Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes or other fruits. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients. Yeast consumes the sugars in the grapes and converts them into alcohol. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different types of wine. The well-known variations result from the very complex interactions between the biochemical development of the fruit, reactions involved in fermentation, and human intervention in the overall process. The final product may contain tens of thousands of chemical compounds in amounts varying from a few percent to a few parts per billion.
Wines made from other fruits are usually named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, apple wine and elderberry wine) and are generically called fruit wine. Many flowers, herbs, spices, vegetables and saps are traditionally used to make wine, for example elderflower champagne, ginger wine or oak-leaf wine. The term "wine" can also refer to the higher alcohol content of starch-fermented or fortified beverages such as barley wine or sake.
Wine has a rich history dating back thousands of years, with the earliest known production occurring around 6000 BC in Georgia. It first appeared in the Balkans about 4500 BC and was very common in ancient Greece, Thrace and Rome. Wine has also played an important role in religion throughout history. The Greek god Dionysus and the Roman equivalent, Bacchus, represented wine. The drink is also used in Christian Eucharist ceremonies and the Jewish Kiddush.
Read more about Wine: Etymology, History, Grape Varieties, Classification, Vintages, Tasting, Collecting, Production, Consumption, Uses, Health Effects, Forgery and Manipulation of Wines, Packaging, Storage, Professions
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Famous quotes containing the word wine:
“My consciousness-raising group is still going on. Every Monday night it meets, somewhere in Greenwich Village, and it drinks a lot of red wine and eats a lot of cheese. A friend of mine who is in it tells me that at the last meeting, each of the women took her turn to explain, in considerable detail, what she was planning to stuff her Thanksgiving turkey with. I no longer go to the group.”
—Nora Ephron (b. 1941)
“Bring me wine, but wine which never grew
In the belly of the grape,”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Water for oxen, wine for kings.”