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Actually, both red and white wine have between 11 and 14 percent alcohol (except for forified wines, like port or brandy). Many white wines, however, are easier to drink than red wines. Whites, such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, are light and fresh and easy to consume. Maybe you are drinking more of the white wine without realizing it.
The topography of a hill provides ideal growing conditions for wine grapes. The altitude of a hill can protect grapes against sudden frosts which occur in a valley, and which could kill an entire crop. Also, the slope provides for good drainage of both air and water down the hill, and prevents excess moisture from accumulating as in the valley below. In the northern hemisphere, southward-facing hills receive maximum light and warmth. For this reason, most vineyards are located on the south end of a hill.
Differences between red and white wines include the kinds of grapes used, the fermentation and aging process, and the character and flavor of the finished product. First, the grapes themselves are noticeably different, with a predominantly red or white color of skin, although the juice of both types is mostly clear. When fermented, additional pressing of the red grapes releases many tannins and colors into the wine, contributing to the deep, velvety color and flavor of red wines. Following fermentation, the wine may be matured and conditioned in oak barrels for several months. This will add additional wood tannins and flavors. As this could overpower the subtler flavors of white wines, few (such as Chardonnay) are aged in oak. These same tannins, however, help intensify and add richness to a red wine, which is why most reds are aged in oak. The result is that red wines exhibit a set of rich flavors with spicy, herby and even meaty characteristics. On the other hand, white wines are light in character, with crisp, fruit flavors and aromas.
A wine's vintage is the year the grapes were harvested. For example, grapes for a 2000 Pinot Noir were harvested in the fall of that year, fermented, and placed into oak barrels for aging. While the wine may have been bottled and sold well into 2001 or 2002, the label on the bottle will reflect a vintage of 2000. If an industry's wines have had a "good vintage" year, it means that overall, conditions were ideal for growing grapes, and as a result, the wines should also be very good. A vintage also serves a much more fundamental purpose: it gives the consumer an idea of how old the wine is, and can help in making decisions about purchasing, storing, caring for, and serving the wine.
A late harvest wine is one whose grapes have been harvested after they have fully ripened. In some cases, the grapes have been affected by a particular type of mold known as Botrytis cinerea, which causes the grapes to lose water, increasing the concentration of their natural sugars. Late harvest wines typically have higher alcohol and residual sugars, and hence stronger and sweeter flavors than other wines, and can be served as dessert wines. Examples of late harvest wines include Late Harvest White Riesling and Late Harvest Pinot Gris.
A varietal is simply a single type of grape used in wine production. A "varietal wine" is made predominantly from one type (or varietal) of grape. Examples of varietals include Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Syrah. A varietal wine must contain at least 90% of its wine from a single variety of grape. The other 10% may come from blending in other varietals, a practice commonly employed by wineries to produce unique flavors in their wines. This other 10% may also result from a vineyard whose vines containing a few "stray" varietals, which, unless expressly detected, may go unknown for years.
Wine and fermented juices have played a role in civilization for at least 7,000 years. Records by Egyptians give the first written account of grape wine, and date to around 2500 B.C. Egyptians employed much the same method for producing wines as are present today, including cultivating, fermenting, bottling, and storing wines. As with any refined skill that has weathered the years, the knowledge of wine-making has come and gone, its methods have evolved, and the final product has flourished.
A dessert wine is one that has retained much of its residual sugar, and may have been strengthened (fortified) with alcoholic additives. The result is a potent, sweet, and in some cases syrupy wine full of flavor and aroma, and with higher alcohol content than a typical wine. For this reason, the wine complements a dessert. In some parts of Europe, dessert wines are also served as before-dinner apéritifs. Examples of dessert wines include Muscat, Ports and late harvest wines.
Red wine is one of the most difficult stains to remove from clothing. Immediately after spilling red wine, pour club soda or white wine on the affected area and soak up. Then wash in cold water and ammonia. You can also try running bowling hot water through the fabric over a bowl or basin.
It is best to allow garment to drip dry after each attempt of stain removal. Spots that may not be visible when wet can show up and be permanently set by the heat of a dryer.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|