Wines are a special thing that many of us all around the world enjoy. While wine is widely consumed, when we delve deeper into the world of wine, it can become difficult to understand for those that are not accustomed to the terms and specialist language.
There are many questions that may remain unanswered for many, with some that can be sometimes a little intimidating to ask. Within this article, we will attempt to simplify its understanding, meaning that you improve your knowledge– which could allow you to venture into unknown territory in terms of brand, region or varietal with your next bottle of wine. It might be time to give that South African wine that you’ve had your eye on, or go with the Argentinian Wine you’ve had on your radar.
Question One – How is wine made?
While most people know that wine is made from grapes, not all understand what actually happens beyond the wine picking point.
Imagine you grab a bunch of grapes and place it into a container before squashing them and leaving the grape juice to ferment against the grape skins. The alcoholic fermentation is the transformation of the sugar into alcohol through the yeast. This yeast is found on the skin of the grape, and after being put into contact with the sweet grape juice will begin the process.
Though this sounds relatively simple, it is not easy to create tasty wine yourself. A much more diverse arsenal of knowledge, skills and equipment is required to create a high-quality wine.
Question Two – What can be added to the wine?
Many wine producers may claim that there is absolutely nothing added. While these wines exist, it, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to take into account the additional sulphites that are added to wines to prolong the ‘shelf life’ and lessen the chance of ruining their wines on transportation to stores.
While this helps them make more money, it does not leave you with the best bottle of wine. Many consumers will complain of bad hangovers or other allergies in relation to sulphites, making it an obvious choice for those that know about it to choose ‘sulphite free wine’ and ‘natural wine’.
Question Three – Where do the aromas come from within the grapes?
The primary aromas belong to the grape. These aromatic molecules which are shared with other fruits and vegetables, meaning that some wines can remind us of fruits and some vegetables.
The secondary aromas are are the ones that are generated during the fermentation process. When the yeast works over the sugar, it modifies the aromatic modules through a complex chemical process.
– Just a single wine has more than 1000 aromatic components.
Question Four – Is it possible to make white wine with red grapes, or vice versa?
This question is one that some people tend to ask, while others wouldn’t even fathom the possibility that this could happen. The truth is, it is possible to make white wine from red grapes, because the colour is in its skin – not in the pulp- BUT not the other way around.
If we can separate the skin from the pulp, it will mean that the skin cannot stain the pulp. Since we can’t do that with red wine grapes, we can’t make white wine out of them.
Question Five – What is the difference between a varietal wine and a blend wine?
A varietal wine is one that shows the varietal in the front of the label, for example Chardonnay and Malbec. In Argentinean wines sake, this means that at least 85% of the wine is elaborated with the grapes of the mentioned varietal.
Blend wine is an assembly of varietals whereby none of them add up to a total of 85%. Some of the main blends that you will know and love include Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay-Viognier.
Question Six – Is it unacceptable to add soda water to wine?
While it is not in any way shape or form a sin to add soda water to your wine, many of the wine experts and connoisseurs will not normally do this. If you like your wine with an added dash of soda water, then so be it. Wine is all about enjoyment, sharing and happiness, so if that is what you achieve in any way of drinking wine, go for it.