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

Winebloggin’ at Wired

By Christopher Null | July 29, 2008 |

In the world of wine gadgets, there are fancy thermometers, cool glasses, and high-end corkscrews. And then there is WinePod, which lets you make your own wine, 48 bottles at a time, from frozen grapes, year-round. I installed a WinePod in my house last week, and my first 150 pounds of grapes go into it…

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Trip Report: Napa and Sonoma Valley, July 2008

By Christopher Null | July 24, 2008 |

Some families go on vacation to Disneyland. My family goes to the wine country. (Hey, don’t feel bad for the kids. There is a TON of stuff to do up there, from swimming to amusement parks to visiting the Jelly Belly factory… all of which we did this time up.) Spending five days tasting wine,…

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Review: Sandeman Tawny Port 20 Years Old (2008)

By Christopher Null | July 14, 2008 |

I always seem to have a bottle of Port open and at the ready… but never get around to drinking it. Memo to self: Drink more Porto. Sandeman’s 20 Year Tawny is a nicely mellowed tawny, not too rich or sweet (which I know turns many Port drinkers off), but still bearing some nice complexity.…

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Review: Lillet Rouge

By Christopher Null | July 12, 2008 |

The charms of Lillet Blanc have been adequately covered in this blog. But there’s another Lillet — Lillet Rouge — which is considerably harder to find even though it’s been on the market since 1962. There’s not a lot of mystery to what Lillet Rouge is: As the name implies, it’s pretty much the same…

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Review: 2005 Brancaia Ilatraia

By Christopher Null | July 11, 2008 |

Brancaia (sometimes indexed as “La Brancaia”) is regularly touted as one of the great Super-Tuscan wineries, yet the wines, while expensive, are generally in reach of the average wine buyer. Though in production for only a few years, the $70 Ilatraia is already one of Brancaia’s signature bottlings, a 60-30-10 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese,…

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Review: 2005 Robert Craig Affinity

By Christopher Null | July 8, 2008 |

Robert Craig has been making wine on Mount Veeder for 30 years. Exactly. This year, Craig celebrates its 30th anniversary as a creator of “mountain Cabernets.” In honor, here comes his 2005 Affinity, a Bordeaux-style blend from Howell Mountain, on the other side of the valley. Affinity is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 1%…

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Review: 2004 Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Reserve

By Christopher Null | July 7, 2008 |

Looking for a solid Zinfandel at a good price? Check out Rancho Zabaco’s Dry Creek Valley Reserve. Rancho Zabaco’s wines are classic, old-school zins, less blatantly jammy and fruity than most modern Zinfandels. The Dry Creek Valley Reserve has an earthy, plum character, with hints of smoke and tar. On the nose this is still…

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Red Wine + Meat = A Healthy Carnivore

By Christopher Null | July 4, 2008 |

More research into how red wine works its magical health benefits: Pair red wine with red meat and the two mix in the stomach (before it enters the bloodstream), to “thwart the formation of harmful chemicals that are released when meat is digested.” From The Economist: The digestion of high-fat foods such as red meat…

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Review: 2004 Owl Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon T. R. Passalacqua Vineyard

By Christopher Null | July 3, 2008 |

2004 California Cabernets are still trickling onto the market now, which is shaping up as a solid but not out-of-the-park year for the grape. When we last met Owl Ridge, we were reviewing its 2003 Brigden Vineyard Cab. This year we’re checking out the 2004 T. R. Passalacqua Vineyard. With just 600 cases made, this…

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Tasting Report: Pinot Days 2008

By Christopher Null | July 2, 2008 |

Epic wine tasting this weekend. Despite a terrible flu, I pushed through the pain and drank up a whole lotta Pinot Noir (more than I’d thought possible) in my quest to find the brightest stars. 2006 was pouring from virtually all of these wineries, though pockets of library vintages could be found and even a…

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