Wine is a very wide spread term that is simply fruit being distilled and fermented for the product of an alcoholic drink. When most people think of wine they immediately think grapes, but there are so many different sources for wine production these include rice (sake), various fruits (elderberry, grapefruit, cherry, etc.), barley, and even honey (mead).
For the purposes of this wine article we will stick with wines produced solely from grapes. These are categorized by several means, of which include vinification methods, taste and lastly vintage. Many unknowing wine drinkers wouldn't care about the subtle differences in these categories, after all, most people rely completely on the taste of the wine. However, for many aficionados out there wine is a very intense passion. Their wines must always meet the highest expectations everything must be spot on, the variety of the grape, the taste and vintage must all meet the highest standard before serious wine connoisseur's will consider purchasing a bottle.
Vinification is the process by which grape juice is fermented into wine. This fermentation process is what determines the quality of the the wine and this is what gives the wine it value. A common misconception by the novice wine drinker is the colour of the grape juice varies, this is not so as the juice from a grape (red or white) is almost a clear liquid. What does determine the color of the wine is whether the grape skins have been fermented with the wine or were they left out, red wines are fermented with there skins on and with white wine the skins have been left off and as for rose wine, well it is just a combination of the two wines
Sparkling wines and champagne are carbonated, this is where carbon dioxide is enter into the mix, this process is achieved by fermenting the grape juice twice. The first time, the juice is fermented in open containers, which allow the carbon dioxide to escape and with the second fermentation, the juice is kept in closed containers, trapping and infusing the C02 with what is then wine.
Most wines are described as dry, off-dry, fruity, or sweet. This is a direct result of the amount of sugar that is left over after the fermentation process has ended, Dry wine has very little sugar content, while a sweeter wine has a higher sugar content.
Beyond this basic taste analysis, wine-tasting enthusiasts have developed a system of wine classification, this entails the more in depth the tastes and the more aromas the wine gives off. Many less informed on wine find this system hard to grasp, but the seasoned wine drinker consider the ability to discern even the most subtle elements of a wines taste to be a great achievement. As one example, Cabernet Sauvignon which is a very popular wine that tasters claim contains a combination of black currants, chocolate, mint, and tobacco flavors.
Vintage is a straight forward classification when wine is concerned, this refers to the year of the grapes harvest from which the wine was produced. This is important because many grape growers have exceptionally good harvests only during certain years. Also, the best grapes are usually singled out for use in a producers vintage bottles. You get the highest quality wine from that year’s harvest.