“Karen, why among all fruits do only grapes make great wine?” —Will F. (Mendocino, California)

Will, you’ve just put your finger on one of wine’s great mysteries. No one knows why. And there’s a corollary idea that’s equally perplexing: If you ferment apricots or cherries, the resulting “wine” still tastes like those fruits. But wine made from grapes doesn’t taste like grapes. It can taste like a hundred other things from lemons to cowboy boots, but it almost never tastes like grapes themselves.

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