Tastes of Wine

These are some cool and easy tools for helping you learn more about wine – from Quora we get this question and answer:

Is there a simple way to explore and learn about the tastes of wine?

Madeline Puckette, Certified Sommelier

I’m very interested in this topic and have produced a variety of different visuals to try to help people understand how wine tastes.   There are many different ways to visualize wine.  Here are a few:

Where a wine lies compared to other wines.  The design above I created was derived from a tasting graph seen at Vino Volo

An example of it in action in How to Order Wine Like a Sommelier | Wine Folly

Another visualization is for the standard flavors of each wine variety or blend.  Such as:

used in Discover White Bordeaux | Wine Folly

Here is a recent image created for Chardonnay ripeness

used in Chardonnay Wine Guide | Wine Folly

Here is a comparative way to regard a single variety

used in Guide to Merlot Wine Taste, Regions and Food Pairing

Here is a way to visualize location

Used in The Best Pinot Noir Regions in the World | Wine Folly

Candy and Wine Pairing

From one of my favorite wine apps (Vivino) we get this great infographic on

The Ultimate Guide To Pairing Wine with Halloween Candy

Nobody likes messing up their food and wine pairings. It can ruin your food, your friendships, and worse yet, your wine.

With Halloween just around the corner, we know you’re stressing about pairing wine with candy. No worries, we’ve got you covered.

With this easy-to-use infographic, you can find out which wines work with which candies, so you know just the wines and candies to indulge in this October.

Great Wines for less than $10

I like wine and I like infographics! Here is a great one about

10 Great Wines for $10 or Less

10 Great Wines for $10 or Less

Opinions about wine are as common as the types of wine themselves. In other words, not every bottle of Cabernet pleases the palates or personalities of wine drinkers. Therefore, any list of the “best” wines winds up being subjective.

In this infographic, SelfStorage.com identifies 10 of the best wines for $10 or less. We consulted wine experts Christian Galliani and Len Napolitano along with Consumer Reports magazine, MensHealth.com and ReverseWineSnob.com to come up with our list. We can’t promise that all of these wines will suit your taste buds, but we hope you’ll be able to sip and savor at least some of them.

Cheap Wine Infographic
Produced by SelfStorage.com. Copyright 2013.


At Least 7 Glasses of Wine Each Week

This is very interesting! My wife loves Mediterranean food (well, and the area!) and this guide certainly suggests that the food is awesome for our health! Check out the details from The Atlantic:

Study Confirms the Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

Pivotal research in the New England Journal of Medicine today confirmed well-worn notions that the Mediterranean diet — including produce, olive oil, nuts, etc. — significantly reduced rates of heart attacks and strokes, as compared to a low-fat diet. Now, to make these foods as accessible as corn sugar

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When research has to be stopped because it would be “unethical to continue,” it suggests one of a few polarizing scenarios. In this case, it’s because the study found something that was clearly good. So good that after five years of watching trends in heart disease and strokes among people at high risk, the researchers could not in good conscience continue to recommend a “low-fat diet” to anyone.

On the island of Ikaria, in Greece, there are more centenarians than you can shake a stick at. In Loma Linda, California, the Adventist community has a lifespan that’s five to seven years longer than the average American’s. These are people who eat a Mediterranean diet, and we’ve long inferred correlations between that and their prosperity and longevity. But we haven’t had solid research to show us how important their diet — as opposed to other factors genetic, lifestyle, and social — actually is.

That’s why today’s study in the New England Journal of Medicine is particularly important.

As Dr. Steven E. Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, told Gina Kolata at The New York Times, the study “says you can eat a nicely balanced diet with fruits and vegetables and olive oil and lower heart disease by 30 percent … And you can actually enjoy life.”

So, enjoy life, if that’s what it means to you.

Of course, utilizing this knowledge doesn’t just mean educating people about diet choices, but also making these foods accessible. That would necessarily involve reassessing and prioritizing how the U.S. subsidizes agriculture. You don’t need to eat a ton of any one these items to see the benefits of the diet, so making them more common in U.S. culture is not at all inconceivable.

Here’s how the study defined and broke down the diets it tested:

Recommended in Mediterranean diet

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New England Journal of Medicine

Discouraged in Mediterranean diet

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New England Journal of Medicine

Recommended in low-fat diet

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New England Journal of Medicine

Discouraged in low-fat diet

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New England Journal of Medicine

Sofrito is “a sauce made with tomato and onion, often including garlic and aromatic herbs, and slowly simmered with olive oil.”

I note the wine as a point of interest because a lot of people ask me how much they should drink. But no one element of these diets clearly shouldered an undue share of the glory or burden. I take this as a check in the “good” column for alcohol, among the thousands of studies that look more specifically at its goods and bads.

5 Tips to Perfect Food and Wine Pairing

I enjoy a good glass of wine, and the best way to really enjoy it is to have it paired correctly with food. Here are some great tips from WineFolly:

5 Tips to Perfect Food and Wine Pairing

Pairing Wine and Food Infographic Chart

 Want a Wine Pairing Chart?  Buy it

5 Wine & Food Pairing Guidelines

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Champion the Wine

The number one guideline is to bring out the best characteristics of a wine. A high tannin red wine will taste like sweet cherries when paired with the right dish. Focus on the characteristics that you want to champion and make sure that the wine will shine instead of fighting against the food.

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Bitter + Bitter = Bad

Since our tastebuds are very sensitive to bitterness, it’s important to pay special attention to not pair bitter food and high tannin wine. Green Beans with Cabernet Sauvignon will multiply bitter tastes. If you want to pair a high tannin wine, look to foods with fat, umami and salt for balance.

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Wine Should be Sweeter

As a general rule, make sure that the wine is sweeter than the food and you will have a successful wine pairing. If the wine is less sweet than the food it’s matched with, it will tend to taste bitter and tart. This is why Port wine is perfect with dessert.

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Wine Should be More Tart

A wine should have higher acidity than the food it’s matched with otherwise it will taste flabby. For instance, a salad with vinaigrette is better with an extra brut Champagne than a butteryChardonnay.

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Improve an Earthy Wine

Ever hear that Old World Wine is better with food? On their own, Old World wines can be very earthy and tart. However, when you pair an earthy wine with something even more earthy like mushroom stroganoff, then the wine tastes more fruity.