About Wine

Wine is fermented grape juice. That’s it.

Ok, it’s a bit more than that. It’s one of the world’s oldest, most enjoyable, and most revered beverages.  It’s also the most written about, studied, opined, debated, and prose inspiring. So what do you need to know about wine?

It comes in a range of types: red, white, rosé, sparkling, dessert, and fortified from a variety of grapes, called varietals (chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, etc.) made singly or in combination with other grapes, or sometimes fruits, like apples and cherries. And it’s made in almost every country on earth, some for thousands of years.

At no point in history has it been a better time to be a wine lover. New wine making technologies and advancements in viticulture are bringing us better wines than ever before. While the classic regions of Europe have long been looked to for the world’s finest wines, upstart wineries in the New World have developed at such a rapid pace in the last 30 years, that New World wines are now in direct competition with the classics at the high end of the market. Just as in the auto industry, this competition has been a good thing. It has forced these established regions to make better wines in order to compete. The end result has been a general raising of standards all around.

While most of the wine consumed in the United States is produced domestically, it is still important to consider wines produced beyond the North American continent. The chief reason for this is diversity. While California Chardonnay and Cabernet are fine wines in their own right, do you really want to drink them every night? Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of wine is its amazing diversity. It comes in a myriad of styles with each corner of the world producing its own unique specialties. From Sherry to Champagne, to Barolo to Shiraz, the wine world is a wonderful place to explore. There are always new tastes and styles to discover.

However, there are now so many choices available to the consumer that the simple act of selecting a wine can be overwhelming. That's were Tastings.com can help. We designed our site and its wine search so that you can approach wine simply and find a great red wine and information about red wines, if that's what you like to drink, or dig in deeper and search by individual grapes, countries, or appellations.

We hope that you have fun exploring and most importantly, discovering and understanding wines you'll love. Cheers!

Red

Waving Tree 2009 Estate, Nebbiolo, Columbia Valley
97 points
Red wine is made from red grapes; as most red grapes have juice that is clear, the color of a red wine is the result of skin contact during maceration prior to fermentation.
Top Rating: Waving Tree 2009 Estate, Nebbiolo, Columbia Valley

Sake

SakéOne Naginata Junmai Daiginjo Sake
94 points
What is it? That’s the most frequent question asked by those seeking to buy a bottle of saké. Is it rice wine? Is it more similar to beer? The simple answer is that saké is saké. It’s neither wine nor beer, but saké is made using fermentation methods similar to those used in making both wine and beer. To jump to the end, saké is a distinctly unique alcoholic beverage, made from rice, using a fermentation method unlike that used to make any other alcoholic beverage.. Sake has an alcoholic content of 18%-20%, although it is sometimes diluted down to 15% with the addition of water.
Top Rating: SakéOne Naginata Junmai Daiginjo Sake

White

Grgich Hills 2016 Estate Grown Fumé Blanc, Napa Valley
95 points
White wines are those made from so-called "white" grapes, in which the skins have been removed form the juice before fermentation. This results in a white wine, yet the hue of a white wine ranges from straw to golden yellow and everything in between. As some grapes used for white wine have a pink or copper color (such as Gewurztraminer or Pinot Gris, respectively), white wines made form these varieties will tend to have a copper or slight golden or silver color.
Top Rating: Grgich Hills 2016 Estate Grown Fumé Blanc, Napa Valley

Rosé

Cantina Zaccagnini 2019 Dry Rosé Wine, Terre di Chieti IGT
92 points
Rosé is wine made from red grapes that has had minimal contact with the grape skins to yield a blush, copper, salmon or pink color. Rose's can be made form any number of red grapes, from lighter-styled, such as Grenache to a more robust style of red, such as Cabernet Sauvignon. While a rosé could be a blend of white and red wines, most of the finest and most famous rosés are made exclusively from red grapes; of course; the color of the wine can only come from red grapes. (note that for a Rosé sparkling wine, white wines are often part of the blend with red wines).
Top Rating: Cantina Zaccagnini 2019 Dry Rosé Wine, Terre di Chieti IGT

