Wine tasting is the sensory examination and evaluation of wine. While the practice of wine tasting is as ancient as its production, a more formalized methodology has become established from the 14th century onwards. Modern, professional wine tasters use a evolving specialized terminology, used to describe the range of perceived flavors and general characteristics of a wine. More informal, recreational tasting may use similar terminology involving a much less analytical process for a more general, personal appreciation. Results contradicting the reliability of wine tasting in both experts and consumers have surfaced through scientific blind wine tasting, such as inconsistency in identifying wines based on region and price; the Sumerian stories of Gilgamesh in the 3rd millennium BCE differentiate the popular beers of Mesopotamia, as well as wines from Zagros Mountains or Lebanon. In the fourth century BCE, Plato listed the main flavors of wine, classified the aromas as "species", or families. Aristotle proposed a sensory tasting defined by the four elements further deepened by the Roman noblewoman Lucretia in the first century BCE.
Although the practice of tasting is as old as the history of wine, the term "tasting" first appeared in 1519. The methodology of wine tasting was formalized by the 18th century when Linnaeus and others brought an understanding of tasting up to date. In 2004, Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their contribution to the knowledge of the senses of taste and smell; the results of the four recognized stages to wine tasting: appearance "in glass" the aroma of the wine "in mouth" sensations "finish" – are combined in order to establish the following properties of a wine: complexity and character potential possible faultsA wine's overall quality assessment, based on this examination, follows further careful description and comparison with recognized standards, both with respect to other wines in its price range and according to known factors pertaining to the region or vintage. Whereas wines are tasted in isolation, a wine's quality assessment is more objective when performed alongside several other wines, in what are known as tasting "flights".
Wines may be deliberately selected for their vintage or proceed from a single winery, to better compare vineyard and vintages, respectively. Alternatively, in order to promote an unbiased analysis and glasses may be disguised in a "blind" tasting, to rule out any prejudicial awareness of either vintage or winery. To ensure impartial judgment of a wine, it should be served blind – that is, without the taster having seen the label or bottle shape. Blind tasting may involve serving the wine from a black wine glass to mask the color of the wine. A taster's judgment can be prejudiced by knowing details of a wine, such as geographic origin, reputation, color, or other considerations. Scientific research has long demonstrated the power of suggestion in perception as well as the strong effects of expectancies. For example, people expect more expensive wine to have more desirable characteristics than less expensive wine; when given wine that they are falsely told is expensive they always report it as tasting better than the same wine when they are told that it is inexpensive.
French researcher Frédéric Brochet "submitted a mid-range Bordeaux in two different bottles, one labeled as a cheap table wine, the other bearing a grand cru etiquette." Tasters described the supposed grand cru as "woody and round" and the supposed cheap wine as "short and faulty." People have expectations about wines because of their geographic origin, vintage and many other factors. For example, when Brochet served a white wine he received all the usual descriptions: "fresh, honeyed, lively." He served the same wine dyed red and received the usual red terms: "intense, supple, deep."One of the most famous instances of blind testing is known as the Judgment of Paris, a wine competition held in 1976 where French judges blind-tested wines from France and California. Against all expectations, California wines bested French wines according to the judges, a result which would have been unlikely in a non-blind contest; this event was depicted in the 2008 movie Bottle Shock. Another well-publicized double-blind taste test was conducted in 2011 by Prof. Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire.
In a wine tasting experiment using 400 participants, Wiseman found that general members of the public were unable to distinguish expensive wines from inexpensive ones. "People just could not tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine". In 2001, the University of Bordeaux asked 54 undergraduate students to test two glasses of wine: one red, one white; the participants commented on its crushed red fruit. The participants failed to recognize; the only difference was. For 6 years, Texas A&M University invited people to taste wines labeled "France", "California", "Texas", while nearly all ranked the French as best, in fact, all three were the same Texan wine; the contest is built on the simple theory that if people do not know what they are drinking, they award points differently than if they do know what they are drinking. Vertical and horizontal wine tastings are
History of wine
The earliest archaeological evidence of wine produced from grapes, has been found at sites in China, Iran and Sicily. The oldest evidence of wine production has been found in Armenia; the altered consciousness produced by wine has been considered religious since its origin. The ancient Greeks worshiped the Ancient Romans carried on his cult. Consumption of ritual wine was part of Jewish practice since Biblical times and, as part of the eucharist commemorating Jesus's Last Supper, became more essential to the Christian Church. Although Islam nominally forbade the production or consumption of wine, during its Golden Age, alchemists such as Geber pioneered wine's distillation for medicinal and industrial purposes such as the production of perfume. Wine production and consumption increased, burgeoning from the 15th century onwards as part of European expansion. Despite the devastating 1887 phylloxera louse infestation, modern science and technology adapted and industrial wine production and wine consumption now occur throughout the world.
