A merchant is a person who trades in commodities produced by other people. A merchant is anyone, involved in business or trade. Merchants have been known for as long as industry and trade have existed. During the 16th-century, in Europe, two different terms for merchants emerged: One term, described local traders such as bakers, etc.. The status of the merchant has varied during different periods of history and among different societies. In ancient Rome and Greece, merchants may have been wealthy, but were not accorded high social status. In contrast, in the Middle East, where markets were an integral part of the city, merchants enjoyed high status. In modern times, the term has been used to refer to a businessperson or someone undertaking activities for the purpose of generating profit, cash flow and revenue utilizing a combination of human, financial and physical capital with a view to fuelling economic development and growth. Merchants have been known for as long as humans have engaged in commerce.
Merchants and merchant networks were known to operate in ancient Babylonia and Assyria, Egypt, India, Persia and Rome. During the European medieval period, a rapid expansion in trade and commerce, led to the rise of a wealthy and powerful merchant class; the European age of discovery opened up new trading routes and gave European consumers access to a much broader range of goods. From the 1600s, goods began to travel much further distances as they found their way into geographically dispersed market places. Following the opening Asia and the discovery of the New World, goods were imported from long distances: calico cloth from India, porcelain and tea from China, spices from India and South-East Asia and tobacco, sugar and coffee from the New World. By the eighteenth century, a new type of manufacturer-merchant was emerging and modern business practices were becoming evident; the English term, "merchant" comes from the Middle English, which itself originated from the Vulgar Latin mercatant or mercatans, formed from present participle of mercatare meaning to trade, to traffic or to deal in.
The term is used to refer to any type of reseller, but can be used with a specific qualifier to suggest a person who deals in a given characteristic such as "speed merchant" to refer to someone who enjoys fast driving. Other known uses of the term include: "dream merchant" used to describe someone who peddles idealistic visionary scenarios and "merchant of war" to describe proponents of war. Elizabeth Honig has argued that concepts relating to the role of a merchant began to change in the mid-16th century; the Dutch term, became rather more fluid during the 16th century when Antwerp was the most global market town in Europe. Two different terms, for a merchant, began to be used, meerseniers referred to local merchants including bakers, sellers of dairy products and stall-holders, while the alternate term, was used to describe those who traded in goods or credit on a large scale; this distinction was necessary to separate the daily trade that the general population understood from the rising ranks of traders who took up their places on a world stage and were seen as quite distant from everyday experience.
Broadly, merchants can be classified into two categories: A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between the producer and retail merchant dealing in large quantities of goods. In other words, a wholesaler does not sell directly to end-users; some wholesale merchants only organize the movement of goods rather than move the goods themselves. A retail merchant or retailer sells merchandise to end-users or consumers in small quantities. A shop-keeper is a retail merchant. However, the term'merchant' is used in a variety of specialised contexts such as in merchant banker, merchant navy or merchant services. Merchants have existed as long as business and commerce have been conducted. A merchant class characterized many pre-modern societies. Open air, public markets, where merchants and traders congregated, were known in ancient Babylonia and Assyria, Egypt, India, Persia and Rome; these markets occupied a place in the town's centre. Surrounding the market, skilled artisans, such as metal-workers and leather workers, occupied premises in alley ways that led to the open market-place.
These artisans may have sold wares directly from their premises, but prepared goods for sale on market days. In ancient Greece markets operated within the agora, in ancient Rome the forum. Rome had two forums; the latter was a vast expanse. The Roman forum was arguably the earliest example of a permanent retail shop-front. In antiquity, exchange involved direct selling through permanent or semi-permanent retail premises such as stall-holders at market places or shop-keepers selling from their own premises or through door-to-door direct sales via merchants or peddlers; the nature of direct selling centred around transactional exchange, where the goods were on open display, allowing buyers to evaluate quality directly through visual inspection. Relationships between merchant and consumer were minimal playing into public concerns about the quality of produce; the Phoenicians were well known amongst contemporaries as "traders in purple" – a
A sommelier, or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing. The role in fine dining today is informed than that of a wine waiter. Sommeliers Australia states. A sommelier may be responsible for the development of wine lists, books and for the delivery of wine service and training for the other restaurant staff. Working along with the culinary team, they pair and suggest wines that will best complement each particular food menu item; this entails the need for a deep knowledge of how food and wine, beer and other beverages work in harmony. A professional sommelier works on the floor of the restaurant and is in direct contact with restaurant patrons; the sommelier has a responsibility to work within the taste preference and budget parameters of the patron. In modern times, a sommelier's role may be considered broader than working only with wines, may encompass all aspects of the restaurant's service, with an enhanced focus on wines, spirits, soft-drinks, mineral waters, tobaccos.
