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 fruits other than grapes can also be fermented, the resultant wines are normally named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, apple wine) and are known as fruit wine (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; 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 the production process. The commercial use of the 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 ancient Greece and Rome; the Greek god Dionysos, and his Roman counterpart Liber represented wine. Wine continues to play a role in religious ceremonies, such as Kiddush in Judaism and the Eucharist in Christianity.
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The Champagne wine region (archaic English: Champany) is a historic province within the Champagne administrative province in the northeast of France. The area is best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the region's name. The region is about 100 miles (160 km) east of Paris. The viticultural boundaries of Champagne are legally defined and split into five wine producing districts within the administrative province-the Aube, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne Montagne de Reims, and Vallée de la Marne. The towns of Reims and Épernay are the commercial centers of the area.
Located at the northern edges of the wine growing world, the history of the Champagne wine region has had a significant role in the development of this unique terroir. The area's close proximity to Paris promoted the regions economic success in its wine trade but also put the villages and vineyards in the path of marching armies on their way to the French capital. Despite the frequency of these military conflict, the regions developed a reputation for quality wine production in the early Middle Ages and was able to continue that reputation as the region's producers began making sparkling wine with the advent of the great Champagne houses in the 17th & 18th century.
The principal grapes grown in the region include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted grape in the Aube region and grows very well in Montagne de Reims. Pinot Meunier is the dominant grape in the Vallée de la Marne region. The Côte des Blancs is dedicated almost exclusively to Chardonnay.
B. 1820 – d. 1871
Charles Camille Heidsieck was a 19th century French Champagne merchant who founded the Champagne firm Charles Heidsieck in 1851. He is credited with popularizing Champagne in the United States and was known as "Champagne Charlie" during his stay. During the American Civil War Heidsieck was imprisoned under suspicion of being a spy for the French government and the Confederacy. His imprisonment sparked an international incident between France and US over what became known as The Heidsieck Incident.
is a wine
estate of Bordeaux wine
, and was one of four wines to achieve Premier cru (first growth)
status in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855
. Over several centuries it has retained its position as among the world's most prestigious and expensive wines. The estate is located in the commune
on the left bank of the Garonne
estuary in the Médoc
region, in the département
, and the wine is delimited to the AOC
The estate also produces a second wine named Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux, as well as a dry white wine named Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux which does not conform to the Margaux appellation directives.
The estate has been occupied since at least the 12th century, with the site occupied by a fortified castle known as Lamothe or La Mothe (from motte, a small rise in the land), and wine under names such as "Margou" and "Margous" was known in the 15th century.
is a variety of black grape
widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native Spain. Its name is the diminutive
of the Spanish temprano
("early"), a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes. Tempranillo has been grown on the Iberian Peninsula
since the time of Phoenician settlements. It is the main grape used in Rioja
, and is often referred to as Spain's noble grape
. Grown early in the 20th century to produce jug wines
in California, toward the end of the 20th century Tempranillo enjoyed a renaissance there and throughout the world as a fine wine. The grape has been planted in Mexico
, New Zealand
, South America
, South Africa
Often blended with Grenache and Cariñena (known in Rioja as Mazuelo), Tempranillo is bottled either young or after several years of barrel aging. In Portugal, it is blended with others to produce port wine. Often growing its best at higher altitudes, the grape yields wines that are ruby in colour, with aromas and flavours of berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, leather and herb.
||Once... in the wilds of Afghanistan, I lost my corkscrew, and we were forced to live on nothing but food and water for days
||— W. C. Fields
My Little Chickadee
Decauville narrow gauge railway in Champagne cellars
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