INTRODUCTION –who am I and my Background. 5 mins max Wine regions Basic grape varities.

Serving the wine , temperatures and serving techniques storage of open wine.

France o Bordeaux: One of the most famous wine regions in the world, Bordeaux only allows 5 red grape varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, and most wines are a blend of these. The wines tend to be full-bodied and wellstructured wines of nobility and grace, at their best. They exhibit dark fruits and sometimes earth, cedar, tobacco and pencil leadlike aromas and flavors. They generally age very well. Generally, "left bank" appellations such as Pauillac, St.-Estephe, St.-Julien, Margaux and Graves have high percentages of Cabernet in the blend while "right bank" wines such as St.-Emillion and Pomerol have more Merlot. The dry white wines produced largely consist of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle. The whites are minerally, rich wines that can also age well. Sweet white wines are also made in the appellation of Sauternes and Barsac. o Burgundy: Most of the wines of the Côte d'Or, the most famous part of Burgundy, are made from either 100% Pinot Noir for reds or from 100% Chardonnay for whites, although there are a few exceptions. These each produce potentially profound wines that can have a seductiveness that is hard to resist. The reds vary from fruity and light to meaty, earthy, and floral dark fruits and everything in between. The whites are full-bodied and full of minerals as well. Both can be very complex and have great finesse with a silky mouthfeel. o Northern Rhône Valley: The Northern Rhône, which includes such appellations as Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Cornas and St.-Joseph, primarily makes rich red wines from the Syrah grape. These wine regions, particularly the first two, make profound wines which age well and have great, smoky dark flavors and a velvety texture. There is some white wine made, mostly from Marsanne, except in the villages of Condrieu and the Chateau Grillet which make aromatic whites from Viognier. o Southern Rhône Valley: The southern part of the valley produces meaty, rich red wines like the north, but from a very different mix of grapes. In fact, 13 red varietals are allowed in Chateauneuf-duPape, the most famous village in this area. The most common in order of decreasing usage in blends are Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. These wines are generally rich and chewy with great aromatics that echo the scents of the Provençal hillsides, smelling of wild herbs and flowers. They also tend to be quite mineral due to the large stones that are in many of the vineyards. A bit of white wine is made as well, a large percentage from the Roussanne grape. o Loire Valley: The Loire is one of the largest wine regions in France with many sub-regions so it is hard to generalize. For white wines,

While there are several small sub-regions. from Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet and Merlot to traditional Italian grapes. Dolcetto is a lighter grape which makes easy. Savennieres and the Coteaux du Layon. The styles for each vary so see our Wine Varietals page for more details on some of the wine styles. rich. a region that grows primarily Sangiovese. Brunello is another region with red wines made from a breed of Sangiovese called Sangiovese grosso or Brunello which are more full bodied and can age very well. fresh and fruity wines for easy drinking. which are the most sweet. ethereal and crisp to big. They make medium to full-bodied wines which can show smoky minerality like flint and even an herbaceous grassiness. with good acid. Unlike most of the previous regions in which you will not find the grape varietal mentioned on the wine label. often with a vineyard or village name as well. Most wines are a blend of the grapes but a Blanc de blancs is a Champagne of only white grapes (Chardonnay) while a Blanc de noirs is a white Champagne of only red grapes. These vary tremendously in style but are generally called "Super Tuscans" or Vino da Tavola (literally. There are no restrictions on what types of grapes you can grow where so there is a . however they can be quite expensive. These are vibrant. the best Champagne can be a profound experience. this region is know most for its rich. Rosé wines are also produced. There are several grape varietals grown but the most prevalent and important are Riesling. produced from shriveled concentrated grapes). They are excellent food wines. Champagne primarily makes sparkling wines. all of which can vary from dry to very sweet. fresh. California It is very hard to generalize with wine regions like California. Chenin Blanc makes the wines of Vouvray. fresh and pure light-bodied whites in Muscadet that are very refreshing and great with shellfish and other seafood.o o there are three important grapes. mineralimbued wines that are capable of improvement with air. Gewurztraminer and Muscat. Pinot Meuniere and Chardonnay. many wines from Tuscany have gone their own way and produce interesting new wines from any number of varietals. making them excellent food wines. The primary grapes grown in these wine regions are Pinot Noir. o Piedmont: In the north of Italy. yeasty and toasty. heady and fruity wine that is outstanding with food (often referred to as the poor-man's Barolo). These wines can be profound and are worth a special search. Finally. Sauvignon Blanc is the grape of several regions including Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. All can make dry wines as well as late harvest sweet wines (called Vendange Tardive or Selection de Grains Nobles. The wines are fruity and earthy. the melon de Bourgogne makes simple. Its beautiful towns look more Germanic than French and the food is similar as well. They can be a great value as they are under-appreciated on the world market. Champagne: As you probably are all aware. Alsace: Alsace is a small region that is near the border with Germany. in these wine regions most of the wines are named for the grape. seductive red wines made from the Nebbiolo grape in wine regions such as Barolo and Barbaresco. Pinot Gris. • • Italy o Tuscany: This large region in the middle of Italy is most well know for Chianti. Easier to afford are the table wines made from Barbera which makes a nice rich. table wines). While they vary from light.

