News from CRIS: Trending - Wine

November 15, 2022

What is wine?

Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes. Humans have made and consumed wine for millennia.

There are four familiar types of still wine.

  • Red wines are made from dark-colored grapes and include the skin in fermentation and wine production.
  • White wines are typically made from the juice of white grapes and don't include skins in the fermentation and wine production process. 
  • Rosé wines are made from many different types of grapes and typically include the skin in the fermentation process but to a lesser extent than red wine.
  • Orange (Amber) wines are made from white grapes but include the skin in the wine production process. 

Wines may undergo additional fermentation to produce carbonation. These sparkling wines can come in any type listed above.  

There are also fortified wines, that have additional ingredients and are often referred to as "dessert wine" and dealcoholized wines, which remove the ethanol from the wine (1). 

Are there other types of wine?

While the term wine typically refers to the beverage made with grapes, other fruits can be used to make beverages called "wine." For example, apples, strawberries, blueberries, etc., can be used to make fruit wines.

When we use honey to make an alcoholic beverage, it's called mead rather than wine. Meads are another ancient alcoholic beverage humans have created and consumed for millennia.

We can also use grains such as rice and barley to produce alcoholic beverages similar to wines. However, they don't undergo the same production process as wine or fruit wines. 

What ingredients are needed to make a bottle of wine?

Winemakers use many different ingredients to create their wines. Typically, we'll find a combination of the below components. 

  • Acids (Tartaric acid, Malic acid): These may be added to improve or impact the desired flavor.
  • Calcium Carbonate: May be added to ensure the desirable acid level. 
  • Enzymes (Pectinases): Different enzymes are added during the wine-making process to help break down the grapes and extract the needed compounds for wine. 
  • Flavors: Wine may be put in contact with ingredients like oak to help impart the desired flavor.
  • Grapes: The grape variety and chosen process will determine the type of wine (e.g., red, white, etc.). 
  • Potassium sorbate/metabisulfite: This helps protect the yeast by preventing unwanted bacteria from forming. 
  • Sugar: Sugar may be added during the wine-making process depending on the wine produced. Typically the yeast will digest the sugar in the fermentation process, creating alcohol. 
  • Sulfur dioxide (sulfites): Helps prevent oxidation by destroying unwanted bacteria and yeast that can ruin the wine. 
  • Tannins: Tannins naturally occur in grapes, but tannin powder may be added to achieve the desired outcome.  
  • Yeast: Yeast naturally occurs on grapes and will consume the sugar in the grapes during fermentation. Sometimes, cultured yeast is added during the wine-making process to ensure consistent outcomes. 


To continue reading the entire blog post, visit: