Wine is one of the most fascinating drinks among the European citizens. It is an alcoholic beverage prepared from the fermented grape juice. Grapes have the chemical property of carrying out fermentation without the utilization of sugars, enzymes or other nutrients. It is prepared fermenting the crushed grapes with the different types of yeast strains. Yeast consumes all the sugars present in grapes and converts them into alcohol. Different types of grapes and different strains of grapes are responsible for the production of different types of wines. Apples and berries are also utilized for the preparation of wines and the wines obtained are named after the name of the fruit like apple wine or elderberry wine or are popularly name as fruit wine or country wine. Barley and rice wine are prepared from the starch based materials and resemble beer and spirit more than wine and ginger wine is fortified with brandy. The term wine is used for these beverages because of their high alcoholic content. The commercial use of the term English wine is under the government control.
Wine has a very rich history which is 6000 BC old and is thought to have originated in the borders of Georgia and Iran. The wine was prepared in Europe for the first time about 4500 BC ago in the Balkans and was very common in Rome, Thrace and ancient Greece. Wine also deserves an important role in religion throughout the history. The Greek god Dionysus and the Roman god Bacchus symbolize wine and the wine is used in the catholic and Jewish ceremonies. The word wine has originated from a Proto-Germanic word winam which means grape. The earliest cultivation of grapevine Vitis vinifera first started in Georgia. Wine has been prepared in India from the Vedic times. Viticulture started in India first in the Indus valley where grapevines were introduced for the first time from Persia about 5000 BC ago. Chanakya, the chief minister of the Emperor Chandragupta Maurya has discussed about wine in his writings about 4th century BC ago and has designated wine by the term Madhu. He has focused on the side effects of wine and has strongly condemned the use of wine.
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