Matter & Energy

Matter is composed of atoms or groups of atoms called molecules. The arrangement of particles in a material depends on the physical state of the substance. In a solid, particles form a compact structure that resists flow. Particles in a liquid have more energy than those in a solid. They can flow past one another, but they remain close. Particles in a gas have the most energy. They move rapidly and are separated from one another by relatively large distances.


Wine, alcoholic beverage made from the juice of grapes. During fermentation, microscopic single-celled organisms called yeasts digest sugars found in fruit juice, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide gas in the process. Although grapes are the most common fruit used to make wine, wine is also made from the fermented juice of pears, apples, berries, and even flowers such as dandelions. Wine naturally contains about 85 to 89 percent water, 10 to 14 percent alcohol, less than 1 percent fruit acids, and hundreds of aroma and flavor components in very small amounts. Wine character—its taste and smell—is derived from many factors including the grapes it is made from, where they were grown, and the production techniques applied by the wine maker, or enologist.

The practice of making wine is as old as our most ancient civilizations, and wine has played a central role in human culture for more than 8,000 years. In contrast to most foods and beverages that spoil quickly or that can spread disease, wine does not spoil if stored properly. The alcohol in wine, called ethanol, is present in sufficient concentrations to kill disease-causing microorganisms, and throughout history, wine was often safer to drink than water or milk. This property was so significant that before the connection between microorganisms, poor sanitation, and disease was understood, ancient civilizations regarded wine as a gift from the gods because it protected against disease.