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

Touring Oregon’s Willamette Valley, March 2008

By Christopher Null | March 31, 2008 |

If it weren’t for the many gravel roads and all the snow, I would have sworn that, while touring Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the crown jewel of its growing wine operation, I was in the heart of Sonoma. Willamette has everything you’d expect from Northern California wineries: Gorgeous tasting rooms, courteous staff, weekday crowds, and even…

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Tasting Report: Rhone Rangers 2008

By Christopher Null | March 18, 2008 |

One of the most exhausting and exhaustive wine events around, San Francisco’s “Rhone Rangers” celebration of Rhone-style wines (and only Rhone-style wines) was a huge hit last weekend. The only problem: With about 100 wineries in attendance, many pouring 6 or 8 wines at their tables, sampling even one wine from each winery is pretty…

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Review: saké2me Sparkling Cocktails

By Christopher Null | March 14, 2008 |

My first challenge in this review is not how to describe what saké2me tastes like. It’s how to categorize it in this blog. saké2me is a blend of sake, natural flavors, and sparkling water. It comes in ready-to-drink bottles 187ml in size and weighs in at a beer-like 7% alcohol, comparable to malt liquor-based beverages…

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Review: 2006 Beringer Chardonnay California Collection

By Christopher Null | February 9, 2008 |

One doesn’t expect much from a bottle of wine that costs six bucks, but Beringer turns out a pretty drinkable product with this new bottling. Beringer’s Chardonnay “California Collection” is distinguished by a distinct lack of oakiness. Instead, it’s rich with apple fruit, displaying both a nice acidity and a little buttery roundness on the…

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Review: 2006 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir

By Christopher Null | February 6, 2008 |

Of all Pinot Noir wines, Oregon Pinots might be the most prototypical “new world” examples of the grape. The earthiness — even skunkiness — of French Burgundies is absent in most Oregon Pinots, at least at reasonable price levels. The fruit takes center stage here, not the terroir. Willamette Valley Vineyards’ newly released 2006 Pinot…

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Review: 2004 Clos du Bois Zinfandel North Coast

By Christopher Null | January 30, 2008 |

My expectations for a $10 Zin don’t exactly run high, but Clos du Bois’s latest is just fine for a weekday quaff. It overwhelms with berry aromas the minute you open the bottle, cherry and raspberry filling the room. There’s less to impress when you drink it: It goes down easy but there’s nothing complex…

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Tasting Report: Bonhams Pre-Auction Event, January 2008

By Christopher Null | January 27, 2008 |

Hit another tasting event this week (check out September 2007’s report here). My notes are less copious this month; the wines were good on the whole, but nothing knocked me off my feet. Here are some thoughts on what was especially interesting over the course of the evening. Nothing of exceptional note among the whites,…

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Review: 2004 Viñedos de Aldeanueva Rioja Cortijo II Crianza

By Christopher Null | January 18, 2008 |

If you’ve dismissed Spanish wines until now, you might be in for a surprise. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an easier drinking wine, from Spain or anywhere else, than Viñedos de Aldeanueva’s Cortijo Crianza (aka Cortijo II Crianza; the II refers to, well, I’m not sure exactly what, but I think it has something to…

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Original Recipe: The St. Ignatius Cocktail

By Christopher Null | January 16, 2008 |

The idea for this cocktail came to me out of the blue. It’s indeed quite delicious. The St. Ignatius 1 oz. St. Germain liqueur 1 oz. white dessert wine (Sauternes, Tokaji, Moscato, or premium American botrytis-affected wine like Violetta) Shake with ice and strain into a coupe. I actually used Donnafugata’s Passito di Pantelleria Ben…

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Review: 2007 Henry Fessy Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau

By Christopher Null | December 16, 2007 |

I should have written this up a month ago, when the 2007 Beaujolais Nouveaus first hit the market, but time got away from me… plus, there are still plenty of Beaujolais Nouveau wines available, including this one from Henry Fessy. For those not familiar with Beaujolais Nouveau, this is a young wine from the Burgundy…

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