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Wine: The Very Basics

Wine Basics

Wine is a popular alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes that is consumed around the world. With a rich history that dates back thousands of years, evidence of winemaking has been found in ancient civilizations like the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, and arguably most well-known, the Romans.

The process of making wine involves crushing and fermenting the grapes, which will convert the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. There are numerous factors that can influence the final flavor, aroma, and characteristics of the wine, which include grape variety, climate, soil, techniques, and the aging process.

Typically, wine is classified into four main types:

1.    Red Wine: Red wine is made from dark-colored grape varieties and ranges in flavor from light and fruity to rich and complex. Some common grape varieties used for red wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

2.    White Wine: White wine is made from green or yellow grapes and can range from crisp and refreshing to rich and creamy. Some popular white grape varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio.

3.    Rosé Wine: Sometime referred to as “pink wine,” rosé is made by allowing grape skins to soak and soften in the juice for a short time, which results in a pinkish color. Rosé wines can vary in style, from sweet to dry and are enjoyed often in the warmer seasons.

4.    Sparkling Wine: Known for its bubbles and exciting mouth feel, sparkling wines are produced using a variety of methods, with Champagne being the most famous. Sparkling wines can be white or rosé and are often associated with celebratory occasions.

Aside from being classified into these four popular main types, wines can also be classified further by their sweetness levels:

·       Dry: Contains little to no residual sugar.

·       Semi-dry: Contains a moderate amount of residual sugar.

·       Semi-sweet: Contains a higher amount of residual sugar.

·       Sweet: High levels of residual sugar.

For many enthusiasts, wine appreciation involves understanding and evaluating various aspects of the wine like color, aroma, taste, and finish. Events like wine tasting and winery ours are great ways for those looking for something new to explore different wines and learn about their unique characteristics.

Some beginners may find wine to be difficult to approach with the amount of knowledge and detail in its history and craftsmanship. However, wine is not only a beverage, but has become a significant part of history, culture, and social gatherings for many parts of the world. The diversity in flavors, production methods, and regions makes it approachable for connoisseurs and beginners alike. So do not be afraid to branch out into the wide world of wine to discover something new. 

By benhemstock117@gmail.com

Tags: wine red wine sparkling wine white wine rose wine