Humans have been drinking wine for nearly our entire existence. The oldest wine bottles jars were found in Georgia and date back some 8000 years. Armenia’s Areni-1 winery is estimated to be some 6100 years old. Today, over 275 million hectoliters of wine are produced annually.

While the technology to make the beverage has evolved since those early days, the basic concept of wine, fermented grape juice, remained static. Grapes are plucked from the vines at peak ripeness (often a big, community affair). They are then destemmed, and pressed for their precious juices. The product is transferred to fermentation tanks, yeast is added, and sugar turn to alcohol. Then, the wine is put in barrels or tanks for aging before bottling.

The flavor of wines varies greatly depending on the grape varietal and terroir. This countless variety forms much of wine’s appeal. On average, wine is between 11.5% and 13.5% ABV. (Americans prefer to make their juice closer to 15% ABV).

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