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Wine Basics

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From selecting wines to try to learning how to taste them and pair them with favorite foods, Wine Basics on About.com has got what you are looking for!
  1. Wine Basics
  2. How to Read a Wine Label
  3. How Wine is Made
  1. Pairing Wine with Food
  2. Wine Tastings
  3. How to Store Wine

Wine Basics

There's plenty to learn in the world of wine and every vintage offers a new education. Wine basics will give you a starting point to build a foundation of wine knowledge that promises to serve your palate for years to come.

How to Read a Wine Label

Wine labels can be straight-forward or fairly tricky to decipher, depending on whose you're trying to read and where it's from. New World labels tend to be easier to read, with the varietal or blend clearly labeled, the producer, where the grapes were grown and the alcohol content right there in plain view. Old World wines have a reputation for being tougher to interpret. Instead of the varietal being the primary piece of information on the Old World label, it is the location - where the wine is from. Old World wines are heavily invested in their individual terroir, not necessarily the specific grape.

How Wine is Made

From grape to glass, winemaking is an arduous, year round process. The vineyards are a critical determinant in the end product wines for each and every vintage. Vineyards are like the wine's bassinets, where early grapelife begins and flourishes, for all wine is truly birthed on the vine. The vineyard's location, climate, terrain, soils, vines and rootstocks, irrigation systems and pest management controls all factor into the final product in one way or another.

Pairing Wine with Food

Like a good marriage, wine and food were meant for each other. Each enhances and strengthens the experience of the whole. Pairing wines and favorite foods should not be ultra complicated, if you keep a few tips in mind.

Wine Tastings

Whether you want to learn to taste wines like the pros or host your own wine tasting party, we've got step-by-step guides to help you do either successfully!

How to Store Wine

Getty Images / George Doyle

There is a reason that wine has been stored in wine caves and underground cellars for hundreds of years - the ideal storage conditions can be consistently met: cool, dark, humid and still surroundings. While, storing wine is not rocket science, there are a few key points to keep in mind that will help ensure your wine has the very best chance for long-term survival and optimal aging.

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