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Wine, Champagne, and Dessert Wine

Champagne/Sparkling Wine

"Sparkling Wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it making it fizzy. The carbon dioxide may result from natural fermentation, (either in a bottle, as with the methode champenoise, or in a large tank designed to withstand the pressures involved, as in the Charmat process) or as a result of carbon dioxide injection. The United States is a significant producer of sparkling wine: California in particular is famous for its rose sparklers. Recently the United Kingdom has started producing Champagne-style wines. Sparkling wine is usually white or rose but there are many examples of red Australian sparkling Shiraz, some of high quality. Some wines are made only lightly sparkling, such as vinho verde in Portugal -- such wines are often called frizzante or petillant, or simply semi-sparkling wines. Sparkling Wines as opposed to Semi-Sparkling wines must contain more than 2.5 atmospheres of Carbon Dioxide as at sea level and 20'C."

 

Dessert Wine/Ports

"Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto, Oporto, Porto, and often simply Port) is a sweet Portuguese, fortified wine from the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is often served as a dessert wine. Wines in the style of the Portuguese product called port are produced around the world in several countries -- most notably Australia, South Africa, India, Canada and the United States. However, under European Union guidelines (and in Canada), only the product from Portugal may be labelled as Port. In the United States, Federal law mandates that the Portuguese-made product be labeled Porto or Vinho do Porto. Port is produced from grapes grown and processed in the Douro region. The wine produced is then fortified with the addition of distilled grape spirits in order to boost the alcohol content. The wine is then stored and aged, often in barrels stored in caves (Portuguese meaning "cellars") as is the case in Vila Nova de Gaia, before being bottled. The wine received its name, "Port," in the latter half of the 17th century from the seaport city of Porto at the mouth of the Douro River, where much of the product was brought to market or for export to other countries in Europe from the Leixes docks. The Douro valley where Port wine is produced was defined and established as a protected region, or appellation in 1756 -- making it the second oldest defined and protected wine region in the world."

 

Red Wine & White Wine

"Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermentation of grape juice. The natural chemical balance of grapes is such that they can ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes or other nutrients. Although other fruits like apples and berries can also be fermented, the resultant "wines" are normally named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, apple wine or elderberry wine) and are generically known as fruit or country wine. Others, such as barley wine and rice wine (e.g. sake), are made from starch-based materials and resemble beer more than wine, while ginger wine is fortified with brandy. In these cases, the use of the term "wine" is a reference to the higher alcohol content, rather than production process. The commercial use of the English word "wine" (and its equivalent in other languages) is protected by law in many jurisdictions. Wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast which consume the sugars found in the grapes and convert them into alcohol. Various varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts are used depending on the types of wine produced. Wine stems from an extended and rich history dating back about 8,000 years and is thought to have originated in present day Georgia or Iran. Wine is thought to have appeared in Europe about 6,500 years ago in present-day Bulgaria and Greece and was very common in classical Greece and Rome. Wine has also played an important role in religion since ancient times. The Thracian God Dionysos and the Roman God Liber represented wine. Wine has also played an important role in ceremonies in the Catholic and Jewish religions such as Mass and Kiddush."