Sipisode 1: Wine Foundations Series - Wine Basics

Sipisode 1: Wine Foundations Series - Wine Basics

Introducing our very first CrushCast Minisode! We are going back to basics today reviewing wine grapes and wine styles. Allie has all of the info to get you started on a foundation for anyone looking to learn a little more about what they are drinking. Get ready to sip along with us! 

What is Wine? 

Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of fruit. Which means that technically speaking wine can be made from any fruit like apples, cranberries, plums whatever. But by and large wine is made from grapes and if you just see Wine on the label, not plum wine or Herb Ertlinger’s Fruit Wine, then expect grapes. But they’re not the same kind of grapes you find in the grocery store. Wine grapes, Vitis Vinifera if you want to get latin about it, are smaller and sweeter than what you find in the grocery store. They also have thicker skins and contain seeds Officially there are over 1,300 wine grape varieties that are used in commercial wine production, but only about 100 of the varieties make up about 75% of the world’s vineyards. 

Where Does Wine Grow? 

And these special wine grapes aren’t grown just anywhere; grapevines only grow between the 30th and 50th parallels in each hemisphere. The vines themselves start to grow when temperatures reach about 50°F and when temperatures rise between 63-68°F the vines start to flower. It is these flowers that eventually become the grapes. Outside of these boundaries temperatures are either too cold or too warm. In cold temperatures the grapes can’t fully ripen and they have to deal with flower destroying snow and frost. While in climates that are too warm the grapes ripen too quickly creating wines with unpleasant flavors and very little freshness. 

Even within these parallels there are a wide range of factors that affect the grapes, and the overall flavor of the wine they produce. And this is also why we have specific wine regions, and why those regions are known for growing specific grape varieties. The grapes that thrive in southern Italy are not at all the same as the grapes that call the northern reaches of Germany home. And there is a reason you don’t see much Indian or Irish wine on the market. Though with climate change that may not always be the case, seeing as there is now a burgeoning sparkling wine industry popping up in England. 

Main Styles of Wine

Very broadly speaking you can break wine down into 9 different categories: m

1. Sparkling Wine 

2. Light Bodied White Wine 

3. Full Bodied White Wine 

4. Aromatic White Wine 

5. Rosé Wine

6. Light Bodied Red Wine 

7. Medium Bodied Red Wine 

8. Full Bodied Red Wine 

9. Dessert Wine 

Check out this episode to learn more about these categories and more! 



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