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An Introduction to Wine
What is wine?
Wine has been made for centuries from just a two simple ingredients: yeast and grape juice. Actually, just about any fruit juice can be used, but by far the majority of all wine is made from the juice of the grape.
How is wine made?
Yeast is the magical ingredient that turns grape juice into wine. Interestingly enough, there is actually wild yeast spores in the air and all that is really needed to make wine is an open container of grape juice and time. The result however, would probably not be the most palatable of beverages.
There are numerous strains of yeasts and the types used to make wine have been cultured just for this purpose. Well anyway, yeast is a living organism that feeds off of sugars in the grape juice in a process called fermentation.
During fermentation, yeast spores will reproduce exponentially until all of the fermentable sugars have been consumed. During this fermentation process, the sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
The yeast will also impart a taste to the finished wine depending on various factors such as the strain of yeast used, the temperature during fermentation and other factors.
Once all of the fermentable sugars have been consumed, the yeast will fall to the bottom of the container. The wine is removed from the container, leaving the yeast, and is trasferred to another container to mature while waiting to be bottled.
Of course, this whole process has been extremely simplified for a general understanding.
How does wine get its color?
You probably know that there are green grapes and black grapes and different grapes are used to make different wines.
What you might not know is that almost all grape juice (even from the black grapes) is basically colorless to golden in color.
The way a wine gets its color is by letting the skins soak in the juice during fermentation. You can actually make white wine from black grapes by not letting the skins stay in contact with the juice. Champagne is one of the most famous examples.
If the skins are left in the wine for only a short amount of time, a rose (or blush) will be made. If they are left for an extended amount of time, a dark red wine will be the result.
What gives each wine its taste?
Even though there are very few ingredients, there are many things which influence the taste of wine. First of all, there are many varieties of grapes. Each grape variety will produce different flavors, aromas, and even textures.
In addition, the soil and climate where the grapes are grown drastically affect these variables.
Not only that, but the wine maker can control various things by the technique, temperature and yeast used during fermentation. Other variables such as fermenting or storing in oak barrels will also affect the taste.
Never fear, with all of these factors considered even the most avid wine drinker would ever be able to experience all of the different varieties of wine on the market today. Let the treasure hunting begin!
What is tannin?
Tannin is a substance in wine that causes a firm, mouth-drying feeling in your mouth. It is extracted from the skins, seeds and stems of the grapes so red wines will contain more tannin than whites.
White wines will get a degree of tannin when oak barrels are used for fermentation or aging. Eat just the skins of grapes or drink strongly brewed, unsweetened tea for a good idea of what tannin feels like in your mouth.
What are sulfites?
By law, almost all wine made in the United States will have "Contains Sulfites" on the label. This is because about very small percentage of asthma sufferers can be extremely sensitive to sulfites.
Sulfites or sulfur dioxide is a compound occurring naturally during the fermentation process. Sometimes, though a wine maker will add a little more because of its antibacterial and preservative qualities. White wines have more sulfites than red wines because they need more protection.
About The Author
Author of the www.2BASNOB.com website about the enjoyment of coffee, tea, wine and beer.
White Zinfandel Wine
White Zinfandel wine is a blush wine made in California from early-picked Zinfandel grapes. The red grapes are quickly separated from their skins during crushing and fermentation so that the resulting White Zinfandel wine is very light pink; thus White Zinfandel wines have far less color, alcohol and flavors than normally fermented Zinfandels.
Pairing Beer With Food
Pairing beer with the fine cuisine has recently come to the attention of many eating establishments as they try to cater to the 90's micro-brew crowd. No longer is wine considered the only drink fit for a succulent entree. You too can bring this art form into your own home with a few simple tips.
The Stuff of Poetry ? Mead
People have been drinking fermented beverages since the dawn of civilization. At first, the production of alcohol may have been accidental. Over time, it became an art.
DWI and Blood Alcohol Concentration: What does it mean?
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the relationship between the amount of alcohol consumed and the elimination of alcohol in your blood. This is usually measured as the percentage of deciliters of blood. So if it is measured by how much blood you have, your body weight makes a difference on how much you can drink. There are a few variables that determine your blood alcohol level:
Wine Etiquette With Ease
Correct wine etiquette makes the tasting experience much more enjoyable. Like most interests, there is a set of protocol that most wine lovers adhere to. Good taste dictates that tasting at wineries, ordering wine at restaurants, and hosting a dinner party all require certain formalities.
