Most people go to a restaurant and order wine based on the color or the smell. Unfortunately, this is a very crude way of telling which one is a good wine. To understand wine and its taste, it is important to know the term “boldness.” Wine connoisseurs usually describe wines in terms of their boldness.
For example, when you consume ginger ale, the beverage is smooth, there is no viscosity (thick or semi-fluid inconsistency), and the drink easily goes down the throat with little aftertaste. On the other hand, if you were to consume a milkshake, the first thing you will notice is the viscosity; plus, the flow down the throat is slow and there is usually a residual taste.
The texture and fullness are described as boldness. Some wines are light in terms of boldness and others are described as full-bodied. A full-bodied red wine definition would be a red wine that is thick, heavy and has a mouthfeel of viscous.
Compared to white wines, red wines are more likely to be full-bodied. The boldness of red wine is due to several factors of which the most important is the selection of the grapes.
The darker the grape, the more likely it is that the wine will be full-bodied. Grapes grown in warmer climates tend to be sweeter, have a higher tannin content, and likely to have a higher concentration of alcohol. Sometimes, during the process of fermentation, the manufacturer will add some sugar which also adds to the viscosity.
Overall, most full-bodied red wines have a higher alcohol concentration. What is full-bodied red wine? These full-bodied red wines will instantly hit your palate and leave a lingering taste and aroma in your mouth.
FULL-BODIED WINE FACTS
What is full-bodied red wine? There are several great full-bodied red wines on the market and some of them include the following characteristics:
- Petite Sirah is a distinct grape variety grown in the French Alps and is known to be associated with blackberry flavors. It is high in tannin content, which will usually leave a dry taste in the mouth.
- Grenache/Garnacha is a red wine bursting with fruity flavors. The wine is made in Spain and it has a very high alcohol content.
- Rioja is another red wine from northern Spain. Made from Tempranillo grapes, it is known for its dusty and savory flavors, and high tannin content. It is often matured in American oak barrels to enhance the alcohol content and aroma.
- Carignane (Carignano) is a very potent bold red wine made in France, Italy, and Spain. It is very high in tannin and strongly acidic.
- Tannay is another dark red wine grown in Southern France and has a reputation for being bold, flavorful, and fruity.
Other bold red wines include Mourvedre, Shiraz, Syrah, and malbec. These full-bodied red wines are best consumed in small amounts with meaty dishes and sweet desserts.
Drinking wine is usually more fun when several people are enjoying the wine together. Often wine is served with snacks. What are the best snacks to eat with wine?
Some wine connoisseurs suggest that only certain foods should be consumed at the same time, but there is no universal rule mandating such an idea.
Granted, for some official gatherings you may want to be super selective about your pairings, but if you are at home or among friends, you can drink wine and combine it with any food that you like; of course, some pairings will better enhance the taste buds.
Further, there is no harm in experimenting with different foods. If you are having a wine gathering, here are some food pairing suggestions.
- Crackers, cheese, and summer sausage are favorites of many that always go great with either red or white wine (Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay). This is a good snack to eat with Pinot Noir. You may wish to have a variety of different types of cheeses available (i.e., Cambernet, Brie, Cheddar, Roquefort, etc.) and salted crackers to enhance the taste. There are so many good cheese and cracker combinations.
- Veggies with hummus is another snack that is universally liked by most people. Plus, vegetarians, vegans, and individuals who try especially hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle will love this food. You can use a combination of veggies (carrots, celery, cauliflower, cucumber), and an assortment of exotic homemade hummus (roasted, spicy, creamy avocado, etc.).
- Trail mix (almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts) is another great snack to eat with Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. To make it even tastier, add some dried fruit (cranberries, raisins) with a tinge of sweet roasted coconut.
- If you are at home watching a movie, then try popcorn with either sparkling (Champagne, Cava, Moscato) or dessert wine (Ice wine, Vin Santo, Sauternes).
- If popcorn is not your thing, then try potato chips (barbecue, spicy, onion flavor) and combine it with one of the following wines - Moscato, Riesling, Port, etc. If the chips are salty, stick with a sweet wine as it will also quench the thirst.
