WHAT IS WINE?
Wine is the oldest of the alcoholic beverages made by fermentation of grape wine.
Strictly speaking, wine is a product of the grapevine, but often includes all fermented liquors obtained from different fruit juices (fruit wines).
Wine differ greatly in their character because grapes grown in different regions differ in their composition, particularly in their volatile components which contribute to flavor and bouquet.
There are many varieties of wine in which many are named by reference to their place of origin. e.g., champagne is produced in the district of Champagne in France.
Well, most of the wines produced are natural and without carbon dioxide.
Some wines are fortified wines like port and sherry that differ from natural wines.
The earliest known traces of wine are from Georgia (c. 6000 BC), Iran (c. 5000 BC), and Sicily (c. 4000 BC).
The first known mention of grape-based wines in India is from the late 4th-century BC writings of Chanakya, the chief minister of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. In his writings, Chanakya condemns the use of alcohol while chronicling the emperor and his court’s frequent indulgence of a style of wine known as Madhu.
The English word “wine” comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘winam’, an early borrowing from the Latin vinum.
Colour of wine
Wines differ in their colors. The color of wine may be white or red.
However, the wine color does not depend on the color of the grapes from which it is made; in fact, white wines may easily be made from black (dark blue) grapes by using only juice.
In making red wines both juice and skin are used; the pigment giving color to grapes lies under the skin and is extracted from it during fermentation.
Why red wine is healthier?
Researchers are examining the potential benefits of components in red wine such as flavonoids and other antioxidants in reducing heart risk.
Studies have found that drinking moderate amounts of wine as part of a healthy diet may increase longevity thanks to wine’s high antioxidant content.
Wines are broadly classified as follows
- Table wines or Still Wines: Are classified into three categories i.e., Red Wine, White Wine, and Rose Wine.
- Fortified wines: Are strengthened by the addition of grape brandy during or after its fermentation.
- Aromatised wines (Vermouths): Plants, herbs, and spices are added to impart aroma to a wine base.
- Sparkling wines: Contain an excess of carbon dioxide due to the secondary fermentation that occurs after bottling. This carbon dioxide generated is stored within liquid under its own pressure and gives the wine a “sparkle”.
HOW IT’S MADE?
STEPS IN WINEMAKING:
- PICKING OF GRAPES
A chemical process by which sugar is converted into alcohol is called fermentation
Natural sugar from the grape + Yeast occurs on the skin of the grape = Alcohol + Carbon dioxide gas gave off
SUGAR + YEAST = ALCOHOL + CO2
The quality of wine is related to the composition and variety of grapes.
In general, the average concentrations of the major components of wine are water, 86%; ethanol, 12%; glycerol and polysaccharides or other trace elements, 1%; different types of acids, 0.5%; and volatile compounds, 0.5%.
- Body: The weight of the wine in the mouth due to its alcoholic content, extract, and to its other physical components.
- Bouquet: The pleasant and characteristic smell of wine.
- Corky: Having a distinct smell of cork arising from a poor, soft, or disintegrating cork. Due to a poor cork, air comes in to oxidize the wine and wine becomes ‘corked’.
- Dry: Not sweet, fully fermented out.
- Finish: The end taste.
- Flowery: Fragrant, flowerlike.
- Full-bodied: High in alcoholic content and extract.
- Heady: High in alcohol
- Light: Low in alcohol and less in body
- Legs: A term for globules that fall down the sides of a glass after the wine is swirled. Also known as tears.
- Luscious: Soft, sweet, fat, fruity, and ripe.
- Medium dry: Containing some sugar but dry enough to be drunk before or during a meal.
- Musty: Bad smell due to poor cask, cork, or storing.
- Nutty: A crisp nut-like flavor associated with full-bodied white wines.
- Smoky (flinty): A subtle smoky smell characteristic of certain white wines. E.g. Pouilly Fume or Sancerre.
- Spicy: A rich, herblike aroma and flavor as in Gewurztraminer.
- Young: Fresh and acidic in aroma, immature.
Wine is LIKELY SAFE for most adults in moderate amounts (about two 5-ounce glasses per day).
But drinking more than two 5-ounce glasses of wine per day is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Larger amounts can cause blackouts, trouble walking, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious problems.
Long-term use of large amounts of wine causes many serious health problems including dependence, mental problems, heart problems, liver problems, pancreas problems, and certain types of cancer.
Alcohol is LIKELY UNSAFE to drink during pregnancy. It can cause birth defects and other serious harm to the unborn infant. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is associated with a significant risk of miscarriage and fetal alcohol syndrome, as well as developmental and behavioral disorders after birth. Don’t drink alcohol if you are pregnant.
Alcohol is also LIKELY UNSAFE to drink when breastfeeding. Alcohol passes into breast milk and can cause abnormal development of skills that involve both mental and muscular coordination, such as the ability to turn over. Alcohol can also disturb the infant’s sleep pattern. Alcohol also seems to reduce milk production.
Drinking three or more alcoholic drinks per day can increase blood pressure and make high blood pressure worse and can make insomnia worse. Drinking alcohol can make liver disease worse.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Consuming moderate amounts of wine along with a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables is beneficial for your health.
Research has found the optimal daily amount to be 1 glass (150 ml) for women and 2 glasses (300 ml) for men.
Drinking an occasional glass of red wine is good for you.
However, it’s important to remember that drinking wine is not healthy for everyone, nor is it necessary.
What are your views on wine? Tell us below in the comment section.