The Wonderful World of Wine

005Wine is one of those drinks that is elegant and simple at the same time. Wine is a beverage that has a long rich history behind it. Wine was first believed to have been made around 6000 B.C. in an area that is now the country of Georgia, and had appeared around the Middle East and the Balkans by around 4500 B.C. Wine was a favorite drink of ancient Greece and Rome, where both civilizations actually had gods that represented wine. Wine is an important element in both Christian and Jewish traditional ceremonies.

Europe is the homeland of wine, with France, Italy, and Spain leading the world in wine production, but the United States is right behind them. Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley in California are world renowned for producing excellent wines. European wines are often classified by the region it is made in, such as Bordeaux and Chianti, while other countries normally classify wines by the type of grape that went into making it, like Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Chardonnay.

Wine is often classified into one of six categories, red, white, rose, sparkling, fortified wine, and dessert wines, with red and white wines being the most common types. The difference between red and white wines comes from the types of grapes used, the fermentation process, and the aging process. The biggest factor in making a red or white wine is the types of grapes that were used to make it, with white grapes producing white wine and red and black grapes normally being used to make red wine. Most red wines are made by first destemming and then crushing the grapes while leaving the grape skins in contact with the juice during the fermentation. White wines are usually made without destemming or crushing and are instead just pressed to extract the juice from the grapes. Red wines are also usually aged in oak barrels, while only a few varieties of white wine are aged.

When consumed in moderation, wine has been shown to have positive health effects, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and having cardioprotective properties. Wine, red wine in particular, contains many beneficial chemicals such as antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Now that you have some more information about wine and what makes red and white wines different, go out and pick up some different types of wine to try and see which kind you like the best. Cheers!