The origins of wine predate written records, modern archaeology is still uncertain about the details of the first cultivation of wild grapevines. It has been hypothesized that early humans climbed trees to pick berries, liked their sugary flavor, began collecting them. After a few days with fermentation setting in, juice at the bottom of any container would begin producing low-alcohol wine. According to this theory, things changed around 10,000–8000 BC with the transition from a nomadic to a sedentism style of living, which led to agriculture and wine domestication. Wild grapes grow in Armenia, Azerbaijan, the northern Levant and southeastern Turkey, northern Iran; the fermenting of strains of this wild Vitis vinifera subsp. Sylvestris would have become easier following the development of pottery during the Neolithic, c. 11,000 BC. The earliest discovered evidence, dates from several millennia later; the earliest archaeological evidence of wine fermentation found has been at sites in China, Iran and Sicily.
The earliest evidence of steady production of wine has been found in Armenia. The Iranian jars contained a form of retsina, using turpentine pine resin to more seal and preserve the wine and is the earliest firm evidence of wine production to date. Production spread to other sites in Greater Iran and Greek Macedonia by c. 4500 BC. The Greek site is notable for the recovery at the site of the remnants of crushed grapes; the oldest-known winery was discovered in the "Areni-1" cave in Armenia. Dated to c. 4100 BC, the site contained a wine press, fermentation vats and cups. Archaeologists found V. vinifera seeds and vines. Commenting on the importance of the find, McGovern said, "The fact that winemaking was so well developed in 4000 BC suggests that the technology goes back much earlier."The seeds were from Vitis vinifera vinifera, a grape still used to make wine. The cave remains date to about 4000 BC; this is 900 years before the earliest comparable wine found in Egyptian tombs. The fame of Persian wine has been well known in ancient times.
The carvings on the Audience Hall, known as Apadana Palace, in Persepolis, demonstrate soldiers of subjected nations by the Persian Empire bringing gifts to the Persian king. Domesticated grapes were abundant in the Near East from the beginning of the early Bronze Age, starting in 3200 BC. There is increasingly abundant evidence for winemaking in Sumer and Egypt in the 3rd millennium BC. There are many etiological myths told about the first cultivation of the grapevine and fermentation of wine; the Biblical Book of Genesis first mentions the production of wine following the Great Flood, when Noah drunkenly exposes himself to his sons. Greek mythology placed the childhood of Dionysus and his discovery of viticulture at the fictional and variably located Mount Nysa but had him teach the practice to the peoples of central Anatolia; because of this, he was rewarded to become a god of wine. In Persian legend, King Jamshid banished a lady of his harem, causing her to become despondent and contemplate suicide.
Going to the king's warehouse, the woman sought out a jar marked "poison" containing the remnants of the grapes that had spoiled and were now deemed undrinkable. After drinking the fermented wine, she found, she took her discovery to the king, who became so enamored of his new drink that he not only accepted the woman back but decreed that all grapes grown in Persepolis would be devoted to winemaking. Wine played an important role in ancient Egyptian ceremonial life. A thriving royal winemaking industry was established in the Nile Delta following the introduction of grape cultivation from the Levant to Egypt c. 3000 BC. The industry was most the result of trade between Egypt and Canaan during the early Bronze Age, commencing from at least the 27th-century BC Third Dynasty, the beginning of the Old Kingdom period. Winemaking scenes on tomb walls, the offering lists that accompanied them, included wine, produced in the delta vineyards. By the end of the Old Kingdom, five distinct wines all produced in the Delta, constituted a canonical set of provisions for the afterlife.
