wines have been known by names reflecting their origin, and
sometimes style: Bordeaux, Rioja, Mosel and Chianti are all
legally defined names reflecting the traditional wines produced
in the named region. These naming conventions or "appellations"
(as they are known in France) dictate not only where the grapes
in a wine were grown but also which grapes went into the wine
and how they were vinified. The appellation system is strongest
in the European Union, but a related system, the American Viticultural
Area, restricts the use of certain regional labels in America,
such as Napa Valley, Santa Barbara and Willamette Valley. The
AVA designations do not restrict the type of grape used.
of the world, wine labeled Champagne must be made from grapes
grown in the Champagne region of France and fermented using
a certain method, based on the international trademark agreements
included in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. However, in the United
States, a legal definition called semi-generic has enabled U.S.
winemakers to use certain generic terms (Champagne, Hock, Sherry,
etc.) if there appears next to the term the actual appellation
wine regions in countries with less stringent location protection
laws such as the United States and Australia have joined with
well-known European wine producing regions to sign the Napa
Declaration to Protect Wine Place and Origin, commonly known
as the Napa Declaration on Place. This is a "declaration of
joint principles stating the importance of location to wine
and the need to protect place names".
The Declaration was signed in July 2005 by four United States
winegrowing regions and three European Union winegrowing regions.
regions from the US were Napa Valley, Washington, Oregon and
Walla Walla, while the signatory regions from the EU were: Champagne,
Cognac (the commune where Cognac is produced), Douro (the region
where Port wine is produced) and Jerez (the region where Sherry
of signatories to the agreement expanded in March 2007 when
Sonoma County, Paso Robles, Chianti Classico, Tokay, Victoria,
Australia and Western Australia signed the Declaration at a
ceremony in Washington, DC.
wine classifications exist as part of tradition or appellation
law. The most common of these is based on vineyard sites and
include the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, though
some regions classify their wines based on the style like the
German wine classification system. Vineyard classification has
a long history dating from some early examples in JuranÃ§on
in the 14th century, in 1644 when the council of Wuzburg ranked
the city's vineyards by quality, and the early five-level designation
of vineyards based on quality in Tokaj-Hegyalja in 1700.
known classifications include:
of Saint-Emilion wine of Bordeaux
of Graves wine of Bordeaux
- Cru Bourgeois
of Bordeaux (Medoc)
estates of Provence
regions are classified by vineyards, not estate.
cru of Burgundy and Alsace
vinification methods and style
be classified by vinification methods. These include classifications
such as red or white wine, sparkling, semi-sparkling or still,
fortified and dessert wines. The color of wine is not determined
by the juice of the grape, which is almost always clear, but
rather by the presence or absence of the grape skin during fermentation.
Grapes with colored juice, for example alicante bouchet, are
known as teinturier. Red wine is made from red (or black) grapes,
but its red color is bestowed by a process called maceration,
whereby the skin is left in contact with the juice during fermentation.
White wine can be made from any colour of grape as the skin
is separated from the juice during fermentation. A white wine
made from a very dark grape may appear pink or 'blush'. A form
of Rose is called Blanc de Noirs where the juice of red
grapes are allowed contact with the skins for a very short time
(usually only a couple of hours).
and still wines
wines such as champagne, contain carbon dioxide which is
produced naturally from fermentation or force-injected later.
To have this effect, the wine is fermented twice, once in an
open container to allow the carbon dioxide to escape into the
air, and a second time in a sealed container, where the gas
is caught and remains in the wine.
Sparkling wines that gain their carbonation from the traditional
method of bottle fermentation are labelled "Bottle Fermented",
"Mathode Traditionelle", or "Mathode Champenoise".
The latter designation was outlawed for all wines other than
Champagne (which for obvious reasons does not bother to utilize
it) in Europe in 1994.
denominations of sparkling wine include Sekt or Schaumwein (Germany),
Cava (Spain), and Spumante (Italy). Semi-sparkling wines are
sparkling wines that contain less than 2.5 atmospheres of carbon
dioxide at sea level and 20 °C. Some countries such as
the UK impose a higher tax on fully sparkling wines. Examples
of semi-sparkling synonym terms are Frizzante in Italy,
Vino de Aguja in Spain and Petillant in France.