Sparkling

Saracco 2018 Moscato dAsti DOP
95 points
Sparkling wine has effervesence - bubbles- that are the result of a secondary fermentation. This fermentation can take place in the bottle itself or in a tank, after which it is then bottled.
Top Rating: Saracco 2018 Moscato d'Asti DOP

Sweet

Grgich Hills 2016 Late Harvest Dessert Wine, Napa Valley
95 points
A sweet wine is one that contains enough residual sugar to be considered too sweet for dinner. Some of these wines are naturally sweet, while others are fortified. Examples of the former category include Auslese from Germany or passito from Italy, while fortified dessert wines include port as well as sweet sherries such as oloroso.
Top Rating: Grgich Hills 2016 Late Harvest Dessert Wine, Napa Valley

Fortified

Anthony Lees NV Raspberry Spirit Fortified Wine, Maine
93 points
A fortified wine is one in which a neutral alcoholic spirit or grape brandy has been added to increase the alcoholic level. Famous examples include port, sherry and vermouth.
Top Rating: Anthony Lee's NV Raspberry Spirit Fortified Wine, Maine

Fruit

Samson Estates NV Delilah Blueberry Wine, Puget Sound
91 points
We have extolled the virtues of traditionally made American fruit wines for some years now; the category is full of well made and downright excellent wines. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that some of the best wines are actually made in dry table styles. These are often at their best with food. 'It's really exciting to match these wines with food,' said Maine blueberry winemaker Bob Bartlett, 'because there's no history, no precedent.' He suggests serving blueberry wine with Italian dishes or grilled lamb, and pear wine with smoked fish. A tasty thought indeed.
Top Rating: Samson Estates NV Delilah Blueberry Wine, Puget Sound

Cider

Ferme de Romilly Extra Dry Cidre
95 points
Cider is made from fermented apple juice. As with wine, the character and quality of the resulting product will bear heavily on the variety and quality of the fruit used. The cooler climate of Vermont is well suited to high quality apple production, and produces a sizeable amount of quality sparkling hard cider. The finest ciders in North America may well emanate from the province of Quebec in Canada, which has an established artisinal cider industry with historical ties to Normandy cider. These Quebecois ciders are slowly starting to appear on the US market.
Top Rating: Ferme de Romilly Extra Dry Cidre

Mead

Liquid Alchemy Beverages Ground  Tapped Mead
93 points
Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of a honey & water mixture. Simple enough, but the breadth of mead is expanded with the use of other fermentable ingredients, non-fermentable additives, and various other techniques. Mead is sometimes called “honey wine”. This is technically incorrect, as wine involves the fermentation of fruit; however, the alcoholic strength (and taxation) and flavor profile of mead is not dissimilar from wine. Mead should be considered its own category of fermented beverage, a cousin of the more well-known beer and wine.

Some producers flavor white wine with honey and other spices after fermentation; these should not be considered meads. To qualify for the category, honey must undergo fermentation, and must contribute the good majority of the fermentable sugars (the exact amount necessary being debatable).

Mead is sometimes considered to be the most ancient of fermented beverages. The yeast in fermentation convert sugars into alcohol; where wine requires the harvest and/or cultivation of fruit, beer the mashing of grains (typically barley), and sake the conversion of rice starches into sugars, mead is based on honey – a readily available source of immediately fermentable sugar. Readily available to primitive man, who quickly found the effects most enjoyable.
Top Rating: Liquid Alchemy Beverages Ground & Tapped Mead

Flavored Wine

Giambellino Peach Bellini, Germany
92 points
Flavored wines span a broad range of styles, but typically involve the addition of various fruit juices, fruit flavors, and even chocolate to a wine base. They are currently experiencing a surge in popularity in various formats.
Top Rating: Giambellino Peach Bellini, Germany

Wine Cocktails

Greenhouse NV Pink Grapefruit Hard Seltzer, California
91 points
Wine cocktails are simply bottled and branded cocktails made with a wine base instead of spirits. Popular examples include: Sangrias, Mimosas, and Wine Spritzers.
Top Rating: Greenhouse NV Pink Grapefruit Hard Seltzer, California

Vermouth

Padro  Co. Reserva Especial Sweet Vermouth
95 points

Top Rating: Padro & Co. Reserva Especial Sweet Vermouth