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Champagne & sparkling wine
All about wine
What exactly is wine?
Wine is an alcoholic drink where grapes are the star of the show. Wines usually contain water, alcohol, aromatics, acids and tannins that come together to give each style its distinct flavor and character.
More facts about wine
Although this nectar of the gods may come across as a simple alcoholic beverage, several complex factors give each variety its own distinct flavor, aroma, acidity and sweetness. Most are mild to moderately acidic and, depending on the variety, can be mildly sweet or very sweet. Dry varieties have no sugar content. Different varieties have complex aromas, with some featuring the fragrance of berries, while others have a floral scent. Where the grapes are grown will also change the flavor of the wine. Vineyards in Napa Valley or Sonoma, for example, will produce different grapes than a winery in Tuscany due to the difference in climate, soil, sun exposure and many more factors.
Popular types of wine
The two most popular varieties include white and red wines. These varieties further divide into sub-types, giving you a range of options to choose from. There are, of course, wines made up entirely of one grape variety. Many winemakers also create blends that can give you the best of two or more varieties. Reds have soft and rich flavors with velvet finishes, while white wines feature crisp and refreshing palettes with floral scents and fruity notes.
Popular types of red include cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, pinot noir and more. Cabernet sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine, featuring black fruit flavors and a hint of spices and oak.
White wine types include chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling and more. Wine connoisseurs love chardonnay for its citrusy notes and tropical flavors. The dry style is the ideal choice for those who love their wines crisp and acidic.
Sparkling wines are for those celebratory moments in life when you want to cork open a bubbly to enjoy the special occasion. Sparkling varieties are usually white or rosé, but they also come in red. To round off a meal on a sweet note, try one of the many delectable dessert wines.
Food pairings with wine
Planning a wine tasting at home? Consider some general rules to keep in mind when planning a food menu around wine. The wine you're serving must be more acidic than your dishes and should not be sweeter than the food. The flavor of the beverage and the food must match to a degree. Red varieties pair well with boldly flavored recipes, while white types go well with light dishes such as chicken or seafood.
When selecting the wine for your party - consider thinking worldly. You may not be able to travel to a winery in Sonoma, but that doesn't have to stop you from sipping a California zinfandel. But why not try something from the United States as well? Winemakers all over the world are dang good at their craft, after all.
To shop for updates to your wine collection, search online, or see if we've made it to your city. Click these links to look for Drizly in your city, and find liquor stores on Drizly near you.
- The ultimate Drizly guide to champagne and sparkling wine
- Red wine guide: merlot
- Everything you really need to know about prosecco
- Rioja guide: Spain's most popular wine
- Beginner's guide: pinot grigio
- Wine drinkers guide to rosé
- Everything you need to know about tempranillo wine
- Sherry for beginners
- Brandy cheat sheet
- 5 red wines for people who like white wine
- Seasonal guide: winter wines
- 5 affordable and tasty celebrity owned wine brands
- Rhône wine guide
- Burgundy wine guide
- Italian wine guide
- Easy wine and cheese pairings
- Chardonnay vs. sauvignon blanc
- German riesling guide
- Beginner's guide to red wine
- Beginner's guide to white wine
- What's the difference between port and sherry?
- Guide to Champagne and sparkling wine
- Wine pairings with chicken
- Proper serving temps of wine