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

Would You Ever Order the Cheapest Bottle on the Wine List?

By Christopher Null | February 9, 2009 |

I know there’s a ton of interest in super-cheap wine. My review of the $1.97 Oak Leaf wines is one of the most popular pages on the site. Unsurprising then that Food & Wine’s Lettie Teague undertook a unique experiment: Ordering the very cheapest wine on a number of wine lists around the country to…

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Review: 2005 Maryhill Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley

By Christopher Null | February 3, 2009 |

Washington state may be the next big region for American wine. Maryhill Winery, based in Washington’s Columbia Valley, has been pumping out a dozen or so varietals for years now, and we got our hands on a few of the company’s recent bottles, including this 2005 Cabernet Franc. This wine, black as squid ink (well,…

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Tasting Report: 2004 Brunello di Montalcino

By Christopher Null | January 23, 2009 |

Brunello — the crown prince of Tuscan wine — is coming off some rough times. Earlier this year the region, located right in the heart of Tuscany, found itself under attack. Why? Some producers were allegedly violating Italian law and bottling other wines than Brunello di Montalcino (which, by law, has to be 100% sangiovese),…

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Review: 2004 St. Supery Élu

By Christopher Null | January 20, 2009 |

St. Supery’s most prized wine, Élu, arrives this season in its 2004 incarnation. We got our hands on a bottle — marketed as a perfect Valentine’s Day bottle (trust us, she ain’t worth it!) — to put to the test. A classic Bordeaux blend, the 2004 Élu is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 8% Cabernet…

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Original Recipe: The Hope and Glory

By Christopher Null | January 15, 2009 |

The folks at Yahoo! Shine asked me to come up with an “Obamatini” in honor of Barack Obama’s inauguration next Tuesday. Rather than slop some liquor into a cocktail glass and color it blue, here’s an honest cocktail that will let you celebrate the occasion in style! For an authentic Hope and Glory, all the…

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Review: Noilly Prat Original Dry Vermouth – New Recipe 2009

By Christopher Null | December 26, 2008 |

People agonize over what brand gin or vodka to use in their martini, but precious little thought tends to go into the selection of vermouth. Today I’ve done something most would deem unthinkable: Drink vermouth straight. Why? Because Noilly Prat, the French maker of one of the world’s best-selling brands of vermouth, is changing its…

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Review: NV Ayala Champagne Brut Majeur

By Christopher Null | December 20, 2008 |

Expanding recently into more of the U.S. (including San Francisco’s Bubble Lounge), Ayala is a name unfamiliar to most local drinkers. We were lucky enough to land a bottle for review. A familiar, dry sparkler, this Champagne is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier (in that order). Lightly aromatic and featuring a…

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How Cold Is It?

By Christopher Null | December 17, 2008 |

It’s snowing in Napa. Photo from CADE Winery on Howell Mountain.

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Book Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine Basics (Second Edition)

By Christopher Null | December 13, 2008 |

I never would have thought I’d be recommending a book about wine with the phrase “complete idiot” in the title, but for outright rank beginners, this tome by Tara Q. Thomas is an accessible way to get a bearing on a complicated subject. Primarily broken down by grape varietal (with a few chapters devoted to…

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Review: NV Cattier Champagne Brut Antique

By Christopher Null | December 11, 2008 |

While there is certainly a shortage of things to celebrate these days, should you encounter one — a wedding or a baby, perhaps — consider grabbing a bottle of Cattier for the event. Cattier is a new label for the U.S. A big brand overseas (it’s sold in 65 countries), it is only just now…

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