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Interesting Facts on Wine

wine bottle

Wine is bottled poetry.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Wine is a luscious beverage made from fermented grapes and is cherished all over the world. Cultivated everywhere from Napa Valley in California to Bordeux in France, to Chile and Argentina, to South Africa and Australia, there are many wine varieties to be enjoyed and collected.

Each bottle has its own distinct personality and season for occasion: toast of Champagne on special occasions, a wine aperitif prior to dinner, a full-bodied pinot for a rare steak cut, or a rich Moscato with dessert. Read more to find out how to shop for the best wines and get affordable deals from popular vineyards at your local supermarket.

How to Find and Buy Affordable Wine

wine shop

Buying a good wine doesn’t mean that it has to be expensive – many fantastic bottles can be found for fewer than 10 bucks. Most importantly, a good wine is "good" if you like the taste, no matter what the price tag is.

When shopping for wine be sure to note where the grape was grown - regions are very important in the wine world. Why?

Different regions are known for producing a certain kind of grape. For example, Australia is known for their Syrah and Shiraz, California for their Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Spain their Garnacha or Tempranillo, Italy a Nero de A’vola. Let’s not forget France who is known for their Bordeaux (a mixture typically of three grapes), champagnes, Côtes du Rhônes, and the unique Savagnin.

Tip:For special occassions, a budget champagne like Champagne Nicolas Feuilliatte Brut Reserve X'Ploration or the citrusy champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut is essential.

Wine from Around the World

The world loves wine. Most of the popular grape varieties used on American vineyards today originated from European grape species; chardonnay, pinot noir, gamay, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot.

When a wine consists one of these grapes predominantly—meaning at least 75% of the wine is derived from a single species of grape—then the wine is a “varietal,” rather than a “blended” win. It’s important to note that “blended” wines are not inferior to varietals; rather, wines from Rhone Valley and Bordeaux are often blended and hold great importance in the wine community, filling many wine racks and wine glasses all over the country.

Worldwide classification of wine, spirits, and wine sales are incredibly regulated. Most European wines, for example, are classified by the region in which they’re fermented—like Chianti, Rioja, or Bordeaux. Wines outside of Europe are generally classified by grape—like pinot noir and merlot, for example.

Tip: Wines from Europe are generally named after the region they came from. Wines from the rest of the world are always named by the main grape they use.

Popular Wine Varieties and Wine Descriptions

wine grapes

  • Riesling: a slightly sweeter wine, with slight acidity, often made from classic German grapes found along the Mosel and the Rhine. The Alsace and Eastern United States Riesling is made differently, with a similar aroma, but drier, with less sweetness, whilst the California rieslings lack that balancing acidity and have greater sweetness.

  • Chardonnay: originally from Burgundy, this wine holds a wider body than most dry whites, with slight citrus overtones. When chardonnay is fermented in new oak barrels, the process adds a buttery element—one reminiscent of coconut, vanilla, toffee, or toast.

  • Sauvignon Blanc: finds its origins in France, New Zealand, and Australia, and is generally much lighter than a typical chardonnay, suited with an herbal element. A typical un-oaked sauvignon blanc offers a smoky quality with an acidic finish.

  • Gewuerztraminer: although found on the west-coast United States, New York, and Alsace, this Germany-based wine, the Gewuerztraminer is incredibly aromatic. It offers fruity flavoring and a touch of allspice. Unlike other white wines, Gewürztraminer isn’t as hydrating or refreshing.

  • Champagne: this sparkling wine is a glorious French-founded drink bubbling up in wine glasses all over the country for celebratory purposes. It is generally very sweet, although can be found in drier varieties.

  • Merlot: known as the “introductory” wine for new-to-wine drinkers, one with herbal and black cherry flavors that ultimately pairs with anything.

  • Syrah: a varietal wine with black pepper overtones and an undercurrent of black fruits, such as currants. Often, toffee notes are present if the wine has been aged in oak barrels.

  • Pinot Noir: a soft wine, pinot noir is incredibly fruity, with earthy and tea-leaf elements.

  • Bordeaux: heralded as some of the most prestigious wines int he world, 89% of Boardeaux wines are red. All wines from this region are made from a combination-blend of grapes: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, petit verdot, and malbec.

Overview of Wine Types

Red Wine Fruity dry
Herbal dry (like pinot noir)
Sweet
White Wine Dry
Sweet
Rose Wine Off-dry
Dry
Sparkling Wine Rose
Red
White (like champagne or sekt)
Dessert Wine Nutty
Oxidized
Fortified (red or white)

Best Food Pairings to Wine

I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food. 
-- W.C. Fields

Riesling Chicken
Fish
Pork
Gewuerztrauminer Pork
Asian cuisine
Grilled sausages
Chardonnay Chicken
Fish
Sauvignon Blanc Salads
Seafood
Poultry
Syrah Wild game
Steaks
Stews
Beef
Merlot Almost anything!
Cabernet Sauvignon Red meats
Pinot Noir Japanese cuisine
Chicken
Grilled salmon
Lamb
Champagne Asian cuisine
Poultry
Mild and strong cheeses
Desserts and sweets
Moscato Spicy food
Dark chocolate
Desserts and sweets

In general, when selecting wine to eat with food, you will want a more bold, round, and full wine that will lull on your tongue, allowing for you to enjoy both the flavor of the wine and your food simultaneously.

Wine Storage: Wine Rack and Wine Glasses

A glorious wine rack found at a local retailer is the perfect display for your wine collection. Made of wood or metal, some even have cooling capabilities, and some can also be mounted to your wall to make your dining room sparkle.

Shop for your new favorite wines at local grocers and supermarkets. With Out of Milk app or website you can already shop the latest deals, create shopping lists, and save on your next purchase.