Interesting facts about white wine

White wine is a wine that is fermented without skin contact.

The color can be straw-yellow, yellow-green, or yellow-gold.

It is produced by the alcoholic fermentation of the non-coloured pulp of grapes, which may have a skin of any colour.

However, white wine is mainly from “white” grapes, which are green or yellow in colour, such as the Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, and Riesling.

Among the many types of white wine, dry white wine is the most common. The dry white wine is a wine without sugar (the sugar ratio is generally less than 4 grams per litre). It is a wine very difficult to develop because the balance of the wine is based on only two parameters: acidity and alcohol.

More or less aromatic and tangy, it is derived from the complete fermentation of the wort (in the case of white winemaking the wort is simply the grape juice from the pressing of grape berries).

Sweet wines, on the other hand, are produced by interrupting the fermentation before all the grape sugars are converted into alcohol – this is called Mutage or fortification. The methods of enriching wort with sugar are multiple: on-ripening on the vine, passerillage (straining), or the use of noble rot.

Sparkling wines, which are mostly white, are wines where the carbon dioxide from the fermentation is kept dissolved in the wine and becomes gas when the bottle is opened.

Champagne is a sparkling wine that comes from the Champagne region of northeastern France.

White wines are often used as an apéritif before a meal, with dessert, or as a refreshing drink between meals.

The first white wine can be traced all the way back to the antiquities approximately 7500 years ago from wine located in what’s now Iran.

In Ancient Greece they were already making white wine since Hippocrates who prescribed it to his patients. In fact, Hippocrates had two varietals of white wine he prescribed – the first of which was vinous white wine and the second bitter white wine.

In Roman times the type of viticulture practiced by the Greeks was their model for a long time and producti on included white wine. The aminum or ancient grape produced a sweet white wine produced as mulled wine
resembling modern-day Madeira.

River trade was of great importance in the development of vineyards. The Germanic countries benefited from the navigability of the Rhine and the Danube so they could export their production. Charlemagne contributed to this growth by enacting his Capitulare de villis which included a set of rules on the cultivation of the vine in all areas. It was an era of great development of the culture of white wine in Germany and Austria.

In the Mediterranean Basin the Crusades greatly enriched both rival republics of Venice and Genoa. To supply the troops of the rich Frankish lords these republics provided them with wine from Greece. The port of Monemvasia, which exported a lot of white wine, gave its name to the variety Malvasia. The Crusaders also discovered Muscat wine.

The port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda began to export large quantities of white wine which was the ancestor of today’s sherry. This wine was called sack and caused a sensation in England.

From the 16th century the first European vines were planted in America: in Mexico, then Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile.

Since the Middle Ages white wine has inspired many painters to include it in still lifes or for the representation of the everyday life, party life, or life to excess. An abundance of English, Dutch and German paintings from the 17th century depicted a high consumption of white wine at that time replacing the consumption of beer in the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie.

Contrary to popular belief, the Abbey of Hautvillers cellar master Dom Pérignon did not invent Champagne however, he did pioneer many practices that enhanced both the taste and quality of Champagne. English
physician Christopher Merret documented the addition of sugar to a finished white wine to create a second fermentation, six years before Dom Pérignon set foot in the Abbey of Hautvillers.

The fashion of drinking cheap dry white wine started in Paris in the 18th century: to evade the excise duty the Parisians took the habit of going to drink their wine at the producers premises outside the walls of the city.

Because of its shorter maceration, white wine contains very little tannin and therefore little antioxidants that make red wine so interesting medically speaking.

The most expensive white wine is the single bottle of Chateau d’Yquem (1811), which was sold for £75,000 ($117,000) by The Antique Wine Company, London, UK, on 18 January 2011. The bottle was bought by Christian Vanneque, owner of SIP Wine Bar in Bali, Indonesia. The bottle was inspected on 29 January 2007 at Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes, France in the presence of Stephen Williams (Managing Director of The Antique Wine Company), John Salvi (Master of Wine) and Sandrine Garbay (Maitre de Chais).

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