Wine: (from Latin vinum) is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes, generally Vitis vinifera or its hybrids with Vitis labrusca or Vitis rupestris. Grapes ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients, as yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol and carbon dioxide. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different styles of wine. These variations result from the complex interactions between the biochemical development of the grape, the reactions involved in fermentation, the terroir (the special characteristics imparted by geography, geology, climate, viticultural methods and plant genetics), and the production process. Many countries define legal appellations intended to define styles and qualities of wine; these typically restrict the geographical origin and permitted varieties of grapes, as well as other aspects of wine production.
There are also wines made from fermenting other fruits or cereals, whose names often specify their base, with some having specific names. Wines made from plants other than grapes include rice wine and various fruit wines such as those made from plums or cherries. Some well known example are hard cider from apples, perry from pears, pomegranate wine, and elderberry wine.
Wine has been produced for thousands of years. The earliest known evidence of wine comes from Georgia (Caucasus), where 8000-year-old wine jars were found.Traces of wine have also been found in Iran with 7000-year-old wine jarsand in Armenia, in the 6100-year old Areni-1 winery, the earliest known winery.Wine had reached the Balkans by c. 4500 BC and was consumed and celebrated in ancient Greece, Thraceand Rome. Throughout history, wine has been consumed for its intoxicating effects, which are evident at normal serving sizes.
Wine has long played an important role in religion. Red wine was associated with blood by the ancient Egyptians and was used by both the Greek cult of Dionysus and the Romans in their Bacchanalia; Judaism also incorporates it in the Kiddush and Christianity in the Eucharist.