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An Introduction to Wine Classifications

Wine. Wine is probably the most widespread and historically significant beverage other than water, and has been for thousands of years. Wine is the drink of kings, just as it is the beverage of choice for the wino on third street. Wine has played a major role in the rise and fall of countless individuals, nations and even civilizations.

As fascinating as the history of wine is, though, this article is about the classification of different wines. Wine is normally classified by vinification method, by taste, by vintage, by wine style, and / or by quality.

Vinification refers to how the wine is made. Examples of classifications by vinification method include still, sparkling, rose, or blush. For example, champagne is a sparkling wine. Sparling wines are wines which contain carbon dioxide, which may either be a by product of the fermentation, or may be added.

Wines are also classified by taste. Wines may be classified as dry (meaning not sweet), fruity, or sweet, for example. Or wines may be classified according to specific flavors.

Vintage is another method of classifying wines. Vintage is just another name for the year the grapes for the wine were harvested. Vintage wines are often made of the highest quality grapes, and normally command a higher price than non-vintage (wine from mixed years) wines.

Wine may also be classified by any one of dozens of wine styles. For example, Bordeaux is a style of red wine from France. Kerner is a style of white wine from Italy.

Wine may range in price from a few dollars a bottle to hundreds or thousands of dollars a bottle. Many premium wines cost hundreds of dollars a bottle. Part of the reason for the high price is that many premium wines are aged for years or even decades. Many bottles are lost during the aging process, so the end price goes up.

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