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Wine, About


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What are appellations?
Every bottle of California wine must identify the source of its grapes, or appellation, on the front label. Some labels present extremely vague descriptions, like "America" meaning that the grapes used to produce that particular wine come from somewhere w
Passito is an Italian term for both the method used to make sweet wines and for the sweet wines produced this way. Passito wines begin by laying freshly picked grapes on mats so that they can partly dry. This concentrates the grapes flavor and sugars by r
Can you store red wines in the refrigerator?
Red wines can also be stored for a day in the fridge if it's a warm day.
Vin Ordinaire
French for "ordinary wine."
For wines so designated, the year in which the grapes were grown; from a single year's harvest
How are wines fortified?
Distilled grape spirit is usually added before the wine is completely fermented.
Noble Rot
Botrytis cinerea. This is a beneficial mold that develops on grapes under certain conditions. It causes the grape to shrivel, concentrating and intensifying both sugars and flavors. The acid levels remain high. Noble rot is perfect for dessert wines or la
What about wines in Washington State?
Washington contains 13,000 acres of grapes, which makes it the second largest wine-producing state in the U.S. (guess the number one state). These 13,000 acres yield over 7 million gallons of wine, four times the amount produced in Oregon. The primary gro
A technique mostly used in the production of Chianti. It involves adding semi-dried grapes to the already-fermented juice. This causes a secondary fermentation and creates wines that are softer, higher in alcohol and sometimes frizzante. This process is n
Why are fortified wines so sweet?
Sugar is retained in the grape spirit, which gives fortified wines a sweet taste.
What are varietals and how do they effect the name of the wine?
California laws state that the wine must contain 75 percent of the grape to be named a varietal. If this is not met or if the winemaker simply chooses not to list the varietal name, he or she chooses from one of the styles listed below to label the wine.
What makes old world wine distinctive?
Old world wines are subtler and crafted to complement food as a condiment.
How do cool region wines and warm region wines differ in flavors?
Cool region wines have tangy fruit flavors, moderate region wines have juicy fruit flavors and warm region wines have the flavor of lush and exotic fruits.
Spanish legal term for wines aged before sale; for reds, at least three years, including at least one year in wooden barrels. The Italian "Riserva" is similar, but note that the English "Reserve" has no legal significance and may mean anything the winery
Who and when were grapes brought to South Africa?
French settlers brought their grapes to South Africa in the 1600s.
Angelica Wine
An inexpensive, fortified wine. In California, it is typically made from Mission or Muscat grapes and enhanced or fortified with brandy. Angelica wines usually contain 10 to 15 percent residual sugar.
What other types of native grapevines are found in N. America?
There are many other types of native grapevine species common to N. America; eg. many T.V. Munson discoveries. Also "V. Aestivalis", "V. Borquiniana", "V. Cinerea", "V. Lincecumii", "V. Mustangensis" (formerly known as V. Candicans), "V. Riperia", "V. Rot
Edelfäule (aka botrytis)
"Noble rot" in German
The old world word for wine style is terroir — the spirit of the region is in the wine.
The old world word for wine style is terroir — the spirit of the region is in the wine.
How are old world wines named?
Old world wines are labeled for the region they come from, i.e. Burgundy and Bordeaux.
Literally "vat," typically means the blend of different grapes that make up a specific wine.
Vin Santo
Vin Santo or Vino Santo means holy wine and were named accordingly because they were used in religious ceremonies. They are either made sweet or day (mostly sweet) and look and taste like amber colored nectar. The grapes used are mostly Malvasia and Trebb
Why were hybrids created?
Many of the "hybrids" listed were created as a response to the seasonal temperature extremes commonly encountered in the northernmost temperate zones of Europe and N. America; and as counter to various disease's that can affect most of the vine transplant
Other than port, what other wines are fortified?
Port, Sherry, Madeira and Marsala are all examples of fortified wines.
Is it difficult to grow grapes in cool/cold climates?
Growers in cool/cold climates should be aware that most vines vary in their sensitivity to low temperatures. Grafted vinifera planted in locations where minimum temperatures occasionally fall below 0 deg. Fahrenheit (-17 Centigrade) can be expected to suf
A wine-making process in which the wine is put through a special fermentation that converts its malic acid into lactic acid. The result is a soft, mellower wine that some wine lovers find "flabby" but that's very popular in the marketplace.
Italian for "classic." It defines a more specific area within a larger geographical region. This area is usually the oldest in terms of grape cultivation and wine production and often produces the best wines within the larger geographical region. Example:
Is it ok to store wine in the refrigerator for over a month?
Do not store wine in your refrigerator for a month.
Why did different types of storage develop?
Different lengths of storage time require different types of storage.
The air space in the neck of an unopened bottle of wine. This air bubble will be entirely within the neck of a normal bottle, but older bottles that have lost some of their contents may be described as having a "mid-shoulder fill" or even "low shoulder fi
Can fortified wines be aged?