One of the most famous. with fog and cool air coming in from the Pacific to cool the vines. Many types of wines are grown here but because of the slightly cooler conditions in many parts of the central coast grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir seem to do particularly well here. makes beautiful aromatic red wines from the Tempranillo grape. Spain produces a number of wine styles in many different regions. You do see other grapes as well but most are hybrids of Riesling and other grapes. profound wines can be made. There are several wine producing regions and many wonderful wines which range from bone dry to sticky sweet. There is a complex set of names for the level of ripeness of wines. Here are some generalizations about the different wine regions within California. It is a fortified white wine which is cask aged and can been anywhere from dry to sweet. but it is probably also a stylistic difference.• • • huge variety of wine types and styles produced. most profoundly produced from Riesling. Merlot. They have a unique oxidized flavor that some people love and some hate. Part of this is the warmer climate. even when made from the same grape. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are all prominent. but is often considered separately. which is often blended with others. Zinfandel. White wines and Rosato are also produced in most of these regions. Syrah has also taken on and shows a lot of promise at many excellent vineyards. at the far northern end of the valley. There are also no truly indigenous grapes so all the types of grapes are ones brought from France. Madeira: Madeira is an autonomous Portuguese archipelago in the north Atlantic ocean which is known for its wine by the same name. In general. Many grape varietals are planted but Cabernet Sauvignon. Many people compare it to Port because of some similarities but they can be quite different in flavor. Styles vary dramatically from grape to grape and from producer to producer. dessert wine or even accompanies some foods beautifully. These can be truly great wines that age a very long time. In regions like the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer river valleys. It makes a great aperitif. It has been described as nutty and honeyed. The large majority are white wines. Italy and other Old World countries. Rioja. Spain: Again. the Pfalz and Rheinngau. Most of Napa and some of Sonoma are best for the Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet and Merlot. Sherry is a special wine produced in a couple wine regions in Spain. the noble grape of Germany. Germany: It is a shame to lump all the wines of Germany into one paragraph. sorry to abbreviate a whole country into one section. California wines tend to be more fruit-forward and ripe than their European cousins. this tends to have a cooler climate. ranging from dry to sweet. o Napa and Sonoma Valleys: These are two of the oldest regions that have been producing wines in California. o Russian River Valley: This is technically part of Sonoma. Other regions like Priorat and Rueda among others have come on strong of late and can be found in many wine stores. with Madeira exhibiting a roasted. This is a fortified wine which is also made in dry and sweet versions like Sherry. This makes it excellent for cooler weather grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well. like the central coast. However. Germany. even the sweet wines are not cloying and hard to drink as the best Rieslings have intense mineral flavors and acidity to hold it together and give it power and grip. Again. o Central Coast: This is a large region ranging from around Santa Barbara and all the way up to just south of the Bay Area. smoky .

