1. What is wine?
Wine is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting grape juice.
2. What constitutes a grape?
A grape is made from the pulp/or flesh, the skin and the seeds. The pulp constitutes the juice and is the most important for wine production. The juice is always pale grey irrelevant of the colour of the grape’s skin. The skin is important as it reduces water diffusion and loss from the berry. Seeds are the least important but they must not be crushed as they will release bitter tannins. Hence it is important to have a gentle pressing.
3. How is colour obtained in the production of wine?
The extraction of colour (especially in rose and red wines) is obtained from the skins of grapes into the juice. This is called maceration: where the extracted juice (must) and the skins are kept in contact, usually by pumping over, to facilitate extraction. When the maceration process is shorter than 48 hours a rose wine is produced, whilst if it is over 48hours, red wine is produced.
4. What is acidity in wine?
Acidity is present in lemons and it tastes sour. In wines acidity creates a mouth-watering sensation and makes the wine taste fresh and refreshing. It is usually higher in white wines and high acidity usually results from cool climates. Acidity is usually detected on the sides of the tongue.
5. What are tannins?
Tannins are present in grape skins, and their amount present in wine depends on the amount of skin contact (maceration) during wine making. Since white and rose wines receive little skin contact, if any, they rarely have tannins. On the contrary red wines have much higher levels of tannin as they undergo maceration, especially thick grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Tannins can be found in strong black tea: It’s the bitter and astringent feeling present on the gums.
6. What is the serving temperature of wine?
Light to medium-bodied wine should be served between 8-10°C
Full-bodied white wine should be served at 12°C
Sparkling & Sweet wines should be served well chilled 6-8°C
Light-bodied red should be served lightly chilled 12-14°C
Medium to full-bodied reds should be served at a temperature of
7. How should wine be stored?
For long term storage wine, the temperature should be cool and constant, between 10-15°C. Long periods of refrigeration result in a hardened cork which turns the wine stale and sparkling wines lose their fizz. Wines (with cork) should be stored on their side to keep the cork moist or else it will dry out and the wine will be oxidized. Wine should be stored away from strong light as this might cause unpleasant flavours in some wine and always undisturbed – away from vibrations.