- Deli meat (Chorizo, slices of ham, Prosciutto, chicken fingers, salami, and chicken wings) will go great with fruity wines (i.e., Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, and Syrah).
- Almost any type of pizza goes great with wine (i.e., Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio, Fiano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barberra, etc.). The key is to make the pizza spicy, hot with a variety of toppings (sausage, bacon, mushroom, olives, anchovies, and gorgonzola).
- Tortilla chips and dip (salsa verde, creamy tahini, spinach artichoke, avocado aioli, roasted garlic red hummus) will go great with Malbec, Chardonnay, or Port.
- Finally, if you are having a romantic get-together, then nothing beats chocolate and wine. Almost any Cadbury chocolate is a great snack to eat with Pinot Noir, but if you like dark chocolate, then Merlot, Zinfandel, or Syrah can make the romance blossom.
There really is no right or wrong food that can be eaten when consuming wine. It is all a matter of personal preference. What are the best snacks to eat with wine?
If you like a particular food, then, by all means, pair it with a wine and see what happens! Check out the Pacific Rim and Blog Company to discover new wines.
Many people who order wine often ask, “Is the wine sweet?’ Overall, most casual drinkers prefer a wine that is sweet instead of bitter or acidic.
Compared to red wines, white wines tend to be sweeter and are more commonly ordered at a restaurant. But even though red wines are complex and much heavier, there are certain brands that are sweet to a degree.
The red wine sweetness chart will tell you that the Pinot Noir sweetness level is not high; it is a dry wine, yet very popular because it has a fruitier taste, which lends itself well to approaching a sweetness level.
Why Are Some Red Wines Sweeter Than Others?
To make red wine, grapes need to be crushed and allowed to ferment. During the process of fermentation, the grape sugar is converted to alcohol, which is the reason for the bitter taste.
By preventing longer fermentation, permits more of the grape sugar to remain intact and less alcohol; thereby resulting in a final product that is much sweeter.
There is a little more to the story to be told, however, because wine drinkers tend to confuse sweetness with fruitiness.
Some red wines will be fruiter rather than sweet because of the type of grape. Grapes grown in warmer weather climates tend to be sweeter because of the high sugar content but sometimes these wines can also be fruitier rather than sweet.
While the Pinot Noir sweetness level is not high, it is lighter and fruitier than some other red, dry wines.
Range Of Sweetness In Red Wines
Red wines have a range of sweetness. Most sparkling red wines tend to have low sugar content (i.e., Lambrusco) but they tend to taste fruitier.
If you are looking for a sweet red wine, you may opt to try a Schiava or Dornfelder. If you like to be bold and love alcohol, select a fortified red wine. Most Portuguese wines tend to be fortified like Marsala, Port, or Madeira.
When shopping, if you see the word “dry” wine, it usually means it contains very little sugar (i.e., Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, etc.); these wines contain more alcohol than sugar and can be slightly bitter.
If you are at a restaurant and have no idea which red wine is sweet, ask the server or sommelier. Wine labels will indicate the residual sugar (RS) and the alcohol by volume (ABV) content.
If you are shopping and want a sweet red wine, then you will not go wrong with choosing a dessert wine (i.e., Cupcake Red Velvet, Carletto Ricco, Ramos pinto, etc.).
If you are just learning to appreciate all that wine has to offer, there are red wine sweetness charts available that clearly state which wines are sweet, semi-dry, or dry. Give each a try to find what your palette will enjoy most.
Overall, red wines tend to be healthier, not because they are less sweet compared to white wines but because they contain a higher amount of resveratrol, a substance that has been found to lower cholesterol levels.
In the end, the sweetness is relative when it comes to red wines. The taste may vary depending on the event, the food, and the social circumstances.
Finally, keep a diary of the wines you try. When you like a glass of red wine, make a note so you will remember it in the future. Check out Pacific Rim and Company to see all the offerings.
The universal question often asked, “Is red or white wine sweeter?” The answer is that white wines tend to be sweeter than red wines. But sweetness is a relative term. There is a whole range of sweetness when it comes to wines. The eventual flavor will depend on the type of grape, where it is grown, the duration of the fermentation process, and the climate of the region where it was grown.
