Understanding Wine- Composition

-Edited by Shivangi Srivastava

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Welcome back to Dakbrantail’s Blog!

Now you are beginning to understand wine and it is just a matter of time that you master it as well. All the process and characteristics we have learned so far makes the basic structures of the wine. And, my aim is to ensure that you understand those fundamentals well. So, take this as a refresher article on the previous topics.  In this article, we will look at the structural characteristics of wine which will help in selecting one of your choices.

Sweetness

It is the foremost element when it comes to classifying a wine. It is subdivided into three categories,

Dry– most of the wines are dry as the sugar needed to convert to alcohol is fully consumed. Some classic examples are Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Medium- the majority of the wines have a medium level of sweetness in them. This is achieved either by adding unfermented grape juice to the wine or removing yeast before the entire sugar is converted into alcohol. Examples like Riesling, Zinfandel, or Rose wines are more relevant.

Sweet– they are the ones that have high sugar-containing grapes whose fermentation is stopped before the yeast could eat all sugar. Fortified wines also fall in this category and are added with high proof distilled alcohol to prevent yeast from further fermentation. Examples of Port and Sherries or wines from Sauternes can be cited.

Acidity

Another important component of the wine, deciding its freshness is the Acidity. This is the one which salivates your mouth and makes you want more wine. Acidity comes directly from the grape juice and helps in balancing out the sweetness of the wine. Over or under sweetened wines often tend to resemble of unpleasant or under-refreshing characteristics.

Tannins

After discussing the role of tannins in length in the last article, it is obvious for it to be included as one of the primary factors in wine. They make your mouth feel dry and provide a bit of bitterness to the wine. This is done to enhance the complexity and flavors of the wine.

Alcohol

Almost all of the wine falls at 11.5% to 14% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) category. However, some of the wines may go as high as 15% and as low as 8%. With the fortified wines, this number is as high as 20% due to the addition of high proof distilled alcohol.

Body

Discussed in one of the previous articles, we have already classified the wine based on the body. To summarise, the body of the wine is associated with the feeling you get in the mouth. These are further classified into Light, Medium, and Full/Heavy bodied wines.

Aromas and Flavours

Aromas within wine come from different sources such as grapes, the winemaking process, the maturation process, and so on. All the flavours and aromas can be comprised in a broader category of Fruit, Non-Fruits, Earthy/Mineralogy, and Wood. Understanding the palate aspect requires a different article altogether and it will be posted separately.

I hope this has made you aware of certain new things about wine and helped in a quick refresher guide from previous articles. My endeavour is always to make the topic simpler and tackle every aspect separately. If you are not able to understand any of the topics please feel free to contact me through my website, www.dakbrantail.com, and I would be happy to assist.

I hope you enjoyed this article and to show your support please leave a comment or your feedback for me to improve.

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