What is Wine?
Wine is an alcoholic beverage that comes from the fermentation of grapes. There are non-alcoholic wine types made by dealcoholizing alcoholic wines.
Why grapes and not other fruits? Grapes naturally ferment at a high rate and contains the balanced sugar and acidity necessary to make delicious wine. However, you can use other fruits like plums, apples, or cranberries, but you need to add sugar because their juices have unbalanced sugar and acid.
Grapes mature after a year. This period is known as vintage. Most winemakers label the year they harvested grapes on wine bottles.
5 Step-by-step process of preparing wine
If you wonder why wine is such sweet, your answer depends on the wine preparation and processing. These processes include:
Harvesting of grapes is the genesis of making wine. These grapes have to be ripe and not overripe. This activity requires skilled winemakers who determine whether the grapes are mature to make wine. If the berries are mature, the winemaker authorizes cutting and harvesting.
2. Crushing and pressing
Since the winemakers require the grape's juice, they have to crush the berries. Traditionally, people would press and ponder grapes in barrels, but there are machine crushers nowadays. The end-product of a crushed berry is called a must.
The crushing process also determines whether one is producing red or white wine. If one wants to make white wine, you should separate the juice from the grapes' skin, seeds, and other components. For red wine, it is prepared when all the berries' skin and solids are available.
The semi-solid juice is directed to the fermentation chamber when the berries are thoroughly pondered. Traditionally, winemakers would cover the must to prevent air and leave it to ferment under a natural yeast. Nowadays, winemakers use artificial yeast to ferment the substance.
Fermentation can take weeks or months until all the grape sugar turns to alcohol. If you want a sweet wine, ensure fermentation stops before all the sugar is broken down. This is called residual sugar. The sweet wine brands that you find are naturally sweet, meaning that no artificial sugar is added. The sweetness comes from the residual sugars.
Dry wines, on the other hand, require fermentation of all the sugar, hence no sweetness is left. However, they are fruity, crisp, and delicious.
4. Filtration and fining
At this stage, winemakers separate the solids from the liquid. They use coarse filters to separate larger elements and sterile filters to separate fine impurities.
Secondly, fining uses the sedimentation principle to force dead yeast elements and other solids to settle at the base of the barrel. Typically, winemakers add clay or other compounds that assist in finning the solution.
5. Aging and Bottling
After filtering and clarifying the wine, one may choose to bottle the wine immediately. However, others decide to age the wine to achieve a smooth, crisp, and sweet taste. Wine producers use oak barrels, ceramic tanks, or bottles to age the drink.
Factors to consider when selecting the best wine in Kenya
1. The wine’s taste
Generally, the following are aspects that describe the taste of wine:
Sweetness: most people love wine because of its sweetness. Some wine can be dry without a trace of sugar. Other wines can age and enhance their sweetness. Also, if wine did not ferment all the sugary compounds completely, it would still become fruity.
On that note, you can search for the best sweet wines in Kenya, which online wine sellers like Thirsty Oak offers.
Acidity: A quality wine ranges from 2.5 to 4.5 pH. If it is at 2.5 pH, you expect a sour lemon-like taste. However, at a 4.5 pH, the wine tastes tart.
Tannin: have you tasted red wine and felt a sour and caustic mouthfeel? What causes such taste is the tannins in red wine
Aroma: some people love wines because of their pleasant smell. This aroma comes from phenols, esters, or acids compounds when the liquid ferment. As a result, you may find some wine smelling like flowers, berries, or vanilla. Other factors that influence wine aromas are wine aging and the type of grapes used.
2. Types of wine
There are four different types of wines that you ought to consider when buying one.
Red wine: it is the most popular type that is prepared with grape skins and seeds. These skins make the wine achieve a bitter and dry taste because of the high content of tannings. They are usually made from red wine grapes.
Some of the best red wines you can find on the market include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz/Syrah, Chianti, the famous South African Pinotage, Pinot Noir, and many red blends, and others.
White wine: it can be made from both white and black grapes. However, the winemakers separate the grape skins from the solution causing the drink to have a crisp, tart, and acidic taste and clear, greenish, or golden color.
Popular white wines include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, many white blends, and others.
Rose wines: they look almost like red wine but are pink in color. This color occurs when winemakers ferment the grapes with skin for a short time, then remove them to give a pink color. Pinot Noir is a popular rape in making rose wines.
Sparkling wines: most carbonated wines are made from either white or black grapes. The carbonation aspect makes the wine produce bubbles. An excellent example of sparkling wine is champagne. However, champagne is usually categorized on its own due to a special process in its making. Popular sparkling wines include prosecco and Moscato. Other grapes too can be used to make sparkling wines.
Non-alcoholic wines: high quality non-alcoholic wines are made in the same process as alcoholic wines, only that alcohol is removed at the end of fermentation. They can be sweet or dry.
3. Brands of wines and their prices
It's wise to check online for wine brands and prices in Kenya before buying the beverage. There is always a standard charge for wine prices in Kenya. Hence, nobody should overcharge you. Factors like wine aging also determine the cost of wine. For instance, most expensive wines have years of aging or special production processes, while the cheap wines in Kenya are not as complicated.
If you wish to get the best wines in Kenya and their prices, you can visit Thirsty Oak. Thirsty Oak is a wine shop in Karen that offers wine delivery in Nairobi and other surrounding areas. We also offer affordable prices and a variety of wine brands you require. Therefore, you can contact us when you want to buy wine online near Karen.