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Commonly, wine is defined as an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes. In contrast to this, wines made from other fruits are called fruit wine (except mead, cider, perry for historical reasons). There are plenty other fruits that have a high sugar content and are (slightly) tart (e.g. apples, oranges, berries ...) but I see much more grape wine in the shelves than apple wine (cider) or other fruit wines. What makes grapes superior to other fruits in terms of making wine? Or is it only coincidence that wines made from grapes are more popular? (Well, at least they are popular in Germany, France and Italy.)

  • I don't know for certain, but I think grapes naturally harbor winemaking yeast, while other fruits do not. I'm not posting this as an answer because I don't know if it's true – shadowtalker Jun 23 '15 at 15:25
  • Have you considered that grapes are easier to grow on a certain scale as, for example, currants? There are excellent fruit wines made from berries, but typically produced on a much smaller scale. Apple ciders are quite common in apple-growing regions. – Stephie Jun 23 '15 at 17:57
  • @Stephie: Yes. I wondered why wines of especially larger fruits like apples, pears aren't that popular since my impression is that growing apples is easier than growing grapes. One explanation I can think of is that grapes are the smallest fruit that aren't sensitive like raspberries. Smaller fruits implies having a larger surface for the noble rot and increases the amount of the right yeasts per weight. This could be crucial in times when fermentation starters weren't invented yet. – Ching Chong Jun 23 '15 at 18:13
  • @ChingChong To that point, grapes are much easier to crush and extract juice from manually than larger, harder, more fibrous fruits. Witness the traditional method of pressing grapes by foot - tough to do that with an apple. – logophobe Jun 23 '15 at 18:21
  • @logophobe , good point. As I'm from Swabia (SW Germany) I can confirm that juicing apples with the traditional methods is hard work. However, a starter is not required for making "Most". – Stephie Jun 23 '15 at 18:48
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While almost every fruit and berry contains right yeasts on its peel, according to this article people prefer to make wine from grape due to right acidity, sugar and tannins contents.

I also can assume the grape was easier to process manually at almost every stage from collecting to juicing.

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