Wine is a peculiar beverage. It starts out as grapes. Could you eat these grapes if they were not meant for wine? Could you make wine from grapes you eat? Where does vinegar come in? If you have questions like these, then the following information is just right for you.
Yes, You Can Eat Wine Grapes
Yes, you can eat wine grapes, except for for the grapes that make Sauterne wine. Those grapes are turned into raisins on the vine, and then allowed to rot via a fungus. You probably would not want to eat those grapes, but as a general rule, most wine grapes are perfectly edible.
Yes, You Could Make Wine from the Large Grapes You Normally Eat
The grapes you usually buy in the produce section at a grocery store and then consume could make wine, but it is not quite the same. There is a lower sugar content, and a higher acidic content in wine grapes. More often than not, grapes you eat are used to flavor and/or color wine made from wine grapes. That is about as close to wine as eating grapes come.
From Grapes to Wine
Grapes are harvested. After they are washed, they are placed in the juicing vats. Then the juice is moved into the fermenting vats. If left completely alone, the juice turns into vinegar. However, at a certain point in the fermenting process, the juice is boiled and sugar is added. The boiling kills the bacteria that would turn the juice into vinegar, and the sugar preserves and flavors the wine. Some wineries allow certain wines to reach an almost vinegar state to make the wine more acidic, but most wines follow the typical process. At the far end of fermentation, sugaring, and boiling, the wine is placed in barrels and allowed to sit and age for some time.
Specialty wines made only by certain vineyards with certain types of grapes are trademarked products. They may be copied, but never duplicated, as vineyards do not give out the specific heating temperatures, harvesting times, or techniques used to make their specialty wines. If a vineyard touts a specialty wine, you should try it. There will not be anything close to that wine anywhere else. You may just decide that you really like it (no matter how unusual or strange it sounds or how bizarre the grape harvesting process is).