In most countries except the United States, champagne is legally
defined as sparkling wine originating from a region (Champagne,
Towns "Reims, Epernay") in France. Still wines are wines that
have not gone through the sparkling wine methods and have no
and fortified wine
wines range from slightly sweet (with less than 50 g/L of
sugar) to incredibly sweet wines (with over 400 g/L of sugar).
Late harvest wines such as SpÃ¤tlese are made from grapes
harvested well after they have reached maximum ripeness. Dried
grape wines, such as Recioto and Vin Santo from Italy, are made
from grapes that have been partially raisined after harvesting.
Botrytized wines are made from grapes infected by the
mold Botrytis cinerea or noble rot. These include Sauternes
from Bordeaux, numerous wines from Loire such as Bonnezeaux
and Quarts de Chaume, Tokaji AszÃº from Hungary, and Beerenauslese.
Ice Wine is made from grapes that are harvested while
they are frozen. Fortified wines are often sweeter, and
generally more alcoholic wines that have had their fermentation
process stopped by the addition of a spirit, such as brandy,
or have had additional spirit added after fermentation. Examples include Port, Madeira
wines may have an alcohol content that is no higher than
14% in the U.S.. In Europe, light wine must be within 8.5% and
14% alcohol by volume. Thus, unless a wine has more than 14%
alcohol, or it has bubbles, it is a table wine or a light wine.
Table wines are usually classified as "white," "red," or "rose,"
depending on their colour. In Europe 'vins de table' (in French),
'vino da tavola' (in Italian), 'Tafelwein' (in German) or 'vino
de mesa' (in Spanish), which translate to 'table wine' in English,
are cheaper wines that often on the label do not include the
information on the grape variety used or the region of origin.
wine or Cooking sherry refers to inexpensive grape
wine or rice wine (in Chinese and other East Asian cuisine).
It is intended for use as an ingredient in food rather than
as a beverage. Cooking wine typically available in North America
is treated with salt as a preservative and food colouring.
When a wine bottle is opened and the wine is exposed to oxygen,
a fermentative process will transform the alcohol into acetic
acid resulting in wine vinegar. The salt in cooking wine inhibits
the growth of the microorganisms that produce acetic acid. While
this will preserve a bottle of cooking wine (which may be opened
and used occasionally over a long period of time).
wines are convenient for cooks who use wine as an ingredient
for cooking only rarely. However, they are not widely used by
professional chefs, as they believe the added preservative significantly
lowers the quality of the wine and subsequently the food made
with that wine. Most professional chefs prefer to use inexpensive
but drinkable wine for cooking, and this recommendation is given
in many professional cooking textbooks as well as general cookbooks.
Many chefs believe there is no excuse for using a low quality
cooking wine for cooking when there are quality drinkable wines
available at very low prices.
wine is considered a wine of such poor quality, that it is unpalatable
by itself and intended for use only in cooking. There is a school
of thought that advises against cooking with any wine one would
find unacceptable to drink.
vintage or varietal
wine is one made from grapes that were all, or primarily, grown
in a single specified year, and are accordingly dated as such.
Consequently, it is not uncommon for wine enthusiasts and traders
to save bottles of an especially good vintage wine for future
consumption. However, there is some disagreement and research
about the significance of vintage year to wine quality.
Most countries allow a vintage wine to include a portion of
wine that is not from the labeled vintage.
wine is wine made from a dominant grape such as a Chardonnay or a Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine may not be entirely
of that one grape and varietal labeling laws differ. In the
United States a wine needs to be composed of at least 75% of
a particular grape to be labeled as a varietal wine.
In the European Union, a minimum of 85% is required if the name
of a single varietal is diplayed, and if two or more varietals
are mentioned, these varietals combined must make up 100% and
they must be listed in descending order. E.g., a mixture of
70% Chardonnay and 30% Viognier must be called Chardonnay-Viognier rather than
Science of Wine Aroma
the Acids in Wine
(Tannins) in Wine
The Basic Wine Pairing Rules
Science of Food and Wine
a Wine Sommelier