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: 2005 Barossa Valley Estate E Minor Chardonnay and Shiraz

By Christopher Null | May 20, 2008 |

Created from grapes grown throughout Australia’s Barossa Valley, Barossa Valley Estate’s E Minor bottlings are real mutts of a wine, the product of labors of some 60 growers. Can a wine created from grapes from dozens of vineyards be any good? Let’s find out. 2005 Barossa Valley Estate E Minor Chardonnay is a new world…

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Papa, Where Does Rosé Come From?

By Christopher Null | May 20, 2008 |

I had to laugh at a press release sent today from Hardys, the “no. 1 wine brand” in the UK, which stated that although wine is the “drink of choice” for 2/3 of British drinkers, almost a quarter of them thought that rosé was made from mixing red and white wine together. I probably shouldn’t…

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Review: NV Seven Daughters Red and White

By Christopher Null | May 18, 2008 |

My dad once asked me what would happen if you took a bunch of different wines and mixed them together. Would they taste very good? The result would probably be something like Seven Daughters, curious and not entirely unsuccessful. Two wines — a white and a red, both labeled nonvintage “California” wines, which means the…

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Robert Mondavi Dead at 94

By Christopher Null | May 16, 2008 |

Robert Mondavi, the founding father of the California wine industry, passed away today at 94 years old. Mondavi was crucial to the development of fine wine in California. He founded his eponymous estate in 1966, already 53 years old, and turned California from a place best known for jug wine and drunk staples like Ripple…

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Tasting Gallo’s Gold Medal Awards, 2008 Releases

By Christopher Null | May 13, 2008 |

For three years now, the good folks at Gallo have hunted for the best artisan foodstuffs to pair with their wines. This year, seven winners were chosen, and the company was good enough to send some samples along with a bottle of their 2006 Gallo Family Sonoma Reserve Pinot Gris as a pairing. Both snacks…

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Book Review: Peñín Guide to Spanish Wines 2008

By Christopher Null | May 8, 2008 |

José Peñín’s pets probably know more about Spanish wine than I do: It’s a complicated region to get a grasp on, hindered by a difficult-to-understand collection of wine regions (68 of them are formally recognized, and there are dozens of lesser regions, too), a variety of grapes not widely grown elsewhere, and the fact that…

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Has California Wine Gone Off?

By Christopher Null | May 6, 2008 |

Alice Feiring writes today in the Los Angeles Times that she’s quit drinking wine from California because, in her mind, the wines have become “overblown, over-alcoholed, over-oaked, overpriced and over-manipulated.” It’s an old story, really: Some folks in the biz feel that certain critics (specifically Robert Parker) are being pandered to by winemakers who know…

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Bordeaux Wine Futures: Wine Pricing Gone Mad

By Christopher Null | May 5, 2008 |

My earlier article on how wine is priced barely scratched the surface. If you really want to see wine pricing gone wild, check out Fortune‘s story on how Bordeaux’s top chateaus price their wine, 90 percent of which is sold as futures before it ever gets into a bottle. Every April some 5,000 buyers and…

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Review: Oak Leaf’s $1.97 Chardonnay and Merlot

By Christopher Null | May 3, 2008 |

How good can something cheap really be? When last I broached this topic I found there was some correlation between wine prices and quality, but that it was fairly weak. But that analysis doesn’t really apply to the rock-bottom pricing that rules the world of jug wines, box wines, and stuff like Oak Leaf, a…

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Tasting Report: Napa Valley with Altitude, April 2008

By Christopher Null | April 26, 2008 |

Rather than focus on a specific grape varietal, this event had the unique idea to get the word out about three small parts of Napa Valley, specifically, the mountain regions of Spring Mountain, Mount Veeder, and Diamond Mountain, which run one after another along the valley in the Mayacamas mountain range that makes up Napa’s…

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