The modern word is French, deriving from Middle French where it referred to a court official charged with transportation of supplies. This use of the term dates to a period; the Middle French finds its origin in Old Provençal where a saumalier was a pack animal driver. Sauma referred to the load of a pack animal. In Late Latin, sagma referred to a packsaddle. Though'sommelier' is a job title anyone may claim, becoming a professional certified sommelier requires some combination of experience, formal education and examinations, it is possible to become a sommelier by starting at the entry level in the hospitality or wine industry and working up, though many choose to become educated and professionally certified by one of the many certifying bodies. Various certifications are offered by a wide range of educators. A basic education in wine may be attained over the course of months at a cost in the hundreds of dollars, but advanced professional certification requires years of study and experience costing thousands of dollars.
It has been noted that a thorough education in wine is still less expensive than typical graduate school costs in the US. In France, the Union des Sommeliers was founded in 1907 to ensure social protection for its members, both sommeliers and cellar masters in Paris region; the approach and role of the association developed throughout the years as it lost its autonomy by merging with the Mutualité Hôtelière in 1959. Ten years sommeliers regained their independence as the Association des Sommeliers de Paris was founded in 1969. In the same year the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale was created and federated other organisations in the world, in 1970 the old UDS was renamed in Union de la Sommellerie Française, UDSF, which supervises today the 21 regional associations in France; the title of Mention Complémentaire Sommellerie and Brevet Professionnel de Sommelier can be achieved studying for many different approved providers, the final qualification of Maître Sommelier can be achieved after an accurate career assessment, requiring at least 10 years of professional experience.
In Italy, the Italian Sommelier Association,'AIS', founded on July 7, 1965, is one of the oldest sommelier associations of the world. It is recognised and acknowledged by the Italian government. Italian Sommelier Association is part and founding member of the Worldwide Sommelier Association, recognized throughout the world, it is the largest sommelier association featuring over 33,000 members only in Italy. AIS / WSA is famous worldwide for its technical tasting approach and methodology, patented food & wine pairing technique, service standards and three-levels course structure which leads to the Certified Sommelier qualification. A Professional Sommelier qualification and diploma is issued by AIS, after a candidate's career assessment, for those sommeliers working in a food and beverage establishment; the Wine & Spirit Education Trust referred to as'WSET', is a British organisation which arranges courses and exams in the field of wine and spirits. It was founded in 1969, is headquartered in London, is regarded as one of the world's leading providers of wine education.
WSET courses and qualifications are offered in compliance to the new UK Qualifications and Credit Framework, from level 1 to level 3. Although WSET does not market itself as a sommelier certification and education body, many sommeliers choose to earn these qualifications. In 2012 WSET launched a level 1 award as an introduction to the sommellerie; the Court of Master Sommeliers, established in 1977, is an independent examining body that offers the'Master Sommelier Diploma', the'Advanced Sommelier Certificate', the'Certified Sommelier Certificate', the'Introductory Sommelier Certificate'. It was created under the supervision of the Worshipful Company of Vintners, the Institute of Masters of Wine, the British Hotels & Restaurants Association, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association of Great Britain, the Wholesale Tobacco Trade Association. Since the Master Sommelier Diploma was introduced in 1969, a tot
A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, juice, grape seed extract, raisins and grape seed oil. Grapes are a non-climacteric type of fruit occurring in clusters; the cultivation of the domesticated grape began 6,000–8,000 years ago in the Near East. Yeast, one of the earliest domesticated microorganisms, occurs on the skins of grapes, leading to the discovery of alcoholic drinks such as wine; the earliest archeological evidence for a dominant position of wine-making in human culture dates from 8,000 years ago in Georgia. The oldest known winery was found in Armenia, dating to around 4000 BC. By the 9th century AD the city of Shiraz was known to produce some of the finest wines in the Middle East, thus it has been proposed that Syrah red wine is named after Shiraz, a city in Persia where the grape was used to make Shirazi wine. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics record the cultivation of purple grapes, history attests to the ancient Greeks and Romans growing purple grapes for both eating and wine production.
The growing of grapes would spread to other regions in Europe, as well as North Africa, in North America. In North America, native grapes belonging to various species of the genus Vitis proliferate in the wild across the continent, were a part of the diet of many Native Americans, but were considered by early European colonists to be unsuitable for wine. In the 19th century, Ephraim Bull of Concord, cultivated seeds from wild Vitis labrusca vines to create the Concord grape which would become an important agricultural crop in the United States. Grapes are a type of fruit that grow in clusters of 15 to 300, can be crimson, dark blue, green and pink. "White" grapes are green in color, are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape. Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of purple grapes. Anthocyanins and other pigment chemicals of the larger family of polyphenols in purple grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines.
