The colder months are approaching, which means the holiday season is near and there may be multiple occasions where you find yourself needing to bring a gift. Whether it's for your hostess, your family or even for yourself, one classic choice for a holiday gift is wine. It's easy, popular and affordable - especially if you use a WineBasket.com promotion code, which could get you 5 percent off your entire order or even $10 off an order of $75 or more!
If you don't know much about wine, it can be difficult to pick a kind you know your gift recipient will like. But don't worry - the basics of wine are fairly straightforward, and once you have them down you'll be able to pick the perfect pairing.
How it's made According to 2BASnob.com, wine has been made from the same two ingredients for centuries - grape juice and yeast. Different strains of yeast are used to make wine, and the living organisms in yeast feed off the sugars in the grape juice during a process called fermentation. The sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide and the yeast eventually falls to the bottom of the container. Once fermentation is done, the wine is transferred into another container to mature until it's ready to be bottled.
What factors into taste The kind of yeast and the temperature during fermentation is part of what gives each wine its particular flavor. The variety of grapes used also affects the taste, aroma and texture. Even the soil and climate that the grapes were grown in causes some of these differences between the many types of wine. Storing wine in oak barrels can also affect the flavor. Tannin, which is the substance that causes your mouth to feel drier when you drink wine, comes from the skin, seeds and stems of the grapes. Red wine has more tannin than white wine, but oak barrels can give white wine more tannin.
White wine White wine varieties are usually produced from white grapes, but not all of them are. For example, champagne is made from black grapes. Since the color of the wine depends on whether the skins of the grapes soak in the juice, it's possible to remove the skins so the juice doesn't become colored.
White wines are usually less complicated than red wines because they have less tannin. This makes them easy to enjoy on their own, without pairing them with meals. When they are paired with food, they typically go better with lighter kinds, like seafood or dessert. They're typically served chilled, unlike red wines. A few different varieties of white wine include: • Chardonnay, which is one of the most popular and is usually aged in oak. • Muscat, which is one of the only wines that actually smells like grapes. • Pinot Gris/Grigio, which has many varieties and tastes but usually includes a hint of honey. • Reisling, which has a low alcohol content but is very acidic. • Sauvignon blanc, which is supposed to be served young and is very tangy.
Red wines Red wine is made from red or black grapes. The high amount of tannin in red wines mellow and blend over time, meshing better with the other qualities. This is why red wine tends to age better than white wine. Red wines are usually meant to be enjoyed with a meal rather than on their own because the bold flavors complement a variety of foods. They should be served at a little less than room temperature.
A few different varieties of red include: • Cabernet sauvignon, which has lots of tannin and usually a black currant flavor. • Merlot, which has a high alcohol content and can taste like cherries or mint. • Pinot noir, which comes in a wide range of qualities and is best with a hint of truffle flavor. • Shiraz, which is rich and spicy with a lot of tannin and a taste of blackberries. • Zinfandel, which can be bold and spicy or light and fruity.
Blush wines Blush or rose wines are actually considered white wines. The grape skins are soaked only for a short amount of time, which is why they are light colored. Grenache grapes make some of the best blush varieties.
Champagne This type of sparkling white wine is made only in the Champagne region of France, following a special process. Any other wine with bubbles is not considered to be champagne - just a sparkling wine. There are many different varieties of champagne to choose from, but they are usually made with a combination of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier grapes. Champagne goes through two fermentation processes, and the second one is what gives the wine its bubbles.
No matter which type you choose, you should be able to find a thoughtful yet cheap gift for any holiday occasion using a WineBasket.com promotion code!
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