Demystify the types of wines with these explanations.
Table Wine or Still Wine
Any still, nonsparkling wine with an alcohol content up to 14% is a table wine under US labeling laws. A wine with an alcohol level above 14% and below 24% must be classified either as a dessert wine or as a natually occuring high-alcohol wine. A fortified wine with a similar alcohol level may be classified as a still wine.
These wines have neutral grape brandy or alcohol added to them. This brandy may be added either to stop the fermentation process, rendering the wine sweet and having a residual sugar, or after fermentation for the purpose of increasing the wine's alcohol content. Port is an example of the former. Spanish Sherry is an example of the latter. Madeira is produced on the island of Madeira, and Marsala from Italy are also fortified wines. If you would like to learn more about Port visit the InfoPortWine site.
These are flavored wines that are often fortified as well. The flavoring agents used are usually extracts of different herbs or spices. Some common flavorings include chamomile, orange peel, coriander, and hyssop. The ingredients are blended and added to a neutral base wine. After the wine and flavorings settle and integrate, the wine is filtered. Vermouth is the most famous example of an aromatized wine. Italy and France were the original producers. Good aromatized wines are also made in the US, Spain, and Portugal. These are best served chilled or muddled.
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