Before I worked in the wine biz I found myself reading books, taking classes and in a general pointless abyss of trying to understand the importance of a wine's "legs", "tannic structure" and "notes of honeysuckle and tar". What did I find out once I had a proper wine education? The most useful wine knowledge is knowing what you like and how to ask for it.
A good place to start is with the basis - the difference between white, red and rosè wine. Most red grapes are in disguise. 99% of red grapes (like Cabernet or the Portuguese Baga) have both white flesh and white juice under the red skin. In other words, if you press these red grapes you get white juice.
So how is red wine made? Red grapes are crushed and sit with their red skins for days so that the reg pigment in their skin dyes their white juice. Ever heard of a "Blanc de Noir"? This means "white from black" in French, referring to a white wine made from a red grape (no time spent sitting with the skins!).
So what about rosè? Not too complicated - take red grapes and crush the red skins with its white juice for a few hours, maybe a day, and the juice turns pink! Ever wonder why some rosès are the color of salmon and the other the color of a magenta flower? The color reflects the amount of time the juice has spent with the skins.
And white wine? It is just the white juice from the white grapes. No skin contact! My Vadio wines are a perfect example of red, white and rosè wines made from the same grape:
The Vadio red is made from Baga.
The Vadio sparkling rosé is made from Baga .
The Vadio sparkling white is partially made from Baga!
So there you have it. Beauty is in the basics.
- Rachel Farah