Fortified wines age well thanks to the increased alcohol content.
What are DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata Garantita)?
DOCG translates to Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin. The word that separates this title is Garantita or Guaranteed. It is the Italian government that guarantees the wine's origin and authenticity. There are currently 13 DOCG zones with mor
Can I store wine in my basement?
Some wine cellars are humidified, but your basement may be damp enough as it is.
In January 1920, the U.S. Federal Prohibition Law was enacted via the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. This law prohibited the manufacture, transportation or sale of alcoholic beverages. 14 years later, in December 1933, Prohibition was repealed by the
Sulfites are the salts of sulfurous acid. The words "contains sulfites" are mandatory on labels of wines sold in the United States if the wine contains 10 ppm (parts per million) or more of sulfites. What is the source of sulfites? Sulfur dioxide, a color
What about Oregon wines?
Technically, wine production in Oregon began in the middle of the Nineteenth century in the Willamette Valley, but modern day production kick-started in the late 1950's. Founders of Oregon's wine history include Richard Sommer of Hillcrest Vineyards in Ro
QPR - Quality-Price Ratio
a term primarily used as a shortcut in online wine talk, a favorable reference to a wine of particularly good value. Sometimes seen as ""PQR.""
What happens to the alcohol in wine when you fortify it?
Fortifying a wine increases its alcohol content.
What is fortified wine fortified with?
Wine is fortified with the addition of distilled grape spirit.
Wine Style for New World Wine
The new world vocabulary for wine style is "fruit driven" or "fruit forward."
What are DOC, AOC, and PDO?
Coming from the world of wine, these classifications were designed to protect the names of the original production areas of certain wines. In France, it is Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC); in Italy, it is Denominazione d'Origine Controllata (DOC); a
How long should I store wine in my refrigerator?
Your refrigerator will do for one-day storage of white wines.
How are new world wines named?
New world wines are named for their grape variety so they're called "varietal wines."
An over-the-hill wine that has lost fruit and body.
Dry sake is best enjoyed chilled to accentuate its flavor and fragrance.
Dry sake is best enjoyed chilled to accentuate its flavor and fragrance.
A term to describe a wine with a sweet and sour tang. When a wine is acescent, acetic acid and ethyl acetate is normally present.
Italian term for old. It can be on wine label meaning that is it aged to DOC or DOCG requirements.
How do wines develop their descriptive flavors?
Wines develop their familiar fruity flavors due to the fermentation process.
Sake that is described as dry, tastes sweeter than a dry wine made from grapes.
Sake that is described as dry, tastes sweeter than a dry wine made from grapes.
Generic appellation for basic Rhone Valley wines, red and white. Often represent good value, although some drop to jug-wine status.
The wine waiter in a restaurant.
Where should I keep wine in my house?
Keep wine in the coolest, darkest spot in your home to store it for a month.
What is a DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata)?
DOC loosely translates to Controlled Denomination of Origin. Laws standardizing the Italian wine industry were established in 1963 and then implemented in 1966. In 1990, commissions added standards for appearance, color, bouquet and flavor. It is similar
The old world of wine is Europe and the new world is North American and the Southern Hemisphere.
The old world of wine is Europe and the new world is North American and the Southern Hemisphere.
An insect that attacks the roots of grapevines. It sucks the nutrients from the roots and slowly starves the vine, creating a dramatic decrease in fruit production. Its damage could set back wine production 10 years. In the 1860's vine cuttings from the U
Resembling Beaujolais: Light, fruity and fresh, a wine more for quaffing than contemplation.
Good Spanish wine district near Barcelona. Dominated by the Torres winery.
Where is the largest food and wine festival?
The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is one of the largest and longest running wine festivals of its kind on the planet. With more than 400 chefs on staff and over 375 sommeliers in training, this festival has one of the most diverse collections
So why doesn't fortified wine take on the taste of the spirit that is added to it?
This spirit is added to the wine without being aged, which leaves it tasteless and colorless.
What are the four big wineries of Chile?
The big four wineries of Chile are Concha y Toro, Santa Rita, San Pedro and Santa Carolina.
Wine named for the specific grape from which it is made, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
Tannins are any astringent substance found in the seeds, skins and stems of the grapes as well as in the oak barrels (newer barrels) used for aging. They provide structure, flavor and texture to wines. Their antioxidant attributes also contribute to aging
The period of time the grape juice spends in contact with the skins and seeds. Extended maceration, which is only with red wines, takes place after primary fermentation and prolongs this skin-juice contact. The object is to increase the wine's depth of co
Where did fortifing wine come from?
Historically a Portuguese wine, Madeira was created by allowing casks of still wine tainted with vanilla to age at sea.
Qualitätswein mit Prädikat
Often abbreviated "QmP" for obvious reasons, this is the highest quality rating for German wines.
