From the outset, I must tell you that there are many and not all of them will be here. I will leave things, surely. But with this we can start to get an idea
This is perhaps one of the most used (if we ignore the color). We can find:
Young or of the year
Also known as vintage wine, it has not spent any time in the barrel or not long enough to be considered “crianza”. It is marketed in its first or second year of life, it does not need to be stored for a long time and, in general, it is characterized by maintaining its properties for a maximum of two years.
Semi-aging or Oak
It is the wine that has spent less than six months in the barrel, but without reaching the aging periods of the different regulatory councils. One of the most relevant characteristics of semi-crianza wines is that they have a slightly longer life than that of young wines.
It is marketed in its third year of life, after spending at least one year in barrels, in the case of reds. The rest of the time it ages in the bottle before being labelled. These wines can last from five to ten years of life, depending on the storage conditions.
The “Reserva” wine has been subjected to at least three full years of aging, although the minimum period of stay in the barrel coincides with that of aging: one year.
Only exceptional harvests reach this category, it is characterized by the fact that high-quality grapes are necessary for its production. They are usually labeled after spending at least two years in the barrel and three in the bottle. In other words, gran reserva wine needs to age for at least five years.
Classification by elaboration
It is perhaps one of the least known in terms of types, however, we use it frequently (without going into some subtypes).
White, pink or red. This classification can be combined with the previous one in all cases.
The natural ones, the gasified ones or the needle ones. Within the former there are various methods such as the traditional champenoise, for example.
Generous, fortified wines, natural sweets and mistelas. This group is very broad and has many crafting subtypes.
Sorting by sweetness
This is one of the classifications with the most contradictions when it comes to choosing, since we often confuse fruity with sweet and it does not have to be that way.
- Dry: < 5 grams/liter sugars.
- Semi-dry: 5-15 g/l sugars.
- Advocates: 15-30 g/l sugars.
- Semi-sweets: 30-50 g/l sugars.
- Sweets: > 50 g/l sugars.
There are more classifications. Above all, by subtypes, but for today we leave it there so as not to mess up the subject too much.
Sommelier and wine writer