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: 2017 Appassionata Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Andante

By Christopher Null | March 28, 2024 |

2017 is the current vintage for this pinot noir from Oregon’s Appassionata, which is curiously made by the same winemaker as Germany’s Dr. Loosen. Light on its feet and filled with floral elements, this doesn’t immediately evoke Oregon’s typically more brooding style. Fresh raspberry melds with black tea, offering a mix of lively fruit and…

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The Top 10 Wines for Summer 2024

By Christopher Null | March 25, 2024 |

Ready for warmer weather? Well, it’s coming like it or not, and even if you’re not a fan of hotter days and nights, summertime does mean we’ll get a chance to break out some more seasonally appropriate whites and reds that pair well with the warmer months of the year. Drop the parka and dive…

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Review: Baldacci 2021 Proprietary Red Blend and 2022 Chardonnay Carneros

By Rob Theakston | March 23, 2024 |

Thomas and Brenda Baldacci certainly have much for which they could give thanks and celebrate. Last year marked 25 years since purchasing their Stags Leap Estate and next year will mark 25 years since their first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. 2023 also marked 20 years since the opening of their tasting room and as of…

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A Visit to The Donum Estate

By Christopher Null | March 23, 2024 |

Apparently The Donum Estate has been hiding in plain sight from me for more than two decades. This winery, established in 2001, is located just behind Domaine Carneros, a famed winery just a half hour from my former home and a place where I’ve visited innumerable times. Had I traveled a bit further down the…

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Tasting the Tannats of Uruguay, Spring 2024 Releases

By Rob Theakston | March 22, 2024 |

In a choice review last month, we had the opportunity and good fortune to enjoy a Tannat emanating from the vineyards of California’s Paso Robles region. By lucky coincidence, this happened to dovetail nicely into a simultaneously scheduled webinar with Master Sommelier, wine educator, and all-around amicable fellow Peter Granoff, who presented an overview of…

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Review: 2021 Rombauer Zinfandel California

By Robert Lublin | March 20, 2024 |

It’s always a pleasure to try a new vintage from Rombauer, and this year’s Zinfandel release is typical for the winery in that it is, again, atypical for a California Zin. The nose hits with big notes of plum, mocha, cola, and just a trace of tobacco. The palate is a bit different: mocha with…

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Review: Wines of Ancient Peaks, 2024 Releases

By Christopher Null | March 19, 2024 |

More wines from Paso Robles-based Ancient Peaks, which we’ve covered at length over the years. Here’s a look at the latest batch of releases, including our first encounter with the Ancient Peaks Pearl label. 2022 Ancient Peaks Chardonnay Santa Margarita Ranch – Creamy vanilla and lemon curd meld nicely against a lightly acidic backbone that…

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Review: 2021 The Calling Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles

By Robert Lublin | March 17, 2024 |

The Calling was founded by Jim Nantz and Peter Deutsch, and the brand’s wines are made by veteran winemaker James MacPhail, who primarily makes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon with grapes sourced from Sonoma, Monterey, and Paso Robles, California. The wine we are trying today, a Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, is made with 100%…

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Tasting Virginia’s Best Wines, 2023 Releases

By Christopher Null | March 10, 2024 |

Periodically we visit the wines of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and up and coming region that celebrates its finest bottlings each year in the form of the Shenandoah Valley Cup. The six wines below took top honors in 2023’s competition, and we’re happy to share our opinions as well. 2020 Briede Sparkling Winchester – The primary varietal…

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Review: 2021 Daou Seventeen Forty Reserve Paso Robles

By Christopher Null | March 9, 2024 |

This wine from Daou — now seemingly everywhere — is a blend of 64% cabernet franc, 36% merlot. That’s quite an unusual composition, and I would have guessed this was a lighter style cabernet sauvignon based on its presentation of gentler tones of cherry, blackberry, and blueberry notes. The lattermost of these is particularly enduring,…

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