Wine: Humanity’s Friend Down Through The Ages

Wine has accompanied human societies for thousands of years. This beverage has entertained and comforted people in nearly all climates and regions of the world. Today, it serves as both a common drink for relaxation and a luxury beverage for the wealthiest people. Thanks to the services of wineries and vineyards in places like Napa Valley, a wider and wider number of people are coming to know the varieties of wine that the right soil can offer.

GrapesWhat Is Wine?

Wine is typically made from grapes, though other fruit can be used for this purpose. In addition, grape wine can be mixed with flavors from other fruits to create blends. However, grapes lend themselves most easily to the winemaking process because the natural balance of chemicals in their flesh allows them to ferment without artificial additives.

A natural process known as fermentation turns the juice of grapes into wine. Deprived of oxygen, certain bacteria begin to produce ethanol. The taste of the wine and its alcohol content are controlled by the conditions and duration of this fermentation.

A Brief History of Wine

People have been making wine for at least 8,000 years. The exact origin of the most rudimentary winemaking processes is still unknown, though experts favor different regions. Without question, the first wines were created somewhere near southwestern Asia, though a pinpoint location could be as far north as Georgia in the Caucasus or as far south as Iran.

What the evidence does show for certain is that winemaking and love of the beverage spread west. By six or seven thousand years ago, people of completely disparate technological and cultural backgrounds in Greece were producing wine for their own use and possibly for trade.

For a long time, Greece and then Italy were known for their fine wines among people living in the ancient world. Wine was much love during the Middle Ages and vineyards took root in France. Wine played a major role in the Christian religion of medieval Europe, as it had in prior religious practices of the ancient Greek s and Egyptians.

Eventually, as the modern age approached, it was France that held claim to the finest wines in the world. Regions such as Bordeaux in that country were particularly favored by wine aficionados.

Wine making eventually took root in various places in the New World after its discovery by Europeans. However, none of these wines were internationally recognized until the Napa Valley wine growers in California took the world by surprise in 1967. A blind taste test among French judges ended with California wines from Napa Valley and other regions resulted in an overall victory for the American upstarts.

Since that time, wine tourism has become fashionable as well as affordable. The appreciation for wine has spread to regions and peoples once known for their exclusive preference for beer or other drinks.

GrapevinesTypes of Wine

While there are many kinds of wine made from a variety of fruits, grape wine is the largest class and most well-known type of wine. Most wine made from grapes falls into one of two categories. Red wine and white wine have been distinct distillations of wine for centuries.

White wine is the term applied to wines that actually possess several different hues that are relatively transparent. This style of wine is derived from specific grapes and it not a result of actions taken during the fermentation process.

Types of white wine include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Chardonnay may be the most commonly used type of white wine. It is often drunk during meals that contain seafood or poultry.

Red wine has a similar range of coloring but its varieties are generally not translucent and remain entirely dark throughout. Some distinct young types have an intense violet color while older wines may have an orange hue at the edges or even a brownish hue.

Well-known kinds of red wine include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Red wine is frequently consumed during meals that contain red meat. However, red wine is also a more common table wine that may simply be drunk for pleasure without any accompaniment.

Vineyards and Wineries

If you wish to learn more about wine, the best thing to do is taste its various distillations. You can do this by attending wine-tasting gatherings at wineries in some of the more well-known regions of wine growing. In Napa Valley, for instance, there are dozens of establishments that charge inexpensive fees for these get-togethers. Here you can learn the art of wine-tasting while you enjoy yourself as well.

Wine is worth study. The history of wine is fascinating but the acquaintance with a wide range of vintages is also a pleasant pastime. Even if you live far away from the main centers of wine production, you can probably find places that host wine-tasting events.

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