Wine

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Red Wine Glas.jpg White Wine Glas.jpg
red and white wine

Wine is an alcoholic drink. The word wine is usually used to talk about drinks made from the juice of grapes, although people sometimes call alcoholic drinks made from the juice of other fruits (such as plums or blackberries) "wine". This article only deals with wine made from grapes.

Different types of wine[change | change source]

There are two main types of wine, red wine and white wine. Red wine is made using the skins of the grapes. The skins give the wine a dark color, and chemicals called tannins that taste bitter. Red wine can be sweet or "dry", meaning low in sugar.

White wine is made without the grape skins at all, so it is usually less bitter and more acidic. Like red wines, they can be sweet or dry.

Rosé wine (a French word meaning "pink") is in between: it has some flavor and color from the skins, but not as much as a red wine.

Wine sometimes has bubbles in it, called sparkling wine. Sparkling wine can be red, white, or rosé, but is usually white. It can be made in any country, but the best-known sparkling wines are champagne, which comes from France, and prosecco, from Italy.

Wine making[change | change source]

This wine grape has a thicker skin and bigger seeds, when compared to a table grape for eating.

Wine making begins with growing red or white grapes. Wine grapes have thicker skins and bigger seeds compared to table grapes for eating. After the grapes are ripe, they are picked off the plants. There are different ways of picking (for example, using machines, or picking by hand, in the day, or at night).

After harvest, the grapes are crushed to release their juice, which is very sugary. Before, this was done by people stomping on grapes with their bare feet. Today, machines are used, but people sometimes use their bare feet in festivals. The person making the wine also decides now if the wine will be red, white, or rose:

People crushing grapes with their bare feet.
  • If the grape skins sit in the juice a long time, the wine will be red.
  • If the grape skins sit in the juice a short time, the wine will be rosé.
  • If the grape skins do not sit in the juice at all, the wine will be white.

Next, the sweet grape juice is fermented, by adding yeast. In a few days, the yeast turns the sugar into alcohol, and also releases carbon dioxide.

Wine is aging in these barrels in California.

After fermenting, the wine is stored for a while (called "aging"). The person making the wine can make different choices, which will change the flavor of the wine. They can choose to store the wine in a steel container, or a barrel made of oak wood. If they choose wood, the wine will absorb some of the wood flavor, which wine drinkers call "oakiness". This process can take only a couple of weeks, up to several years, depending on what kind of flavor the wine maker wants.

Lastly, the wine is bottled and sent to a customer, restaurant or store to be enjoyed.

Wine and people[change | change source]

People have been making wine for about 5000 years.

Wine is a popular drink in many countries. The countries that drink the most wine (using numbers from the year 2000) are:

  1. France
  2. Italy
  3. USA
  4. Germany
  5. Spain
  6. Argentina
  7. United Kingdom
  8. China
  9. Russia
  10. Romania
  11. Lebanon.

However, if you make a list of countries where the average person drinks the most wine, the list is different:

Luxembourg, France, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Switzerland, Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, and Slovenia.

Wine is made in many countries. The countries that make the most wine (using 2015 numbers) are:

Italy, France, Spain, USA, Argentina, Chile, Australia, South Africa, China and Germany.

Related pages[change | change source]