As a Twenty-Something, I’ll be honest, I don’t know too much about wine. Before getting involved in the wine industry my knowledge extended to “This tastes good” vs. “This tastes bad.” (Which arguably, is all you need to know!) But picture this….you walk into a tasting room full of people. You go up to the bar and the tasting room staff gushes on and on about the wine you’re drinking. You’re probably full of questions….but are scared to ask them because you don’t want to seem uneducated….so you don’t ask them to spare yourself the eminent embarrassment…sound familiar? I know this was the case for me.
Here are just some of the questions I have had….

Q: When it says there are flavors of berries, tobacco, pepper….are those actually in the wine?
A: Nope! There are people with highly developed pallets that sit down and taste the wine before it’s released. While in this kumbaya they call out all of the tastes and flavors that they get while swishing around the wine on their pallets. (Watch the Netflix documentary Sommelier….those guys are impressive!)
Q: Are the grapes in wine the same as the grapes you get from the store?
A: No again! There are table grapes (like the ones you get at the store) and wine grapes. There are over 10,000 wine grapes that exist today!
Q: What is a varietal?
A: A fancy word for “type”. In other words, it is the variety (or type) of grapes in a bottle. (See graphic below!)

Q: Why do people spit wine?
A: When I first saw people spitting wine I thought a few things…..”Ah, they’re wasting perfectly good wine!”…..”Wow, they must be a wine expert!”….”But WHY?”. Well ultimately, spitting allows you to taste more wine without becoming a drunk mess. (We’ve all seen those people….or even been one of them!) As Leslie Kelly states it best, “If you swirl your glass, take a sniff, sip, swish, and then spit, you’re still going to get a sense of the wine. You taste the wine. It’s a wine tasting, after all, not an all-you-can-drink liquid buffet.”

 Q: When do I drink white wine? Red wine?
In a focus group we conducted…one of the millennials said, “White wine is for the day and red wine is for the night”…the entire room of 30+ erupted in laughter and made fun of this comment….but really he wasn’t too far off! You drink red wine when you feel like it….you drink white wine when you feel like it. There is no righ
t or wrong! Though red wine tends to go better with heavier dishes (meat, rich pastas, etc.) and white wine tends to go better with lighter foods (fish, salads, etc.) it’s ultimately all up to you and your pallet!
In the end, it all comes back to “This tastes good” and “This tastes bad.” And just like the title states, there are no stupid questions….so ask away!

Let’s Be Real,

The Twenty-Something

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Written by The Twenty-Something