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: Wines of San Felice – 2017 Bell’aja and 2018 Vigorello

By Christopher Null | May 28, 2022 |

In the heart of Chianti Classico you’ll find San Felice, home of the first Supertuscan ever made in Chianti Classico, Vigorello. (The wine celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.) San Felice doesn’t just make Chianti, though, it also has 23 hectares in Montalcino and 16 in Bolgheri, and it produces wines from all three regions.…

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Review: Wines of Opolo, 2022 Releases

By Christopher Null | May 27, 2022 |

It’s been a year or so since we’ve covered the wines of Paso Robles-based Opolo, and then only spottily. Today we correct that oversight with a look at 5 current releases. 2019 Opolo Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles – Nothing overly earth-shattering here, this cab making for an approachable but straightforward experience that rests of currants…

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Tasting the Wines of Temecula, 2022 Releases

By Christopher Null | May 26, 2022 |

Four new releases from our friends in Temecula in southern California. 2021 Danza del Sol Sauvignon Blanc Estate – A bit unctuous and sweet, with notes of brown butter and a thick layer of spice, this doesn’t immediately connote sauvignon blanc, save for the notes of fresh grass and florals on the nose. The body…

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Review: Wines of CK Mondavi, Spring 2022 Releases

By Rob Theakston | May 22, 2022 |

Spring means the arrival of idle, easygoing moments that are lighter in fare and this trio of wines from CK Mondavi is no exception. Those enduring the soul-crushing chokehold of inflation on their bank accounts may find this a bit more suitable to their liking than something retailing at higher price points. Also, of note:…

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Review: Luretta NV Principessa and 2018 Gutturnio Superiore

By Christopher Null | May 17, 2022 |

Luretta hails from the Gutturnio region, a new DOC in northern Italy, south of Milan. Frizzante style wines are most common here, and while the winery produces sparkling wine — in the metodo classico style — it also produces a still red wine, also reviewed here. NV Luretta Principessa Blanc de Blancs – A brut…

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Review: 2019 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Vineyard

By Christopher Null | May 13, 2022 |

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 9 years since we’ve reviewed Don Melchor, a semi-cult wine from Chile’s Concha y Toro empire, a wine which launched in 1987. This vintage is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. One can generate few complaints in tasting Don…

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Review: 2018 Crossbarn Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County

By Christopher Null | May 6, 2022 |

Here’s a straightforward, plummy cab born in Sonoma that lets its fruit flag fly, at least up front, with notes of red plums and a cherry element giving way to some spicy pepper character as the wine develops on the palate. Moderate oak and notes of tea leaf and cola inform an experience that ultimately…

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Review: Wines of Thacher, 2022 Releases

By Christopher Null | May 3, 2022 |

Thacher is one of the wineries leading the charge of “Paso Robles’ new school” — lower alcohol, higher acidity, new types of grapes not often found in this region. We recently received a quartet of wines from the operation for review, all new releases. 2020 Thacher Own-Rooted Chenin Blanc Shell Creek Vineyard – Approachable and…

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Review: 2021 Banfi Rosa Regale Sparkling Red and Sparkling White

By Robert Lublin | May 1, 2022 |

It’s been twelve years since we last reviewed Banfi’s delightful dessert wine Rosa Regali Sparkling Red, and it deserves another visit, particularly since it is joined this year by a new Sparkling White. Both are lightly fizzy, sweet dessert wines and both show particularly low abv: 7%. Let’s see how the Sparkling Red compares to…

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Review: 2021 Sonoma-Cutrer Rose of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

By Christopher Null | April 26, 2022 |

Sonoma-Cutrer’s pinot-driven rose offers a classic Provence-style construction, a mere 11.9% abv, driven by white flowers, ripe strawberry, and lingering vanilla notes as the wine develops in glass. Lemon notes emerge late in the game, the lightest layer of florals lifting the otherwise vanilla-laden, nougat-like sweetness, just a touch. This wine never tends toward complexity,…

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