Welcome to Shopper's Schoolhouse. We know that the vast array of beverages on the market today can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing. That is why we have created these pages to help you to better understand and enjoy the many fine wines
, and beers
that are for sale here at Shoppersvineyard.com.
W ine was undoubtedly first created quite by accident, when the natural yeast cells on grapes fermented the juice that had been squeezed from them. While it would be nice to think that this prehistoric first wine was savored for its bouquet and delicate flavors, the reality is that it was prized for the effect of the alcohol on the drinker. The fermentation of the juice had a side benefit, though. Once fermented, the grape juice was stable, less susceptible to bacterial contamination, and could be carried with you. This meant that these people could range over areas that did not have water sources, and exploit a wider range of environments. It thus was the first potable, portable beverage.
Wine is generally defined as the fermented fruit juice, and while wines made from other fruits exist, the vast majority, and the finest, wines are made from grapes. The European grape species, Vitis vinifera, is the source of most of the world's wine, and has been carried by man to all of the winegrowing regions of the world. Other species like Vitis labrusca, rotundifolia, amurensis, and rupestris are used where they are native, but have rarely produced wines of the quality of Vitis vinifera.
At its simplest, wine is made by the fermentation of the grape juice by yeast. It is amazing to consider that from the time of those first wines some 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, until Louis Pasteur's discovery of the role of yeast in 1857, no winemaker knew how wine came into being.
Modern wine is the result of a complex set of choices made by grape growers and winemakers; grape variety, harvesting at the desired ripeness, fermentation vessel, wild or introduced yeast, length of skin contact, barrel aging, fining, filtering and many more which provide us with the amazing range of flavors and aromas that are found in the finished product.