White wines are consumed with lighter meals like lunch, appetizers and small dinners. They are light in taste and refreshing than most of their red wine counterparts making them ideal for the spring and the summer seasons. White wine is a hot palate favorite for millions across the world and it is for this reason, if you are a wine lover, which you need to know more on the basics of white wine in order to get the best quality and taste.
White wine does not refer to the color of the grapes that are used in the wine making process. This wine can easily be made from red or even very dark grapes. The wine gets its white color when the fleshy part, that is clear in appearance, is separated or has limited contact with the skin of the grapes during juicing. This action gives the grapes a clear and white appearance and in wine making terminology it is known as “vinification” that refers to the production of wines. Vinification involves three basic steps and they are- preparation, fermentation and maturation.
The preparation process begins with the grapes being carefully picked from the vineyard at the right age and time. This needs to be done to ensure that the chemical composition of the grapes is balanced so that the wine that is produced from them is good. After the grapes are picked from the vineyard they are cleaned thoroughly and are checked for bruises. These bruised grapes are kept aside and the good ones are used to make wine. Before juicing, the skin, stem and the seeds of the grapes are removed and this results in a clear juice that is the first step to the making of white wine.
The second step after preparation is known as fermentation and this includes adding live yeast to the juice. The yeast converts the sugar content in the juice into alcohol and this fermentation process may last for three to four weeks at a stretch. Depending upon the style of the wine that the winemaker is producing the fermentation process can also take as long as three years. The type of container that is chosen by the winemaker also influences the taste and the quality of the wine that is made.
The last and the final step of white making is maturation. This process is also called aging and this involves the procedure of storing wine to further develop its flavor and its aroma. After fermentation, the wine is generally stored in barrels, steel vats or even directly in bottles. This wine needs to be stored away from sunlight. The container is chosen by the winemaker and the most popular choices are oak and steel barrels. Each container will give the wine a unique taste as they are influenced by the manner in which they are stored. The best wines are the old wines that are very much in demand and known for their quality and taste among millions of wine lovers all over the world.