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Wine Lingo, Descriptors, & Locations

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Understanding Napa Cabernet. By learning more about Napa’s great Cabernet wines, we can better understand what makes this varietal exceptional and learn to spot Napa Valley and California wines with great promise and potential.

Understanding Napa Cabernet

It all started with a little too much ambition… Had it not been for the overambitious visions of just a few individuals, Napa Valley might have never become one of the most important wine regions in the world. When Napa Valley was only just getting started, America’s passion for Bordeaux wines was feverishly high, so much so that even the first lady at the time, Jackie O., was known to sip Château Haut-Brion Blanc in the White House. Napa’s vintners no doubt observed Bordeaux’s success and looked to the region for inspiration. In June 1950 the Napa Valley Vintners Association dedicated the now world-famous Napa Valley sign to the region. Stag’s Leap 1973 was the leading Napa Cabernet in the 1976 Judgement of Paris and Groth 1985 was the first 100-point wine. Fruit Quality Depth of Flavor Oak. Lambrusco Wines Worth Drinking. Upon the boisterous expression of the beauty of Lambrusco, you may be remonstrated with something like, “You mean that cheap, sweet red wine that tastes like soda?”

Lambrusco Wines Worth Drinking

Well not exactly, but yes, that one. Apparently, Lambrusco still has a long way to go since it tarnished its reputation nearly 40 years ago (blame the wine boom of the 1970s). Fortunately, this means you can find great wines for obscenely good prices. Lambrusco is awesome and its story is more fascinating than probably imagined. Lambrusco is actually a family of very old grape varieties native to Italy. Today, the best Lambruscos are dry (secco) and barely sweet (semisecco) and are almost always made in a semi-sparkling, frizzante, style.

A glass of Lambrusco di Sorbara, the lightest and most floral of the Lambrusco grapes. Classy Lambrusco Wines to Try Lambrusco di Sorbara This grape produces the lightest and most delicate and floral of the Lambrusco wines, often in a light, pink-rose hue. The Essential Guide to Riesling Wine. Learn the secrets of fantastic Riesling; its origins, its flavor profile, and some classic Riesling food pairings.

The Essential Guide to Riesling Wine

Riesling wine has a colorful German heritage. Today, it has emerged as one of the most collectible white wines among top connoisseurs around the world. Wine Phrases And What They Mean In Plain English. One of the most difficult aspects of being a casual wine consumer is that it can often seem like the enthusiasts are speaking a completely different language, and while that language may also be in English, to most people it’s anything but.

Wine Phrases And What They Mean In Plain English

The problem with this is that usually it’s the enthusiasts who are selling us the wine we so desperately want to enjoy, but because of the language disconnect, we’re left wondering what that phrase they just used actually means while standing there nodding our heads. For those of us lost in translation, just as we explained the meaning of 20 wine words most people don’t know, here are 16 wine phrases translated to plain English, so we’re all speaking the same language.

“Pop and Pour” The wine is ready to drink right out of the bottle. No need to decant, it drinks incredibly well the minute you pop the cork. This bottle is a true “pop and pour,” perfect for a party. “Lay It Down” “Let It Breathe” We should let the bottle breathe before drinking it. Featured Wine: Nebbiolo. The most popular Nebbiolo-based wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, are quite expensive.

Featured Wine: Nebbiolo

Luckily, you can get your cherry, tar, and rose-fix from a few other regions where there are more pocketbook-friendly options. The neighboring regions such as Roero, Gattinara, Ghemme, Nebbiolo d’Alba and Langhe in Piedmont, as well as Valtellina in Lombardy, are made with 70-100% Nebbiolo and offer similar (if not strikingly similar – Roero) flavor profiles to Barolo, with a little lighter tannin and price.

Drink some other Nebbiolo-based wines. For the most value-friendly option, a Langhe Nebbiolo is a great way to get started. 2015 was a good vintage, and these wines are on the market now. Hacking the wine list: How to see beyond the B.S. and drink like a pro. Like many people, when Bianca Bosker would sit down and order wine with dinner she would wonder, “What am I getting out of this $15 glass?”

Hacking the wine list: How to see beyond the B.S. and drink like a pro

She knew there was this idea of wine being a civilized pursuit on par with appreciating art and poetry. “And I appreciated art and poetry, but did not appreciate wine. It really was for me this personal question of ‘What am I not seeing here? Taster's Guide to Verdejo Wine. Verdejo (“Vurr-day-ho”) is an uncommon, light-bodied white wine that grows almost exclusively in Spain.

