Sweet or Dry? A beginner’s guide to wine!

Have you ever been to a restaurant and wondered about the many options of wine available? Have you wanted to understand how to choose wines, and which one would suit your palate best? Well, we have got all the answers for you. You’ll never be confused about your wines, again!

Most wines are made of grapes, but not the ones available at the grocery store. These grapes are smaller, contain seeds and have thicker skins. With over 1300 wine grape varieties used in commercial productions, only 100 of them make up most of the world’s vineyards.

A basic introduction to Wine:

Acidity: The more acidic a win, the more tart it will taste. Low acidity wines are usually richer in texture or ‘rounder’

Sweetness: For wines labelled ‘sweet’ or ‘dry’, the wine will not be ‘sweet’ at if it is labelled as dry.

Tannin: These phenolic compounds are essential in the winemaking process, and help them through ageing. Tannins usually also tend to dry your mouth. Often people confuse the tannin with the dryness level of a wine. This actually refers to how sweet a wine is. 

Body: The wine is usually characterised by it’s light, full or in between body. The “body” describes how light or heavy it feels in your mouth. The red wines have a fuller body than whites, so do grapes made in warmer regions.

Alcohol: The percentage of alcohol in your wine can be told by how warm it feels at the back of your throat. Measured in (ABV) the percentage of alcohol by volume, most wines contain 11 to 13 per cent alcohol.

How to pick a bottle:

If you are unsure of your tastes, pick a white wine or rose 

Just like food, your palates evolve as you mature. The same logic applies to wine; your wine tastes tend to change over time. Usually, most people enjoy a sweet or rose wine first, and then later fall in love with dry reds or wines with a strong flavour. So, if you are confused as to what kind of wine to opt for, choosing a lighter-bodied wine can be a good start.

What flavours do you usually enjoy?

Wine can have varying and complex flavours, but that doesn’t mean that these flavours you enjoy in drinks and food won’t influence the kind of wine you choose. If you are one for sweet, chances are you will more likely enjoy a sweeter wine.  Or if you prefer your coffee bitter and black, an acidic wine might be a good option for you. If Black coffee is your pick, you will most likely enjoy an Old World wine (wines that come from Italy, Spain or Spain). If you go for a lighter latte, try the New World wine (something from the United States, South Africa or Australia)

Is it for an occasion?

If you’re opting for wine for friends and family, you might want to be selecting a different variety altogether. You can opt for wines that are closer to the spectrum of sweetness, acidity, and body. A balanced and moderate flavoured wine is likely to appeal to more of your guests. Consider opting for lighter-bodied white wines for light dishes like chicken and fish, and heartier red wines for dishes like lamb and fish.

We hope you this helps you to pick your wine the next time you’re at a restaurant! Head to our shop section to find the widest varieties of dry, sweet, acidic and amazing wines. Download the Liqroo app and order your alcohol anytime, anywhere!