Wine Vs. Whisky

Difference Beyween Wine and Whisky Wine, the fermented juice of the grape. The word wine comes from the…

Difference Beyween Wine and Whisky

Wine, the fermented juice of the grape. The word wine comes from the Latin vinum, akin to Greek oinos, which means grape wine and, in a larger sense, the fermented juice of other fruits. The French, who make the greatest wines on earth, in 1905 passed a law that said: “No drink may be kept … or sold under the name of vin that is not exclusively produced from the fermentation of fresh grapes or the juice of fresh grapes.” The emphasis is on “fresh.” There had been some earlier trouble when dried grapes (raisins) were imported and used in the making of wine. Wine drinkers, wine lovers, and wine connoisseurs would hardly agree with such prosaic definitions. Wine, they say, is a living thing, not only to be drunk, but to be enjoyed.

Whiskey or Whisky, an alcoholic liquor made differently in different countries, but always from a fermented mash of grain. To be fermentable the mash must contain malt, generally barley malt, the malting consisting of steeping the bearded kernels in warm water, heaping and turning them on a malting floor until they sprout, and then drying them in a kiln. This germination generates a chemical agent, called diastase, that converts starches into sugar. Letting the malt convert his entire mash, the distiller brews with the aid of yeast his “distiller’s beer,” wherein alcohol is born weak to become (via the still) something stronger, roughly recognizable as whiskey even though it flows out colorless.

Wine is a product of the earth—le terroir, as the French say—and of the sun, but it is also a work of art, for it is made by man and is often a matter of erudite judgment. Of the 5 to 6 billion gallons of wine made each year in the world (about 2 gallons for each human being), much is still made the way Noah made it. But the finest wines are partly the result of technical know-how and great vinicultural improvements.

One thing the consumer waited for overlong was dependable aging. Whiskeys acquire their ages in sturdy oak barrels, traditionally white oak. Under favorable conditions, the oak extracts some of the factors that make young whiskey harsh; in exchange it contributes flavors from the wood, rounding out the flavors that came from the grain.


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