Wine, alcoholic beverage made from fermented grape juice; wines made from other fruits are always named accordingly. Table wines are red, rosé, or white in color; red wines are made from dark grapes, the skins being left in the fermenting mixture; white wines may be made from dark or pale grapes, the skins being removed. The grapes—normally varieties of Vitis vinifera—are allowed to ripen until they attain suitable sugar content—18% or more—and acidity (in cool years or northern areas, sugar may have to be added). After crushing, they undergo fermentation in large tanks, during which time a small amount of sulfur dioxide is added to inhibit growth of wild yeasts and bacteria. When the alcohol and sugar content is right, the wine is cellared, racked off the lees (from which argol is obtained), clarified by filtration or fining (adding absorbent substances such as bentonite, gelatin, and isinglass), aged in the wood, and bottled. Sweet wines contain residual sugar; dry wines little or none. The alcohol content of table wines varies from 8% to 14% by volume. Sparkling wines—notably Champagne—are made by secondary fermentation under pressure, in bottles or in tanks. Fortified wines, or dessert wines—including sherry, port, and Madeira—have brandy added during or after fermentation and contain about 20% alcohol. Vermouth is a fortified wine flavored with wormwood and other herbs. Major wine-producing areas of the world include France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and California.
21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Willamette River to Yaoundé