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Grape Vines

Vine History and Movement


Humans have cultivated Wine since ancient times. The drink is mentioned quite often by ancient Greeks and Romans, and it also appears in a number of religious texts.

Vine Lifecyle and Morphology


Grape vines can live for well over 100 years. The number of grapes grown is highest when the vine is under about 20 years old. However some growers insist that older vines give superior grapes.

Growing Regions


The specific region in which a wine is grown has a noted effect on the resulting grape, and by extension the wines made from it.



Climate determines where grapes will grow. More then that, climate determines where grapes will merely grow adequately, or where they will excel.



Winemakers pay special attention to the soil in which grapes are grown. For example in France the makers of Champagne famously use chalky soil for growing their grapes.

Vine Diseases


Disease poses a threat to grape vines. This often comes from fungus.

Vine Training


Types of Wines

A wheel depicting wine flavors. (In French language)

Types of wine include:

  • White wine - Wine made without the skin of the grape. Typically has a golden tinge of color.
  • Red wine - Wine made with the skin of the grape. Sometimes it is also made with grapes which have naturally red juices.
  • Rosé - Wine made with a portion of the grape skin. Typically a hue of pink.
  • Brut wine - Wine with no or minimal added sugars.
  • Dry wine - A moderately sweet wine.
  • Doux or Sweet wine - A very sweet wine.

Wine Regions



A number of regions worldwide are noted for their wine production. The unique environmental and social factors involved in a region's wine production are called Terroir by wine enthusiasts.

Because of this concept many wines associated with a region, especially wines that share a name with a region, are considered to only be true examples of that sort of wine if they originate there. For example, if one made "Champagne" on the moon, it would not be considered Champagne by many, and in many countries Champagne can only legally be called "Champagne" if it originated in the Champagne region of France.




Vinyards in Rhône.
  • Champagne
  • Burgandy
  • Bordeaux
  • Rhône


  • Tuscany
  • Veneto

North America


United States

Vinyards in Napa Valley.
  • Napa Valley
  • Finger Lakes
  • Lake Erie

Wine Tasting and Evaluating


  • 2-3 kinds of wines; 1 bottle for every 5-6 people.
  • Serving tools:
    • Guest: cocktail plates and napkins
    • Serving: cheese boards, knives/slicers
  • Tools to serve wine:
    • Appropriate wine glasses; can be decorated with wine charms
    • Corkscrew
    • Wine bottle stoppers

Food and Wine Pairing

Wine has always been a drink to match with food. An ideal pairing of the wine's unique characteristics can help make a truly memorable meal.

Some examples of wine and food pairings include:

  • Riesling with a spicy dish. The sweetness and acidity of the wine matches perfectly with the spice in the food.
  • Hearty red, such as cabernet sauvignon with steak or lamb. Always a classic - the two are a classic combination.
  • Sauvignon blanc with a fish; the clean taste of sauvignon blanc matches well with a simply prepared fish dish.

The following table will show some of the styles of wines, the styles attributes and finally a classic food match. The next section will describe additional matches that can be made for specific types of food.

Wine Style Food Match
Sauvignon Blanc - Bordeaux White Clean taste, moderate acidity Simple Fish Dishes, as an aperitif
Cabernet Sauvignon - Hearty Red Deep flavor, some tannins, ripe fruit Roasted, grilled meat

Cheese and wine

Certain pairings of cheese and wine make for excellent experiences.
Cheese Wine
Asiago Cabernet Sauvigon, Merlot, Shiraz
Bleu Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel
Brie Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sparkling wine, Ice Wine
Cheddar Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Shiraz
Gouda Riesling, Beaujolais, Merlot, Zinfinadel
Gruyere Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz
Monterey Jack Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Beaujolais, Merlot
Parmigiano Reggiano Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Carbet Sauvignon, merlot, Shiraz
Swiss Sauvignon Blanc, Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir

Generally, the stronger the cheese, the stronger the wine should be.



Various styles of wine glasses.
  • Proper wine glasses help ensure a good drinking experience.
  • Chill white or sparkling wine for at least 1 hour prior to serving. Decant red wines prior to guests' arrival.
  • Wine charms can help guests distinguish their glasses. Alternatively, one may use marked wine glasses for the same purpose.

Serving with cheese

  • Serve cheese at room temperature; this brings out their fullest flavors.
  • Arrange the food items 30-60 minutes before the guests arrive. Cheese should be brought out three hours before serving.
  • Cover the platters with plastic wrap to keep them fresh, but remove just prior to serving.
  • Leave space between cheeses to keep flavors from blending. On the same idea, each cheese should have its own knife or spreader.


A home wine rack.

Proper wine storage is a very important thing. When one typically purchases large quantities of assorted wines, it is natural that among all other reasons, future consumption is the key. Proper wine storage can lead to a great many years of future enjoyment. Wine storage also provides time for immature vintages to develop into something special. Correct wine storage provides the wine lover the ability to collect and store large qualities of there favorite wines to be enjoyed for years to come.

When considering a large investment in wine, the wine lover must consider the method in which he stores his wine. Improper storage can damage wine and thus diminish the possibility of enjoyment.

Chiefly, the purchaser will consider where he will store his or her wine. Here, he has options. Either he might store it at home or hire an outside service to store the wine for him. The wine lover must protect the wine from the elements.

A wine cellar.

While 90% of all wine is meant to be consumed within one year, a true connoisseur and collector may wish to consider an additional investment in a wine cellar. Significant thought and planning should go into this process. These are the things that should be considered in this process.

  • Location of the wine cellar
  • Temperature of the wine cellar
  • Humidity and ventilation of the area
  • Composition of the floor
  • Lighting of the space

The location of the wine cellar is very important. When underground, it is best that it’s a room that is facing to the north. This is necessary as this wall receives the minimum amount of solar radiation during the day thus causing less retention of heat. The northern part of the perimeter of this room must not be adjacent to a road nor railway and made of stone or brick. The wine cellar must not be subject to unnecessary movement or vibrations. Vibrations can disturb and damage wine.

The wine ideally, must be stored at temperatures between 10°-14° Celsius. The wine must be kept cool. This is done by keeping the wine underground and minimizing exposure to solar radiation.

Humidity must be controlled in order to keep the cork moist and functioning. A functioning cork maintains the integrity of the wine. The humidity should be between 70-75%. This level of humidity would cause mold to form in a normal house.

A floor of earth or sand is important, as this also helps to reduce the level of vibrations in the room.

Lastly, the lighting must originate from unscented candles. Neon or fluorescent lighting cannot be considered as they kill wine. The candles used must be unscented as a scented candle will foul the wine. Once these 5 considerations are undertaken, a new problem emerges. That is, what to stock the wine cellar with. While this question is beyond the scope of this paper, it is sincerely wished that everyone stock their cellars with all sorts of wine that they enjoy. This is certainly the intention of the entire effort.