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Wine production, which began thousands of years ago in Iran in approximately 6000 B.C., was the precursor to what is known today as the wine industry. The industry was created as the demand for wine grew and spread. Growth of the wine industry was facilitated by the fact that wine is consumed not only for the purpose of pleasure, but also as a part of religious services and rites.
While the wine industry is a profitable one, ultimately it is an industry controlled by weather and the forces of nature. When the weather in wine producing regions is favorable, popular varieties are produced without hindrance. When the weather is inclement, however, the taste of the wine that will be produced will be largely affected, in turn affecting the wine industry.
Originally, the industry was dominated by vineyards in Europe. These vineyards had been around for many generations and were considered sacred. Wine produced anywhere but in these select vineyards was frowned upon. Now the wine industry is flourishing, growing, and expanding throughout the world. Well-liked wines hail from places including Australia, Chile, and the United States, to name a few.
Wines, at least those of European heritage, are classified largely by their region of origin. Those wines that do not come from Europe are classified not by their region, but instead by the combination of grapes used to make them. This makes it easier to understand what type of flavorings will be present at the time of a tasting.
Further, wines are classified by their quality. For example, a table wine is considered the lowest quality of wine. It is not a sparkling wine and has an alcohol content of 14 percent by volume. Conversely, the higher valued wines are known as quality wines. These wines have a wide range of alcohol content.
The wine industry is one that now includes many regions, where it once was limited to Europe. The wines produced and sold within the industry range from the cheapest, which can be found in a box or with a screw top, all the way to the profoundly expensive. Whatever type of wine is chosen, despite its price or classification or the standards of the wine industry, it is purely a personal choice.