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wine profile

  1. Wine Profile: Pinot Noir

    Wine Profile: Pinot Noir

    Maya: You know, can I ask you a personal question, Miles? Miles: Sure. Maya: Why are you so into Pinot? I mean, it's like a thing with you. Miles: Uh, I don't know, I don't know. Um, it's a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It's uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a...
  2. Wine Profile: Chardonnay

    Wine Profile: Chardonnay

    As the days start to be sunnier and the nights begin later and later every day, I start to long for the things that say 'spring' to me, like asparagus, apricots, and sandals.  And after months of craving nothing but Cabernet and Pinot Noir, I start to want something different: something light enough to remind me of the sun, and...
  3. Wine Profile: Chianti

    Wine Profile: Chianti

    Chianti used to be regarded as an inferior wine.  But in the last 40 years, this simple red has undergone what might be bigger changes than any other varietal out there.  Chianti is made mostly from Sangiovese grapes: one of the hardest kinds of wine grapes to grow.  In the past, growers over-cut the Sangiovese vines, and also mixed the...
  4. Wine Profile: Sangiovese

    Wine Profile: Sangiovese

    Ahh, Sangiovese.  Despite its delightfully Italian name (which, incidentally, gives you a great opportunity to do your best Godfather impression), Sangiovese is a great wine that has been loved for a long time.  The first literary reference to Sangiovese was made in 1722, but it is most likely much older than that. Sangiovese is a bit similar to Chianti, because...
  5. Wine Profile: Riesling

    Wine Profile: Riesling

    Along with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling is considered one of the world's greatest white wines.  Riesling has a long history, even for a wine: it has been produced for at least 600 years.  Rieslings are highly versatile: they cover a widerange from dry, crisp wine perfect for a spring picnic, to  highly sweet dessert wines with complex, unctuous flavors. Riesling...
  6. Wine Profile: Gewürztraminer

    Wine Profile: Gewürztraminer

    First off, let's get that pronunciation correct: it's ga-VERTZ-trah-MEE-ner.  Gewürztraminer, besides being a fun way to show off your best German accent, is a great wine that has increased in popularity in recent years.  Besides Germany, it is grown in Alsace, France, and less notably, in California and Australia. Gewürztraminer grapes are difficult to grow.  They require cold conditions, but...
  7. Wine Profile: Pinot Gris/Grigio

    Wine Profile: Pinot Gris/Grigio

    Pinot Grigio (or Pinot Gris, but more on that later) has long been a wine scorned by experts.  It is thought to be a wine easy to drink—light on acidity, structure, and aroma; in other words, only good for those whose palates aren’t sophisticated enough to enjoy the truly great things about wine.  But is this reputation deserved? First off...
  8. Sherry: Is it for the Kitchen or the Bar?

    Sherry: Is it for the Kitchen or the Bar?

    This morning, I picked up a bottle of sherry for dinner tonight.  Not to drink, but to cook with.  But then it struck me: why was I abjuring it from my glass, and banishing a cup to the soup pot and the remainder to a slow death in the cupboard?  Sherry is wine, after all.  Why don't we drink it...
  9. Wine Profile: Malbec

    Wine Profile: Malbec

    Meet Malbec!  Malbec grapes are a beautiful deep purple color, and they produce a rich, dark wine.  Malbec is commonly used in combination with other grapes to create Bordeaux-style blends, but can stand alone as an exceptional wine as well. The Malbec grape is very thin-skinned, delicate, and easily ruined by frost.  It requires more sunlight than most grapes, and...
  10. Wine Profile: Rioja

    Wine Profile: Rioja

    If you haven't yet ventured into Spanish wines, it's time you start.  Spain has more acres devoted to wine grapes than any other country in the world.  They don't produce as much wine as some other countries because of their obsession with quality.  They don't force plants to produce over their natural limits, and they don't overcrowd their vines.  Spain...
  11. Love Champagne but Hate the Price?  Try Cava.