Wine in ancient Egypt was predominantly red. Due to its resemblance to blood, much superstition surrounded wine-drinking in Egyptian culture. Shedeh, the most precious drink in ancient Egypt, is now known to have been a red wine and not fermented from pomegranates as thought. Plutarch's Moralia
Sémillon is a golden-skinned grape used to make dry and sweet white wines in France and Australia. Its thin skin and susceptibility to botrytis make it dominate the sweet wine region Sauternes AOC and Barsac AOC; the Sémillon grape is native to the Bordeaux region. It was known as Sémillon de Saint-Émilion in 1736, while Sémillon resembles the local pronunciation of the town’s name, it first arrived in Australia in the early 19th century and by the 1820s the grape covered over 90 percent of South Africa's vineyards, where it was known as Wyndruif, meaning "wine grape". It was once considered to be the most planted grape in the world, although this is no longer the case. In the 1950s, Chile's vineyards were made up of over 75% Sémillon. Today, it accounts for just 1% of South African Cape vines. Sémillon, easy to cultivate produces six to eight tons of grapes per acre from its vigorous vines, it is resistant to disease, except for rot. The grape ripens early. Since the grape has a thin skin, there is a risk of sunburn in hotter climates.
The Sémillon grape is rather heavy, with low acidity and an oily texture. It has a high yield and wines based on it can age a long time. Along with Sauvignon blanc and Muscadelle, Sémillon is one of only three approved white wine varieties in the Bordeaux region; the grape is key to the production of sweet wines such as Sauternes. For the grapes to be used for sweet wine production, they need to have been affected by Botrytis; this fungus dries out the grapes, thus concentrating the sugar and flavours in the grape berry. Sémillon is an important cultivar in two significant wine producing countries. In France, Sémillon is the preeminent white grape in the Bordeaux wine regions; the grape has found a home in Australia. In France, the Sémillon grape is grown in Bordeaux where it is blended with Sauvignon blanc and Muscadelle; when dry, it is referred to as Bordeaux blanc and is permitted to be made in the appellations of Pessac-Léognan, Entre-Deux-Mers and other less-renowned regions. In this form, Sémillon is a minor constituent in the blend.
However, when used to make the sweet white wines of Bordeaux it is the dominant variety. In such wines the vine is exposed to the "noble rot" of Botrytis cinerea which consumes the water content of the fruit, concentrating the sugar present in its pulp; when attacked by Botrytis cinerea, the grapes shrivel and the acid and sugar levels are intensified. Due to the declining popularity of the grape variety, fewer clones are cultivated in nurseries causing producers to project a future shortage of quality wine. In 2008, 17 Bordeaux wine producers, including Château d'Yquem, Château Olivier, Château Suduiraut and Château La Tour Blanche, formed an association to grow their own clones. Sémillon is grown in Australia in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney, where for a long time it was known as "Hunter River Riesling". Four styles of Sémillon-based wines are made there: a commercial style blended with Chardonnay or Sauvignon blanc; the latter two styles were pioneered by Lindemans, Tulloch, McWilliam's Elizabeth, Drayton's and Tyrrell's, are considered unique to Australia.
Most examples of these bottle-aged Hunter Semillons exhibit a buttercup-yellow colour, burnt toast or honey characteristics on the nose and excellent complex flavours on the palate, with a long finish and soft acid. Young Hunter Valley semillon is always a dry wine exhibiting citrus flavours of lemon, lime or green apple. Cooler-year Hunter Semillons seem to be the most sought after, with some of the 1974 and 1977 vintages still drinking well; the newer, fruit-accentuated styles are championed by the likes of Iain Riggs at Brokenwood Wines and The Rothbury Estate. Sémillon is finding favour with Australian producers outside the Hunter Valley in the Barossa Valley and Margaret River regions; the Adelaide Hills is becoming a flourishing region for Semillon, with the cooler climate producing some wines of great complexity. Vineyards such as Amadio and Paracombe produce some premium blends of the classical style. Semillon is one of the Cape’s true heritage white varietals, with origins as early as the 17th century, the grape variety accounted for more than 90% of plantings in the first half of the 19th century.
