Welcome to Wine Peer!
We here at Wine Peer would firstly like to thank you for visiting our website. This website is designed to be a resource for anyone who want’s to learn something about wine. Whether you are just getting started in wine or are a master sommelier. We hope that you can take something away from here that will improve your experience with wine, however big or small it may be!
If you are just getting started with wine and don’t know the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir you are in the right place. We plan to show you some of the great options that you have in front of you. One of the great things about wine is that there are so many different kinds that there is almost guaranteed to be one that you can find that will fit your style.
After all, no wine tastes the same as another, each one has its own individual personality if you will. A wine that may be of the same varietal, essentially what grape it is, like Chardonnay that comes from Napa Valley in California may taste completely different than one that is grown in the Burgundy region of France. In the same sense a Cabernet Sauvignon wine from one vintage, year the grapes were harvested, may taste completely different from the next vintage of the same wine that was made in the exact same place by the same people. Just one of the great things about enjoying wine, you have lots of options!
Now for someone that is more experienced with wine you might be thinking some of this information may be beneath you, but there are a lot of things for someone more advanced as well. Whether you want to find out about proper wine service, producer history, premium vintages, region specific taste notes, wine hierarch, identifying fake wines, and much more. After all, anyone who is well versed in wine knows that there is always room to grow your knowledge.
Getting back to some of the more basic things with wine, some people viewing this may not even know what color a Merlot is and that is perfectly okay! That is what we are here for. A very simple run down of some of the most popular wines that everyone should try and be familiar with would be the noble grapes. There are three red grapes and three white grapes. The three red grapes are Cabernet, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. The white grapes are Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. There are many other types of grapes, but these are going to be the most well known and most commonly grown.
When it comes to the noble grapes, five derive from France, while the sixth, Riesling, originally comes from Germany although it does well elsewhere. The French having five of these Noble grapes is no accident, this dates back generations upon generations, as the French have always been quite good at promoting lives of luxury and extravagance which included the wonders of wine. Word spread quickly of the excellent wine that the French were making and soon many others were wanting not only the wine, but the ability to make wine in their own countries. When the powerhouses of Europe set their eyes on lands across the ocean and settled in places like North and South America, they brought some of the comforts of home with them, like wine. Hence, these Noble grapes spread across the globe like wildfire and never looked back with the ability to grow successfully in many different regions and climates.
There is obviously much more to these groups as well as others, but the above is a simple start to what you can learn more about here!
Moving on to some more great things about wine we come to the different regions that it is grown in. There are vineyards all over the world, producing quality wines, in fact, some of these places may be surprising to you! The classic Burgundy region of France or Napa Valley of California are often what many think of when it comes to spectacular wines, and they definitely aren’t wrong in thinking that as some of the most phenomenal wines do come from these places. But now other places are stepping up to the plate and bottling some wine that can compete with the big boys.
China is one of the biggest rising stars in the wine industry at the moment with vineyards popping up all over the country, with billions of dollars being invested into wineries that are completely state of the art producing tonnages that astonish any producer or consumer. They had quite the wine craze with people importing all sorts of wine such as top tier Bordeaux like Margaux or Lafite-Rothschild and spending ungodly amounts of money on wines that they might not even open. Now they have shifted to trying their hands at producing the wines that should create very unique taste profiles.
Other countries such as New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and Chile have begun producing wines over the last few decades that can stand up to any of the classics. Even the United States has expanded its wine growing from the popular California hillsides to more obscure places such as Washington or Texas. The things that they grow vary from place to place and depend on the specific regions as certain grapes will grow better in certain conditions than others, but when they find a grape that grows well in such a place they usually find a way to create one of a kind wines that blow your mind. A great example of this would be Rieslings or Pinot Noirs that are coming out of Washington and Oregon, many prefer the distinct styling that these wines offer compared to the more traditional German or French counterparts.
This may seem a like a lot of information right now, but creating a solid foundation will allow you to learn much more.