Taster's Guide to Verdejo Wine

The wine is an outstanding alternative to wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, with surprising changes in flavors coming with age. Find out more about Verdejo, where it grows, what it tastes like, and excellent food pairings. Chilean Cabernet: The Wines, Regions and More. The Chilean economy boomed in the 1990s.

Chilean Cabernet: The Wines, Regions and More

The government was transitioning back to a democracy and this gave wineries greater opportunity to export to Europe and the United States. The wines created a stir internationally due to their great potential for quality and good value. Seizing the opportunity, larger US and French wineries rushed to set up operations in Chile, creating shiny new wineries and buying up vineyards. The land grab that happened during this time is what has shaped the most popular Chilean wines we drink today. Now Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted grape in Chile and the country prides itself on its exceptional Bordeaux-style blends (aka Cabernet blends). Chile can essentially be split up into 3 major zones: North, Central, and South. The vineyards on the terraces and slopes along the Aconcagua produce the best wines. Aconcagua. 10 Cool Things to Know About Carménère Wine. Here are 10 drinking facts about Carménère wine that will help you get the most out of each sip.

10 Cool Things to Know About Carménère Wine

Mark your calendar! Carménère Day is on November 24th! Carménère will celebrate 20 years as an officially recognized variety in Chile in 2018. Featured Grape: Carménère. This month we’re taking a closer look at the red grape, Carménère.

Featured Grape: Carménère

Those of us who love savory things and yearn for wines outside of the “fruit-bomb” spectrum will love what Carménère has to offer. Carménère is found mostly in Chile, is related to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and has a higher prevalence of a special aromatic compound (Pyrazine), which adds a unique herbaceous quality to the taste. You probably noticed in the infographic above that Carménère is often noted for having flavors of green bell pepper. The smell is derived from aroma compounds referred to as pyrazines which are prevalent in just a few wines (primarily the “Bordeaux” varieties). Pyrazine can display itself in the flavor of wine in a great many ways: Learn More About Impact Compounds: Watch the Video.

Try it Yourself. How to Order Wine on a Date. A good first date unfolds around a bottle of wine. But from the snooty language to the myriad of regions, grapes, and producers, selecting a wine is daunting. So we called in an expert. The Secret to Tasting Like A Master Somm: "Impact Compounds" There are well over a hundred individual aroma compounds in wine that interact with each other to create thousands of potential smells. Still, despite what you may have heard, it doesn’t matter if you’re a super taster or not, almost everyone can improve their sense of taste by learning to identify aroma compounds in wine. That sounds complicated, but it really comes down to practice and paying attention – and taking a few tips from a Master Sommelier. If you’ve ever smelled distinctive aromas in wine, chances are you’re well on your way to learning how to identify different classes of aromas.

For example, you may have stumbled across the smell of a fresh cut green bell pepper or even the smell of gasoline. As complex as the science of aromas is, there are a few well-known compound classes, often referred to as “impact compounds,” that are prevalent in certain wines. Mr. Weird Wine Flavors and the Science Behind Them. If we loved wine just for the fruit, we’d just drink juice. And if that were the case, there would be magazines, books, films, collector’s guides, and ratings all around the topic of juice (and this site would be called “juice folly”). No, we love wine, partly for the alcohol, but also partly for wild diversity of flavors–many of which are bizarre and require an acquired taste. A Tale of Two (Very Different) Chardonnays. Chardonnay: it’s the most planted white grape in the world, as well as the most planted wine grape in the United States. And yet, Chardonnay seems to be the world’s most polarizing wine: you either love it or hate it. I’m here to show you that Chardonnay is way less obvious (and more nuanced) that you might have thought.

If you’re part of the ABC crowd (Anything But Chardonnay), I know exactly where you’re coming from. You’ve had a few too many Chardonnays that tasted like licking an oak tree slathered in butter. However, once you meet Chablis, your Chardonnay world will flip upside-down and faith will be restored! Chablis (shah-blee!) For this tasting we tried La Chablisienne 1er Cru “Montée de Tonnerre” Chablis Taste: Imagine a bouquet of fresh cut pear, starfruit, yellow apple, unripe pineapple, lime peel, chalkboard chalk, and salty air. How To Tell If A Wine Is Age-Worthy. How do you tell if a wine will improve with age? Oddly enough–and thank goodness, just spending more money on a bottle won’t guarantee that it will age well. Instead, there are a few key characteristics to look for in cellar-worthy wines. The Only Wine You Need For Your Game Day Party. Central Coast Wine: The Varieties and Regions.

