What is wine?
Wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by fermenting grape juice. Grapes are a fruit that has a chemical composition that makes it ferment without adding sugars, acids, or other nutrients. The fermentation of grapes is done by different types of yeasts that consume the sugars present in them, transforming them into alcohol.
In the European Union, wine is legally described as the drink obtained exclusively by partial or total fermentation of fresh, whole, crushed or must grapes.
Red wines represent the majority of wines made worldwide.
The color of red wines varies between ruby and yellowish. The straw color is associated with red grapes that have not reached the point of maturation or also varieties that are poor in dyes. On the other hand, the bluish violet color is associated with one of the most used grape varieties in Portugal, Touriga Nacional. Regarding the red color, it is present in grape varieties such as Alicante Bouschet or grape varieties with great concentration such as Vinhão. Finally, the yellowish colors are related to evolution, age and oxidative processes, present above all in liqueur wines.
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White wine is usually made from white grapes, although it can also be produced from red grapes, using a very soft pressing and avoiding the extraction of color from the skin.
The color of white wine varies a lot, if for example we have a colorless wine it means that it has had a bleaching treatment. Usually the colors vary between citrus, as is the case with the white Vinhos Verdes, and golden yellow, as is the case for wines aged in wood or with skin maceration.
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While making Rosé wine, it is only allowed to use red grapes. This is what distinguishes them from straw colored wines that are produced from a mixture of white and red grapes.
Due to the fact that they are produced from the must of a first pressing of grapes destined for red wines, the maturation steps to make red wines are usually followed, this method we call “sangria”.
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Sparkling wines are characterized by the production of persistent foam when the bottle is opened.
They have varied styles and can be classified according to the winemaking techniques used in their elaboration.
Sparkling wines are usually white or rosé wines, but reds can also be found in countries like Italy and Australia.
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Fortified wines, or Liqueurs, stand out for their high alcohol strength, coming from musts whose fermentation was interrupted by wine spirit.
They are distinguished because they have a high sweetness and high alcohol content (up to 22% by volume, but are usually between 18 and 20%), which at the same time requires the presence of acids to guarantee a balance of flavor.
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Late Harvest Wine
The Late Harvest wine is produced with grapes harvested later than normal, almost transformed into raisins on the vine. It is a kind of fungus that covers the skin of grapes and develops more in humid climates, causing them to concentrate their flavors and dehydrate.
This type of wine depends on this ripeness to have the high sugar content that is so characteristic.
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