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Basic Wine Types

By Maria Williams

The process of wine making is exciting and easy. As we all know wine is made from grapes and the recipe has been developed over centuries. Sure, first grapes are harvested, placed in a container and squeezed. These methods have been developed over hundreds of years in the vineyard making the whole process even more thrilling and highly technical.

The key point of the wine making is the process of fermentation in order to produce alcohol- wine can ferment for three days or three years, depending on the style of wine the winemaker is trying to produce. A winemaker touch can greatly affect the wine taste same as wine barrels. Each container (oak, stainless or plastic) outcomes with different effects into the wine when stored into different canister.

Grapes are divided into two main categories – white and black, beside the fact that the white grapes are not entirely white skinned they can be green, yellow-green, gold or light-orange. Black grapes can also be characterized with a red or blue color and are richer in antioxidants.

Types of Wine
Wines can be categorized into the six primary categories: white, red, rosé, sparkling, dessert and fortified wines.

White wines are generally made from white grapes and they contain no red pigmentation. Most popular white wines are Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Obviously red wines are made from red grapes and typically have more tannin and a higher content of alcohol. The primary difference between wine colors comes from tannins, which are more concentrated in the red grapes and transferred into the juice. Popular red wines include Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

Rose wines are mid-point between black and white even they are made from red grapes. Rose wines don’t fully turn into red color because the grape skin has been removed so the red pigments are no more present to give a wine red pigmentation; instead they have enough of a reddish tinge to make them differentiate from the white wines. The best rose and most traditional Rose wine is Zinfandel.

Sparkling wines can be made from any variety of grapes. Their basic characteristic is the intense effervescence that come from the carbon dioxide bubble during the fermentation. Champagne is a type of sparkling wine named by a region in northeast France. By law, wines may only be called Champagne when they are made exclusively from grapes grown in the Champagne region and produced according to strict guidelines. Popular sparkling wines include Cava, Champagne, Crémant d’Alsace, Moscato d’Asti and Prosecco.

Sweet or Desert Wines are prepared with high sugar content, because the grapes are harvested very late when sugar levels are high or grapes are “drying” on straw so the concentration of sugar is very high. These are considered to be the sweetest.

Fortified wines are those who are produced with small concentration of wine juice. Instead they have Brandy or other spirits added during fermentation. The Brandy prematurely stops the fermentation process, leaving a high amount of sugar in the wine. Fortified wines are generally sweet such as dry late harvest Rieslings, Madeira, Port, Sherry and Sauternes. Those were originally designed to ensure the wine survived long voyages on 17th century ships.

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