A Beginner’s Guide to Wine

Lost in labels? Haven’t quite mastered the little rituals around serving or drinking wine? Sixth generation Italian winemaker Polina Bosca gives us a refreshers course.


Most of us nurse a desire to know our wines, but may wonder where to begin. When Italian winemaker Polina Bosca created the popular Dia Wine for Sula—it was with the idea to help women take that first step to appreciating wine. Bosca belongs to a family whose association with wine can be traced back to hundreds of years. To top that, she has a specialisation in Oenology—the study of wines. We caught up with her and got all the FAQs answered for you.

For a beginner, what are the good wines to start with? What should one look for in the wine?
According to me, for beginners, the best wines to start with are the ones which are slightly sweet, light, white, smooth and sparkling. A beginner can look for an Asti spumante (spumante means sparkling) or a Moscato wine.

What are the most preferred pairings with wine?
Wine and cheese undoubtedly makes the best pair, but one should always try beyond it. With regards to red wines, it goes well with lamb, red meats, tacos and aged cheese. White wines pair well with salads, pasta, fish and fresh cheese. Sparkling wines, which are great as a welcome drink, can be served with finger foods. Lastly the sweet wines, both still and sparkling, go very well with spicy Indian food and sweets.

How should one store wine?
Preferably, all kinds of wines should be stored in a dark place under a constant temperature of 18℃.

What is an ideal temperature to serve wine, so it tastes best?
One can serve white wines and sparkling wines quite cold. They should be around 12-14℃. And the red wines give their best at higher temperatures such as 20-22℃.

Why is a wineglass swirled?
You swirl your wine glass for two main reasons—firstly, it enables you to gauge the quantity of alcohol content. The more arches it does, the more alcohol the wine contains. The second reason is to make the aromatic compounds detach themselves and flow up to your nose.

Beginner’s Guide to Wine - Italian Winemaker
Polina Bosca, Italian winemaker
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When you designed Dia wine, who were you making it for?
When designing a wine, one needs to bear in mind the end consumer—which part of the world does she live in, what are the food habits of that region, what’s the cuisine, the preference of wines, and the profile of the people who drink it, and in what volume. We designed Dia for women, women usually prefer lighter wines that are easy to drink and that don’t require too much attention and study. I think women prefer slightly sweet products and possibly slightly sparkling. While men usually prefer thick, full-bodied wines. They tend to prefer red over white—reds usually have higher alcohol levels.

How should one store leftover wine?
The leftover still white and red wines can be kept in the fridge and drank another day. Sparkling wines are more difficult store since it has carbon dioxide gas in it and it will lose its bubbliness. If you wish to store sparkling wines, it becomes necessary to have a special cork that closes the bottle, keeping the pressure. These are available in wine shops.

Share your favourite wine cocktail recipe with us.
I love Fragolino! To make this, take six strawberries and blend them. Put them in a glass and add Sparkling wine. And it’s done!


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