Wine is fermented fruit. The yeast present in grapes consumes sugar and is converted into ethanol, carbon dioxide and released as heat. Every different kind of grape and different kinds of yeast strains produce different kinds of wines we see today!
The initial evidence of wines was found in China (c. 7000 BC) although the oldest fermented drink known is a 9,000 years old rice and honey wine, in the village of Jiahu in central China. It is said that the Chinese brewers chewed up rice and spit it out in a pot to brew with fruit. People around Georgia and Armenia at this time had just discovered and were trying to know about grape Vitis vinifera.
This is the most important ingredient and depending on the type of grape used, that kind of wine is obtained. White grapes make white wine. Red grapes, as well as wines like Rosé and red wine, also can make white wine.
This is essential as yeast cells are what convert the grape juice to wine. They consume sugar and give out alcohol. Some wineries use a specific yeast so as to get the specific kind of wine or else every glass would taste different.
Types of wines:
White wine: These are the most popular amongst all. Some examples include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, etc. These wines are considered to have sweet and light tastes varying in ranges.
Red wine: These include Cabernet, Sauvignon, Merlot, etc. And their taste ranges from sweet to complex to dry.
Sparkling wines: These include Champagne, prosecco, etc. These are usually associated with celebrations at parties, birthdays and New year’s Eve. It tastes citrusy and varies from sweet to dry.
Rosé: These are typically dry or sweet and tend to be lightweight. Rosés are made with red grapes and usually turn out to be pink.
How are they made?
Winemaking is considered art all over the world ever since it’s been around. It goes through 5 main processes that happen naturally with a little human intervention: harvesting, crushing, fermentation, clarification, aging, and bottling.
Harvesting: This is the initial stage. Grapes are the only fruit that includes the natural ingredients required for making wine. Depending on the type of grape chosen, the taste of the wine is determined. Everything needs to be perfectly done in order to receive the desired flavor.
Crushing: After the grapes are picked individually, they are crushed. In the early years, winemakers did this by crushing with their feet but presently, it’s done mechanically.
Fermenting: After crushing, the juice is left for 6-12 hours with yeast to convert it into alcohol. It is continued until dry wine is obtained.
Clarification: In this stage, the filtering process starts after yeast cells are removed. The wine is transferred to another vessel.
Aging and bottling: This is the final stage and it depends on the winemaker whether to give it away or keep it for further aging. Aging of wine will make its texture smoother.
Wine is not only meant to complete a meal but it also holds health benefits you may have never thought of. Wine is mainly composed of aromatic compounds, alcohol, acids, and water. Each and every one of these ingredients adds their own essence to this very essential beverage. Some people say that wine can help cure many diseases and help with improving heart and mental health.