    Love Champagne but Hate the Price? Try Cava.

    I love to drink champagne.  It doesn't have to be a special occasion, in fact, sometimes I'll make one up just to have an excuse to celebrate with the bubbly stuff.  Whether I'm toasting to a job well done or a job I didn't quite get done, champagne always puts a smile on my face.  But what doesn't make me...
  12. Wine Profile: Syrah

    Wine Profile: Syrah

    It's still hot outside, but it won't stay that way for long.  Soon, fall will be here, and its chilly breezes will make you crave wines that are deep, rich, and robust.  One perfect wine for fall?  Syrah, sometimes called Shiraz. Syrah or Shiraz is a very dark wine grape--almost black in color--that produces bold and rich wine.  Syrah grapes have...
  13. Red, White, and One Grape for Two Zins

    Red, White, and One Grape for Two Zins

    Recently, the Washington Post ran an article recommending various Zinfandels.  Although the recommendations were quite good, particularly the Frog’s Leap 2008, the Washington Post piece confused many wine newcomers.  White Zinfandels are well-known and well-liked, but few non-wine-expert-folks realize that Red Zinfandels exist.  White Zinfandel makes up 9.9% of U.S. wine sales, which is six times greater than sales of...
  14. All About Champagne

    All About Champagne

    Champagne is a summertime wedding necessity, or rather a necessity at any wedding!  But, is your toast made with the “real” deal, or with a different wine called by the same name? In the U. S., the label “Champagne” is used generically to denote almost any sparkling wine (some good, some bad), but in almost all other countries it is...
  15. Oysters and Chablis

    Oysters and Chablis

    Oysters have, since ancient times, been regarded as potent aphrodisiacs.  While this belief may be partially attributed to myth and sympathetic magic, a group of Italian and American researchers found that oysters, along with certain other shellfish, are “rich in rare amino acids that trigger increased levels of hormones.”  History’s most famous lover, Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798), were he alive today...
  16. The Allure of Tokaji Wine

    The Allure of Tokaji Wine

    Children are often amused to learn that, years before Kraft Foods, Ludwig van Beethoven’s favorite dish was macaroni and cheese!  For adults--even those of us who still enjoy mac and cheese--it may be more interesting to note that one of Beethoven’s favorite wines was a white dessert wine from Hungary’s Tokaj region.  Situated northeast of Budapest, the Tokaj region...
  17. Champagne: a Holy Toast

    Champagne: a Holy Toast

    Named after the Champagne region of France, Champagne was first bottled by French monks.  But where do the bubbles come from?  The process of making the bubbles needed for this sparkling wine was invented by two Benedictine monks and cellarmasters: Frère Jean Oudart (1654–1742) from the abbey of Saint-Pierre aux Monts de Châlons, and Dom Pierre Pérignon (1639–1715) from...
  18. Good Wine for Auld Lang Syne

    Good Wine for Auld Lang Syne

    Sung to celebrate the stroke of midnight which begins each New Year, Robert Burns’ poem is a New Year’s staple, and so is the tradition of toasting to the hour with Champagne, or other sparkling wines.  Are you hosting a New Year’s Eve party?  If so, what do you plan to toast with?  Here’s some basic info to help...
  19. A Little Bit About Prosecco

    A Little Bit About Prosecco

    Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine that is often made Dry or Extra Dry.  Unlike sweeter sparkling wines, today's Prosecco is intended to be on the drier side.  Though Prosecco is often used as a Champagne (or other sparkling wine) substitute, it has its own distinctive taste.  While Champagne and other sparklers are sought after for their complexity, Prosecco is...
  20. What to Look for in Ruby Port

    What to Look for in Ruby Port

    Of all the varieties of port, ruby port is arguably the smoothest.  Many wine drinkers unfamiliar with the world of port can easily enjoy glasses of this sweet, deep red wine.  Sampling ruby port is a fantastic way for wine drinkers to become familiar with port wine, and though often less complex than their tawny cousins, good ruby wines can...

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