While South African Semillon has not quite taken off as a serious commercial category in single varietal form in the modern era, there are stunning wines being made from older vineyards. More the variety plays a role in beefing up the volume of Sauvignon blancs; the best South African Semillons have juicy fruit with an ethereal-like citrus perfume, fine texture, herbal interest and manage to marry the intensity of flavour with finesse. Outside of these regions, however, Sémillon is unpopular and criticised for lack of complexity and intensity; as such, plantings have decreased over the last century. As referenced above, the grape can still be found in South Chile; the latter is reputed to have the largest plantin
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Sweetness of wine
The subjective sweetness of a wine is determined by the interaction of several factors, including the amount of sugar in the wine, but the relative levels of alcohol and tannins. Sugars and alcohol enhance a wine's sweetness; these principles are outlined in the 1987 work by The Taste of Wine. Vintage: the Story of Wine, by Hugh Johnson, presents several methods that have been used throughout history to sweeten wine; the most common way was to harvest the grapes as late as possible. This method was advocated by Martial in Roman times. In contrast, the ancient Greeks would harvest the grapes early, to preserve some of their acidity, leave them in the sun for a few days to allow them to shrivel and concentrate the sugar. In Crete, a similar effect was achieved by twisting the stalks of the grape to deprive them of sap and letting them dry on the vine—a method that produced passum and the modern Italian equivalent, passito. Stopping the fermentation enhanced a wine's potential sweetness. In ancient times, this was achieved by submerging the amphoras in cold water till winter.
Wine can be sweetened by the addition of sugar in some form, after fermentation is completed – the German method like the Süssreserve. In Roman times, this was done in preparing mulsum, wine freshly sweetened with honey and flavored with spices, used as an apéritif, in the manufacture of conditum, which had similar ingredients but was matured and stored before drinking.. Among the components influencing how sweet a wine will taste is residual sugar, it is measured in grams of sugar per litre of wine abbreviated to g/l or g/L. Residual sugar refers to the sugar remaining after fermentation stops, or is stopped, but it can result from the addition of unfermented must or ordinary table sugar. Among the driest wines, it is rare to find wines with a level of less than 1 g/L, due to the unfermentability of certain types of sugars, such as pentose. By contrast, any wine with over 45 g/L would be considered sweet, though many of the great sweet wines have levels much higher than this. For example, the great vintages of Château d'Yquem contain between 100 and 150 g/L of residual sugar.
The sweetest form of the Tokaji, the Eszencia – contains over 450 g/L, with exceptional vintages registering 900 g/L. Such wines are balanced, keeping them from becoming cloyingly sweet, by developed use of acidity; this means that the finest sweet wines are made with grape varieties that keep their acidity at high ripeness levels, such as Riesling and Chenin blanc. How sweet a wine will taste is controlled by factors such as the acidity and alcohol levels, the amount of tannin present, whether the wine is sparkling or not. A sweet wine such as a Vouvray can taste dry due to the high level of acidity. A dry wine can taste sweet. Medium and sweet wines have a perception among many consumers of being of lower quality than dry wines. However, many of the world's great wines, such as those from Sauternes or Tokaj, have a high level of residual sugar, balanced with additional acidity to produce a harmonious result. Süssreserve is a wine term referring to a portion of selected unfermented grape must, free of microorganisms, to be added to wine as a sweetening component.
This technique was developed in Germany and is used with German-style wines such as semi-sweet Riesling or Müller–Thurgau. The technique not only raises the sugar level of the wine, but lowers the amount of alcohol. Under German law, no more than fifteen percent of the final wine's volume may be the reserved juice; this practice is allowed for Prädikatswein, the highest level in the German wine classification. It is used for semi-sweet Kabinett and Spätlese, but more for Auslese and upward; the use of Süssreserve gives a different composition of sugars in the wine in comparison to arrested fermentation. Grape must contains the sugars glucose and fructose; when wine ferments, glucose is fermented at a faster rate than fructose. Thus, arresting fermentation when a significant portions of the sugars have fermented gives a wine where the residual sugar consists of fructose, while the use of Süssreserve will give a wine where the sweetness comes from a mixture of glucose and fructose. According to EU regulation 753/2002, the following terms may be used on the labels of table wines and quality wines: Sparkling wines have ratings according to Commission Regulation No 607/2009 of 14 July 2009: Article 58 points out "the sugar content may not differ by more than 3 grams per litre from what appears on the product label", so there is some leeway.
