The best way to learn about wine is to drink it. Not a bad plan, right! To find out how to crack the code on wine, experience the self-guided Wine Decoder Tastings. There is no charge and all information is easily accessible on this site.
These self-guided wine tastings will focus on 7 noble grapes. These are the basic fundamental grapes of the wine world: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah/Shiraz.
What are Noble Grapes?
These grapes are considered noble because they are prolific. They are grown around the world and even with varying production styles, they keep their core essence…their identifying characteristics. For example, when you drink a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France or Oregon, you can still tell it is a Pinot Noir, even though it may have varying flavors and aromas.
Learning and Experiencing the Noble Grapes
To better understand each of the noble grapes, experience them through self-guided tastings. For each noble grape, you will find:
aboutthe grape origins and wine styles
- Top growing regions: to help you make better wine selections
- Wine recommendations: reasonably priced wine that represents the top growing regions and typical production styles of each noble grape.
- Easy wine rating system: keep track of what you like or don’t like and why
- Tasting profile: compare the typical taste profile to what you taste in the wine
- Pairing notes: become familiar with what wine to order with your meal and improve your dining experience
9 Modules in the Self-Guided Wine Decoder Tastings
Module 1: Basics of Making Wine
To learn about wine, you can start with the Basics of Making Wine. This will help you understand why some wine may have vanilla or toast flavors while others do not.
Module 2: 7 Noble Grapes – Side-by-Side Tasting
White Wine – Tasting Modules
Module 3: Riesling
This white wine has a range of sweet to dry and originates in Germany. Find out 3 hacks to determine the sweetness level in the bottle before you buy.
Module 4: Sauvignon Blanc
An easy drinking white wine that is a fresh, crisp and pairs well with seafood.
Module 5: Chardonnay
A fuller bodied white wine that is made in 3 distinct methods: oak, unoaked, sparkling. The different styles determine which food pairings work best.
Red Wine – Tasting Modules
Module 6: Pinot Noir
A red wine that is lighter, lower tannins and is one of the most versatile wines to pair with food. An easy “go to” when ordering a bottle for the table when your dinner companions are ordering across the menu.
Module 7: Merlot
A very popular red that has similarities to Cabernet Sauvignon, but with slightly softer tannins. This makes it a great blending wine which is why you’ll find Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon the primary grapes in Bordeaux.
Module 8: Cabernet Sauvignon
A full-bodied, tannic red that pairs very well with red meat dishes, especially steak. The royalty of California and the darling of Bordeaux.
Module 9: Syrah/Shiraz
What’s in this name? Hint: The name that appears on the bottle points to the production style of the wine. Find out more about this fruity, tannic red. Another great food wine.