While some examples can improve with some age. they generally are not long agers and can be enjoyed young for their rich. including Ruby Ports. there are no indigenous grapes in Australia and so they produce several types of wine including Cabernet. Late Bottled Vintage Ports. Australian wine regions tend to be quite warm. Port comes in several styles and is produced from several grape varietals. although they do make a number of dry wines as well. most of which are unfamiliar to people outside of Portugal. The wines are called Barbera. leading to ripe. there is a great site dedicated to this unique wine called For the Love of Port. as well as other northern Italian regions (such as the Oltrepo Pavese) generally make the best examples. much like their French counterparts. Vintage Character Ports. South Africa has produced some interesting wines. and Colheita. It has good acidity and for all these reasons pairs very well with many foods. lighter in color (hence the name) and ready to drink when bottled. New Zealand: Another of the newer wine regions. they do make many world class examples which can be very impressive. The Shiraz do not tend to resemble their cousins in the Northern Rhône valley in France. Australia: Like California. with bright. they are probably most well known for their Shiraz which is the Australian name for Syrah (it is the same grape). They are actually very good. rich and alcoholic wines. Some good Chardonnays are produced as well. Port): Portugal is most well know for its red. However. South Africa: Like New Zealand. crisp acidity and minerality. fortified. Often known as the poor man's Barolo. However. If you are interested in learning more about Port. is the grand-daddy of them all. primarily in the region known as Piedmont. Single Quinta Ports. Sauvignon Blanc does well here too as does Chenin Blanc. A small amount is planted in other areas around the world including California. requiring many years or decades of age to reach its peak. Characteristics: Barbera is a red grape wine varietal which is fruity yet with good depth and can have a meatiness to it. it has some of the same rich and complex characteristics but is generally much less expensive. Also like California. often with the name where it came from following (Barbera d'Alba for example).• • • • aroma and flavor. Grenache. . It is one of the workhorse table wines in the north of Italy. sweet wines called Port. Red Wine Grape Varietals • Barbera Regions: Barbera is one of several wine varietals indigenous to the north of Italy. Portugal (Duoro. vibrant fruit. Tawny Ports are aged in wood casks and therefore are more evolved. Vintage Port. tending to be more fruit-forward. This area. produced from a single vintage. Merlot. Chardonnay and others. Many grapes are grown but they have come to be known for their Sauvignon Blancs. which is called Steen here. These are often aged a long time before release and even today you can find 19th century examples for sale frequently. New Zealand has produced some very interesting wines in the past couple decades. There are other styles as well.

Cabernet tends to be a full-bodied wine varietal which can often age very well. It is released once a year shortly after harvest and fermentation.-Julien. More recently it has shined in California. Generally full bodied but some examples from Chinon and Bourgeuil are made in an almost Beaujolaislike style that is fresh and fruity and simple. blackberries and other dark fruits mixed with complexities such as pencil lead. The best examples from Beaujolais can have more depth and some meaty. It is often described as having flavors of cassis (black currant liquor). tobacco and cigar box cedar. most notably in the Napa Valley. where wines from Chinon. featured prominently as a blend or along in wines from California. It can tend to have a bit of a vegetal or herbal aroma and flavor. earthy complexity while most of the Beaujolais Villages and particularly the Beaujolais Nouveau tend to be much more simple and fruity. It is part of the blend in many of the wines from this region and features prominently in some of the "Right Bank" villages such as St.-Emillion (particularly in the legendary wine Chateau Cheval-Blanc which is primarily Cab franc). Malbec and Petit Verdot). generally .-Estephe feature a high percentage of Cabernet blended with the 4 other red grapes of Bordeaux (Merlot. It is also indigenous to the Loire Valley in France. While this can be a nice complexity. St. Bourgeuil and Samur-Champigny are primarily Cab franc. Characteristics: Gamay makes a light to medium-bodied with which tends to be very fruity. Characteristics: This is considered one of the "noble" wine varietals. to preserve its fresh fruitiness. Chinon and Bourgeuil can be quite long-lived. Australia and others. There it is usually part of a blend with Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot but there are a few bottlings of primarily Cab franc. lasting for decades in the best Bordeaux and Californian examples. if underripe this can be dominant and off-putting. Cabernet Sauvignon.• Cabernet Franc Regions: Cabernet franc is one of the wine varietals that are allowed to be grown in Bordeaux in the southwest of France (the others being Merlot. Beaujolais Nouveau ("New Beaujolais") is a special example which is bottled early. Italy (particularly some "Super Tuscans" from Tuscany). Small amounts are planted elsewhere such as in California. Cabernet Sauvignon. Malbec and Petit Verdot). producing some of the most profound red wines in the world. Cabernet is widely planted around the world. mellowing with age and gaining complexity. When young they can be quite big and tannic. Generally considered not quite as noble but in the right places is capable of greatness. Margaux. Latour and others hit heights of brilliance. Characteristics: This grape has some similarities to its big brother. • Gamay Regions: Gamay is primarily grown in the southern part of Burgundy in France. Cabernet Franc. The best Bordeaux. The true classic examples come from Bordeaux where wines like Chateau LafiteRothschild. an area called Beaujolais. without extended aging. • Cabernet Sauvignon Regions: Originally from Bordeaux in the southwest of France. most wines of the "Left Back" appellations such as Pauillac. It is also planted in California and other places where Bordeaux varietals are grown. Margaux and St.