For example, a sparkling wine with 9 grams per litre of residual sugar may be labelled as either the drier, less sweet, classification of Extra Brut, or the sweeter classification of Brut or Extra Dry/Extra Sec/Extra Seco. The rules applicable to labellings before 14 July 2009 were: In Austria, the Klosterneuburger Mostwaage scale is used; the scale is divided into Klosterneuburger Zuckergrade, similar to the Oechsle scale. However, the KMW measures. In Canada, the wine industry measures wine sweetness as grams of sucrose in 100 grams of grape juice or grape must at 20 °C in degrees Brix. In Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Normalizovaný Moštoměr scale is used; the scale m
Aging of wine
The aging of wine is able to improve the quality of wine. This distinguishes wine from most other consumable goods. While wine is perishable and capable of deteriorating, complex chemical reactions involving a wine's sugars and phenolic compounds can alter the aroma, color and taste of the wine in a way that may be more pleasing to the taster; the ability of a wine to age is influenced by many factors including grape variety, viticultural practices, wine region and winemaking style. The condition that the wine is kept in after bottling can influence how well a wine ages and may require significant time and financial investment; the quality of an aged wine varies bottle-by-bottle, depending on the conditions under which it was stored, the condition of the bottle and cork, thus it is said that rather than good old vintages, there are good old bottles. There is a significant mystique around the aging of wine, as its chemistry was not understood for a long time, old wines are sold for extraordinary prices.
However, the vast majority of wine is not aged, wine, aged is aged for long. The Ancient Greeks and Romans were aware of the potential of aged wines. In Greece, early examples of dried "straw wines" were noted for their ability to age due to their high sugar contents; these wines were kept for many years. In Rome, the most sought after wines—Falernian and Surrentine—were prized for their ability to age for decades. In the Book of Luke, it is noted that "old wine" was valued over "new wine"; the Greek physician Galen wrote that the "taste" of aged wine was desirable and that this could be accomplished by heating or smoking the wine, though, in Galen's opinion, these artificially aged wines were not as healthy to consume as aged wines. Following the Fall of the Roman Empire, appreciation for aged wine was non-existent. Most of the wines produced in northern Europe were pale in color and with low alcohol; these wines did not have much aging potential and lasted a few months before they deteriorated into vinegar.
The older a wine got the cheaper its price became as merchants eagerly sought to rid themselves of aging wine. By the 16th century and more alcoholic wines were being made in the Mediterranean and gaining attention for their aging ability. Riesling from Germany with its combination of acidity and sugar were demonstrating their ability to age. In the 17th century, two innovations occurred that radically changed the wine industry's view on aging. One was the development of the cork and bottle which again allowed producers to package and store wine in a air-tight environment; the second was the growing popularity of fortified wines such as Port and Sherries. The added alcohol was found to act as a preservative, allowing wines to survive long sea voyages to England, The Americas and the East Indies; the English, in particular, were growing in their appreciation of aged wines like Port and Claret from Bordeaux. Demand for matured wines had a pronounced effect on the wine trade. For producers, the cost and space of storing barrels or bottles of wine was prohibitive so a merchant class evolved with warehouses and the finances to facilitate aging wines for a longer period of time.
In regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy, this situation increased the balance of power towards the merchant classes. There is a widespread misconception that wine always improves with age, or that wine improves with extended aging, or that aging potential is an indicator of good wine; some authorities state. Aging changes does not categorically improve it or worsen it. Fruitness deteriorates decreasing markedly after only 6 months in the bottle. Due to the cost of storage, it is not economical to age cheap wines, but many varieties of wine do not benefit from aging, regardless of the quality. Experts vary on precise numbers, but state that only 5–10% of wine improves after 1 year, only 1% improves after 5–10 years. In general, wines with a low pH have a greater capability of aging. With red wines, a high level of flavor compounds, such as phenolics, will increase the likelihood that a wine will be able to age. Wines with high levels of phenols include Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah; the white wines with the longest aging potential tend to be those with a high amount of extract and acidity.
