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Savoring A Glass Of Wine : What Makes Your Wine Sing

When you reach for a glass of wine and pour your favorite, particularly after a stressful day or to unwind with buddies, do you ever think about what is inside it?

Aside from grapes (that, we all know), patience, and passion, it’s mostly water and alcohol in wine. In fact, it is this intoxicating agent also called ethanol, which is what makes you drunk!

Did you know that some wines are watered down, not as a tactic to fill up the bottle but to even the wine’s balance by bringing down alcohol level?

What’s fascinating is that there is this tiny fraction of  “other stuff” in wine that actually influences the color, taste and aroma of your drink. Together, they become a natural flavor enhancer especially for beef recipes. This is where wine starts to get interesting!

What are the Things Swirling in Your Glass of Wine?

1. Acid

The grapes from which wine is extracted are acidic, and that’s why wine has an acidic pH. They can be extremely sour (2.5 pH) to extremely flat (4.5 pH). White wines are sourer than reds, as they have a higher acidity.

2. Yeast

You read it right. Yeast has a role in the preparation of wine. During the early stages of winemaking, yeast converts sugar into alcohol when oxygen is being withheld from the grapes.

3. Sugar

Sugar is the agent that assists yeast in fermenting. This is the process of “chaptalization,” when sugars like fructose and glucose are added to grape juice during fermentation. The sugar gets broken down and converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide by yeast.

4. Minerals

Many wines feature minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus. Wine drinkers get 4% of their daily diet of minerals, but these do not contribute to any taste of minerality in wine.

5. Esters

Esters are the personal perfumes of the wine that attribute to the aroma in wine. When acids interact with alcohol, esters are created and slowly change along with the evolution of wine. Yeast, which ferments the wine, helps esters to add to the raspberry and strawberry-like flavors in red wines and the green apple and flower-like flavors in white wines.

6. Phenols

Phenols are a large group of chemical compounds that contribute a wide variety of aromas and tastes in wine. In fact, this is the element of wine that is responsible for making it the perfect pairing with chocolate. Phenols come from several sources, including the wine grapes themselves and the process of aging wine.

7. Sulfites

Sulfites make up the preservatives added to wine. They do not add any flavor to wine and must be less than 350 parts per million. White wines tend to contain more sulfites than red wines, and sweet wine contains more sulfites than dry wines.

The next time you are sitting on your porch after a long day or at the dinner table in a French restaurant sipping your favorite wine or experimenting with something new, you can charm your friends or your partner with your knowledge of what’s really inside their wine glass.

1 Comment

  • April 12, 2018
    Kim Stone

    I am a wine lover, and it is good to know that what is wine made of and what does it contain in detail.