Wine is a starch-fermented or fortified beverage that has a higher level of alcohol content. Whatever you call it, VIN, vino, 酒, ALAK, ワイン, oinos, виноград, WEIN….Wine! Wine is made from fermented grapes and other fruits and is considered to be one of the world’s most savored alcoholic drinks. A unique characteristic of grapes is the natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without adding sugar, acids, enzymes, water or other nutrients. The sugar in the grapes is consumed by Yeast and is converted into alcohol carbon dioxide. Different types of wine can be produced by using different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts. Wines made from fruits besides grapes are generally named after the fruit from which they are made like, apple wine, pomegranate wine, elderberry wine etc. That is why they are also called fruit wine.
According to the historians, the earliest wine was produced around 6000 BC in Georgia. It first appeared in the Balkans around 4500 BC and was commonly used in ancient Greece, Thrace and Rome. Wine has a significant importance in some religions, like it is used in Christian Eucharist ceremonies and the Jewish Kiddush. Use of wine in religious ceremonies is common in many cultures and religions. The word wine comes from the Proto-Germanic “winam” which was borrowed from the Latin word “vinum”.
There are basically two types of grape wine, the white wine and the red wine. A vintage wine is made from grapes that were all or mostly grown in a particular year. It is said that the older the wine, the better it tastes and can be preserved for many years before being used. Outstanding vintages from the best vineyards can be sold for thousands of dollars per bottle. According to a survey done in the year 2012 Italy was the top producer on wine in the world, followed by France, Spain, the United States and Argentina.
Wine is also very commonly used in cooking. It is used in a wide range of European and Mediterranean style cuisines, from the simple and traditional to the most sophisticated and complex dishes. It is known to be a flavor agent primarily in stock and braising, as its acidity gives the perfect balance to rich savory or sweet dishes. The alcohol content in natural wines might range from nine percent to around sixteen percent. But usually most wines are in the range of 12.5% to 14.5%. Fortified wines, usually with brandy, might even contain around 20% alcohol or more in some cases.
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