For many of us wine is something of a mystery and when we are buying wine it comes down to a simple choice between red and white and what our local supermarket has available in its “special offer” bin. But wine really isn’t such a mystery at all and, in this area at least, a little knowledge can get you a very long way.
The starting point is to understand the different types of wine available and here we can divide wines into five main groups.
Red wine is fermented from what many people would refer to as red grapes but which are in fact more correctly named black grapes. In the case of red wine the grapes are used whole for fermentation, that is to say complete with skin and pips, and it is the skin which gives the wine its red color.
There are a wide variety of black grapes available each with its own distinctive flavor which is derived principally from the soil and climate in the region where the grapes are grown. This, together with the winemaker’s art of mixing, allows us to enjoy a range of red wines from the deep blackcurrant color of the full-bodied and intensely flavored wines produced from the Cabernet...