from the best examples of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas they can be quite complex. • Merlot Regions: Another Bordeaux region grape. In the "Left Bank" appellations of Bordeaux it tends to be a smaller percentage of blends.-Emillion and Pomerol it can be prominent. and in parts of Argentina where Malbec is widely planted. personality. this is primarily a minor part of the blend in wines from this region. ripe fruitiness. These tend to be quite austere and hard. While Chateauneuf and Gigondas can include several varietals.early to mid November. high in alcohol and quite big and chewy in the mouth. Characteristics: Malbec generally has a very dark color and rich. Also known as Garnacha in Spain. among others. in the southwest of France. floral and herbal overtones. are a couple of the most expensive wines in the world) but there are other excellent examples from California and Tuscany in Italy. Characteristics: Merlot can have a similar character to Cabernet but tends to be more on the red fruit end of the spectrum and tends to be a bit softer. as compared to Syrah for example which is generally darker. particularly in the central coast. with earthy. being more caressing and seductive. almost hard. in the "Right Bank" appellations such as St. helping to celebrate the joy of the recent harvest. second only in fame to Cabernet Sauvignon. grenache generally makes up the majority in most wines. It is also widely planted in other regions that grow Bordeaux wine varietals. both primarily Merlot. with Cabernet more prominent. and in Australia. without as much austere tannins. meatiness. However. They can be quite full-bodied. Single varietal bottlings are rare but are most prominent in Cahors. Characteristics: While grenache is known for its rich. The fruit flavors tend more toward the red fruit end of the spectrum. It is planted some in California. Cheaper examples are generally simpler and fruitier with lighter body. In blends it tends to soften and add a gentle mouthfeel to wines with Cabernet. When vinified alone it can make a deep. In the right place it can make a profound wine on its own which can age very well. It is used in blending to add structure and color to wines. It is widely planted throughout the south of France as well. It is also grown and blended with Cabernet and Merlot in other regions which produce these wines. such as California and Tuscany. black wine of black fruits and earthy. particularly in the appellations of Chateauneuf-duPape and Gigondas. • Mourvèdre . The best examples generally come from the Right Bank appellations of Bordeaux and can be quite expensive (Chateau Petrus and Le Pin. • Malbec Regions: One of the Bordeaux wine varietals. • Grenache Regions: Grenache is one of many wine varietals grown in the southern Rhône valley of France. It is considered a seasonal celebratory wine.

