A College Student’s Wine Guide

by Reece Nelson

Being in college doesn’t mean you can’t start your own wine collection. Wine is a great way to explore new cultures and educate yourself on the world of gastronomy. Food can be enhanced by an accompanying drink and the complex flavors of wine can be a fun way to get creative with your next meal. Not to mention that wine is an awesome way to bond socially — a good bottle can make anyone become friends over the course of a night.

First let’s look at the basic different types of wine.

White wine

White wine is created by removing the skins from the juice during the fermentation process. They generally have a more mineraly and acidic flavor to them, which makes them pair better with light dishes like chicken or fish. If you are a fan of a more crisp finish on your palate after a bite of food, I would recommend a white wine. 

Red wine

Reds are created by fermenting the juice directly on the skin of the grape, because that contact is what produces tannis which are responsible for the red color and create the dry feeling in your mouth. Generally, reds have a darker palate with flavors like cherry, blackberry, and sometimes even leather. All these qualities make reds more full-bodied and better paired with heavier meals like red meats. If you like a more intense flavor on your palate after a bite, I would choose a red to pair with your next meal.  

Rosé

Rosés are considered a genre of white wine, however the fermentation process is similar to a red. Rosés are fermented on the skins of the grape, but for a much shorter period of time, creating its slight pink hue. A Rosé’s flavor profile is similar to that of a white, however it can include slightly more tannin in it due to its brief contact with the grape skin. Rosés are always a go-to and are easy sippers. They pair generally to the same meal a white would.

Bubbles

Bubbles include champagne, processo, cava, the list goes on and on. To put it simply, bubbles are created in wine (always white or rosé wine) by CO2 which is a byproduct of fermentation. This is called secondary fermentation and happens once the wine has been bottled and corked, trapping the carbon dioxide. The process of creating sparkling wine differs depending on the region and country it is made in, which is why there are so many different types. 

Grapes and Regions

Wine is heavily influenced by the grape it is made out of and region it is produced in. There are a multitude of different types of grapes that all produce specific flavors, which, in tandem with the region that dedicated the soil and weather that the grape is grown in, all influence the flavor profile of the wine. Certain regions are known for particular types of wine as they have howned specific techniques, sometimes over hundreds of years, to produce a complex flavor profile. All of this can get complicated very fast, but it is important to understand the region and grape of your wine so you can best select a wine for your purposes. I recommend trying a variety of different grapes from different regions to find what combination you like best.

The world of wine is a great way to explore different cultures around the globe. Every sip gives an insight into the hundreds of years that were needed to perfect the flavor. Being at college doesn’t mean you can’t explore wine and food combinations and nothing beats a nice bottle of wine with your favorite meal.

Here are a couple of our personal favorites, which can all be found on Vivino (an online wine marketplace that is also a great information resource).

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