We all love wine, but do we really understand what wine is? Sure, in its purest form, it’s grape juice gone “bad," but there are additional elements in even the simplest of wines. With today's winemaking tools, you can be sure there's so much more to a bottle than fruit and time. While enjoying a bottle of wine can be simple, understanding wine (good wine, at least) can be quite complex. Today, I want to get the ball rolling on a series of educational emails that will focus on all aspects of wine appreciation, beginning with the basics of winemaking, and then moving along to understanding specific wines and wine-producing regions.

At its core, wine is composed of water, alcohol, aromatic compounds, acids, and tannins. In this overview, we’ll take a look at what everything is and where it might come from. You might be surprised at some of the answers.