So What Exactly Is Wine?

Well it’s not such a dumb question, certainly wine comes from fermented grape juice, but what makes wine taste the way it does and why do different varietals (grape types) have different flavour profiles and why do those same varietals taste different from country to country, region to region or even vineyard to vineyard?

How come some wines are robust in alcohol and taste and others light in both. Just why does wine become wine rather than just grape juice?  Why are some wines made from a mix of varietals and others from just one type! And just how many different types of wines and varietals are there?

It’s a big and complex area and in the UK the ’take-home’ wine market is worth over £5 billion! In fact just take a walk down any major supermarket wine aisle to see how big and complex it really is! Yes, shopping the ‘Wine Wall’ can be an intimidating process for most, which is why many people still simply go looking for the cheapest deals.

But as in all things, cheap isn’t always the best option, as a little knowledge can go a long way! So true to our name, here at National Wine Week we’ve simplified the whole wine choice process, giving you the basic wine facts and tips so you can face the Wine Wall or your local restaurant wine list with some confidence and really be able to enjoy ‘Les plaisirs du vin!

Les plaisirs du vin!

Learn about wine

in 3 minutes with WSET

Wine School Videos

Find out more about WSET here

WSET, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, is the foremost international body in the field of wines and spirits education, with a suite of sought-after qualifications. Courtesy of WSET we’re featuring a series of their 3 Minute Wine School videos covering the main wine producing countries, regions and styles around the world. Visit our Countries page.

Get the low-down on Vines & Wines

Like to be more Wine Wise, well here’s your chance to improve your wine knowledge and become a bit of a wine wizard in the process. Our downloadable Vines & Wines On-line book gives you a simple grape by grape guide to the most drinkable and enjoyable wines from around the world and the grapes that they're made from.

The Week’s Wines

Here are some of our favourite wines from last year's National Wine Week, some well-known, others not so!

Domaine de Torraccia - Cuvée Oriu 2011 - Corsica

Graillot - Crozes Hermitage 2009 - Rhone

Kaz – Red Said Fred 2014 - Sonoma

Louis de Grenelle – Sparkling Cabernet Franc NV – Loire

Trinity Hill - Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – New Zealand

Ridge - Lytton Springs 2011 – Sonoma

Raats - Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2013 - Stellenbosch

News 1

Two English sparkling wines win gold in the latest International Wine Challenge.

The Gold Medal winning wines were Raimes Classic Brut 2014 from Hampshire - a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and Ridgeview Blanc de Blancs 2014 from Sussex – made with 100% Chardonnay. 

In addition to the golds, England also won 11 silver medals – 10 of which were for sparkling wines.

News 2

Kiwi wines now account for nearly half of all UK Sauvignon Blanc sales.

UK value sales of New Zealand wines increased by 6.6% YoY to a level of £483 million or 5.6 million cases over the past year and is the only major wine producing country showing signs of growth in the UK.

New Zealand now accounts for around 47% of all UK off-trade Sauvignon Blanc sales, with Pinot Noir also growing in popularity and now accounting for over 77% of the country’s red wine sales. Kiwi Pinot Noir now sells for an average of £9.43 per bottle in the off-trade, £3 more than any other country.

News 3

Rose is set for a Christmas surge! Rosé widely regarded as the quintessential summer drink, however, Nielsen data for the four weeks to December 31, 2017, shows that rosé sales were up 60% compared to the annual average. This compares with an average sales growth of 20% to 30% during the summer months, according to Nielsen.

The entire BWS category, including wine, enjoys a massive spike during the four weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve. A third of total alcohol sales for the year take place in the 12 weeks leading up to NYE, and the final four weeks of the festive period is typically the busiest period as shoppers stock up for Christmas.


The World of Wine – Daily News

8th National Wine Week will be here Nov 25th-Dec 1st 2019


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