Wine 101 - What’s In Wine?
It’s common knowledge that wine is made from grapes, but have you ever wondered what else goes into the wine making process? The ingredients in wine can be as simple as the grapes and the yeasts on the skin of the grapes. The yeast works to convert the sugars into alcohol. Some wines are still this simple, although most winemakers add sulfur dioxide, a common preservative. The truth is that a lot of wines that we drink include more than just the very basic ingredients, so what is being added to our wine?
Potassium Sorbate: Potassium Sorbate is used to prevent bad bacteria from developing. It is also frequently used in sweeter wines in order to keep the wine from further fermentation in the bottle.
Tannin Powder: Tannin powder adds bitterness, astringency (dry feeling), and complexity to wine. It is typically made with grape seeds, grape skins, oak, and nuts.
Enzymes: Enzymes may be added to wine to help remove some of the solid particles in the juice, clarify white wines, intensify the color of red wines, and to craft the perfect aroma.
Oak Chips, Staves, & Powders: Oak barrels are expensive, so in order to achieve the same taste as an oak barrel wine, some vintners will use oak chips, staves & powders instead. These oak barrel replacements also provide greater surface contact with the wine. Winemakers can choose specific flavors for the oak to further control the taste of the wine.
There are other ingredients that can go into wine including acids, acid reducers, yeast nutrients, and grape juice concentrates.
Now that you know what’s in your wine, enjoy a glass of vino at one of the wineries in Prince William & Manassas.