While wine can be made from many types of fruits and flowers, it is iconically produced from fermented grapes. Wine production dates back at least 8000 years, and today it is produced in quantity in more than 70 countries, with Italy, Spain, France, and the United States the largest producers of wine today. The world of wine is vast and complex, with more than 10,000 grape varietals in existence. This is largely due to experimental cross-breeding and grafting that has taken place for millennia, and such experiments have led to some of today’s most popular grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The primary styles of wine today include red, white, and rose. While almost all grape juice itself is white, red wine is made by allowing the juice from black (aka red) grapes to ferment in contact with its skins, while white wine is usually (but not always) made from white grapes. Rose wine is made from black grapes with limited skin contact, which provides the pinkish color.

Top Wine Posts:

Understanding the Wines of France
Wine and Beer Touring in California’s Paso Robles, 2017
Touring and Wine Tasting in California’s Anderson Valley
Harvest in Chile’s Casablanca Valley – A Dusty Paradise
Chateau Montelena’s Dream Tasting: A Retrospective of Five Decades of Wine
Exploring Port Wine: Touring Porto and the Douro Valley
Visiting Tuscany’s Tenuta dell’Ornellaia

Review: NV Ficklin Vineyards Old Vine Tinta Port California

By Christopher Null | December 8, 2021 |

Madera County’s Ficklin Vineyards is not just America’s oldest Port winery (established in 1946), it also seems to be the most highly awarded Port winery in the country, too, amassing a large collection of medals and stellar ratings. The company sent its most recent bottling of Old Vine Tinta Port, one of its most affordable…

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Review: Gary Farrell 2019 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Russian River Selection

By Christopher Null | December 7, 2021 |

We’re back with another round with well-regarded Russian River winery Gary Farrell and its 2019 vintage releases of chardonnay and pinot noir. Let’s dive in. 2019 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Selection – This chardonnay is always a beautiful bottling and the 2019 vintage is no exception. Bright with fresh apple and a touch of gooseberry,…

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Review: Wines of Alta Colina, 2021 Releases

By Christopher Null | December 6, 2021 |

Alta Colina can be found in California’s Paso Robles region, and recently the winery sent us four of its new releases, overseen by new winemaker Molly Longborg, for review. All were tasted, unusually, from small sample bottles, not commercial bottles, though I don’t think that should overly influence this coverage. 2020 Alta Colina Grenache Blanc…

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Review: 2019 Sonoma-Cutrer The Cutrer Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

By Christopher Null | December 3, 2021 |

Two new releases from our friends at Sonoma-Cutrer, both Russian River bottlings from the 2019 vintage. 2019 Sonoma-Cutrer The Cutrer Chardonnay Russian River Valley – An aggressive, classically styled California chardonnay, loaded up with barrel-heavy vanilla, coconut, and baked apple notes. A note of sultry guava emerges as the finish approaches, toasted coconut notes lingering…

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Review: OG de Négoce 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Pack 2021

By Rob Theakston | December 1, 2021 |

We’ve covered de Négoce (“day nuh-go-shay”) in recent installments: a Fall 2021 overview and recently the 2021 Holiday Party Pack Sampler. This time we look at a 12 Days of Christmas sampler pack: a behemoth dozen bottles of various West Coast wines carefully selected by wine negociant Cameron Hughes. Unlike the Holiday Party Pack Sampler,…

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Review: Simi 2019 Pinot Noir and 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

By Christopher Null | November 30, 2021 |

Sonoma’s Simi bottles a range of whites and reds, sourced from vineyards throughout Sonoma County. Here’s a look at two of the winery’s more widely available bottlings. 2019 Simi Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – Instantly weird — though not corked — and hard to shake. Notes of mint chip ice cream, strawberry soda, and…

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Review: 2020 Licence IV Rouge

By Rob Theakston | November 28, 2021 |

A few months ago, Anine had the opportunity to sample Blanc and Rosé wines from Licence IV. Now we are fortunate enough to give its sibling Rouge blend a spin. A Grenache (85%) and Syrah (15%) blend from Valréas in the Southern Rhône, it is currently available in 1-liter bottles, and will be available in…

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Review: 2018 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

By Christopher Null | November 27, 2021 |

The good folks at Louis Martini are back with another bottling of the brand’s classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the most reliable, bang-for-the-buck cabs you’ll find. This 2018 expression is ripe and fruity, offering gentle notes of chocolate sauce, pomegranate, and blackberry jam. Currants linger well into the juicy finish, featuring just enough…

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Review: 2019 J Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

By Christopher Null | November 26, 2021 |

J’s Russian River pinot noir remains a workhorse of the style in this 2019 vintage: Agreeable, somewhat beefy, and layered with notes of black cherry and a pinch of spice. There’s less overt fruit here than in previous expressions, with notes of tea leaf and cola building toward the relatively gentle finish. Hints of pencil…

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Drinkhacker’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2021 |

Ready for Christmas? Ready for Christmas 2023, maybe? Our long day’s journey into night may have continued unabated this year, but we’re hopeful you’ve at least found some ability to get out of the house, maybe take a trip, and reconnect with friends and family this season. Naturally, you’re still not going to be able…

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