What is the BuyWine.com Wine Academy?
Well, simply stated we are attempting to remove the cloak of mystery from the wine world. After all, winemakers take part in a labor of love for all to enjoy. When a bottle of wine is poured, it not only elicits flavors but it also tells a story. It holds the sweat of the winemaker and of each and every person that took part in creating it.
The wine academy gives you the information to understand more about the wine you drink, the wines you should discover and the world of wine that exists all over the world.
Wine is and should be approachable and easily understandable and we are doing our part to bring you as much wine knowledge as possible.
Wine is fermented fruit juice. Fermentation occurs when microorganisms called yeast metabolize the sugars in fruit juice, creating alcohol and flavor compounds…
The oldest evidence of winemaking comes to us from the Caucasus region and the Middle East (where the present-day countries of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran and Iraq intersect).
Like all plants, we classify grapevines according to the system of taxonomy laid out by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753. Grapevines belong to the order called Vitales, the family called Vitaceae and the genus Vitis. The genus Vitis has about sixty different species, but one species rules the world of wine: Vitis vinifera, the Old World wine grape.
We use the terms “black grapes” and “red grapes” interchangeably. In either case, these grapes produce what is commonly termed “red” wine.
What we call “white” wine grapes actually run from green to golden in color. We call these grapes and the wine they produce “white” for convenience.
Most productive wine growing regions are situated between 30 degrees and 50 degrees latitude, either north or south of the equator.
Vines are subject to attack from pests that range from deer to birds. We cover here the major fungal vine disease, several bacterial diseases, and common insect pests.
The term “viticulture” refers to the art and science of growing grapes. Viticulture is a branch of horticulture. We use the term more specifically to refer to the agricultural production of wine grapes.
Wine is not all one thing. Winemaking processes different from grape to grape, from region to region, from high-end to low-end, certainly from style to style. To break down this complicated subject at least a little bit, we will cover winemaking by dividing it into five general areas.
Oxidation occurs when a chemical compound loses electrons. Oxidation is considered beneficial in some winemaking circumstances, but excessive exposure to oxygen under the wrong circumstances can cause a wine to spoil.
Moderate consumption of wine is widely thought to be “good for you,” decreasing the risk of heart problems, strokes, diabetes and cancer. Drink more than this and, so the conventional wisdom goes, the alcohol in the wine will have deleterious effects. Notice that we have not defined “moderate” drinking.
Prohibition of alcoholic beverages was repealed in the United States in 1933, but the effects are still felt—in federal wine labeling laws, in the marketplace, in the convoluted system of state and local regulations. We will start with wine labeling regulations.
Italy has twenty regions. Out of these twenty regions, twenty produce wine. The Italian wine map has no blank spots. Grapes grow along highway dividers, in back yards, behind supermarkets, any place that has not been paved. The diversity of growing environments, wine styles, and indigenous grape varieties in Italy is matched nowhere else on the sphere we call earth.
The region of Bordeaux has nearly 300,000 acres of vines covering 54 different appellations. In an average year, the region produces seven hundred million bottles of wine at every quality level. Much of the wine of Bordeaux, red and white, is completely ordinary. Some of the wines of Bordeaux are among the most prized and expensive in the world.
The Phoenicians—before the Greeks—brought winemaking to Spain by 1000 BC. Spain has extremely varied climates and terrains, from the arid central plateau, northeast to the sea spray of Rias Baixas in Galicia, south to the sunny climes of Andalucía. Although Spain lies at a lower latitude than wine powerhouse France, 90% of the country’s vineyards enjoy altitudes higher than any of the major French regions—this gives grapes cool evenings in which to rest and marshal their acidity.