If you don’t know what differentiates a malbec from a prosecco, you’re not the only one. Even some people who see themselves as experts are still learning. There are literally thousands of different grape varieties and so many obscure wines to discover. However, if you want to become a collector, you must know what the most well-known are and their characteristics.
We recently ran across an article that spoke on how to pair wines correctly with food. One of the points mentioned was how tannins in wines made a big difference in the flavor profile of any dish. When you have extensive knowledge of different wines, you know exactly which ones have more tannins and become much better at pairing. But, more importantly, you’ll become a much savvier collector. Let’s look at some of the wines all collectors should know about according to the wine connoisseurs at Underground Cellar.
Chardonnay is the most popular wine in America, and it’s easy to understand why. It is a medium to full body wine and is very versatile. At the higher end of the spectrum, chardonnay will be aged in oak barrels which contribute to its buttery mouthfeel. It’s citrusy with crisp fruit notes, making it a perfect pairing for chicken dishes and creamy sauces.
Riesling is a German wine which originated in the Rhine Valley. Rieslings tend to be sweeter at first and gradually become more acidic. These flavors balance the wine’s sweet honey notes and minerality. This one is a perfect option for spicy Asian dishes or meals with heavy fat content.
Cabernet sauvignon is the most popular red wine in the country. And, while it originated in France, some of the best cabernet sauvignons are made in the Napa Valley. The best word to describe cabernet sauvignons is ‘robust’. Most cabernet sauvignons are aged in oak barrels and will have dark fruit and spicy notes. This is the go-to wine to pair with a nice juicy steak.
Pinot noir is another very popular red wine in the country. It is not as full-bodied as cabernet sauvignon which makes it a better choice if you want to pair it with something like veal or wild game. Pinot noirs tend to be more on the fruity side with a smooth mouthfeel. The average pinot noir will have dark fruit notes (mainly cherry) with a lingering finish.
Pinot grigio is a classical Italian wine and no collection would be complete without a few bottles. Its flavor is best described as dry, refreshing, and crisp, with heavy apple and pear notes. Pinot grigios can be cultivated differently to give them a medium body with floral notes. If you love seafood and can never find the perfect wine to eat it with, this is the one.
These are some of the wines all aspiring collectors should learn about. The more you know about these, the better you’ll be able to build the perfect collection for your needs.