Wine and Winemaking 101

   

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History - Recipes

History and Info

Wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by the fermentation of the juice of fruits, usually grapes, although a number of other fruits, such as plum, elderberry and blackcurrant, may also be fermented. Grapes are naturally, chemically balanced to normally ferment completely without requiring extra sugars, acids, enzymes or other nutrients. Non-grape wines are called fruit wine or country wine. Other products made from starch-based materials, such as barley wine, rice wine (sake), are more similar to beers.

Wine predates written records, it is thought that early humans likeing the sugary taste of berries began to collect them, after a few days fermentation would begin in the juice in the bottom of a container producing a low alcohol wine. As time went on and mankind progressed from a nomadic life style to a more sedentism style wild grapes were domesticated to make wine. The earliest archaeological evidence of wine production dates back to 6000 BC.

VOC

Today the grapes used for wine may be imported by the winery, grown locally in their own vineyard or a combination may be used. When the grapes are grown locally the wine may be labeled VOC which stands for "Vina originalni certifikace". This certifies that the grapes have been grown in an approved given region and the wine is produced exclusively from those grapes.

Common Red Wines

Merlot is a soft, supple wine with fruit flavors of plums and blackberries, occasionally with mint, chocolate and eucalyptus flavors and aromas.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full bodied wine with flavors of blackberries, plums, black currants and cassis. Aged in oak it it can take on flavors of vanilla, cedar, chocolate, and coffee.

Both the above go well with meat dishes such as beef and lamb.

Pinot Noir are delicate wines tasting of red fruits such as cherries, raspberries and strawberries, with age flavors become more complex with earthy hints of mushrooms and decaying leaves. Pairs well with poultry, salmon, meat and vegetable dishes.

Shiraz or Syrah, is typically bold and spicy with jammy fruit and aromas with a hint of leather. Pairs well with most foods.

Common White Wines

Chardonnay is a versatile wine with fruit flavors of apple and lime in cooler climates to tropical fruits in warmer localities. When barrelled in oak it takes on rich honey and buttery flavors. When barrelled in stainless steel it has a more mineral flavor which is fresher to the palate. Pairs well with seafood, the minerally flavors are particularily delicious with oysters.

Reisling is a crisp clean wine with flavors of green apples, pear, and lime, with age it takes on honey flavors and oily aromas. Pairs well with spicy foods, poultry and pork.

Pinot Gris will vary from the area the grapes are grown, typically a rich wine marked by a bit of spice. Pairs well with seafood and pasta dishes.

Sauvignon Blanc is fresh and crisp, aromatic with grapefruit and grassy flavors, pairs well with seafood, poultry and vegetable dishes.

Rose Wines

A Rose wine incorporates some of the color from the skin, it is allowed contact with the juice for a few days and them removed, unlike with red wines where it remains throughout fermentation.

When making red wine some of the pink juice may be removed early on to impart more tannin and color to the wine, this process is known as Saignee. The pink juice is then fermented to produce Rose.

A decolorization process with absorbent charcoal may be used to make some of the less expensive brands.

Champagne

Champagne is a sparkling wine produced from the Champagne grape grown in France following specific rules in the production. No other sparkling wine can be so labelled, even though it is often refered to as such.

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine is a wine with carbon dioxide in it to make it fizzy. The carbon dioxide can be a result of natural fermentation or by injection to the wine.

Sparkling wine has four levels of sweetness:

Extra-Brut - the driest kind.

Brut - the most popular, dry with a hint of sweetness.

Extra Dry - not as dry as Brut so has a slight sweetness.

Demi-sec - a sweet wine, usually served with dessert.

Winemaking

Winemaking can be a very rewarding hobby, there are basically three options.

1. Visit a store where you purchase the ingredients and use their equipment and facilities, this is an excellent way to learn the basics, always fun when you go together with friends or family.

2. Purchase a kit and make your wine at home following their directions.

3. Do some research on what equipment you need and use real fruit to make your wine from scratch.

Dan Murphy's How to Make Wine at Home

All Recipies How to Make Wine at Home

Recipies

Blackberry Wine

Dandelion Wine Recipes

Rhubarb Wine Recipes

Wine Making Recipes Large Collection

 

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