The types of wines

Wine is the most traditional alcoholic beverage and perhaps the oldest, and is made from the grapes that are obtained as a result of the cultivation of the vine . There are documents that prove that since ancient times; Different peoples made and consumed wine, especially on festive occasions. Both Greek and Roman mythology include a god of wine (Dionysus and Bacchus, respectively).

It is estimated that the vine first spread throughout the Mediterranean basin of Asia Minor; from where it went to Europe and the rest of the world. Egyptian inscriptions, Chinese writings and even American chronicles document the existence of vines and the winemaking process. It is believed that the most widespread vine strains arrived on the new continent after the Spanish conquest, apparently with the Jesuit missions.

The grape is the raw material with which the wine is made, the sugars contained in the ripe grapes, through the fermentation of what is called must (grape juice), are transformed into alcohol, throughout a process that takes about 4 to 10 days. This is a natural process, involving the yeasts that live on the vines. But you can also use the inoculation of a specific yeast selected by the winemaker, which is added to the must, a well-known yeast used for this purpose is Saccharomyces cerevisiae


The types of wines

A first characterization of the wines differentiates them between calm and generous .

Still wines : are those whose alcoholic content ranges between 9 and 14.5 degrees. These are dry wines, which in fact are the most consumed in meals. They include:

  • Red wines : they are made with whole red grapes, that is, including the skins, which are what give it the typical reddish color. They traditionally accompany meat. Among them are the famous Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, as well as the traditional Tempranillo (which passed from Spain to Argentina and Chile).
  • White wines:  is obtained from white grapes. They are recommended to accompany fish.
  • Rosé wines:  obtained from red grapes with uncolored pulp, without skins. It can also come from the mixture of white and red grapes.

Generous wines : they are wines with an alcohol content greater than 15 degrees. They are obtained from young wines by adding alcohol during fermentation. They are also called fortified wines. Examples: Sherry, Amontillado, Port, Marsala.

Sweet wines : these are wines in which the alcoholic fermentation was not prematurely interrupted, so they remain with a higher residual sugar level than dry wines (8-30 g/l).

Liqueur wines : they have a higher concentration of sugar than sweet wines (40-60 g/l); They are made with very sweet grapes and alcohol is added during fermentation. Sometimes they are achieved by blending wines between different wines.

Sparkling wines : they retain part of the carbon dioxide that comes from fermentation, which is released in the form of bubbles, but not as much as in sparkling wine.

Sparkling wines : they are bottled at a pressure of at least 3.5 atm, they are usually closed with mushroom-shaped stoppers and secured with a muzzle lock. To obtain such an intense carbonic pressure, there must be alcoholic fermentation of added sugars.

Late harvest : they are made with grapes that have been left to overripe in the vineyard, so they tend to dehydrate and concentrate their sugars, which allows them to finally achieve a significant alcoholic strength after fermentation.

Read Also: What types of wine exist? Varieties and Classification

Considering the period of rest in the warehouse before going to market, the following are mentioned :

  • Young wines : they have not had any type of aging in wood (or this was minimal). They preserve the varietal characteristics of the grapes.
  • Crianza wines : they have had a certain time of aging or aging (minimum 6 months) in wood before being bottled; this aging adds attributes to them. ). Crianza wines are mostly red. They can be kept longer than the young.
  • Reserve wines : they must be aged for at least one year in wood and up to three years in the bottle.
  • Gran Reserva wines : they must be at least two years old in wood and up to five in the bottle.

According to its composition :

Generic wines :  made with more than one variety, which are not indicated on the label (also called “cut”, “blend”, “coupage” or “cuvée”.

Varietal wines :  made with a single strain that must be mentioned on the label and that constitutes at least 85% of the grape.

Read Also: How many types of wines are there?

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