Different Types Of Wine & Their Processing

Different Types Of Wine & Their Processing

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Earlier in Wine – A Divine Drink blog, we have gone through basic introduction, history, process, and many more. So, today we’ll dive into the different types of wines and their processing. And we’re good to go!

Wines are broadly classified as follows:
  • Table wines or Still Wines
  • Fortified wines
  • Aromatised wines (Vermouths)
  • Sparkling wines

1. Red Wines:

  • They are almost exclusive dry.
  • Range from light to full-bodied, with a distinctive taste.
  • To produce red wines, grapes are crushed, not pressed.
  • Skin is left with the juice during fermentation.
  • Contain 9-14% alcohol, and the taste ranges from very dry to very sweet.
  • The service temperature of red wine is 16-18 °C.



2. White Wines:

  • Light and delicate in flavor goes well with seafood and lightly flavored food as rich food overpowers their taste.
  • The grapes are pressed and the juice is drawn off immediately without the skins into the cask for fermentation.
  • Sweet white wines: The sugar content is very high, hence are preferred at the end of a meal.
  • They contain 9-14 % alcohol, and the taste ranges from very dry to very sweet.
  • The service temperature of white wine is 11 – 13°C.



3. Rose Wine:

  • These are produced exactly as red wines except that wine are drawn off from the fermenting red grapes after 2-3 days when enough red color has been absorbed by the wine to give it a pink tinge.
  • They contain 9-14 % alcohol, and the taste ranges from very dry to very sweet.
  • The service temperature of rose wine is 13 – 16°C.

Fortified wines are strengthened by the addition of grape brandy during or after its fermentation.

Principal fortified wines are Sherry, Port, Madeira, and Marsala.


Plants, herbs, and spices are added to impart aroma to a wine base.

The most famous aromatized wines are vermouth and martini.

Traditionally, French vermouths are white and dry, and Italian vermouths are red and sweet.

Vermouth bottles do not keep for long and therefore, should be consumed young.


The most famous one is Champagne. This is made by the method Champenoise (second fermentation in the bottle) in the Champagne region of northeastern France.

Effervescent wines made outside the Champagne region are called sparkling wines.

Sparkling wines are made in France, Spain, Italy, America, Australia, Germany, and many other countries.

Sparkling wines vary in their sweetness:

  • Brut (very dry)
  • Sec (medium dry)
  • Demi-sec (medium sweet)
  • Doux (sweet)

Semi sparkling wines are known by the term ‘perlant’

The service Temperature for Sparkling Wine is 7 – 10°C.

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Wines can be either “dry” or sweet depending upon the extent to which the fermentation has taken place.

If fermentation has taken place until all the sugars are used up, the resulting wine will be dry.

Whereas if it is stopped while sugar remains, it will be sweet.

Yeast can control alcohol content greater than 16%.

Most of the natural wines contain 8-10% alcohol.

Fortified wines contain about 20% alcohol.

Wines containing less than 14% alcohol are table wines while which contain more are dessert wines.

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In the manufacturing process, grapes are picked at the proper time when sugar and acid contents are in the right proportion.

The composition of grapes varies according to the climatic conditions prevailing during their cultivation and thus the quality of wines varies from one year to another.

Therefore, there is a practice of “vintage dating” i.e., the wine with the year of the crop from which it is made.

Immediately after picking, in the case of red wine, the grapes are crushed and the juice together with skin, pulp and seeds are transferred to the fermenters.

After fermentation is completed, the fermented juice is pressed out.

In the case of white wines, pressing takes place before fermentation.

Wild” yeast and other microorganisms are present on the skin of the grapes and these pass into the juicy pulp (known as”must”) when the fruit is crushed.

These are destroyed by adding sulfur dioxide (or potassium metabisulphite) in the required quantity.

If the sugar content is low, sucrose is added in the desired strength, and the pH is adjusted to 3.2 – 3.4 by the addition of tartaric acid.

Next, the “must” is inoculated with a pure culture of actively growing yeast (Saccharomyces ellipsoideus).

The temp. and duration of fermentation depend upon whether dry or sweet wine is required.

Fermentation usually lasts 4 to 10 days.

When fermentation is complete, the clear wine is syphoned from the yeast sediment into barrels (raking), and the wine allowed to age

During this period secondary fermentation takes place and the wine also loses its raw and harsh flavor and mellows down.

During this period of maturation, clarification takes place in a natural way.

It can be achieved by finning and filtration.

Next, wine is bottled and allowed to mature; the time of this maturation extends to a number of years depending upon the quality desired.

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And it is rightly said by Joan Collins

“Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.”


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2 thoughts on “Different Types Of Wine & Their Processing

  1. Wonderfully written!
    Loved it! And Champagne is the wine which I go through it occasionally!
    Thanks for sharing the amazing piece of information!

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