Wine

The thirsty travellers short guide to the alcoholic grape juice

Wine has been with us for many thousands of years. The oldest traces of wine dates back to China (7000 B.C.) followed by Georgia (6000 B.C.). Technically, wine can be made from any type of fruit, but the most common is grapes. The only difference between wine and beer is that wine is made from fruits and beer is made from grains.

Different types of wine – it is not only red and white

The most famous types of wine might be red and white. The red color comes from extracting the grape skins color. White wine is the fermented grape pulp without using the grape skin. Both red and white wine can be dry and sweet, wheras the red tends to also be heavier while the white can be fresh and light.

Next to these two, there is also rosé wine, mead wine and fruit wine. Rosé is often pink’ish or orange of color as it has extracted some of the color from the grape skin, but not enought to be classified as red wine. Rosé can be sweet or sour, still or sparkly.

Mead wine, also known as honey wine which makes the exception of “all wine is made from fruit”. It can contain fruit, hops, spices and grains, but to be classified as mead, it has to be primarly fermented honey.

Fruit wine are the wines that are not made from grapes, but for example apples or berries. Fruit wine is also known as country wine. The problem with making wine out of fruit and berries is that they often lack the needed amount of sugar. This is why grapes are the most used fruit when it comes to producing wine.

Wine tasting – what should a thirsty traveller taste for?

As a traveller, you will encounter wine all the time in all parts of the world. If it is not the local strong brewery which is often called “local wine”, but is more close to “local vodka” – this is a short list of what you can try taste when drinking wine.

Tannin

Tannin, found in red wine – it is what makes the wine taste dry and “heavy”. To give an example, try to taste a bag of black tea directly in your tongue and it gives a hint of what tannin is.

Acidity

Acidity is how acid the wine taste. A lemon is very acid, a yoghurt can be somewhat acid and a white loaf bread is not acid.

Sweetness

Sweetness in wine depends strong on which type of wine you are drinking. Some wines, the dry ones, have no sweetness in them, while others are very sweet. For example mead wine or semi-sweet red wine.

Aroma

Aroma refers to the complexity of the wine – both smell and flavor. The aroma is affected from what kind of ingredients are used, which grapes, or fruits and where it has been stored. The type of wood used for the wine barrel is also a great example of what kind of aroma to expect.

Alcohol

Wine is an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol itself as a taste can be described as spicy and throat burning. It is all about balancing the flavors so they match. Wine alcohol procent vary from 10-15 %.

Famous places to travel for wine

Wine is to be found on every continent of this planet. Famous wine destinations are France, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Chile and South-Africa. But the oldest wine cultures are China, Georgia and Iran!

Other, more unknown, but great places for wine thirsty travellers are Myanmar, Romania, Slovenia and Portugal. Portugal is actually the worlds biggest producer of wine cork!

Last, if you want to taste mead – the honey wine – try heading for the Nordic countries. Mead was the vikings answer to wine (not beer!) and it is possible to taste this very sweet wine in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Mead is also popular to sell at Medieval Festivals and Viking markets – have fun!

Salut! Gan Bei! Skål! Proost! Tulgatsgaaya! Kippis! Cheers!

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