Wine /wīn/ - defined:
an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grape juice.
Wine, often perceived as a simple, elegant beverage, is a result of complex chemical interactions and meticulous craftsmanship. At Triangle Wine Company, we unravel the science behind wine-making and the basic chemistry that transforms humble grapes into an exquisite glass of wine.
The Chemistry Behind Grapes: Grapes are the cornerstone of wine and house sugars, acids, and phenolic compounds, which play pivotal roles in wine production. The primary sugar in grapes, glucose, and fructose, are the fuel for fermentation, while acids like tartaric and malic contribute to wine's acidity, a key aspect of its taste profile.
How Wine is Made:
- The heart of wine-making lies in fermentation, a process where yeasts convert sugars present in grapes into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This transformation occurs in anaerobic conditions and also results in the creation of heat and other byproducts like glycerol which contribute to wine’s body and mouthfeel.
- Malolactic Fermentation (MLF):
- Post the primary fermentation, some wines undergo a secondary fermentation called malolactic fermentation. In MLF, bacteria convert the sharper malic acid into softer lactic acid, refining the wine’s taste and texture.
Wine Maturation and Aging:
- After fermentation, wines are allowed to mature to develop their flavors and aromas. This process can occur in stainless steel tanks, glass, or wooden barrels, each imparting different characteristics to the wine.
- Wine aging, either in barrels or bottles, allows the wine to interact with oxygen slowly, evolving its flavor and aroma profile. Moreover, the interaction between wine and a wooden barrel can introduce additional complexities.