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

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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Classic Recipe: The Vesper

By Christopher Null | July 1, 2008 |

In 1953, Ian Fleming wrote Casino Royale, and had James Bond invent his own drink, which he called the Vesper, after a character in the book. The drink made a new appearance in the previous Bond movie of the same name, with Daniel Craig rapid-firing the recipe to a waiter so quickly I’m amazed he…

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Review: Lillet Blanc

By Christopher Null | June 30, 2008 |

Yes, even I have to fight the urge not to say it as “lillette” (hard T) instead of leelay, as it is in proper French. Lillet is an aromatic wine from the Bordeaux region in France; though not always marketed as such, Lillet is essentially a vermouth and can be substituted for dry vermouth in…

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Calorie Counts for Every Booze

By Christopher Null | June 30, 2008 |

Captain Morgan has 86 calories per shot, but Seagram’s Gin has 120. Natty Lite: 95. Smirnoff Ice: 241. If you’re curious how your favorite tipple stacks up in the alcohol content, caloric content, and carbs per serving, check out the Consumer Federation of America’s Alcohol Facts table (PDF link) showing you exactly what’s what in…

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Review: 2005 Hall Wines Cabernet Sauvignon “Jack’s Masterpiece”

By Christopher Null | June 21, 2008 |

Very young but full of promise, this Napa Cabernet created by Hall Wines president Mike Reynolds is a potential keeper, though I fear it’s far too young to drink today. The 2005 Cab is locked up tight as a snare drum. Even after several hours in the glass, it still hasn’t opened up much for…

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10 Drinking Achievements Before You Die

By Christopher Null | June 20, 2008 |

While we try to at least give lip service to “discriminating” drinking around here, this list of essential boozehound exploits is if nothing else lots of fun to read. Perhaps the toughest: Case In A Day – 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I prefer to think not. You need…

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Review: 2007 Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio

By Christopher Null | June 14, 2008 |

Never a huge fan of Pinot Grigio, I’ve found Graffigna’s new release quite compelling as the varietal goes. Here’s a crisp and brisk wine, very citrusy (especially lemon, maybe some lime), with a bracing acidity. There’s Pinot Grigio’s telltale “meat” flavor in the finish, but, and it feels weird to type this, it works well…

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Review: NV Gallo Family Vineyards Twin Valley Chardonnay

By Christopher Null | June 11, 2008 |

The good folks at Gallo Family Vineyards (see prior review here) were kind enough to send along a four-pack of mini-bottles of Twin Valley Chardonnay, a non-vintage white that’s as close to a “picnic wine” as you’re likely to find. Like “summer wine,” the “picnic wine” term comes loaded with baggage. It implies an easy-drinking,…

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