Wine

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 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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Tasting Report: Wines of New Zealand and Australia, 2008

By Christopher Null | December 11, 2008 |

It’s cold outside but it’s hot down south — the southern hemisphere, that is — and in that honor the folks at Uncorked Events through a wine party for Australian and New Zealand wine producers. Some 100 wines were available for sampling from about 20 different producers/importers/consortia. Since we’re dealing with a mixed bag of…

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Review: Vinturi Wine Aerator

By Christopher Null | December 7, 2008 |

Every wine enthusiast ends up with drawers full of gadgets designed to enhance the flavor of wine, but a good old decanter is perhaps the best way to take both a tannic young wine or a musty old one and bring out the most pleasant characters of each without a lot of sitting around and…

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Review: Karafe Wine Enthusiast Board Game

By Christopher Null | December 7, 2008 |

I love the concept of the board game Karafe: It’s a lot like the game of Life, where you try to accumulate wealth as you get from start to finish on a long, twisting road, only it’s got a big twist: Rather than go from cradle to grave with a real job, you go from…

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Review: 2006 Dos Cabezas WineWorks Red

By Christopher Null | November 30, 2008 |

Dos Cabezas stands as the only wine brand I’ve consumed to hail from the great state of Arizona. No, really: They grow grapes and bottle wine in every state in the U.S., so why not sweltering Arizona, too? Dos Cabezas is based in Sonoita, a mountainous region (nearly a mile high, where it gets awfully…

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Review: Inniskillin Ice Wines, 2008 Releases

By Christopher Null | November 26, 2008 |

Rarely have dessert wines vanished from Drinkhacker HQ so quickly as Inniskillin’s Ice Wines (or Icewines). Traditionally made icewine from Canada, these low-alcohol, high-sugar, high-addiction-level wines vanished in days. Icewine is a very sweet and flavorful wine made from grapes that are left on the vine until winter’s frost arrives, freezing the grapes only after…

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Review: 2007 Viu Manent Secreto Viognier

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2008 |

This Chilean viognier (85 percent, the other 15 percent is mystery juice) is a lighter style than you usually find from California viogniers: Perfumy, with light peach and apricot notes. There’s a vague meatiness underlying the fruit flavor — which is more than a little strange in a wine like this — and the finish…

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