All the details you didn’t know you needed to know about this wonderful drink

By Dawn Wasowicz, Owner, Rafter Eleven

Over centuries, wine has evolved into an art.  From the terroir of the grapes, to the crushing of the varietals, to the magic of time … and finally, the first touch to the lips and taste to the mind and taste buds.

At Rafter Eleven we have the honor of offering a selection of wine from all over the world.  We serve by the glass and by the bottle and have a relaxing Happy Hour every Friday between 5 and 7 p.m. on our charming outdoor patio.  What our customers seem to enjoy the most on these evenings is learning about different wines and giving themselves permission to try something new and exciting.

What is wine?

In a nutshell, wine is an alcoholic beverage created from the fermented juice of grapes.  But what’s inside a bottle of wine?  A single bottle of wine contains 520 grapes. There’s also a little acid, a lot of water, a bit of alcohol, and a smidge of sugar and minerals.  Wine grapes take a whole season to ripen and that’s why they are only produced once a year.  Then the grapes are picked and the process of making the wine begins.

Some cheery little facts about a bottle of wine

A bottle weighs 2.1 pounds and contains five five-ounce pours. The calorie range per bottle is between 460 and 1440 depending on whether it is dry, white, red or sweet.

There are two basic types of wine: single varietals and blends.  Single varietal wine is made from one dominant grape.  A blend is created from several different varietals.  But the taste of wine is where all the pleasure starts rolling in.

What’s in the flavor?

Acidity, sweetness, alcohol, tannins, and aroma compounds produced in fermentation all contribute to a wine’s unique flavor.

The first element of flavor is from acid.  Acidity is a wine’s that tart taste, ranging from zesty lemons to Greek yogurt.

The next element: sweetness. The range includes dry (no sugar), off dry (a hint of sweetness), sweet (a bit like maple syrup).

Next is alcohol, usually ranging from 10 to 20 percent.  Alcohol is spicy and palate-coating and warms your throat as it slips down.

Tannins are the next unique attribute. They are found in red wines and add a very astringent quality (like the taste of a black tea bag).

Last but not least: aroma compounds. This is truly where the fun begins. The range of aromas and flavors that wines exude is dramatic. You will experience notes of baking spices, nuts, dried fruit, herbs, flowers, vegetables, citrus, berries, and melons. Some wines waft smoke, tobacco, and leather, while others are pure honey, peaches and coconut cream.  Some of the more unusual tastes and smells in a bottle of wine can be chocolate, coffee, earth, chalk, rubber tires, and of course dirty socks.

The beautiful thing about wine is that it’s a simple beverage that becomes more complex the more you try!

Join us for happy hour on Fridays and live music on Saturdays.

Rafter Eleven is at 2985 N. Centre Court, in Prescott Valley. For more information call 928.227.2050 or visit