Types of Wine
Within the world of wine there are different types or styles of wine including;
Still Wine or Table Wine
When people think wine they are thinking about still wine, it is referred to as still wine due to the wine making process. During fermentation the yeasts consume the sugar and turn it into alcohol, a byproduct of this process is carbon dioxide. If the carbon dioxide is allowed to escape the wine is referred to as still.
Sparkling wine is wine that contains carbon dioxide, luckily Europe, Canada, Australia and the U.S. all agree on this designation. People often refer to sparkling wine as Champagne, in reality this is a region in France that produces the famous sparkling wine, to confuse everyone New World producers often put Champagne with a geographic qualifier on their labels or use “champagne method” to describe their wine.
Fortified Wines, Liqueur Wines and Dessert Wines
This category of wine is usually higher than 14% alcohol, an alcohol like grape brandy is usually added either during fermentation or after, and sometimes flavored with herbs, roots, peels, and spices. Other methods for making sweet wines would be using dried grapes, ‘noble rot’ or botrytized infected grapes (botrytis cinerea fungus makes grape skins thinner, encouraging water evaporation which concentrates the sugars and acidity) and using fully ripe frozen grapes, as in ice wine. The most popular examples are port, sherry, Madeira, Marsala, ice wine, and vermouth.
Brandy and Cognac
We are including brandy and Cognac as they are made from wine, brandy is named after the Dutch term brandewijn (burned wine), it defines a spirit distilled from wine or fermented juice and aged for at least six months in oak casks. Cognacs are brandies, but while brandy may be made anywhere in the world, Cognac can only be produced in the Cognac region of France. English and Dutch merchants began to distill wine in order to avoid spoiling their wares during the long boat rides, this would become the forerunner of brandy, brandewijn. During the 17th century, the Cognaçais (residents of Cognac) initiated the process of double distillation, allowing the concentrated alcohol, the 'eau-de-vie' or water of life, to travel in the safest and most economical conditions. This alcohol, stored in oak barrels, was to be diluted upon arrival but, by chance, they realized it improved with time and contact with the oak wood and was soon to be named Cognac.