While these can all be great things in the best examples. huge depth. Called Mataro in parts of Spain and California. They can vary from medium to full-bodied but generally produce a well structured wine with firm tannins and bright acidity. where it is known as the Duriff grape. dark wines with rich meaty flavors. but primarily grown and bottled in California.• Regions: This grape is widely planted in the south of France. Examples are also grown in California and some other areas. in most regions it is primarily used as a blending grape. It also tends to be even more black and can be quite hard. in Bandol it can make profound wines that are primarily Mourvèdre. Pinot Noir and Syrah. rose petal and earthy scents like truffles. Characteristics: Arguably the grape capable of the greatest heights. Petite Sirah tends to be very peppery and spicy. mushrooms and leather. both in Piedmont. Finicky and hard to grown. it reaches its heights of greatness. • Pinot Noir Regions: Pinot Noir is one of the classic and noble wine varietals from Burgundy in France. • Petite Sirah Regions: Grown in small amounts in the south of France. Pinot Noir can be hard to understand because it is also one of the most difficult . adding color and structure to the wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and others. Therefore. In general it produces a full-bodied wine with big tannins and tends to have earthy. this has since been shown to be not true. • Nebbiolo Regions: Nebbiolo is the noble grape of Piedmont in the north of Italy. making it an excellent wine for aging long term. animal and excruciatingly tannic. most regions do not result in fully ripe Mourvedre which likes a long. Characteristics: Most people think that Petite Sirah is related to Syrah but in fact it is not. warm growing season. and chewy richness. This wine varietal is really only bottled alone in parts of California. While in the former it is generally a blending grape. both generally producing full-bodied. under-ripe examples can be excessively vegetal. They do have some similarities. accounting for only around 10 to 30% of the blend. it is a grape that is capable of profound depth. It was once thought to be the same as the Spanish grape Monastrell. complexity and finesse. The wines can be very aromatic. really shining in the area of Provence in appellations like Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Bandol. particularly with age. The red wines of Burgundy (except for those from Beaujolais) are made with 100% Pinot Noir. However. combining red and black fruits. meaty and almost animal aromas and flavors. Like Cabernet. Pinot Noir is also widely planted in California (particularly in regions like the central coast and the Russian River Valley) and less so in parts of Italy and others. Characteristics: Nebbiolo is a grape capable of greatness. Characteristics: Mourvedre can be one of the confusing wine varietals. It is grown extensively in the villages in that area as well as elsewhere in the north like Valtellina. In Barolo and Barbaresco. In Bandol and other wines where it ripens full and is featured prominently it can be a profound wine with a very aromatic nose.

a silky. Good examples are capable of long aging. Cornas. Crozes-Hermitage and others). It can make a full-bodied wine. truffles and black fruits in another. Particularly in the Rhône valley appellations like Côte-Rôtie it can often have a smoky bacon-like aroma which is very appealing. • Tempranillo Regions: The primary grape of Rioja in Spain.-Joseph. Lesser examples can seem thin and overly acidic or even harsh and green if not ripened well. Characteristics: Syrah tends to make a big. This is another noble wine varietal which is capable of everything from simple full-bodied wines to profound complexity and finesse. Also known as Shiraz in Australia where it is planted extensively. ripe wines of considerable heft and depth.and finicky grapes to grown and vinify well. However. unfortunately these examples are hard to come by and can be extremely expensive. There are smaller amounts planted in parts of California. even if they are few and far between. deep wine with red and black fruits as well as considerable complexity which can include everything from the earthy to the floral. Generally tending towards the fruity end of the spectrum but often has nice spicy aromas and flavors. Specific descriptions can vary tremendously because Pinot Noir is very influenced by where it is grown. However. For this reason it is often bottled separately from different small. caressing and seductive mouthfeel and lush and heady aromatics which have made many a wine lover fall head over heals for Burgundy. California. for example. • Syrah Regions: Syrah is a wine varietal indigenous to the northern Rhône Valley in France. although this varies considerably. producing beautiful red fruits which have a supple and caressing texture and lovely aromatic complexity which brings Pinot Noir to mind. These examples tend to be more fruit forward and higher in alcohol. The best examples from Burgundy are truly profound with extreme complexity. tasting like red fruits and flowers in one vineyard and like meat. being the primary grape of the appellations of Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage (also St. but tends to be a bit lighter than Syrah or Cabernet. • Zinfandel Regions: As the name Zinfandel. Primitivo is the same grape and is grown in Italy. Merlot and Syrah. The classic examples are from the northern Rhône but excellent examples are made now in California and Australia. this grape is planted almost entirely in California. finesse. particularly the central coast. Characteristics: This grape is capable of everything from simple fruity wines to huge. It is capable of intense ripeness with high alcohol and . Characteristics: Tempranillo is capable of greatness in the best Rioja. It tends to be lighter in body compared to Cabernet. The texture and mouthfeel can have lots of finesse but tends more towards the velvety end of the spectrum as compared to the more silky Pinot Noirs from Burgundy. Tempranillo is also planted heavily in many other appellations in Spain. primarily in the south. Nevertheless. grow a lot of Syrah too. named vineyards in Burgundy and can be confusing for the wine beginner. it is a grape that is definitely worth your attention as it can achieve the greatest heights possible in wine.