All wines are made from grapes; once the grapes are collected and washed, they are crushed and allowed to ferment. During this process, the grape sugar is converted into alcohol, which is the reason for the bitter or acidic taste.
The longer the fermentation, the higher the alcohol concentration and the less sweet the wine becomes. To make a wine sweet, the fermentation process is arrested early, which allows for the preservation of the grape sugars.
Overall, the riper the grape the sweeter the flavor but sometimes this can also lead to a more fruity taste rather than sweet.
Other things that can affect the answer to the question, “Is white or red wine sweeter?” include the level of acidity and presence of tannins.
Finally, grapes grown in warm weather, such as what tends to be the case in California, often ripen better and often have a sweeter taste.
Wine Terminology You Should Know
When a wine is dry, this means that all the grape sugar has been converted into alcohol during the fermentation process, whereas a sweet wine will still have some residual sugar.
In between the dry and sweet wines are also wines labeled as “semi-dry” or “off-dry.” These wines tend to be mild and lightly sweet.
Port: You will also note the word “port” can be found on some wines. These wines are fortified and tend to have a much higher alcohol content compared to regular wines.
The label will indicate the Alcohol by volume (ABV), which is usually about 20 percent in port wines. These wines are quite bitter, and it takes time to get acquainted with the taste. Because of the high alcohol content, port wines are usually served in small portions or small glasses.
Sweet Red Wines: When you want the answer to the question, “Is red or white wine sweeter?” to be red, here are a few that will not disappoint your taste buds:
- Beaujolais Nouveau
- Chocolate Red Wine
- Lambrusco. Lambrusco
When you want the answer to the question, “Is white or red wine sweeter?” to be white, here are a few to try:
- Ice Wine
- Late Harvest Wine
If you like to drink sweet wines, make sure you know how to read the label correctly. Doing so can help you identify sweet wines.
Look for the alcohol by volume (ABV) number, which usually runs from 5-23 percent. For a sweet wine, you should select a wine with a low ABV and high residual sugar content.
Finally, remember, the sweeter your wine, the higher the calorie content. A 5-ounce glass of wine can provide around 120 calories. Check online with Pacific Rim and Company to learn about a variety of wines.
Spring is coming, and with it comes the desire to get together with friends or family in the great outdoors. On your patio, deck, or even around the firepit, you can set the scene for an evening of great memories by merely hosting an outdoor wine tasting. First, let’s consider these tips on how to host a wine tasting party.
Set the Scene
Creating a bit of ambience can certainly help establish the right mood for a wine tasting with friends. Outdoor wine tasting may require a bit of extra ingenuity. For an evening gathering, consider stringing white lights, make sure there is plenty of comfortable seating, and consider a small propane fireplace or bonfire if there is a chill in the air. For a daytime tasting, be sure to offer shade from the sun and make seating maneuverable so that people can move from sunny to shaded locations. Also, be sure to have bottled water or non-alcoholic beverages on hand for those who want to take a break from the wine.
Select a Wine Theme
There are so many wine varieties that it is good to have a theme for your tasting. This could mean that you try only budget-friendly wines. It could mean that you select only white wine and crisp wines on a warm summer’s day, or it could be varied based on the location of production.
Be Careful with Your Guest List
Big gatherings are undoubtedly fun, but intimate parties are generally better when it comes to tips on how to host a wine tasting party. You want your tasting to include easy conversation, which flows typically best among small crowds. Also, pouring is easier to manage when there are fewer cups to fill. A single bottle of wine will generally fill 12 taster cups. Therefore, you may want to limit your headcount to 12.
Make Sure to be Well-Supplied
Obviously, it will be essential to have the appropriate number of bottles on hand and the 2-ounce tasting cups. Additionally, though, you’ll want to have spit buckets for guests who fear getting too tipsy. Palate cleansers, such as bread or crackers, are a welcomed addition to outdoor wine tasting, and notepads with pens are great for those who want to remember which wines they prefer. Finally, choose snacks or a small meal that pairs well with the wines being offered.