15 Mar The Ultimate Guide To Wine
The classification of the types of wine is one of the aspects that offer the greatest divergences when it comes to knowing the world of wine, and that ultimately only confuse the consumer, who does not go beyond red, white, rosé, and sparkling.
The origin of these confusions usually lies in the different classification sources, according to legislative and technical criteria. especially when it comes to special wines.
Currently, when buying wine, any consumer can choose from an impressive range of wines almost anywhere on the planet, faced with the consumer-facing problem of choice, in which labels often do not help much as they contain little descriptions. relatives.
The knowledge of the different classifications of types of wine can also facilitate this process of choice since it will allow us to group the wines into a few categories, which will be the first basic selection variable, namely: do I buy a red or a white? dry or sweet wine? sparkling or still?
Indeed, there are different ways of classifying wines, with the advice of Tapasociety, experts in wine distribution and sale, we will see below the four main groups:
Light and dry. Young and acidic wines, without body, rarely aged in oak barrels, are not usually suitable for aging.
Dry and spacious. They have more body and can age in many cases in barrel or bottle. Although they are technically dry, they can have a certain sweetness.
Dry and concentrated. More complex and with more body, they improve if they are aged in barrels and bottles, this group includes the best non-special white wines.
Aromatics. They are those from certain varieties that stand out for their aromas, being dry or semi-dry.
Semi-dry. Without being sweet, they are bottled before all the sugar has been transformed into alcohol.
Sweets and liquor. Intensely concentrated, full-bodied, and complex.
Red and rosé wines.
Roses. Young wines rarely age well and are basically distinguished by their greater or lesser sweetness. Only if we look at the production process we could distinguish between roses and clarets.
Light, fruity, not aged. Almost all reds have a dry taste, but there are many differences between them, based on their density and astringency. This first group is identified with young wines. Usually, with little body, light, and low tannin, that is to say, little astringent.
Medium-bodied. The largest category of reds. It contains a large number of medium-quality wines and some of the great quality that can even be stored.
Concentrated, intense. It groups together tannic wines, with intense aromas, generally very fruity and that tend to age well.
Guarding. They are usually wines from classic regions or from the best vintages from lesser-known regions that have been aged in the bottle. They have a high density and body and their flavor improves with time, before declining.
Specials. They are the ones who break the aforementioned rule in the sense that reds are dry. They are not frequent and can be liquorous, sweet (there are more and more), etc.
Light fruity. There are many differences between sparkling wines in terms of quality and style. It is the model of the Spanish Cava and the Italian Prosseco.
Fine, intense. It is the model of French Champagne that is generally very attractive to the public.
Light and aromatic. Less known and very sweet, like the Italian muscat.
Sweet and special wines.
Generous. They have in common the addition of alcohol, which is called header and aging in wood, which gives them a strong, dense, complex character. Good examples in Spain would be the wine called Manzanilla or the Fino de Jerez.
Partial fermentation. In these wines, rare in Spain and whose clearest example is Port, an incomplete fermentation is carried out, but the degree is increased with the subsequent addition of wine alcohol.
Mistelas. Although they are called wine, in reality, they are not, because fermentation is not carried out, but they are a mixture of the must with alcohol. The advantage of this method is that it respects the fruit (primary) characters to the maximum, and can even age. The best-known example is muscat, so when it comes to sweet muscat wines, they are almost always missiles.
Late harvest. They are sweet because the harvest is delayed as much as possible so that the grape has a high concentration of sugar due to overripeness so that it cannot ferment completely and therefore, the wine retains part of the sugar.
Raisined and toasted. The group includes, for example, the famous Pedro Ximénez. After the harvest, the grapes are dehydrated (in the sun or in very dry and hot spaces, depending on whether we are talking about raisins or toasted respectively), until the loss of water increases the concentration of sugar (raisins) making fermentation very difficult. , so that they require the addition of wine alcohol. Other similar examples, but that receive different names, are the French Muscats or the Italian Liquors.
Sugar, color, and quality
In order to better understand the previous groups, it is essential to understand three aspects of wine classification:
Sugar. Depending on the amount of sugar, they are classified into wines with practically no sugar called ‘dry’ (less than 5 g of sugar per liter); and sweeter wines as they contain more sugar, ordered from least to greatest sweetness in doomed, semi-dry, and sweet (ranging from 5 to 100 g of sugar per liter, or even more).
Color. According to their production method and color, they are classified in the perhaps most popular way among white grape whites (blanc de Blancs) or red grape whites (blanc de noirs), rosés (red grape partially fermented in contact with the skin) clarets (a mixture of white and red grapes fermented completely in contact with the skin) or reds (red grapes).
Quality. According to their quality and gastronomic application, one can speak of ‘table wines’ (ordinary), fine (made looking for a minimum of quality), and special, which are defined by having special composition or production characteristics.