Winemaking is a thriving industry. In 2017 alone, the United States produced 900,000,000 tons of wine. However, it’s not easy making wine, and that goes without saying. Part of the beverage’s charm is the years it spent fermenting, the process of its fermentation, and so on. Exploring wine types is akin to traveling the world with a growing appreciation for the art and heart that goes into its creation.
If you’re a newbie to wines, begin by looking at the process it goes through before it reaches glasses at social functions. Understanding the process provides an insight into this highly-esteemed beverage that people love to enjoy. It also lets you better grasp what types of wine go with what celebration.
The Process of Creating Different Types of Wine
A wine’s life cycle starts in farming the right breed of grapes, depending on the wine type or the flavor the vintner or the winemaker wants to achieve. Once the grapes are harvested, they proceed to the crushing, fining, and so on.
Most people are aware of this process and usually imagine a person standing in a big basin stomping their foot on the grapes until everything turns into a pulpy, red liquid. While foot-stomping is still practiced in some wineries, there are modern ways of doing this process.
The main goal of crushing is to separate the grape skin and harvest the juice. Crusher and de-stemmer machines help the winemaker crush and press all parts of the grape together, cutting the work time in half.
Fining is a process most commonly used in the production of white wine. In this process, the wine undergoes a stabilization process to remove unwanted elements such as tannins. Although there are readily available products to aid winemakers in fining, other people still use traditional methods such as adding egg whites, gelatin, or casein.
The process of cold soaking (or pre-fermentation maceration) is specifically done to produce red wine. Some studies prove that cold-soaking helps produce anthocyanin (the chemical responsible for the red pigment in grapes) and the development of flavor and aroma. Winemakers usually leave the grapes for cold-soaking in 5 to 10 degrees celsius for hours or days.
Inoculation and Fermentation
Inoculation is the most critical step in winemaking. In this process, winemakers prepare the yeast the same way bakers prepare them. Once the yeasts start frothing, they will be placed in the container where the grape juice is stored, thus starting the fermentation process. After days or even months of fermentation, winemakers will separate the yeast from the wine and begin bottling.
What Are the Different Types of Wine Available in the Market?
Valentine’s Day, the holiday season, or your highly-anticipated promotion is not complete without a good bottle or two of wine. A celebration becomes even more festive with a red, white, or sparkling wine toast. But, do you ever stop and wonder what makes wine special? Why are there people particular with the types of wine they drink? If you’re assigned to bring the wine for your celebration dinner and know nothing about wine types, you are in luck.
Let’s break down the types of wine into five: red wine, white wine, rose, sparkling, and fortified wine. You might already be acquainted with red and white wine. After all, these two wine types are the most commonly used in celebration dinners. However, the primary classification system for wine types boils down to the grapes used in winemaking.
Getting Acquainted With Red Wine
Go to the wine aisle of a grocery store, and more often than not, you’ll find more bottles of red wine compared to other wine types. But what constitutes a wine to be classified as red wine? Red wines are mostly made from black-skinned grapes. The skins of these grapes are included in the winemaking process, allowing the tannins and the pigments to create a red color and provide a dry taste.
Red wine is usually stored in oak barrels to add an earthy flavor. The strength and the flavor vary depending on the region where the wine was manufactured. For instance, a wine produced in warmer climates tends to be fruitier in taste.
Types of Red Wine
- Bourdeaux – This is one of the most popular red wine types because of its exclusivity. Bordeaux wines are made with a mix of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Legitimate Bordeaux wine can only be bought in Bordeaux, France.
- Chianti – Unlike other types of red wine, Chianti is made strictly with Sangiovese grapes. This red wine is manufactured in the Chianti region of Italy.
- Rioja – Like the first two types of red wine, Rioja is a region-specific wine. The wine types of Rioja come from Tempranillo grapes that are widespread in the La Rioja region of Spain. There are blends of these types of red wine that are mixed with Mazuelo and Graciano grapes to achieve a particularly dry, woody taste.
- Syrah/Shiraz – These types of red wine produced by the Syrah grape are famous for their deep and dark, fruity flavor.
- Primitivo – This particular wine is made exclusively in the Southern regions of Italy and is known for its high alcohol content and fruitiness.
- Beaujolais – Unlike the other types of red wine, Beaujolais is often scented and suitable for wine beginners.
Having a Taste of the Types of White Wine
The flavor depends on the variety of grapes used in the production. Unlike red wine, grape skin is not included in the production of white wine. Also, unlike red wine, white wine is made from green-skinned grapes, and the winemakers mainly focus on the aroma and acidity. There are varieties of grapes, such as muscat and Riesling, that are highly aromatic. Meanwhile, varieties like Chardonnay are less distinct in the aroma but become richer and more aromatic when aged in oak barrels.
The aging process of the various types of white wine also differs from that of red wine because instead of using oak barrels, white wine is stored in stainless steel barrels. Storage will help maintain the aroma and acidity of the wine, unlike when placed in oak barrels where the moisture from the wood can add flavors.
Types of White Wine
- Sauvignon Blanc – This variety of grapes is primarily cultivated in the Bordeaux region of France and is known for its citrusy aroma.
- Pinot Grigio – Depending on where the grapes were cultivated, the Pinot Grigio’s taste can range from neutral acidic to highly acidic.
- Riesling – One of the popular types of white wine known for its floral taste.
Rose, Sparkling Wine, and Fortified Wine
Unlike the red and white wines, the rose, sparkling wine, and fortified wines are event-specific beverages. These are the ones commonly used for toasts or casual drinking. These beverages are a relatively sweet type of wine compared to red and white wine.
There are two popular sweet wine types: Champagne and Prosecco. These two beverages are categorized as sparkling wine. Champagne is known for the bubbles produced upon being poured into a glass. Champagne is the more exclusive type since the production for this wine should strictly be made in the Champagne region of France using the Chardonnay grape and Pinot noir grapes.
On the other hand, Prosecco is among the sweet wine types produced in a village of the same name in Italy.
Village Warehouse Wine & Spirits Can Help You Choose From Different Types of Wine
If you’re looking for a nice bottle of wine for any occasion, this Vail, Colorado, Liquor Store can help you choose the best one for your festivities. Village Warehouse Wine & Spirits takes pride in its carefully curated collection of wines and beverages.
Choose quality wines, beers, spirits, and other beverages such as vodka, whiskey, and bourbon at an affordable price. Visit us, explore the store, and impress your guests or date with a bottle you’ll love to enjoy.