Wine and classification
Law 24/2003, of July 10, of Vine and Wine in our country defines wine as: "The natural food obtained exclusively by alcoholic total or partial fermentation of fresh grapes, whether or not, or must Grape. " Spain is the first country with the largest area of vineyards in the world and the third largest producer of wine, with a cultivated area of 1,140,000 hectares. Importantly, a third of that production corresponds to quality wines.
Note: This definition denies that there is wine from other fruits: There is no wine pears, or cherries ... these are misnomers that are commonly found.
There are many wines out there, each with its own characteristics and peculiarities. When classifying we can find several ways:
- Varietal: Varietal or Multivarietales.
- Carbon dioxide content: still or sparkling.
- Sugar content: Dry, semi-dry, Doomed, semisweet and sweets.
We will focus on the three classifications that we believe more practical and general:
1. General classification: is the most used and most important. Classifies wines according to their means of production, covering all possible types.
2. Classification by age: based on differentiating the wines for their rest periods in the winery before hitting the market.
3. Classification Sweetness: the sugar content of wine determines its framework. It is usual in generous and sparkling wines.
1. General classification:
a) Still wines: Its alcohol content ranges from a minimum of 8.5 ° and a maximum of 14.5º. They are usually dry. Its production process keeps many common features. Because of its importance in terms of world wine consumption, we define the three types of still wines:
- White.- is obtained from white grapes. Although it is rare, it can also be obtained from red grapes pulp not colored in which the skins are separated (grape skins, outside, cover).
- Red.- is obtained from red grapes that have not been separated the skins.
- Rosé.- Is obtained from red grapes to which has been partially removed the skins them. You can also come from mixing white and red grapes.
b) Special Wines:
- GENEROUS: They are dry wines or sweet doomed produced with selected varieties of grapes, which, according to traditional rules or individuals (including the addition of wine alcohol at certain stages of their development and natural sweet wines), give them distinctive features and whose alcohol content will be between 14 ° and 23 °, whichever most of the alcoholic fermentation of the original must. Porto and Madeira (Portugal), Sauternes (France), Tokay (Hungary), Malaga, Moriles-Montilla, Condado de Huelva and Jerez: Within this group of wines some prestigious wines in the world such as are included.
- GENEROUS liqueur: wines produced by the traditional practice of pitching or combinations from Fortified wines with natural sweet wines or, in certain cases, must concentrate. These are wines with varying degrees of sweetness, but always with a content greater than 5 grams per liter sugars.
- NATURAL SWEET: wines where fermentation is interrupted by leading wine (wine alcohol addiction fermenting the wort to rapidly increase the concentration of alcohol). Within this category are our wonderful sweet wines like Muscat, the Mistelas or Pedro Ximenez. Foreign wines are also famous as the Oportos and Madeira wines. Long tradition, quality does not detract at all like the wine of the previous group, reaching sometimes overcome many, not only in quality but also in price (Oportos Vintages, some vintages PX).
- Mistelas: semi-fermented wine stems sweet taste and color, made from macerated with wine wine wine alcohol. The name sweet wine comes from the Italian dialect mistella, derivative match, with the meaning of mixed or mix.
- Natural sparkling: Is from grape varieties containing suitable, due to their special design, endogenously carbon dioxide, and to be uncorked bottle and dispensing wine persistence sensitive foaming, followed by a continuous release bubbles. Carbon dioxide will come from a second fermentation of the wine added or natural sugars, held in closed container, and the finished product must have a minimum pressure of 4 atmospheres measures at 20.degree.
- AERATED: wine to which carbon dioxide is added artificially after processing. These wines are also called the "frizantes".
- NEEDLE: varietal wines for their origin or your personal development retain a small amount of carbon dioxide from the fermentation of their own or added sugars. When you open the bottle this carbon dioxide is released in the form of bubbles without ever foaming. There are two categories: natural sparkling wine, and natural fermentation. The pressure of the gas contained, measured at 20, not exceeding three atmospheres.
- ENVERADOS: wine produced from grapes not completely matured because of weather conditions. This happens with some chacolí and also some Ribeiro. They usually have alcohol content between 7 and 9th.
- CHACOLÍS: high acidity white wine produced from green grapes.
- DERIVATIVES vinic: flavored wine, vermouth, vinous snacks. Usually sweet or semisweet, few dry, and often with a high alcohol content, which in many cases is added. Its production process is often very different from one type to another.
2. Classification by age:
- Young wines: They are those who have not had any oak aging or the aging has been minimal. They are wines that retain much varietal characteristics of the grapes from which they come and ideal consumption in 12-24 months after the harvest. It is common to find three types (white, pink and red) as young wines.
- Crianza wines: at least between wood and bottle aging have passed. These are wines that in addition to the varietal characteristics from which they come, they develop other organoleptic characteristics due to the aging period. Its ideal consumption varies depending on several factors, but is generally more or much more long-term young wines (usually between 3 and 10 years, although some hold up to 20). Aged wines, mostly reds but there are also many white and pink is rare to find.
3. Classification by degree of sweet: (*)
- Dry wines: Those containing <5 grams / liter sugars.
- Semi-dry wines: Are those containing 5-15 g / l sugars.
- Wines doomed: Are those containing 15-30 g / l sugars.
- Semi-sweet wines: Are those containing 30-50 g / l sugars.
- Sweet wines: Those containing> 50 g / l sugars.