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Types and Styles of Wine

Types of Wine

There are three types of wine: Still Wines, Sparking Wines, Fortified Wines.
The majority of wines fall into the category of Still Wines. Still wines are those that have been obtained through the natural alcohol. They are between 8% and 15% abv. Nothing is added to these wines to increase their alcohol content. Many still wines are named after the region in which they are produced, such as Sancerre and Burgundy from France, Rioja from Spain and Chianti from Italy. Other wines are named after the grape variety used to make them, as Pinot Grigio. Still wines are of the following types: dry wines (less than 5g of sugar per litre of wine), semi-dry wines (between 5 and 30g of sugar per litre of wine), semi-sweet wines (between 30 and 50g of sugar per litre of wine), sweet wines (more than 50g of sugar per litre of wine).
Sparking Wines are the wines with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it which creates pressure in the bottle.The bubbly effervescence appears in sparkling wines because they go through a double fermentation process. The first one occurs in steel tanks and the second one in the bottle. During the second one, yeast and sugar are added to produce carbon dioxide. When the bottle is opened, the gas escapes as bubbles in the wine. The best-known example of this type of wine is Champagne from France. Other well-known examples are Cava from Spain and Prosecco from Italy.
Fortified Wines are wines to which a distilled spirit, usually brandy, has been added. They therefore have higher levels of alcohol ranging from 15% to 22% abv. Examples of fortified wines include Sherry from Spain and Port from Portugal.

Styles of Wine

The style of wine is generally a combination of its color, structural characteristics, and aromas and flavors.
Wines take their colors from the skin of the grape. Furthermore, the time the wine is fermented and the type of growing season it was and where the grape was grown all impact the color the wine.
White wines are typically from "white" grapes, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. Some white wine is also made from black grapes. Pinot noir, for example, is commonly used to produce champagne.
Red wines must be made from "black" grapes. The black grape skins that contain most of the good stuff, must be left in contact with the juice during fermentation to give color to the wine. Examples of red wines include Rioja from Spain,  Sangiovese from Italy, widespread throughout the world Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, one of the most popular red wine Merlot, mostly used in Australia and South Africa Shiraz, celebrated as an Argentine varietal Malbec, Zinfandel wich is known in Europe as Primitivo, and one of the most widely planted Grenache.
Rosè wines are made from black grapes. Black grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, typically two to twenty hours. In such way the juice is colored lightly. White Zinfandel is an example of a rosè wine.

Structural Characteristics. Aromas and Flavors in Wine

Notable structural characteristics are  sugar level, acidity, tannin, alcohol, and body. Aromas and flavors in wine comes down to three things - grapes, soil, and climate.
Sweetness is caused by the presence of sugar in the wine:
- Below 1% sweetness, wines are considered dry. Examples of dry white wines include Chablis from France, and wines made from Sauvignon Blanc. Examples of dry red wines include Cotes du Phone from France. Chianti from Italy and wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Above 3% sweetness, wines taste “off-dry,” or semi-sweet. Examples of wines with a medium level of sweetness include some Riesling wines from Germany and White Zinfandel (rosè) from California.
- Wines above 5% sweetness are noticeably sweet. Examples of sweet wines include Sauternes from France and some Riesling wines from Germany. Sweet fortified wines include Port and some Sherries.
- Dessert wines start at around 7–9% sweetness.
In order to make a dry wine, the yeast need to convert all of the sugar in the grape juice into alcohol. There are two key ways of making a wine with a medium level of sweetness. The yeast are removed before all of the sugar is converted into alcohol or unfermented grape juice is added to a dry wine. In the case of sweet wines the grapes are so high in sugar the east stop fermenting before they eat all of the sugar. 
Acidity in wine comes directly from the grape juice and gives a wine its tart and sour taste. If there is too little acidity, a wine loses its refreshing characteristic. Examples of wine with high acidity include Chablis, Chianti and wines made from the grape varieties Sauvingnon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. Acid is very important in sweet wines because it balances out the taste, stopping a wine from being unpleasantly sweet.
Tannin  come primarily from the skin and from the wood vessels in which a wine is fermented and/or aged. Tannins can taste bitter,  can cause your mouth to feel mouth-coating sensation in the mouth. Examples of red wines with high tannin levels include red Bordeaux from France, and Chianti from Italy. Examples of red wines with low tannin levels are Beaujolais from France and some wines made from Pinot Noir.
Alcohol. Low alcohol wines (11.5% and 14% abv) are usually produced using less-sweet grapes of cooler climate regions like France, Northern Italy and Germany. Regions with warmer climates including Argentina, Australia, Spain and Southern Italy, produce sweeter grapes which in turn increases the potential alcohol content of the wine. An example of  wine with a low level of alcohol is White Zinfandel from California. An example of a wine with a high level of alcohol is Chateauneuf-du-Pape from France. To increase the alcohol content in fortified wine a neutral spirit (usually a distilled grape brandy) is added. 
Body is a term that is widely used to categorize the intensity of the wine from light to full-bodied. The body of wine can range from light to full. Light-bodied wines feel more delicate and often fresher. Full-bodied wines feel viscous tending to be mouth-filling and intense.  Examples of light-bodied wines include Pino Grigio from Italy, and Beaijolais. Examples of  medium-bodied wines include Sancerre and Cotes du Rhone. Examples of full-bodied wines include Cabernet Sauvignon from California, and Sauternes.
The aromas and flavors of wines can come from the grape themselves or from their development during wine making and maturation, and could be floral, fruity, herbaceous, mineral, spicy, balsamic and ethereal aromas. The majority of wines have aromas and flavors of fruit. The type of fruit will depend on the grape variety. Most white wines smell more of tree fruits like apples or peaches, while red wines more often taste more like berries or cherries. It will also be influenced by the ripeness of the grapes. Grape varieties grown in a cool climate shows aromas and flavors of green fruits and citrus fruits. Grape varieties grown in a warm climate lead to sweeter fruit flavors such as dried apricot, raisins, banana and pineapple. The others aromas and flavors can include grass,  vegetables, earth, mushroom and leather.
Oak is used in winemaking to vary the color, flavor, tannin profile and texture of wine. Wine can be fermented and/or matured in oak barrels. Sometimes this will be started on the label. Oak gives wine flavors such as cedar, cloves, coconut, smoke and vanilla.

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