According to the Oxford Companion to Wine the technical definition of wine is:

an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the juice of fruits or berries.

Illuminating, no?

By this definition, we can safely include mead and cider. Renaissance faire enthusiasts rejoice! We could also include strawberry, dandelion, cactus, blueberry, and whole host of other fruit wines from around the world.

Before my fellow wine geeks panic (put that pinkie finger down, we’re getting there), this is a refreshingly vague and broad definition. Since fruit wines, mead, and ciders have their own names, wine means something more specific. Especially in those parts of the world with vineyards.

For our purposes, and the purposes of most of the drinking world, the definition of wine is:

the alcoholic beverage resulting from the fermentation of juice from freshly harvested and crushed grapes. 

If you’re looking for a cool etymology lesson, the origins for the word wine are under the entry for wine in the Oxford Companion.

In the meantime, here’s your flashcard.

What the What - Wine - definition image

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