Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Yeast consumes the sugars in the grapes and converts them into alcohol. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different types of wine.
Wines made from other fruits are usually named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, apple wine or elderberry wine) and are generically called fruit wine. The term wine can also refer to the higher alcohol content of starch-fermented or fortified beverages such as barley wine, sake, and ginger wine.
Wine has a rich history dating back thousands of years, with the earliest known production occurring around 8,000 years ago on the territory of modern-day Georgia. It first appeared in the Balkans about 4500 BC and was very common in ancient Greece, Thrace and Rome. Wine has also played an important role in religion throughout history. The Greek god Dionysus and the Roman equivalent Bacchus represented wine, and the drink is also used in Christian Eucharist ceremonies and the Jewish Kiddush.
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