Wine has been around for thousands of years, even in the BC era of history. It slowly spread through western Asia and into Europe, no doubt popular with the highest classes and people of wealth. It has been a sign of class and higher standings, even being mentioned multiple times in religious scripts. Unfortunately, turning water into wine is something only a miracle can provide, considering it takes a lot of time and care to make it.
Wine usually comes from grapes—it’s just that simple. However, the process isn’t as easy. The grapes are fermented with yeast over a long period of time. Different types of grapes, different strands of yeast, and blends of each result in a different kind of wine. Grapes aren’t the only things that can be made into wine, however—rice, cherries, plums, and other fruits can be fermented as well. Full fermentation usually lasts for a few weeks, but some wines taste better when aged a lot longer. Strangely enough, the types of wine glasses can affect the taste as well!
The most common line of wine that people think of is red wine. Red wine only one of five types that come from different grape colors, however. There is also white, rosé, sparkling, and fortified. Along with color, each wine usually has a “dry” and “sweet” flavor, depending on how much sugar remains during the fermentation process.
Red: The most common, as said above. It is made from dark colored, or black, grapes. The juice in grapes tends to be a light white color, but the pigment in the skin of the grape gives it the darker red color.
White: This wine is made from either dark or white grapes, but the skin is removed before the pressing and fermentation processes begin. White wine typically doesn’t have to mature as much as red wine.
Rosé: This wine is something of a blend between red and white. There is a bit of the grapes’ skin left on, but not enough to be considered red. It is made with a skin-contact method, meaning that the grapes are crushed with the skin, but they are later pressed to remove the skin.
Sparkling: This is basically white or rosé wine infused with carbon dioxide—the wine is fizzy. Cheaper versions can have the carbon dioxide infused directly, but can be attained naturally through fermentation.
Fortified: This wine is distilled with a spirit, usually being brandy. It may be added at the beginning or after fermentation, but not usually between. These wines are usually drunk with dessert.
Going eastward on the globe comes rice wine. These were made popular by eastern and southern Asia. You may know a rice wine like Sake or Rice baijiu, considering they are popular among many of eastern Asia today. They can be found in many pubs around the world, including the US, and is usually treated with as much care.
Many other fruits can be fermented into wine, including cherries, plums, pineapples, blueberries, and more. Not only that, but flowers have been known to be made into some as well. While these aren’t as popular as the regular grape or rice wines, they can be requested and purchased just as easily. There are slightly different processes for each of these, so trying them out and tasting them wouldn’t hurt.
Keep your mind open when looking for these wines. Grapes have been used for thousands of years all over the world. Each wine has its own unique, delicious flavor, though some are stronger than others. Every wine has a story and a taste, which is a large reason wine tasting is popular among the higher class. If you’ve never been to one, you should definitely look around! It’s always nice to find a new, wonderful taste of wine.