For more information, checkout: Moscato 101: Everything You Need to Know about Moscato Wine
2. Pinot Noir:
Pinot Noir, the red wine grape of Burgundy, takes its name from a combination of the French word for pine, (Pinot), due to its tight, pine cone shaped, fruit clusters. The word Noir comes from the grape skins natural dark color.
Pinot Noir is a perfectly suited wine to pair with a wide variety of food because of its bright acidity, complexity, and rich fruit character. It is one of the few varietals that pairs well with either a delicate, poached salmon/sea-food, Pork Tenderloin, grilled meats, chicken, (particularly duck) and vegetables, root vegetables (particularly mushrooms). For more information, checkout: Everything you need to know about Pinot Noir.
3. Cabernet Sauvignon:
Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine grown extensively in Napa Valley. It’s natural cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc that originated in France. Due to its tannic structure, it makes it the perfect wine and grape to pair with fatty cuts of meat, lamb veal and pork. Cabernet Sauvignon is also perfect for a myriad of different cheeses. Read more at: The Wine Cellar Insider
Chardonnay is the world’s most popular and important grape for producing white wine, as well as Champagne, sparkling wine and dessert wine. While France is the grape’s spiritual home, especially in the various Burgundy appellations, it also produces high quality wine in America, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Italy and numerous other countries.
Chardonnay is an easy wine for wine and food pairings. All types of seafood from shell fish, to grilled fish is the perfect place to start and it also works well with chicken, pork and a variety of cheeses too. Read more at: The Wine Cellar Insider
The above mentioned vineyards, wine tastings and wine musings are just the tip of the ice-berg. There are so much more to see, to explore and to taste. Hope that my next travel takes me to a vineyard, another winery and another wine-tasting!
Till then, keep traveling and keep sharing your travel stories here!