Beer, Wine and Your Bones
If you like the taste of a good brew, then here is some good news! In a recent research study of over 2,900 women and men, researchers found that beer, which contains silicon, may promote bone health. Silicon is a mineral that is thought to stimulate collagen production, which is a building block in bone formation. Wine is rich is phytochemicals, which may also benefit bones. Research does not show, however, in the battle of the sexes, that beer or wine has better or less results in either men or women. In a recent WebMD interview, Katherine Tucker, PhD says that it is possible that two glasses of wine could benefit men, while women may get a bone boost from two cans of beer. Another study of 2,847 people from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study found that men and pre-menopausal women who drank the most silicon, about 40 mg a day, had the highest bone mineral density, a measurement of bone health. Silicon is rarely listed on food labels, so it is hard to tell exactly how much you are consuming. But, you can estimate that one 12-ounce beer has approximately 7 mg of silicon.
Food - Wine Pairing Tips For French and Italian Wines
Many people are intimidated by the task of selecting wine in a fine restaurant. This article is intended to provide a simple guide that will enable anyone to feel confident enough to choose a wine that will impress their dinner guests. The focus is on French and Italian wines.
Rare Varietals Cure Wine Boredom
The future of the Australian wine industry will be shaped by a group of innovative grapegrowers and winemakers who are busily experimenting with new varieties in new regions.
The Curious History Of Wine Consumption In America
The history of wine consumption in America has been frought with starts, stops, and inconsistencies. The American population has always had a love-hate relationship with alcohol. Historic prohibitionist attitudes amongst much of the American population have blurred the line between moderate wine consumption and detrimental alcoholism. As a result, regular, moderate consumption of wine by the American public continues to face ideological and legal impediments.
Whisky syndicates are groups of private owners and many have been around for years. The main purpose is to bring together a group of like-minded people to enjoy the benefits of cost sharing in order to invest in whisky casks and to eventually bottle for private consumption. As it will take over five years for one person to get through one cask at a bottle per week, remembering that this is at cask strength which is more like 1½ bottles at 40%, it follows therefore that a syndicate of five could organise one cask per year between them and have a regular supply with more variety.
Pairing Food and Wine is a Matter of Taste
First off let me say that I am in no way a wine snob. I do not believe that there is an ultimate right and wrong way to pair wine with food. It all boils down to your personal taste and the tastes of your guests. Most people like to pair white wines with white meats and lighter meals like fish, and red wines with red meats and pastas. You can certainly mix it up, however. Experiment and go with what you think tastes good.
Burgundy red wines are produced in an area of France stretching from Dijon south to Beaujolais. The northern section of Burgundy is called the Cote d'Or (hills of gold) and generally, the farther north the Burgundy vineyard, the richer flavored the wine. Here the Pinot Noir grape produces deliciously seductive wines combining grace and power with supple velvet textures and complex flavors. Many of the finest Burgundy vineyards are located halfway up the hillsides, midway between overly fertile valley soils and the too steep and rocky upper slopes.
Chablis is thought to have originated in northern Spain and grows well in a 'Mediterranean' climate. As a result, it is widely grown in many of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea including France, Italy, Spain, and Algeria. Chablis is the most widely planted grape in France. It has also found a home in almost every other wine producing country around the world.
The Ten Most Important Wine Label Terms
For the average wine consumer, there is a plethora of intimidation associated with wine buying. This is a feeling that is most often associated with not understanding wine labels. New world wines tend to make it easier - wines bottled in Australia, South America and the United States are often more direct in their presentation of the type of wine and the name of the vineyard. On the other hand, old world wine labels like those from France, Italy, Spain and Germany carry with them loads of classifications, harvest-types, town names, vineyard titles and producer idiosyncrasies - all in a foreign language. While these labels embody the wonderfully classic aesthetic associated with a good looking wine label, they almost always cause a cocking of the head for the average wine buyer.
Red Wine Compound May Extend Life
Good news! A recent study suggested that resveratrol, a red wine compound, may extend our life.
Wine Tasting Component I: Look
Counting Carbs With Wine
Ecco DomaniCabernet Sauvignon ('01) 5 oz 4.00 gChianti ('01) 5 oz 3.60 gMerlot ('01) 5 oz 4.05 gPinot Bianco ('96) 5 oz 3.50 gPinot Grigio ('02) 5 oz 3.15 gFor more information on the carbohydrate count of more than 1000 worldwide brands of beer, 400 wines, 60 liqueurs, and distilled products, go to www.lcbartender.com.© Bob Skilnik, 2004
An Idiots Guide To Wine Tasting
Have you ever seen those stiff upper-lipped types doing a spot of the old wine tasting malarkey? You know the form ? sip, swill, spit. Yuck! Well this information has been written to help you understand the form should you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to know what to do. And don't go thinking "I'll never have to do any wine-tasting" because you just don't know that for sure and the last thing you want is to be caught unaware.
Hosting A Wine Tasting Party
As your love and knowledge of wine grows, it is inevitable that you will want to share your revelations with friends and family. Hosting a wine tasting party is a great way to do this.
Champagne is without question the finest sparkling wine made in the world. Champagne is the name of the wine region located about 90 miles northeast of Paris.
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