What's Happening Wednesday- Wine

I have been interested in wine for many years, but on a trip to Florida a few years ago, my family and I visited a wine shop which featured wine made from everything EXCEPT grapes. Since I never realized that was even a possibility, it not only surprised me, but it truly intrigued me. After several tastings, we chose a nice sparkling champagne made from mangoes for my Son's engagement, but really loved the taste of the white sangria, a 5 wine mixture too. Of course the blueberry was a favorite of mine as well, but since it contains a lot of potassium, the nurse in me worried that I would want to drink too much of it, which could cause me some  heart issues, so I had to pass on that one. 

Wine first appeared about 4500 BC, and was quite common in ancient Rome and Greece. In fact, both cultures even had gods that represent wine. While Dionysus was the Greek god representing wine, and Bacchus the Roman equivalent, wine continued to play an important role in religion throughout history. In fact, the drink is still used in modern day Christian services to represent the Eucharist, and in the Jewish Kiddush ceremonies as well.

Wine is made from fermented fruit juices which, to spite my introductory statements, is usually made from grapes because of their natural chemical balance, which allows them to ferment without the addition of sugars, enzymes, acids, or other nutrients. Grape wine is created by fermenting the crushed grapes using various types of yeast. The yeast consumes the sugars contained in the grapes and converts them into alcohol. The different varieties of grapes, as well as different strains of yeasts, produce different types of wine.

Wine that is made from fruits other than grapes, is usually called the fruit they are made with (such as elderberry wine), generically called fruit wine, or they are called after the specific fruit from which they are made (such as elderberry wine). Actually, wine can also be made from flowers and vegetables as well. All home-made wine is generally referred to as "country wine". Country, as in "not the city", because presumably the ingredients originally came from the Earth/the countryside. Don't dismiss the country wine that you come across simply because it is home made, it can be just as good, or even better as any store bought bottle. And they are for sure less expensive than their store bought counterparts. 

Actually, because of the additives needed, non-grape wines may be technically more difficult to perfect, however they do not command the popularity, distinction, or the price that most grape wines do. This is probably also true of other wines, made from starch based materials like barley wine or rice wine (sake). In fact, these wines actually resemble beer more than they do wine. In these cases, the term "wine" refers to the higher alcohol content they posses, rather than the actual production process. Interestingly enough, the word "wine", as well as its equivalent in other languages,  is protected and defined by law in many jurisdictions.

Wine is not only tasty, but is very interesting. So interesting in fact, that I know several people who do not even drink, that are into making their own wines. While I kind of think not tasting your product is a little odd, as long as I get a glass to try, who am I to complain? Lol
If you are interested in possibly making your own wine, you may find this video  helpful.  And this site offers several references that will help to get you started. It provides material lists, articles about issues you may run into, introductory directions as well as more detailed and experienced ones, and even descriptions of various wine types. 


Goddess divine creations said...

Fruit wines other then Grape are also my favorite- particularly cranberry :) You ever get a chance you should try it. The combination of sweet and tart is out of this world!

Unique Garden said...

Cranberry sounds great, I will put it on my list of ones to try. So far I haven't been disappointed by any of the fruit wines, and I have especially enjoyed red currant for that tart/tangy taste that you say cranberry has. So I am sure I will enjoy cranberry as well!