Wine 101: Basic Facts About Wine

1. Wine is made from fermented grapes.

These grapes are similar to table grapes but are much smaller and have thicker skins.

Some common examples are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Chardonnay.


2. The main types of wines are red, white, rosé, sparkling & fortified wines.

  • Red wines are made from red grapes
  • White wines are made from white grapes
  • Rosé wines are pink in colour and are usually made from red grapes ( some new world rose wines are made by blending red and white grapes)
  • Sparkling wines contain carbon dioxide which makes them bubbly. A sparkling wine can be red, white or rose
  • Fortified wines are fortified with spirits such as Brandy. Examples of fortified wines are Sherry & Port

           Red wine            White wine       Sparkling wine     Rosé wine      Port (Fortified wine)

3. Most wines are essentially named in two ways:

  • Based on the grapes used to produce them, these are called Varietal wines (for example Shiraz, Pinot noir)
  • Based on the region where they are produced (for example Bordeaux, Burgundy)

 4. Wines can be old world wines or new world wines;

Old world wines are from countries where wine making originated like France, Spain, Italy & Portugal. 

New world wines are produced in countries where wine making was imported after the age of exploration. Examples are United States, Australia, South Africa & Chile.

5. Red wine is best served at room temperature (15-20°C); White and rosé wines are best served chilled (8-12°C): and Sparkling wine is best served ice cold (5-7°C)