A clone is a plant that was produced by cutting or grafting. Cloning is performed to reproduce plants that have distinctive traits such as high productivity, disease resistance or adaptability to certain environmental conditions. Examples of cloned grapes
The metal clasp used to hold the temporary cork in place during bottle fermentation using Méthode Champenoise.
Supple, subtle and at times almost silken in texture, SMOOTH wines combine their fruit-forward flavors in a single, elegantly balanced package. While SMOOTH wines may offer flavors of blackberries, cherries and cassis alongside notes of smoke, oak and fre
Tell me more about California Wine?
State, County, Appellation, Vineyard, Soil, Climate, Vine, Harvest Time!
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms defines sake as "a wine made from other agricultural products."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms defines sake as "a wine made from other agricultural products."
What are the California Wine Labeling standards?
There are four distinct categories for labeling and blends permissible for wines in California: APPELLATION, the region where the grapes are grown; BRAND, the name of the product; VARIETAL, the type of grape; and VINTAGE, the year in which the wine grapes
A system to measure the sugar content of grapes and wine by use of a hydrometer. It was named for A.F.W. Brix, a nineteenth century German inventor. The hydrometer measures the liquid's specific gravity or the density of the liquid in relation to pure wat
First appearance of color in ripening grapes.
Residual Sugars
The natural grape sugars that are either unfermented after fermentation or added after fermentation to increase sweetness. Dessert wines are good examples of wines in which there is so much sugars present, fermentation can't complete. Residual sugars are
Spaghetti wine
A jovial term for the kind of simple, uncomplicated quaffing wine that's perfect for washing down spaghetti or pizza. Need not be a negative term, unless you're a wine snob.
A style of wine using the passito method. Using this method, the grapes are dried in a cool and well-ventilated room for up to 4 months until they are almost dried or raisinated. This process will concentrate the sugars and other flavors. Occasionally, th
"Noble rot," a kind of mold that may appear on late-harvested grapes, causing them to shrink and dry so the natural sugars become highly concentrated.
What are hybrids?
The term "hybrids" indicates that, unlike many of the naturally evolved vines, and crosses, covered above, two or more vine growths of different species have been crossed genetically by human intervention to produce a quite unique species that combines th
What are the wine growing regions in Italy?
Italy is separated into 20 regions, 246 DOC and 13 DOCG zones. These delimited wine-producing zones have their own designated area, though many overlap, along with rules that regulate wine production. For a wine to be considered DOC or DOCG, it must adher
Why are low temperatures good for storage?
Low temperatures hold a bottle of wine in suspended animation.
An older wine, fully mature, of such age that it's declining.
What is the best temperature to store wine at?
55 degrees F is the ideal temperature for storing wine.
How does the flavor map breaks up the world?
Flavor map" divides the world into cool, moderate and warm regions
The process of wine turning into vinegar. This normally occurs when acetic bacteria convert alcohol to acetic acid and ethyl acetate.
What is the difference between California and Italian Wine
Italy is much stricter than California when it comes to wine production. Italy established delimited zones (DOC and DOCG) where wines can be produced, while California is not bound by tradition. There are few regulations that force a winemaker to produce
Super Tuscan
Wines produced in Tuscany and are extremely highly regarded to be one of the best wines in Tuscany and Italy, but, are not recognized as DOC or DOCG. There are three main types of Super Tuscan wines. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese - Caberne
A term associated with cheaper table wine. When Chianti was first exported to the United States, the wine was placed in these large, straw-covered bottles. The bottles were covered with straw because it protected the fragile glass during the long trips. T
The term used for the 60 gallon oak barrel used for storing and aging wines. It's size is similar to Pièce used in Burgundy.
How can you predict what a wine will taste like?
Knowing where a wine is produced allows you to predict the flavors in the wine.
Mosel, Moselle
Beautiful German river valley, tributary of the Rhine, source of some of the nation's best white wines made from Riesling grapes. Also in Luxembourg, where a small amount of wine is produced.
What happens when my wine is subjected to vibration?
Vibrations in storage cause the fruit flavor of wine to temporarily become muted.
What are the best conditions for wine storage?
The ideal conditions for long-term storage are low temperature and high humidity.
Late Harvest
Refers to wines made from grapes picked toward the end of the growing season, usually late fall. At this time, the grapes are vary ripe and with a high sugar content. This is especially true when the grapes have been infected with Botrytis cinerea, a fung
Southern Rhone (France) region best known for its delicious white dessert wine made from Muscat grapes.
Ozeki, boasting a history of over 290 years in Japan, is also the oldest sake brewer in the United States, celebrating their 20th anniversary in 1999.
Ozeki, boasting a history of over 290 years in Japan, is also the oldest sake brewer in the United States, celebrating their 20th anniversary in 1999.

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