Grapes are an ellipsoid shape resembling a prolate spheroid. Most grapes come from cultivars of Vitis vinifera, the European grapevine native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. Minor amounts of fruit and wine come from American and Asian species such as: Vitis amurensis, the most important Asian species Vitis labrusca, the North American table and grape juice grapevines, sometimes used for wine, are native to the Eastern United States and Canada. Vitis mustangensis, found in Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma Vitis riparia, a wild vine of North America, is sometimes used for winemaking and for jam, it is native to the entire Eastern U. S. and north to Quebec. Vitis rotundifolia used for jams and wine, are native to the Southeastern United States from Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 75,866 square kilometers of the world are dedicated to grapes. 71% of world grape production is used for wine, 27% as fresh fruit, 2% as dried fruit. A portion of grape production goes to producing grape juice to be reconstituted for fruits canned "with no added sugar" and "100% natural".
The area dedicated to vineyards is increasing by about 2% per year. There are no reliable statistics, it is believed that the most planted variety is Sultana known as Thompson Seedless, with at least 3,600 km2 dedicated to it. The second most common variety is Airén. Other popular varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Tempranillo and Chardonnay. Commercially cultivated grapes can be classified as either table or wine grapes, based on their intended method of consumption: eaten raw or used to make wine. While all of them belong to the same species, Vitis vinifera and wine grapes have significant differences, brought about through selective breeding. Table grape cultivars tend to have large, seedless fruit with thin skin. Wine grapes are smaller seeded, have thick skins. Wine grapes tend to be sweet: they are harvested at the time when their juice is 24% sugar by weight. By comparison, commercially produced "100% grape juice", made from table grapes, is around 15% sugar by weight.
Seedless cultivars now make up the overwhelming majority of table grape plantings. Because grapevines are vegetatively propagated by cuttings, the lack of seeds does not present a problem for reproduction, it is an issue for breeders, who must either use a seeded variety as the female parent or rescue embryos early in development using tissue culture techniques. There are several sources of the seedlessness trait, all commercial cultivators get it from one of three sources: Thompson Seedless, Russian Seedless, Black Monukka, all being cultivars of Vitis vinifera. There are more than a dozen varieties of seedless grapes. Several, such as Einset Seedless, Benjamin Gunnels's Prime seedless grapes and Venus, have been cultivated for hardiness and quality in the cold climates of northeastern United States and southern Ontario. An offset to the improved eating quality of seedlessness is the loss of potential health benefits provided by the enriched phytochemical conten
Winemaking or vinification is the production of wine, starting with the selection of the fruit, its fermentation into alcohol, the bottling of the finished liquid. The history of wine-making stretches over millennia; the science of wine and winemaking is known as oenology. A winemaker may be called a vintner; the growing of grapes is viticulture and there are many varieties of grapes. Winemaking can be divided into two general categories: still wine production and sparkling wine production. Red wine, white wine, rosé are the other main categories. Although most wine is made from grapes, it may be made from other plants, see fruit wine. Other similar light alcoholic drinks include mead, made by fermenting honey and water, kumis, made of fermented mare's milk. There are five basic stages to the wine making process which begins with picking. After the harvest, the grapes are prepared for primary ferment. At this stage red wine making diverges from white wine making. Red wine is made from the must of red or black grapes and fermentation occurs together with the grape skins, which give the wine its color.
White wine is made by fermenting juice, made by pressing crushed grapes to extract a juice. White wine is made from red grapes. Rosé wines are either made from red grapes where the juice is allowed to stay in contact with the dark skins long enough to pick up a pinkish color or by blending red wine with white wine. White and rosé wines extract little of the tannins contained in the skins. To start primary fermentation yeast may be added to the must for red wine or may occur as ambient yeast on the grapes or in the air. Yeast may be added to the juice for white wine. During this fermentation, which takes between one and two weeks, the yeast converts most of the sugars in the grape juice into ethanol and carbon dioxide; the carbon dioxide is lost to the atmosphere. After the primary fermentation of red grapes the free run wine is pumped off into tanks and the skins are pressed to extract the remaining juice and wine; the press wine is blended with the free run wine at the winemaker's discretion. The wine is kept warm and the remaining sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
The next process in the making of red wine is malo-lactic conversion. This is a bacterial process which converts "crisp, green apple" malic acid to "soft, creamy" lactic acid softening the taste of the wine. Red wine is sometimes transferred to oak barrels to mature for a period of months; the wine must be settled or clarified and adjustments made prior to bottling. The time from harvest to drinking can vary from a few months for Beaujolais nouveau wines to over twenty years for wine of good structure with high levels of acid, tannin or sugar. However, only about 10% of all red and 5% of white wine will taste better after five years than it will after just one year. Depending on the quality of grape and the target wine style, some of these steps may be combined or omitted to achieve the particular goals of the winemaker. Many wines of comparable quality are produced using similar but distinctly different approaches to their production. Variations on the above procedure exist. With sparkling wines such as Champagne, an additional, "secondary" fermentation takes place inside the bottle, dissolving trapped carbon dioxide in the wine and creating the characteristic bubbles.
