Many of us love wine and enjoy the taste but many people really don’t know exactly how wine is created. While almost any fruit juice can be used to make wine, the vast majority of wine is made from grapes.
The ingredient that makes the difference between simple grape juice and wine is of course yeast. One interesting little tidbit that most people don’t know is that there is actually enough yeast in the air around us to turn juice into wine if an unopened bottle of grape juice is left out long enough, though it wouldn’t necessarily be something you would really want to drink!
The process of fermentation is a result of yeast consuming the sugar in grape juice. The wine industry chooses the yeast used in the fermentation process from numerous strains that are raised exclusively for winemaking. The particular strain of yeast used along with the temperature during the fermentation process also determines some of the taste of the wine.
The yeast spores reproduce continually until there in no longer any sugar left to consume during the fermentation process. It is during this event that the alcohol content and carbon dioxide is created. The yeast falls to the bottom of the container once all the consumable sugar is gone and the wine is then taken from the container and placed in a new container to mature.
gets its color in much the same way it gets its taste, from the grapes that are used but it is by allowing the skins of the grapes soak in the juice that creates the color. In fact nearly all grape juice is nearly colorless. The longer the skins are allowed to soak in the juice, the darker the color of the wine. Believe it or not Champagne is which comes from black grapes is made white by not allowing the skins of the grapes to have any contact with the juice.
The taste of each individual variety of wine is determined predominately by the varying factors in each variety of grape. Every type of grape produces different aromas and flavors depending upon the soil, climate, and the type of grape.
makers also influence the taste of the wine by altering the temperature and by the yeast that they choose during the fermentation process. The containers that the wine is stored in have a lot to do with the taste as well with oak barrels being the container of choice for many winemakers.
There are so many different varieties of wines available that one would be hard pressed to find and taste them all in a lifetime but it would be fun to try!