Social functions often share some common features such as small talk, refreshments, and glasses of wine. The latter, in particular, is becoming almost a social convention in every gathering. Apart from being the drink of choice for such events, wine is becoming more popular among Americans because of its proven health benefits when enjoyed in moderate amounts.
In the past several decades, Americans no longer needed to go very far to savor wide varieties of quality vintage. California is home to a good number of vineyards that easily hold their own in the face of noted international labels. Wineries in Paso Robles, for instance, are a good place for budding wine connoisseurs to hone their wine-tasting skills and for aspiring sommeliers to familiarize themselves with new varieties.
While there are some other types, most wines are generally classified into red and white. Red wines are the result of pressing whole red or black grapes with skins on. White wine comes from fermenting the clear juice of any grape variety. Novice drinkers should learn to read the label and discern the wine’s particulars, such as grape variety, region, flavor, and the vintage year.
Other factors to consider are the tannins and the acidity of the wine. Tannins come from the grapes’ stalk and skins, and tend to taste bitter in young wine, only becoming more subtle as the drink ages. Meanwhile, the acidity content helps bring out the flavor of other ingredients. Caution is required, however, as high acidity can result in a sour-taste while low levels will make the wine taste too flat, and become more prone to spoilage.
Makers of excellent Paso Robles wine such as those from Daou Vineyards may have more exquisite vintages available. These types are usually made with select grape varieties, and aged to perfection under controlled conditions. While somewhat esoteric and luxurious in character, such wines could be procured under exclusive membership programs. Members-only perks also include a quarterly delivery of bottles of wine to one's doorstep.
You don't need to be a connoisseur to appreciate the fine taste of wine; but some knowledge will come in handy the next time you find yourself holding a flute or Boccalino at a reception, or even enjoying a bottle on a quiet night with loved ones at home. After all, wouldn't you want to get an idea of what it is that makes wine so delightful?