Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes and can come in many varieties, such as red, white, sweet, dry, still and sparkling depending on the grape and the strain of yeast. Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes in order to convert it to ethanol, which is alcohol.
Fine wine is made from grapes, but not the type we buy at the supermarket. Wine grapes are smaller, with thick skins and seeds, they would not taste nice if you were to eat them straight from the vine. But their thick skins make them perfect for alcohol production
There are over 1,300 wine grape varieties, however, only around 100 of those make up 75% of the world's vineyards. These grapes take an entire season to ripen, meaning that fine wine is produced once a year.
Main Types of Fine Wine
There are five main groups of fine wine. Each group of wine is made from a different selection of grapes, using a range of production techniques.
- Red wine - red wines are made up of black grapes and range from light to bold. They are usually aged longer than white wines. Some major red wine grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah.
- White wines - white wines do not range in colour quite so obviously as red wines do, but they definitely range in flavour. White wines are made from white, and sometimes black grapes. Some major white wine grapes are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Riesling or Chardonnay.
- Rose wine - rose wine is made from black grapes but they have their skins removed before the wine making process in order to prevent the skins colouring the wine, and changing the flavour.
- Dessert wine - dessert wine is known for its sweet taste, however, there are also dry, fortified fine wines. This wine process includes fortifying wine with spirits.
- Sparkling wine - sparkling wine covers samples such as Champagne, Prosecco and English Sparkling wine, which is essentially Champagne, but can not be called so, as it is not from France. The production process differs depending on where the wine is from, but one thing remains the same, the bubbles.