People often get scared by wine when they go to an upscale restaurant and are approached with wines that are hundreds or even thousands of dollars, leading them to feel that enjoying wine may be something that they simply can’t afford. This is the furthest thing from the truth as one of the most rewarding things is finding a good cheap bottle of wine that you love and can share with your friends and family. One has to remember that just because a wine is expensive doesn’t always mean that it is going to be the best wine for you.
As I just mentioned another fantastic benefit with wine is the ability to really bring a group of people together. Whether it is just a romantic evening with your significant other, a business meeting with clients you are trying to impress, or a night at home with friends sharing stories, adding a bottle of wine to the mix usually adds a little something extra. It often gives you something to talk about or something you may to relate to with someone else. Like if you both really love some obscure boutique wineries or just can’t stand the last vintage of a wine from your most beloved producer, it opens up doors and relationships that may not have been open before.
Here is where knowing someone with a little more wine knowledge really comes in handy, as asking them for a few recommendations can usually go a long way. Their suggestions may help you find something you truly love, or maybe you can buy a bottle and they can buy a bottle and you both get to try something new! In fact, it might even end up with you creating your own wine night that you can invite more people to and learn even more! Now if you don’t have someone you know off the top of your head that is a sommelier in training don’t worry, we are happy to help with some good suggestions! And if you are that sommelier in training or who already has their pin, we can point you in the direction of something that maybe you haven’t tried before or something you haven’t had in a while that may bring up some new ways of thinking about a wine.
After finding these wines that you are now going to be trying you’ll need a few basic things like wine glasses, possibly a decanter or aerator (allows wine to breathe and opens up the flavor, but not necessary for all wine), spit bucket (so if you can’t drink anymore you have somewhere to put the wine), and a wine opener (because you have to get the wine out). Next depending on the wine you might want to let it breathe a little, this is where come the decanter or aerator in handy. With a decanter you poor your bottle and it increases the surface area of the wine, thus allowing more air to come in contact with the wine that has been locked up in the bottle. An aerator is designed to speed up this process by essentially forcing the wine through a compact chamber that forces air into the wine. Now these steps are not necessary, and are in fact completely optional, so you don’t need them to get started, but aren’t very expensive and easy way to open up a young or inexpensive wine.
If you really want to add to the experience feel free to pair the wine with some great food. A once again very simple guide to this would be that reds generally go well with things like steak and your whites almost always go well with things like seafood. Like I said very basic, and not always correct, your palate may not match with someone else. If they don’t go well together for you then maybe something else will. Also, having something to cleanse your palate like cheese is great too!
Now that we have a wine that is ready to drink pour yourself a glass and enjoy a sip. Many of the sommeliers that have followed along may suggest that you smell it first and describe what you smell. There is nothing wrong with that philoshopy at all, but if you are getting started the most important thing for you to do is just enjoy the wine. Think about the way it tastes, what other flavors you may notice in the wine, like lemon, licorice, berries, or even dirt. If you don’t taste anything but the wine just give it some time, some wines have different layers to them. One may start strong and have a short finish or a few different levels where you get different sensations over what can be minutes from just one drink.
If you really want to get into wine I suggest keeping a log of the wines that you drink. Write down what you like or don’t like about wine. What it tastes like to you, a wine that it’s similar to or better than, if you think it’s a good vintage, or that you simply hated it. Having these things written down helps you have things to compare to in the long run.
Just to emphasize again, if this your first attempt at wine, don’t worry too much about having the nicest bottle of wine or the best stemware. Just enjoy the wine you are drinking and the company you are with, even if that company is just yourself. If you don’t want to think about the varying regions and why one wine tastes better than another and just want to drink a glass of wine while you enjoy a good book that is just fine! Wine is meant to be something for enjoyment, plain and simple.
On that note it seems to be a solid point to finish this up. We look forward to help grow your wine experience and knowledge and hopefully to hear from you. If there is anything that you want to see on this website, whether it is a question you have about a certain type of wine, or just to find out what you might try first. Feel free to shoot us an email or leave a comment below. For anyone that is more advanced in wine we would love to hear from you as well. What is something you are interested in learning more about? What do you struggle with in your identification or knowledge that we can help you with or maybe even something we got wrong! After all everyone is always learning!