As food and drink is made more convenient, we often get further and further away from knowing where our food comes from and how it is made. In a world where salads come ready in bags, meat is deboned and ready to cook, and bread is bagged, pre-sliced and ready to serve, the origins of our food and the processes used to make it can become a mystery to the average consumer. True Fabrications is a company that focuses on wine tools, gift bags and entertaining items so we thought we would go over a little “Wine Making 101” with our fans!
Most wine drinkers know that their wine comes from grapes grown in vineyards. But, what happens to take grapes from the vine to your glass? Knowing the steps that go into making wine is important. The differing processes that go into wine production are often what give a wine its distinguishing characteristics. This will help you identify wine traits that you like. After that, you can use this knowledge to make educated buying decisions for your future wine purchases.
First, as grapes grow in the vineyard, the winemaker keeps close watch on his/her grapes by testing the flavor texture and sugar levels. Once it has been decided that the grapes are ready, they are harvested as quickly as possible. The weather and harvest date ultimately affect the quality and characteristics of the wine. This can often explain variations from vintage to vintage. Grapes are then carted away to either an onsite or off site location where they are crushed. This is where the process changes for white and red wine. The skins and seeds stay with the wine when red wine is made. The skins and seeds are removed for the production of white wine.
Next, the recently crushed grapes are transferred to fermenting tanks (often made of stainless steel). After yeast is added, fermentation begins giving off alcohol as a bi-product. The next step after fermentation is often the transfer back into oak barrels. The amount of time spent in the barrels is up to the winemaker. The time in the barrels, combined with the age of the barrels, will contribute to the distinct characteristics of the wine. Knowing whether or not you enjoy oak flavor in your wine can help guide you towards wine with less, more, or no oak at all. While not all wines are put in oak, the time wine stored and the way it is stored, ultimately affects what arrives in your glass.
Knowing how wine is made is important because it will help you find more wines to enjoy without having to try your way through styles and varieties that you are less fond of. Salud!