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Dom Pérignon, the monk that helped in the spread of wine


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Types and history of wines


Wine has its own special place in our life. Wine has been used by people since long in parties and get-togethers. Parties become colorful only when wine flows. Parties can also be conducted without wine, but then

it lacks the charisma that wine can provide. Wine is brewed through fermentation of fruits containing sugars. Some ancient pottery jars have been found by Archaeologists in Godin Tepe, Iran dating back to c.3500 to 2900 BC (before the Bronze Age). These jars contained traces of wine, which has been brought out by chemical analysis of the jars. Wine must have found this place as a commodity of trade, as this area was not a grape growing area. The possible source could have been the Silk Road, which extends from China to the Mediterranean under which Godin Tepe falls. Various other archaeological findings also supports that wine has been used as commodity in trade since time immemorial.

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In Greek and Roman times wine growing spread throughout Europe, the trade spread so much that in 97BC Romans, in order to save their wine industry, ordered the known world to pull out all vines. One famous name that helped in the spread of wine was Dom Pérignon (1670AD-1715AD), a monk who was a competent winemaker and is credited with the discovery of Champagne.
 
Types and Styles of Wine:
 
Types and styles of wine are two different things. However, often people get confused between the two and use them interchangeably. Let us distinguish between the two. First talk about the types of wines. The wine type is broadly based on the alcohol concentration with in broad limits, on sugar concentration within broad limits, presence or absence of red color, presence or absence of effervescence and alcohol concentration. Table wines will have an alcohol content of up to 15% while fortified will generally have between 18 and 22%. As for the sugar concentration, dry wines have less than 10 grams per liter of sugar while sweet wines have more than 10 grams. Talking of color, wines have three principle colors - red, white or rosé. However, the color distinction and determination of these wines is sometimes difficult.
 
Wine style refers to the individual grape and winemaking factor. Wine style encompasses individual character, composition of the wine and the process employed to make the wine. In order to ascertain the style of wine, some of the factors taken into consideration are:
 
Grape factors: The variety to which the grape belongs like Chardonnay, Shiraz etc., and other factors like district, composition at harvest, botrytis infection and cultural activities (hand picked, trellis type etc.).
 
The factors of winemaking: Sugar level after fermentation, acid addition or reduction, wood maturation (species, origin etc.) phenolics (color), origin etc.), type of spirit used in fortification and other biological processes (malolactic fermentation or sherry for growth).


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