For something so simple that it occurs spontaneously and naturally on its own, wine can seem dauntingly complex. From its origins in Mesopotamia, to growing and producing the best wines around the world, or choosing a wine to pair with your favorite dish, Wine 101 will be your guide through the world of wine. Wine 101 demystifies the world of wine and provides a simple introduction into its history, the practices of viticulture, or the growing of grapes, viniculture, or the making of wine, the principal grapes used in wine making, the major wine producing countries and regions, the science of tasting wine, and how to pair wine with food. Organized as a quick reference guide and featuring lots of entertaining wine trivia, Wine 101 will be the book that you won’t leave behind.
Chapter 1 Preview: What Is Wine?
For something so simple that it occurs spontaneously and naturally on its own, wine can seem dauntingly complex. Wine has existed for millennia in one form or another and tracing its evolution reveals how the simple becomes the complex.
In its most basic sense, wine is fermented grape juice. Sadly, it’s getting complex already! From a scientific standpoint, fermentation is the process of converting the sugars found in ripened grapes into both ethanol (ethyl alcohol) and carbon dioxide. The catalyst for this conversion is yeast, a type of single-celled fungus. As a result, the basic formula for fermentation is: Sugar + Yeast = Alcohol + Carbon Dioxide (CO2).
Fermentation is a natural process which predates humanity. Once grape skins are broken and the juice inside is exposed to the “outside world” it comes into contact with wild yeasts found on the outside of the skins. This triggers the fermentation process. Because the juice of grapes hanging from vines or fallen to the earth are not captured in some type of vessel this “wine” simply dissipates. This is where humans come in.
As with many fermented beverages, wine was discovered accidentally. Evidence that the discovery of “spoiled” grapes was transformed into the intentional process of fermentation controlled by humans dates from around 5000 BC in the area of Mesopotamia. Over centuries, the practices of viticulture, or the growing of grapes, and viniculture, the making of wine, have all evolved around the phenomena of fermentation. Growing better grapes make for a better wine, while better control over the fermentation and aging processes contributes to a more delicious alcoholic beverage…
What percentage of wine is usually water? (85%)
Which sense is more important to wine appreciation, taste or smell? (Smell)
What pairs better with Salmon Steak, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay? (Pinot Noir)
What is the term for the individual who maintains a restaurant wine list and serves the wines? (Sommelier)
What is the name for the beverage made from red wine mixed with lemonade, fresh fruit slices and other spirits? (Sangría)
Look at your next glass of wine with a confident knowing smile!
About The Author
Byron Bennett is a Managing Director at Dhegaba Ventures, which was recently formed to consult and fund promising new startups. Prior to Dhegaba Ventures, Byron was the Founder and CEO of The Chocolate Library in New York City, a one-stop-shop for gourmet chocolate from around the world. Byron has a significant background in the wine business. He was the inspiration behind the widely acclaimed VitiVini wine game, which includes an entire course on wine and how to pair it with food (the first game to include an entire course on a subject matter). And, prior to releasing VitiVini, Byron founded Discovery Wines, where he pioneered the introduction of innovative touch screen wine information kiosks. Byron holds a BS in Economics with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
- File Size: 449 KB
- Print Length: 237 pages
- Publication Date: February 28, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BN2JI0W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- X-Ray: Not Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled