Wine Conoisseurship 101

First of all the most basic of questions. What indeed is wine?

Wine is nothing more than fermented grape juice. Wine has been known and documented to mankind since Noah of the great flood fame. Genesis 9:24 Covenant of the Rainbow. " When Noah awoke from his wine," Every culture on earth except for the Eskimos in the frigid north, where the climate was too cold for normal fermentation , learnt to develop simple alcoholic beverages.

Biologists have long noticed that not only primates such as chimpanzees and man are naturally drawn to the smell of ethanol produced by fermented fruit but also birds. Have you not noticed birds feeding on your fruit or apple trees? They are there for that sensation that fermented fruit will give them. This sensation arises from the alcohol in this fermented fruit, The birds are drawn to your fruit trees much as your "neighborhood drunk" is drawn to the local tavern or even your fully stocked liquor cabinet and wine cellar.

Humans certainly took an early interest. In fact, historical records provide detailed information on wine and wine growing areas which began in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Today, France and Germany, Hungary, Italy and many other European countries proudly boast wine histories dating all the way back to the Romans.

Wine itself in the end can be made of almost anything not only grapes. Wine can be derived from grape, elderberry juice, dandelions, peach, and apricots and of course apples and even crabapples.

What about the color of the wine. The color of the wine is the result of the length of time the skins remain with the juice doing the fermentation process. Basically wine comes in three colors- red ( reddish purple to light brown), whites ( whitish pale yellow to amber) and the mid range blush: which is of peach to light pink coloration.

Most wines are naturally dry. "Sweetness occurs when the fermentation is interrupted before all of the sugar can be converted to alcohol during the fermentation process. The producer of the wine can also add unfermented grape juice or a sweetener such as sugar or honey to the wine in process. Usually this is done for ease with a liquid form of the sweetener.

Most wines are unfortified. That is they contain only the alcohol that was provided for in the fermentation process itself. However there are some wines - for example "Port"," Sherry" and "Madeira" that have their alcohol content increased artificially. This can be done by the addition of anything from simple addition of straight alcohol to the softer form of brandy.

Lastly wines can be bubbly themselves or have no effervescence. In the first category are "Sparkling" which have effervescence .These wines are bottled in thick heavy -set bottles with wire bound corks to keep the pressure in , whereas "Still" wines are wines bottled without Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and therefore have no bubbliness or effervesce. Still wines can be found bottled in ordinary bottles with ordinary corks.

In the end though it is safe to remember that wine is nothing more than fermented grape juice of different colors and bottled in different colors and shapes of bottles. Everything else is just "filler".

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