What Is A Still Wine

One of the most widely available and beloved types of wine worldwide is still wine. As a lover of wine, I have long been captivated by the intricacies and techniques involved in crafting still wine. …

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One of the most widely available and beloved types of wine worldwide is still wine. As a lover of wine, I have long been captivated by the intricacies and techniques involved in crafting still wine. This piece will thoroughly examine the world of still wine, examining its meaning, distinguishing features, and the methods utilized in its production.

What is Still Wine?

Still wine, also known as table wine, is a type of wine that is not carbonated or sparkling. Unlike sparkling wines or fortified wines, still wines do not undergo secondary fermentation to produce bubbles or higher alcohol content. Instead, they are fermented until the desired level of alcohol is reached and then bottled.

One of the defining characteristics of still wine is its ability to express the true essence of the grape variety and the terroir (the combination of soil, climate, and vineyard location). With still wine, winemakers aim to capture the natural flavors, aromas, and textures of the grapes.

The Winemaking Process for Still Wine

The winemaking process for still wine starts with the harvesting of grapes. The type of grape variety and its ripeness are crucial factors that determine the style and quality of the final wine. Once the grapes are harvested, they are sorted, destemmed, and crushed to extract the juice.

The juice is then fermented in either stainless steel tanks or oak barrels, depending on the winemaker’s preference. Fermentation is the process where yeast converts the sugar in the grape juice into alcohol. This transformation can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

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After the fermentation process is complete, the winemaker may choose to age the wine. Aging can occur in stainless steel tanks, oak barrels, or a combination of both. Oak aging imparts additional flavors and aromas to the wine, such as vanilla, spice, and toastiness.

Characteristics of Still Wine

Still wines can vary greatly in terms of their characteristics, depending on factors such as grape variety, region, climate, and winemaking techniques. However, there are some general characteristics that most still wines possess:

  • Color: Still wines can be white, red, or rosé in color. White wines are made from white or green-skinned grapes, while red wines are made from red or black-skinned grapes.
  • Flavor: Still wines exhibit a wide range of flavors, from fruity and floral to earthy and spicy. The flavor profile depends on the grape variety, terroir, and winemaking techniques.
  • Body: Still wines can be light-bodied, medium-bodied, or full-bodied, depending on factors such as grape variety and aging. Light-bodied wines are often crisp and refreshing, while full-bodied wines are rich and bold.
  • Tannins: Tannins are compounds found in grape skins, seeds, and stems. They contribute to the structure and texture of the wine, giving it a drying or astringent sensation in the mouth.
  • Acidity: Acidity is an important component in still wines, contributing to their freshness and balance. Wines with higher acidity are often more lively and vibrant.
  • Alcohol Content: Still wines typically have an alcohol content ranging from 12% to 15%. This percentage can vary depending on the grape variety and winemaking techniques.
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Conclusion

As a wine lover, exploring the world of still wine has been a delightful journey. The artistry and craftsmanship involved in producing still wines never cease to amaze me. Whether it’s a crisp white wine, a robust red, or a delicate rosé, still wines have a remarkable ability to capture the essence of the grape and the land it comes from. So next time you pour yourself a glass of still wine, take a moment to appreciate the intricate flavors and stories behind it.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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