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Wine Show, Thailand by Asiatravel.com

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Published on Oct 2, 2009

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Wine is an alcoholic beverage typically made of fermented grape juice.[1] The natural chemical balance of grapes is such that they can ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes or other nutrients.[2] Wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast consumes the sugars found in the grapes and converts them into alcohol. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts are used depending on the type of wine being produced.[3]

Although other fruits such as apples and berries can also be fermented, the resultant wines are normally named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, apple wine or elderberry wine) and are generically known as fruit wine or country wine (not to be confused with the French term vin de pays). Others, such as barley wine and rice wine (i.e., sake), are made from starch-based materials and resemble beer and spirit more than wine, while ginger wine is fortified with brandy. In these cases, the use of the term "wine" is a reference to the higher alcohol content, rather than production process.[4] The commercial use of the English word "wine" (and its equivalent in other languages) is protected by law in many jurisdictions.[5]

Wine has a rich history dating back to around 6000 BC and is thought to have originated in areas now within the borders of Georgia and Iran.[6][7] Wine probably appeared in Europe at about 4500 BC in what is now Bulgaria and Greece, and was very common in ancient Greece, Thrace and Rome. Wine has also played an important role in religion throughout history. The Greek god Dionysos and the Roman equivalent Bacchus represented wine, and the drink is also used in Christian and Jewish ceremonies such as the Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion) and Kiddush.

The word "wine" derives from the Proto-Germanic "*winam," an early borrowing from the Latin vinum, "wine" or "(grape) vine," itself derived from the Proto-Indo-European stem *win-o- (cf. Hittite: wiyana ,Lycian: Oino, Ancient Greek οῖνος - oînos, Aeolic Greek ϝοίνος - woinos).[8][9]

Wine is usually made from one or more varieties of the European species Vitis vinifera, such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. When one of these varieties is used as the predominant grape (usually defined by law as a minimum of 75% or 85%), the result is a varietal, as opposed to a blended, wine. Blended wines are not necessarily considered inferior to varietal wines; some of the world's most expensive wines, from regions like Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley, are blended from different grape varieties of the same vintage.[citation needed]

Wine can also be made from other species of grape or from hybrids, created by the genetic crossing of two species. Vitis labrusca (of which the Concord grape is a cultivar), Vitis aestivalis, Vitis rupestris, Vitis rotundifolia and Vitis riparia are native North American grapes usually grown for consumption as fruit or for the production of grape juice, jam, or jelly, but sometimes made into wine.

Hybridization is not to be confused with the practice of grafting. Most of the world's vineyards are planted with European V. vinifera vines that have been grafted onto North American species rootstock. This is common practice because North American grape species are resistant to phylloxera, a root louse that eventually kills the vine. In the late 19th century, most of Europe's vineyards (only excluding some of the driest vineyards in Southern Europe) were devastated by the bug, leading to massive vine deaths and eventual replanting. Grafting is done in every wine-producing country of the world except for Argentina, the Canary Islands and Chile, which are the only ones that have not yet been exposed to the insect.[19]


Info Taken from Wikipedia.com
Credits to Wikipedia.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine

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