Getting a Better Understanding of Wine

Some persons are so severe about wine that the pleasure’s gone. Others say issues about wine which are not true. Listed below are the fundamentals on wine merely defined.

1. Making wine

The making of wine just isn’t simple to clarify. In France they are saying there are as many wines as vineyards.

Every winemaker offers his private contact earlier than, throughout and after the vinification course of.

Every of the under facets has its affect on the style and high quality of the wine :

* The choice of the land plot
* The local weather (and the date of harvest)
* The choice of the grape selection
* The kind of fermentation tanks or casks
* The temperature throughout fermentation
* The period of fermentation
* The kind of casks wherein the wine ripens

No person can faux there is just one single approach of constructing wine. This truth contributes to the allure of wine and can also be the reason for the large variety in wines. Winemaking calls for “savoir-faire” and expertise.

A winemaker just isn’t solely a craftsman, but in addition an artist.

The next facets give an concept of what winemaking entails :

1. Planting (or grafting) the grapevine
2. Creating the racemes
3. Harvesting the grapes
4. Destemming* and crushing the grapes in a stainless-steel container
5. Alcoholic fermentation of the should
6. “Maceration” : constructing of style and color*
7. Raking
8. “Malolactic” fermentation
9. Riping
10. Bottling
11. Tasting

* : primarily for pink wine

Should : that is the juice obtained by crushing the grapes

Alcoholic fermentation : the juice turns into wine by the pure affect of yeasts which transforms sugar into alcohol

Maceration : the solids, the “pomace”, like pores and skin, stems and seeds, give their style and color to the should

Raking : the “pomace” and the should are separated. The should turns into “vin de goutte”, the “pomace” turns into “vin de presse”

“Malolactic” fermentation : by the working of pure micro organism, the sharp “malic” acids are remodeled in versatile and secure lactic acids

Ripening : the wine is filtered and transferred to casks to be able to stabilize and are available to perfection.


Crushing and destemming

The grapes arriving within the cellar are crushed and destemmed. The fruits free their juice and pulp.

The should obtained that approach is put in a tank to undergo the method of fermentation.

Alcoholic fermentation

The fermentation tanks are typically oak barrels or chrome steel tanks, generally concrete or enamelled metal.

Fermentation is a pure course of. Yeasts current in grapes (nonetheless the addition of chosen yeasts is generalizing) change the sugar contained within the should in alcohol and carbonic gasoline.

The winemaker assists the motion of the yeasts by sustaining the temperature round 25 to 30°C and ventilating the should commonly. Underneath 25°C the wine is not going to have sufficient physique, above 30°C, the wine will probably be to tannic.

The fermentation course of goes on for 4 to 10 days.


That is the interval throughout which the tannic components and the color of the pores and skin diffuse within the fermented juice. The contact between the liquid (should) and the stable components (pores and skin, pips and generally stems) will give physique and color to the wine.

At this stage, advanced operations will show the expertise of the winemaker (dissolution, extraction, excretion, diffusion, decoction, infusion).

For “vins primeurs” or “vins nouveaux” (new wines) the maceration may be very brief, the wines are supple and comprise little tannin. Wines destined to be saved lengthy want a whole lot of tannin, so the maceration could be lengthy. It goes on for a number of days, perhaps a number of weeks.


The wine is separated from the solids, the pomace. The wine obtained by raking known as “free run wine” (vin de goutte).

The pomace is pressed to be able to extract the juice it nonetheless accommodates. This wine known as “press wine” (vin de presse). It’s richer in tannin.

Relying on the winemaker goal or the native behavior, free run wine and press wine are blended or handled individually.

Malolactic fermentation

It’s the course of throughout which the malic acid of wine modifications into lactic acid and carbonic gasoline beneath the motion of micro organism naturally current within the wine. Malic acid is harsh, it’s became supple and secure lactic acid.

This fermentation is obtained in a tank throughout a number of weeks at a temperature between 18° and 20°C.


The vinification is completed however the wine just isn’t. To have the ability to age and to enhance the wine should be clarified once more. After that the beverage will probably be put in oak casks the place it’s going to stabilize.

The range of pink wine is such that it will probably go together with any kind of meals. However it’s essential to completely not conclude from this that every one pink wines are similar.


White wine just isn’t actually white however in reality yellow. However the expression being common one says of a yellow wine that it’s white.

Vinification of white wine is extra delicate than vinification of pink wine.

Two strategies exist to make white wine :

a. The primary one is to make use of white grape (which is in reality inexperienced, greenish yellow, golden yellow or pinkish yellow!). That approach the white wine is the results of the fermentation of the juice of white grapes juice solely.

b. The second technique is extra advanced. One makes use of the juice of a pink grape selection cleared of its pores and skin and pips, with which it might completely not get involved as they comprise the colouring substances. It’s attainable to get white wine this manner however it’s seldom accomplished.

Time is counted :

Instantly after their arrival within the cellar, the grapes are crushed however not destemmed. The juice (free run should) is distributed to settle in containers. The remainder of the grapes is pressed as shortly as attainable. Air is the enemy of white wine. At its contact the wine oxidizes or turns into colored. The should from urgent is added to the free run should.

