Classification of wine is simple in concept. You just need to realize that in essence the classification system divides wine into two large categories: European and non-European wines. In Europe, wines are grouped based on the regions they are made in. Outside Europe, wines are classified based more on the type of grapes used in the making. Within the context of European classification, France has a variety of denomination systems to identify wine products, using terroir as their basis. Classification ranges from table wine to Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC). Different regions may implement different classifications but the basic concept remains the same. Portugal pioneered this classification system in 1756. In 2002, Germany developed a similar system. Italy, Greece, and Spain, on the other hand, classify their wines based on both origin and quality.
Wines made in countries outside Europe are called New World wines. Classification of this kind of wine is made based on the grapes used in their production but there have been attempts at making products’ quality as another factor to include. Canada rules that wine is a type of alcoholic beverage produced by fermenting (complete or partial) fresh grapes, grape juice, fresh grape-derived products, or all of them altogether. Production of wine outside of Europe involves addition of many other ingredients and materials including aqueous solutions, sugar, invert sugar, glucose or glucose solids, fructose, dextrose, concentrated grape juice, or yeast. Calcium sulphate is also added but in a concentration that when it exists in the finished product does not exceed 0.2%weight by volume. The quantity of calcium carbonate should be added but should not leave the tartaric acid content in the finished wine less than 0.15% weight by volume. Sulphurous acid in the finished wine should not exceed 70 parts/million in free-state or 350 parts/million in combined state.