Wine's Defining Elements
Four basic elements define every wine: the grape, the region, the vintage, and the producer.
The first defining element is the grape. The variety of grape used to make a wine fundamentally determines the wine’s taste.
The second element is the region where the grape is grown. The region is important because it affects the style of the wine. For example, in cooler climates, grapes generally become less ripe. Less ripe grapes produce lighter bodied wines. In warmer climates, grapes become riper, producing fuller bodied wines.
The third defining element is vintage. Vintage refers to the year in which grapes were harvested. Vintage may influence the wine’s quality because the weather in a particular region varies from year to year.
The final important element defining a wine is the producer, or the person that turns the grapes into wine. The producer makes many decisions that impact the wine, such as when to harvest the grapes and how they will be fermented.
- Mike Lininger, Editor, Etiquette Scholar
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