Preparation of the should :

After six to 12 hours the particles and impurity of the grape separate from the should and float on the floor. They’re eliminated by raking the should. The should is able to be clarified. The clarified juice is poured in a tank, able to ferment.

Alcoholic fermentation :

White wine outcomes of the fermentation of should solely.

No solids (stems, pores and skin, pips, …) intervene.

The management of the temperature is important. It must be maintained round 18° C. The winemaker commonly cools the should to permit the yeast to work accurately.

The fermentation goes on for 2 to 3 weeks. The winemaker day by day checks the evolution of the method.

When fermentation is over, the wine is put in casks and raked, similar to a pink wine then it’s bottled.

Winemakers typically select oak casks which give the wine the tannin it wants, nevertheless it is not going to be enough. Tannin is the important aspect for ageing. It’s why white wine doesn’t preserve so long as pink wine.

However white wines current a bigger number of tastes : very dry, dry, semi-dry, mellow, syrupy, petillant, glowing, madeirized, …

White wine could be drunk on any event : earlier than, with or after a meal, and even between meals.

White wines are sometimes thought of as aperitif wines, generally as dessert wines. Many individuals wish to drink white wine in scorching climate. Its refreshing qualities are certainly very well-known. White wine is served contemporary however not chilled.


Sulfur dioxide, despite its barbaric title, is a component indispensable for the standard of the wine.

It’s composed of sulfur and oxygen. Fermentation naturally produces a small quantity of it.

Winemakers add extra to the wine. Sulfur dioxide is to wine what aspirin is to human beings: the miraculous treatment which cures all form of ailments and avoids others.

Sulfur dioxide is a bactericide which prevents wine from becoming vinegar. It inhibits the motion of yeasts : it’s why candy wines don’t go on fermenting after bottling.

On prime of that it’s an anti-oxidizer. It permits wine to maintain all its freshness and avoids its alteration by its enemy : the oxygen.

2. Storing and serving wine and food-wine pointers

An important factor is to retailer wine in a mendacity place so the cork is at all times moist. This prevents the cork from drying up and the bottle from getting air which might imply the oxidation of the wine. This nonetheless is simply essential if we retailer wines for longer intervals of time.

One other vital side is the temperature at which we retailer wine. This temperature ought to be round 12-14°C. The entry of sunshine into the cellar ought to be restricted and greatest averted utterly.

The ripening of wine in dwelling cellars is a passion for actual Wines lovers. Simply think about the magic of the second we serve of bottle of totally mature, rigorously saved wine awaited for years.

One of the simplest ways to search out the optimum second for consuming the wine is shopping for wine in instances (of 6 or 12 bottles) and opening one bottle every so often. Younger wine is just less expensive than aged and utterly mature wine. It will also be an excellent enterprise to purchase a number of instances of a sure promising wine and later, when the wine is totally mature, promote a part of the inventory. The promoting worth will cowl for the remaining bottles.

Having your individual wine cellar offers one other incredible benefit… We’ll at all times know what to do when we’ve surprising company and having a sure vary of wines we are going to at all times discover one thing applicable to go together with the meals.

An important problem when serving wine is its temperature. We right here want to contemplate the truth that the definition “room temperature” originates from occasions when this temperature didn’t exceed 18° C.

So allow us to first draw consideration to the temperature at which wine is served :

Champaign ought to be served at a temperature of 6-8°C,
White wine – at a temperature of 8-12°C,
Younger pink wine – at a temperature of 13-14°C,
Gentle pink wine – at a temperature of 14-16°C,
Valuable and aged wine – at a temperature of 18°C.

The subsequent important matter is the sequence wherein wines are served. There are a number of rules right here :

Wines ought to be served from whites by means of rose to reds,
Dry wine is at all times served earlier than candy and liqueur wine,
Younger wine earlier than aged wine,
Gentle wine earlier than sturdy wine.

Now the meals and wine problem. The mixture of wine and dishes is in actuality a sure feeling for senses. If we’re satisfied that there’s good meals on the desk and the wine can also be good, then nothing dangerous ought to occur. An important factor is to observe your intuition, select good wine and good meals.

Occasions when the precept reigned that white wine is served with fish and pink with meat appear additionally to be over. It’s price observing that right now’s Californian or Australian Chardonnay is stronger and fuller than delicate Pinot Noir and generally even Cabernet, which refutes by some means the idea of wine choice by its color alone.

One of many less complicated rules of the choice of wine with meals is its heaviness and power. Which means the wine and dish ought to have comparable power – to delicate meals gentle wine, to heavy ones sturdy wine.

So far as a spectrum of dishes is moderately tough to straighten up, we could be tempted to current wines within the typical sequence from the lightest to the heaviest.

Though for positive wines could be discovered which don’t observe the given sequence, that is theoretically how wines are ordered from the lightest ones to the heaviest.

White wines listed from the lightest to the heaviest :

Champagne and glowing wines,
Chenin Blanc,
Chablis or unoaked Chardonnay,
Sauvignon Blanc,
White Bordeaux,
White Burgundy,
Pinot Gris,
Mature or cask-fermented Chardonnay (particularly Californian and Australian)

Pink wines listed from the lightest to the heaviest :

Pinot Noir,
Cabernet Sauvignon,
Rhone or Syrah (Shiraz)

Stefan Lagae

Husband, father, worker, work-at-home jobber and wine lover

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