Wine is made from fermented grape juice. The chemical balance of grapes allows for fermentation without any nutrients or sugars, acids or enzymes being added.
Various types of yeast consume the sugars found in the grapes and convert them into alcohol. Various grapes are combined with different yeast strains to produce different kinds of wine.
It’s not just grapes that are used either. Fruits like apples and berries can also be fermented, and the “wines” that result are normally named after the fruit they come from and are generically known as “fruit wines”.
Red, white and sparkling wines are known as light wines. They are the most popular partially because they are only 10–14% alcohol-content by volume. Aperitif and dessert wines contain 14–20% alcohol. To make them richer and sweeter, they are sometimes fortified.
The history of wine goes back to 6000 BC and is thought to have originated what are now Israel, Georgia and Iran. Wine first made its European debut 4500 BC in what is now Greece. The drink was very common in ancient Greece and Rome.
The word “wine” derives from *winam”, an early borrowing from the Latin vinum, “vine” or “grape “.