Sweet wines or off-dry wines are made by arresting fermentation before all sugar has been converted into ethanol and allowing some residual sugar to remain. This can be done by chilling the wine and adding sulphur and other allowable additives to inhibit yeast activity or sterile filtering the wine to remove all yeast and bacteria. In the case of sweet wines, initial sugar concentrations are increased by harvesting late, freezing the grapes to concentrate the sugar, allowing or encouraging botrytis cinerea fungus to dehydrate the grapes or allowing the grapes to raisin either on the vine or on racks or straw mats. In these high sugar wines, the fermentation stops as the high concentration of sugar and rising concentration of ethanol retard the yeast activity. In fortified wines, such as port wine, high proof neutral grape spirit is added to arrest the ferment and adjust the alcohol content when the desired sugar level has been reached. In other cases the winemaker may choose to hold back some of the sweet grape juice and add it to the wine after the fermentation is done, a technique known in Germany as süssreserve.
The process produces wastewater and lees that require collection and disposal or beneficial use. Synthetic wines, engineered wines or fake wines, are a product that do not use grapes at all and start with water and ethanol and adds acids, amino acids and organic compounds; the quality of the grapes determines the quality of the wine more than any other factor. Grape quality is affected by variety as well as weather during the growing season, soil minerals and acidity, time of harvest, pruning method; the combination of these effects is referred to as the grape's terroir. Grapes are harvested from the vineyard from early September until early November in the northern hemisphere, mid February until early March in the southern hemisphere. In some cool areas in the southe
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
A connoisseur is a person who has a great deal of knowledge about the fine arts, cuisines, or an expert judge in matters of taste. In many areas the term now has an air of pretension, may be used in a ironic sense, but in the art trade connoisseurship remains a crucial skill for the identification and attribution to individual artists of works by the style and technique, where documentary evidence of provenance is lacking; the situation in the wine trade is similar, for example in assessing the potential for ageing in a young wine through wine tasting. "The ability to tell instinctively who painted a picture is defined as connoisseurship". Connoisseurs evaluate works of art on the basis of their experience of the style and technique of artists. Judgment informed by intuition is essential, but it must be grounded in a thorough understanding of the work itself. On the basis of empirical evidence, refinement of perception about technique and form, a disciplined method of analysis, the responsibility of the connoisseur is to attribute authorship, validate authenticity and appraise quality.
These findings are crucial for the valuation of works, can be collected and organized into a catalogue raisonné of the work of a single artist or a school. In his Meaning in the Visual Arts, Erwin Panofsky explains the difference between a connoisseur and an art historian: "The connoisseur might be defined as a laconic art historian, the art historian as a loquacious connoisseur." The English dealer and art historian, Philip Mould says, "it is about noticing things which have specific characteristics of the artists involved, as opposed to general characteristics of the era". He points out the importance of condition and understanding what the artist painted, his colleague, Bendor Grosvenor takes the view that connoisseurship is learned by looking at paintings and cannot be taught in the classroom. He believes that it has become unfashionable in the world of art history and as a result, activities such as producing a catalogue raisonné are undervalued by the art history establishment. Svetlana Alpers confirms the art historians reservations that the identification of individual style in works is "essentially assigned to a group of specialists in the field known as conoisseurs".
Nonetheless, Christie's Education offers an MA in the History of Art and the Art Market that includes a seminar on connoisseurship. This covers "the critical skills needed to look at art, write about art and evaluate works, including handling and viewing art objects and visiting artists’ studios, conservation labs and museums." During the 18th century, the term was used as a synonym for a still vaguer man of taste or a pretend critic. In 1760, Oliver Goldsmith said, "Painting is and has been and now will someday become the sole object of fashionable care. In 1890, Giovanni Morelli wrote, "art connoisseurs say of art historians that they write about what they do not understand; the attributions of painted pottery were an important project to the History of Ancient Art and Classical Archeology. Two specialists were the most important authorities in archaeological connoisseurship: John Davidson Beazley and Arthur Dale Trendall. Connoisseur is used in the context of gastronomy, i.e. in connection with fine food, wine, coffee and many other products whose consumption can be pleasing to the senses.
Enthusiast Beck, James H. From Duccio to Raphael: Connoisseurship in Crisis. Friedländer, Max J. On Art and Connoisseurship, trans. Tancred Borenius. L'art du connaisseur = The art of connoisseurship. Robinson, Terry F. "Eighteenth-Century Connoisseurship and the Female Body" Oxford Handbooks Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 10 May 2017. Scallen, Catherine B. Rembrandt and the Practice of Connoisseurship. Trummers and Koenraad Jonckheere, eds. Art market and connoisseurship: a closer look at paintings by Rembrandt and their contemporaries