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 £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 simply ‘go gondola-end’ 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

Naturally we picked some of our favourites, some well-known, others not so, here’s the list:


Monday; Graillot -Crozes Hermitage –

2009 - Rhone

Tuesday; Domaine de Torraccia - Cuvée Oriu 2009 - Corsica

Wednesday; Kaz – Red Said Fred

2011 - Sonoma

Thursday; Trinity Hill - Sauvignon Blanc, Hawke's Bay - 2011 – New Zealand

Friday; Louis de Grenelle - Acajou – Sparkling Cabernet Franc NV - Loire

Saturday; Raats - Old Vine Chenin Blanc

2012 - Stellenbosch

Sunday; Ridge - Lytton Springs –

2011 – Sonoma

Day 4
On-trade starts fight-back but consumers are still spoilt for choice competition for consumers is increasingly cut-throat, new report shows The out-of-home leisure market is worth around £145 billion and has started to grow again, although consumers are faced with much more choice now then even a few years ago and the competition for leisure time and money is increasingly cut-throat as pubs are increasingly having to compete with other venues for customer spend, according to a new report published today. UK Consumers still unsure about Organic wine In a new survey on wine awareness and consumption it was found that only 45% of British consumers had heard of organic wine, compared to 75% of French and 74% of Swedish consumers, with only 21% ever having bought organic wine, compared to half of Swedish and 38% of Germans and this despite 50% of UK consumers thinking organic products overall were healthier to consume. The survey also found under half of British consumers (45%) would be motivated to drink organic wine because the cultivation and production processes are eco-friendly, yet only 17% checked the labels to see if there were, compared to a third of French and 43% of Swedish consumers.

News Day 3
Wine Drinkers Catergorised Bibendum PLB have come up with a new list of 8 categories of wine drinkers from Streched Spenders, through New Nesters and onto the Moneyed Minority. All in all it’s a fascinating insight into how consumers approach and consume wine, although whether it’ll do much to help consumer wine knowledge?? Sotheby’s Fine Wine Sale Sotheby’s will end its 2015 season with “one of the finest wine collections” it has offered in London “in over a decade”. China To Become Chile’s biggest market China is set to leapfrog the US and UK in a matter of months to become Chile’s largest wine market, according to Julio Alonso, Asia director at Wines of Chile. US wine sales booming in on-trade Sales of US wines, especially Napa and Sonoma have doubled over the past year in the on-trade.

News – Day 2
Hardys wins gold for Ashes England cricket campaign, leading Australian wine brand Hardys has won two coveted international media awards for its £3.5 million above-the-line summer campaign celebrating its sponsorship of the England cricket team. Hardys Ashes campaign Hardys Ashes campaign Philippine-based brandy business Emperador is going to buy the Jerez-based brandy and Sherry operations from Beam Suntory M&S has topped the first tranche of 2016 International Wine Challenge with Britain’s multiple and discount retailers taking a total of 222 awards from Tranche One of the 2016 International Wine Challenge, including 21 gold medals.

The World of Wine – Daily News

6th National Wine Week Returns in Nov 28th-Dec 4th 2016

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