Cards of Wine

Wine Content

Wine Content

  • Grape Juice
  • Sugar
  • Acidity
  • Tannins
  • Yeast
  • Anthocyanins
  • Stabilisers
  • Fining Agents


Grapes

Different grapes, yeasts, and production methods create different styles of wine.

Vitis Vinifera is the most used grape family because it produces higher quality wines and better aromas.


Sugar

The sugar in wines comes from the grape juice. Since most of the sugar is converted into alcohol, during the fermentation process, wines are normally dry.

Dry Wines contain between 2 and 8 grammes sugar per liter.

A wine becomes dry when the yeast converts all sugar into alcohol.

Medium Wines have some residual sugar (8-12g per liter).

In a medium dry wine, the yeast has not convert all sugar into alcohol.

Most medium dry wines are white or rosé wines such as Riesling or White Zinfandel.

Sweet Wines contains from 50 to 200 grammes sugar per liter.

Sweet wines can be produced from grapes that are extreme high in sugar (late harvest) or by killing the yeast before it has consumed all the sugar in the grapes.

Examples of sweet wines are Sauternes, Martini, and Ice Wine.


Acidity

Acidity gives a wine a fresh taste. Acidity our mouth water.

Acidic wines taste refreshing and crispy while low-acid wines taste smooth and round. In medium and sweet wines, acidity balances the taste of sweetness avoiding unpleasant extra sweet taste.

Acidity does not come from the skins but from the grape juice and ranges from 2.5 to about 4.5 in the PH spectrum. The most common acids in wine are tartaric acid, malic acid, and citric acid.

Acidity is a key factor in long-term aging, but it is forbidden to add acid during winemaking (it is not forbidden in the New World).

Examples of high acidic wines are: Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chablis, most Italian wines.


Tannins

Tannins are small natural particles found in trees and plants. They are typically present in wood, leaves, and seeds.

The term tannin, from latin tannum (oak bark) refers to the use of bark in tanning (latin tannare) animal skin into leather.

Tannins in red wines are extracs from grape skins, stems, and seeds. You also find them in oak barrels.

More than taste tannins, you can feel tannins. Tannins make your mouth feel dry.

Examples of wines with high tannins are oaked reds like Bordeaux and Barolo.

Examples of wines with low tannins are unoaked ligh reds like Beaujolais and Pinot Noir.


Yeast

Grape skins have wild yeast growing on them and it starts a spontaneous fermentation.

The cultured yeast is made in laboratory and the most common species is Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.

Commercial yeasts are flavor-active: they influence the outcome creating a "yeast bouquet".


Anthocyanins

From Greek: Anthos (flower) and Kyanous (dark blue).

Anthocyanins (or Anthocyans) are color pigments found in plants, flowers, berries, fruit and vegetables. Depending on the PH, the colors can be red, orange, violet, purple, blue, or black.

Anthocyanins

Picture by Harvard.Edu

Wine grapes are very rich in Anthocyanins.

Scientific studies show benefical effects with antioxidative and antimicrobial effect, improve visual, neurological and cardiovascular health.

Anthocyanins is an antioxidant that fight the effects of aging and oxidative stress.

Plants produce Anthocyanins as a protective mechanism: resistance to predators (bugs, birds, rodents) and environmental stressor (UV rays, cold temperatures, drought).


Stabilisers

Sulphur is the most common antioxidant used in wine production. It can be added to the wine at any stage of the winemaking process. Sulphur kills any unwanted bacterias or yeasts that are leftover from the winemaking process.


Fining Agents / Clarifiers

The purpose of using a fining agent is to clarify the wine, soften bitterness or tannins, remove solid compounds, oxidisable polyphenols, and unwanted proteins.

The fining agent reacts with wine components and forms a new complex that can be removed from the wine.

Using fining agents such as egg whites and gelatin is a common practice.


Words for Wine

Alcohol can be addictive. Drink in moderation.

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