How is wine made?
If you clicked this link expecting to be bored silly with an in-depth account of how wine is made, then hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised. Wine naturally (and yet somewhat magically) results from a simple process:
Yeast + Grapes => Wine + CO2 gas
Are we talking the yeast your momma uses to make bread rise? Yes, well sort of. Yeast is a group of microscopic critters found naturally almost everywhere. Take a deep breath. You likely inhaled a gaggle of yeast cells. It's OK; they won't hurt you. The yeasts that help create wine occur on and around grapes in a vineyard. Once grapes are crushed, the yeasts have an abundant food source: all that sugar in the grape juice. As the yeasts consume sugar, it is converted to alcohol (wine) - this process is called fermentation. While eating, the yeasts hiccup Carbon Dioxide gas, which is released into the air or captured in the bottle (ever wondered where the bubbles in your champagne come from?).
So is wine really just fermented juice?
Simply put, wine is the natural result of grape juice fermentation. Of course wine is somewhat more complicated than this. As you probably know by now, there are more (and better) flavors in wine than those found in a bottle of fruit juice that has been left open for a few days. There are compounds in grape skins, stems and seeds that contribute to a wine’s flavor. There are also components that evolve as a wine ages - this adds additional complexity. Finally, the manner in which a wine is made plays a major role in what flavors can result. For example, do you think wine ageing in a shiny stainless steel tank will taste different from wine ageing in a small oak barrel? Of course it will. But basically, wine is juice and what wonderful juice it is!