Wine

Wine

The exact origins of what is one of the most historically important forms of alcohol, is lost to history. One fable speaks of a persian princess who fell out of favor with the king, and was so distraught she tried to end her life by consuming a jar full of spoiled grapes. As you might have guessed, she got intoxicated and passed out. When she awoke, she felt like all her problems had evaporated, and began consuming spoiled grapes regularly. Her ‘change in attitude’ helped her win back the king’s favor, and so wine was ‘discovered’. 

Whether this story is true or not, we’ll never know. But it’s a great story, and is just one of thousands of stories that have been spun around this wonderful drink over the last eight to ten thousand years.

Production

While you may know that wine is made from grapes, it’s also important to know how much attention to detail is put into perfecting and the grape, as the core ingredient. This science is called viticulture.

The species of grape used is Vitisvinifera, because of its high sugar content, which results in a higher alcohol content. The areas for production are also chosen carefully, as climate, soil, and topography affect the quality of the wine. Every winery has its own way of getting the best from their specific kind of grape vine, soil, and climate.

Next comes harvesting, the timing of which is also crucial, because the grapes should have the optimal amounts of acid, sugar, and moisture. Most wineries harvest their grapes by hand, but some do this using mechanical harvesters.

Once the grapes are harvested, they must be crushed. A quintessential image associated with crushing is that of a group of people crushing the grapes with their feet. The warmth of human skin and the pressure a person can apply are so important, that even when machines are used in crushing (which is most common now), they are designed to simulate human crushing.

This is the point where the winemaker chooses whether to create a red wine or a white wine. If the crushed grapes are sent to the next stage (fermentation) WITH their skins, the wine will be a red wine. If only the juice is sent to ferment, the resulting wine will be white. The wine is then fermented, usually by the wild yeasts present at the winery. They are often fermented in oak barrels for a period ranging from 6 months to several years.

Once fermentation is complete, the wine is separated from the leftover grape tissue and dead yeast. Next it is filtered, clarified, and ready for bottling!

Nutrition

Wine is full of calories, mainly imparted by the alcohol content, so the stronger the wine, the more calories you will consume. Nutrients include:

  1. Flouride
  2. Manganese
  3. Potassium
  4. Iron
  5. Choline
  6. Vitamin B6
  7. Vitamin B2 and
  8. Phosphorous

Because red wine relies more on grape skins, it generally has more nutrients. You can expect a red wine to have more antioxidants and minerals.

Types of Wine

There are primarily six styles of wine, each with their own subtypes;

Red wine
Red wine is the most revered style of wine, which derives its color from the black grape skins that are used during the fermentation process. Important red wines include Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. They range from a light red to a dark maroon, and have a variety of flavours including blackcurrant, black pepper, plum, and spicy notes. Red wine usually accompanies meat dishes.

White wine
Mostly produced from green grapes, white wine’s flavors include citrus, spice, and can range from light to rich and creamy. Types of white wine include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. White wine typically goes well with seafood, poultry, pork, and Italian dishes.

Rosé wine

Produced in a similar way to red wine, but to lesser degree, Rosé wines do not qualify as red wines. They are also produced by blending red with white wine. Colors range from onion-peel orange to purple, and major types include Zinfandel Blush, Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir.

Sparkling wine
Wine which is fermented under pressure, causing carbonation, ends up sparkling wine. A sparkling wine could be red, white, or a rosé. Champagne and Cava are the most well known, and have a fizzy texture.

Fortified wine
These wines have been blended with other kinds of alcohol, usually brandy, to create a much stronger wine. They have a minimum of 15% ABV, and they include types like Sherry, Port, Madeira, Marsala, and Vermouth.

Dessert wine
Lastly, dessert wine is wine designed to accompany dessert, and is therefore quite sweet. Types include Ice wine, Raisin wine, and Noble rot wine.

Preferred brands of Wines in India

Sula’s Rasa Shiraz
Wines that are intensely loved and enjoyed are the ones which are truly rare. Rasa Shiraz is one of those. Coming from the vineyards of Sula, this wine is famous for being prepared only in the vintage years. Rasa Shiraz, hence, has an aura of a Collector’s Edition wine since its last two productions in 2007 and 2011 were in the amounts of 600 and 1700 cases respectively.

The wine has an intense spicy aroma with a strong fruity flavour yet balancing the tinge of the oak cask it has matured in. The tannins of the wine lend their presence, ultimately making the texture of the wine complex and enjoyable

Grover Vineyard’s La Reserve
One word. Legacy. The wine has been consistent throughout every batch. La Reserve has been a part of household dinners and get-togethers from a long time. Brewed from Cabernet and Shiraz handpicked grapes, this wine is known to be kept in contact with the solid remains of the grapes for double the time than the usual wines in French oak casks.

La Reserve is like a buffet of tastes and flavours which give it a very rich feel. A deep ruby red colour with a pleasing aroma and the taste of fruits and spice balanced with vanilla and chocolate bring in a rush of flavour in a very delectable way.

Indus’ Sauvignon Blanc
Availability of white wine is difficult in India since red wine is most preferred within the demography. Hence, only the best of the best white wines are found and enjoyed all around. Sauvignon Blanc by Indus is extensively enjoyed from the time it has found its home in Igatpuri. This dry wine can has an herbal grassy flavour to it since it is matured in metal casks.

White wine is best enjoyed with food that complements its flavour. It has an essence of citrus fruits to it along with a grassy tang that makes it very zesty. It is best enjoyed with grilled vegetables or grilled meat, too.

Reveilo’s Chardonnay Reserve
Chardonnay is that one type of white wine that gets the opportunity to mature in oak casks rather than metal casks. Reveilo has offered this premium wine to India which was earlier only popular in America.

Every iteration of this vintage wine has made it better and better. It has a peachy flavour with a swish of passion fruit taste to it. Since it has been matured in oak casks, the texture is creamier than the usual white wines.

Indus’ Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine is everything that red wines are supposed to be. It is full-bodied, dark, holding fruity flavours and utterly loved. Coming from Indus, this is brewed in the region below Igatpuri and the climate helps out in that aspect, too.

Cabarnet Sauvignon has an interesting combination of mint and eucalyptus flavours, a dash of pepper too. It is completely void of sweetness which is why the taste and aroma takes over you when you enjoy it. Its dry texture and unique flavour make it the best partner for foodstuff such as grilled burgers and grilled meat, sweeping the palate with absolute relish.

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