The Central Coast is a large encompassing American Viticultural Area (AVA) that extends from the south of San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara, California. The Mourvedre Wine Guide. Rueda - A Guide To Rueda Verdejo White Wine From Spain. 3 Wines that will Change the Way You Think About Wine. 10 Wine Varieties From The Birthplace of Wine. The Caucasus region encompasses the countries of Armenia; Azerbaijan; Georgia; and parts of Iran, Russia, and Turkey. Mastering Mendoza Malbec. Mendoza is a large province (nearly the size of Illinois) that is home to 75% of the Argentina’s vineyards and Malbec is the region’s most celebrated grape. What Grapes Make the Best Wine Blends? 9 Wine Terms that Everyone Should Know I WineFolly. DIY Palate Training Wine Tasting. Try this palate training exercise at home and greatly improve your sense of taste. Amazing White Rioja Wines. 11 Obscure Grapes You Need to Know. 3 German Red Wines That Are Meant For Summer. A Primer to Bordeaux Wine.

12 Awesome Things About Cabernet Sauvignon. Virginia Is The Most Exciting Place For American Wine Right Now. Don't Commit This Crime Against Wine! What's Up with Men and Cabernet? Are You Holding Your Wine Glass the Wrong Way? Get to Know Walla Walla Wine. 8 Delicious Alternatives to Syrah (aka Shiraz) How Much Heat Does It Take To Ruin Wine? Not Much. All About English Wine. 10 Things You Need To Know About Wine From Burgundy. The Weird World Of Expensive Wine. 7 Undiscovered North American Wine Trails You Need To Know. Dear Decantress, Help! My Wine Vocabulary Sucks! Champagne Flutes or Glasses? Introduction To Sardinian Wine. Built to Last: Collecting Age-Worthy Wine. What does it mean to say a wine is "rustic"? 7 Things You Need To Know About Vinho Verde. Differences Between Chardonnay and Viognier. In Search of the Best Wines from Priorat. Pyrazines: Why Some Wines Taste like Bell Pepper  Tips on Tasting: Wine Bouquet vs Aroma.

Red Wines From Lightest to Boldest (Chart) 7 Truthful Wine Bottles. The Importance of a Proper Wine Glass. Appassimento. Subway style Wine Descriptions Chart (Infographic) Deconstructing The 'Perfect' Wine. Flavor Profiles of Red Wines (Infographic) Introduction to Soil Types and Wine. How to Tell if Wine is Corked. How Long to Cellar Wine (infographic) What Exactly is a Corked Wine: And What Does Corked Wine Taste Like? What Happens to Wine as It Ages? - Nagging Question. Wine glasses. What’s the difference between Tannins and Acidity? « Anti Wine Snob. What Are Tannins In Wine? Learn 20 Wine Words Most Wine Drinkers Don't Know. The Subtle Science of Wine Tasting. The Real Reason Americans Love Big, Strong Wines. How to Tell if Wine Has Gone Bad.

Crystal vs Glass When it Comes to Wine Glasses. Geek Techinique on How to Taste Red Wine. 5 Types of Dessert Wine. Mary Orlin: The Six Aromas You Don't Want to Smell in Your Wine. Top Wine Varieties of the World. 6 Wine Making Processes & How They Affect Wine. What’s the difference between Tannins and Acidity? « Anti Wine Snob. How Atomic Particles Became The Smoking Gun In Wine Fraud Mystery : The Salt. Wine: Is there a simple way to explore and learn about the tastes of wine. Wine: How can one become pretentious about red wine. Wine Flavor Visualization. The Problem with Wine Ratings. 9 Basic Traits of Wine.

7 Common Wine Faults and How to Sniff Them Out. 6 Misunderstood Things About Wine. How Long to Cellar Wine (infographic) Increase Your Vocabulary with Wine Words. Defining Full Bodied Red Wines. Learn Wine With The 9 Major Wine Styles. Find Out What Wine Legs Indicate.