Editor's note: Please welcome Andres Montoya of The Wine Barn. Andres will be writing about all things wine for the flog. sj
From appearance to finish, age to varietal, region to terroir, oak to steel, Robert Parker to wine Spectator points, these are all words from the world of wine you may have already come across in a restaurant, wine store, or special event. Whether you consider yourself a beginner, advanced, or wine nut, the following Wine 101 facts will help you when deciding on a new bottle, even demonstrate basic wine etiquette at your next business social or special date, and always for your own knowledge and appreciation in the subject of wine.
Grape and Earth. Wine is made of grapes, varying in varietals from all over the world. When a wine smells like vanilla or tastes like raspberries, these are characteristics that come from viticulture to fermentation to aging. No artificial flavors are added to wine. All the amazing descriptions given by connoisseurs and masters of wine come from the winemaking techniques, the region where the grapes are grown, and its terroir which is the soil, rocks, and minerals in the earth under the vineyard.