The acidity in white wines, acting as a preservative, has a role similar to that of tannins in red wines. The process of making white wines, which includes little to no skin contact, means that white wines have a lower amount of phenolic compounds, though barrel fermentation and oak aging can impart some phenols; the minimal skin contact with rosé wine limits their aging potential. After aging at the winery most wood-aged ports, vins doux naturels, vins de liqueur, basic level ice wines, sparkling wines are bottled when the producer feels that they are ready to be consumed; these wines will not benefit much from aging. Vintage ports and other bottled-aged ports and sherries will benefit from some additional aging. Champagne and other sparkling wines are infrequently aged, have no vintage year, but vintage champagne may be aged. Aged champagne has traditionally been a peculiarly British affectation, thus has been referred to as le goût anglais "the English taste
Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes. Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol, carbon dioxide, heat. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different styles of wine; these variations result from the complex interactions between the biochemical development of the grape, the reactions involved in fermentation, the terroir, the production process. Many countries enact legal appellations intended to define qualities of wine; these restrict the geographical origin and permitted varieties of grapes, as well as other aspects of wine production. Wines not made from grapes include rice wine and fruit wines such as plum, pomegranate and elderberry. Wine has been produced for thousands of years; the earliest known traces of wine are from Georgia and Sicily although there is evidence of a similar alcoholic drink being consumed earlier in China. The earliest known winery is the 6,100-year-old Areni-1 winery in Armenia. Wine reached the Balkans by 4500 BC and was consumed and celebrated in ancient Greece and Rome.
Throughout history, wine has been consumed for its intoxicating effects. Wine has long played an important role in religion. Red wine was associated with blood by the ancient Egyptians and was used by both the Greek cult of Dionysus and the Romans in their Bacchanalia; the earliest archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence for grape wine and viniculture, dating to 6000–5800 BC was found on the territory of modern Georgia. Both archaeological and genetic evidence suggest that the earliest production of wine elsewhere was later having taken place in the Southern Caucasus, or the West Asian region between Eastern Turkey, northern Iran; the earliest evidence of a grape-based fermented drink was found in China, Georgia from 6000 BC, Iran from 5000 BC, Sicily from 4000 BC. The earliest evidence of a wine production facility is the Areni-1 winery in Armenia and is at least 6100 years old. A 2003 report by archaeologists indicates a possibility that grapes were mixed with rice to produce mixed fermented drinks in China in the early years of the seventh millennium BC.
Pottery jars from the Neolithic site of Jiahu, contained traces of tartaric acid and other organic compounds found in wine. However, other fruits indigenous to the region, such as hawthorn, cannot be ruled out. If these drinks, which seem to be the precursors of rice wine, included grapes rather than other fruits, they would have been any of the several dozen indigenous wild species in China, rather than Vitis vinifera, introduced there 6000 years later; the spread of wine culture westwards was most due to the Phoenicians who spread outward from a base of city-states along the Mediterranean coast of what are today Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. The wines of Byblos were exported to Egypt during the Old Kingdom and throughout the Mediterranean. Evidence includes two Phoenician shipwrecks from 750 BC discovered by Robert Ballard, whose cargo of wine was still intact; as the first great traders in wine, the Phoenicians seem to have protected it from oxidation with a layer of olive oil, followed by a seal of pinewood and resin, similar to retsina.
Although the nuragic Sardinians consumed wine before the arrival of the Phoenicians The earliest remains of Apadana Palace in Persepolis dating back to 515 BC include carvings depicting soldiers from Achaemenid Empire subject nations bringing gifts to the Achaemenid king, among them Armenians bringing their famous wine. Literary references to wine are abundant in Homer and others. In ancient Egypt, six of 36 wine amphoras were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun bearing the name "Kha'y", a royal chief vintner. Five of these amphoras were designated as originating from the king's personal estate, with the sixth from the estate of the royal house of Aten. Traces of wine have been found in central Asian Xinjiang in modern-day China, dating from the second and first millennia BC; the first known mention of grape-based wines in India is from the late 4th-century BC writings of Chanakya, the chief minister of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. In his writings, Chanakya condemns the use of alcohol while chronicling the emperor and his court's frequent indulgence of a style of wine known as madhu.
The ancient Romans planted vineyards near garrison towns so wine could be produced locally rather than shipped over long distances. Some of these areas are now world-renowned for wine production; the Romans discovered that burning sulfur candles inside empty wine vessels kept them fresh and free from a vinegar smell. In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Church supported wine because the clergy required it for the Mass. Monks in France made wine for years. An old English recipe that survived in various forms until the 19th century calls for refining white wine from bastard—bad or tainted bastardo wine; the English word "wine" comes from the Proto-Germanic *winam, an early borrowing from the Latin vinum, "wine" or " vine", itself derived from the Proto-Indo-European stem *win-o-. The earliest attested terms referring to wine are the Mycenaean Greek me-tu-wo ne-wo, meaning "in" or " of the new wine", wo-no-wa-ti-si, meaning "wine garden", written in Linear B inscriptions. Linear B includes, inter alia, an ideogram for wine