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
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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: 2021 Tangent Albarino Edna Valley

By Christopher Null | November 15, 2022 |

No longer a single-vineyard wine since our last review, Tangent’s Edna Valley-sourced albarino remains on par with the 2018 release we covered a few years back. Specifically, it’s quite mild and gently sweet, offering notes of sesame oil paired with white flowers. Quiet throughout, with notes of guava on more white flowers on the finish.…

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Review: Namazake Paul Sake Advent Calendar 2022

By Christopher Null | November 15, 2022 |

You know whiskey advent calendars and wine advent calendars and beer advent calendars. Now sake gets its due, courtesy of Namazake Paul, perhaps the most noteworthy online seller of sake in the U.S. Namazake Paul’s advent calendar — the only one of its kind — is quite the production, featuring 23 180ml cups of sake…

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Review: Ancient Peaks 2020 Merlot and 2019 Oyster Ridge

By Christopher Null | November 14, 2022 |

Paso Robles-based Ancient Peaks recently dropped two new reds for wintertime sipping. Let’s give them a try as the temperature starts to dip. 2020 Ancient Peaks Merlot Santa Margarita Ranch – Surprisingly pruny for merlot, with notes of blackberry jam and well-steeped tea informing a dusky, licorice-fueled body. Far more extracted than expected for a…

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Review: Gary Farrell 2020 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Russian River Selection

By Christopher Null | November 13, 2022 |

Gary Farrell’s 2020 vintage wines from its widely available Russian River Selection series have arrived, and we’re ready to put them through their paces. Here we go. 2020 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Selection – Another pretty, highly floral chardonnay from Gary Farrell, loaded up with notes of green apple, caramel, and baking spice. The…

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Review: 2021 Sosie Rose of Syrah

By Christopher Null | November 12, 2022 |

Here’s a syrah-based rose made from estate grapes grown at Vivio Vineyard in Sonoma’s Bennett Valley. The immediate surprise here is how salty this wine is: Loaded with saline, the saltiness detracts from the fruitier notes in the mix — strawberry, with some maraschino cherry blended in. Marshmallow cream is evident throughout, rounding out the…

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Review: 2018 Knostman Malbec

By Rob Theakston | November 11, 2022 |

Oregon’s Umpqua Valley isn’t exactly an immediate selection one thinks of when discussing West Coast wines, but a quick search on the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers site reveals nearly two dozen wineries in operation, with more on the way. This malbec comes from the Knostman Family Vineyard, an up-and-coming operation with plenty of varietals from which…

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Review: 2020 La Posta Pizzella Malbec

By Rob Theakston | November 10, 2022 |

Laura Catena is busy enough racking up award after award for her family’s flagship Catena lines that one would think between co-authoring one of the best books on Malbec, running the day-to-day operations of the family business, running a medical clinic, and releasing new high-altitude variations on malbec that she would have enough on her…

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Review: 2019 Comboio do Vesuvio Douro

By Christopher Null | November 9, 2022 |

Portugal’s Douro is know for being the home of Port wines, but a number of still wines are also produced here, including this bottling, made on the estates of Port producer Quinta do Vesuvio. It’s blended from four Portuguese grapes: Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Tinta Barroca. Rich with currants and plums, almost…

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Review: Maddalena 2020 Merlot and 2021 Rose

By Rob Theakston | November 8, 2022 |

This wallet-friendly extension of Paso Robles-based San Antonio wines is named after its founder, Maddalena Riboli. Now in her mid-nineties, she remains actively involved as an advisor to day-to-day operations with no signs of slowing down. Here’s a look at two of the more recent bottlings in the company’s extensive portfolio of offerings: 2020 Maddalena…

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Review: Peirano 2021 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and 2020 Malbec

By Rob Theakston | November 7, 2022 |

While Central Valley’s Lodi region may not carry the brand-name luxury clout of other parts of California, it has more than a generous number of winemakers releasing affordable, approachable wines of quality at a healthy pace.  Peirano is a fourth-generation family enterprise from the area, and we gave two of their most recent red releases…

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