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  Category: Articles » Food & Drink » Wine / Spirits » Article

Exquisite History of Wines

By Viv Tyler

To make a white wine, once grapes are brought to the winery they are de-stemmed and crushed before anything else is done. A machine is used to split the grapes to remove stems and stalks from each bunch because they contain astringent tannins, which might be acceptable for red wines, but are rare in whites. To stop the fermentation process from starting and turning the grapes brown and oxidizing a chemical called Sulphur Dioxide is added to the grapes. For those with allergies to Sulphur Dioxide, "sulphur-free" wine is produced as well, however the lifespan on this wine is much shorter and needs to be consumed quickly.

Wine has been called the elixir of happiness "" and not without good reason. It is hard to imagine any party or celebration without any representative from the vine. This is probably why people have always assumed that wine was born right next to man.

But how did wine really originate? Who came up with the idea of fermenting fruits with the purpose of making the alcoholic beverages?

Records of the use of wine go back all the way to ancient Egypt in 2500 BC. But it is not implausible that wine was used earlier than that. Evidence seems to point to the Ancient Middle Eastern civilizations as the originators of wine.

Early man probably stumbled upon the wonders that fermentation did to fruits (especially grapes with its high sugar content). Archaeological excavations have unearthed ancient wineries and fermenting pools. This is a testament to the popularity and early knowledge about wines. Learn the art of Wine Tasting

Wine, for that matter, has been used for a startling variety of purposes. In the early days, aside from being the choice beverage for celebrations, wine was also used symbolically in religious sacraments, and during taking vows. There is even evidence that wine was used as medicine for frail countenances, and as an antiseptic for wounds. That is why wine has maintained an importance beyond that of making one drunk.

The popularity of wine spread from the Old World and its cultures to the newly found lands annexed by their empires. From here the cultivation of grapes needed for winemaking spread to the lands of South America and Australia.

The enology, or the study of wine making, of different cultures has made for a dizzying variety of wine. The main types of wine are Table Wines, Sparkling Wines, and Fortified Wines.

Table Wines are pressed grape juice that is allowed to ferment naturally "" with or without a little addition of sugar and yeast to aid the fermentation. These wines can be sweet or dry, depending on the vinification (or fermentation style), and they typically have a low alcohol content of 7 to 15 percent.

Fortified Wines have additional alcohol content in them and are have typically 14 to 23 percent alcohol in them.

Sparkling Wine was first discovered in the 18th century by a monk named Dom Pierre Perignon. Sparkling Wine is wine witch has a bubbly texture to it lent by the carbon dioxide that forms within it during the fermentation. Technically, it is a doubly fermented wine, with the second fermentation happening in the bottle itself. Extra yeast and sugar is added to the wine to produce carbon dioxide that builds up until the wine is uncorked.
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