gaining complexity and developing a honeyed richness. but while it is grown somewhat in Germany. Chardonnay is now widely planted around the world from California to Australia. they round out. The white wines of Burgundy are generally 100% Chardonnay. White Wine Varietals • Chardonnay Regions: Classically grown in Burgundy in France. Definitely capable of greatness in the right regions. wax. almond and minerals. and they age beautifully. The best examples can have a nice velvety texture and good complexity. particularly in appellations such as Vouvray and Savennieres. These can also be quite a value in world class wine! • Gewurztraminer Regions: Meaning "spicy"-traminer. Aromas and flavors varying from melon and other white fruits to wool lanolin. • Chenin Blanc Regions: Chenin Blanc is grown widely in the Loire Valley of France. However. Gewurztraminer sounds like it would be a German grape. making them seem shimmering and laser-like. the best . It is know as Steen in South Africa and is planted a bit in California as well. The Primitivos from Italy tends to be more earthy and not as over-ripe and alcoholic. Capable of huge complexity and finesse. Often over-oaked and over-ripe from California and other hot climates. In parts of the Loire it is known locally as Pineau de la Loire. Characteristics: Classic examples of Chenin Blanc can be profound wines with tremendous complexity. they are generally best in their first several years. this is one of the truly great white wine grapes. Generally it is a more full-bodied white wine with a rich. These can be quite full-bodied whites but when young the dry wines have intense acid and minerality.almost cloying ripe fruit. the best examples from Burgundy have an intense minerality and acidity which give it intensity and grip in the mouth. With age. it can be flabby and woody in the less than great versions. Italy to New Zealand. Characteristics: Chardonnay is capable of a wide variety depending on where it is grown. off-dry (as in Vouvray Demi-Sec or some Coteaux du Layon) or very sweet (as in Vouvray Moelleux or Quarts de Chaume). It can be vinified dry (as in most Savennieres or Vouvray Sec). round texture. While it can age some.

It is capable of greatness. rose petal aroma along with tropical fruits and lychee fruit. Germany and California. You can find examples from many other regions including in Italy. It is one of the important white wine varietals in white Bordeaux wines. Can be made dry or sweet. These can be beautiful wines with great depth and complexity. Characteristics: Gewurz is an interesting grape which has a singular flavor which isn't quite like anything else. tasters tend to either love or hate this wine varietal. minerally wines with great acidity to balance any residual sweetness and are capable of great complexity and intensity. Characteristics: Truly one of the greatest of the white wine varietals. Characteristics: Sauvignon blanc tends to be a medium-bodied white with tropical fruit flavors which are often highlighted by either smoky. In Germany. they vary from the lighter. Often described as resembling gooseberries. Characteristics: Pinot gris from Alsace is a full-bodied. It is also the primary grape in several appellations in the Loire valley. in Italy it is known as Pinot Grigio and is grown in the north. these can be outstanding food wines with a fresh and crisp feel. Their specific flavors can vary greatly depending on the site they are grown. Riesling can be produced anywhere from dry to extremely sweet and everything in between. Because of its distinct and powerful personality. except for some late-harvested versions. If they have good acidity. It tends to have a floral. flinty aromas or grassy aromas. drier Kabinett up through several levels of sweetness to the super-sweet dessert wines called Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling produces intense. We have and we can definitively say that this wine varietal does indeed often smell and taste like "goosey". Examples grown in hotter climates like California can tend to be a bit flabby. most notably Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Gris is most famous from Alsace in France. hence the name. called Pinot Grigio. In Alsace they tend to make intense. California and others. although most people have never tasted a gooseberry. Other examples can be found from Italy. It has seen a lot of success in New Zealand and South Africa and is widely planted in California. round and supple wine which can be fermented dry or with residual sweetness. The mouth is big and round with rich and bold flavors that tend to be quite spicy. • Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) Regions: Grown in many parts of the world. particularly in Alsace. However. . they are generally produced dry and also tend to be lighter-bodied with fresh fruitiness.examples come for Alsace in France. with less definition and intensity. Riesling is planted widely but is classic to Germany and Alsace in France. • Riesling Regions: One of the noble wine varietals. In Italy. full-bodied wines that tend to be more dry. • Sauvignon Blanc Regions: Sauvignon Blanc is grown in several areas in France. It is now one of the most popular wine varietals given the recent popularity of Italian Pinot Grigio in the US. near the border with Germany. notably in the Alto Adige and Friuli.

This is too cool to serve wine immediately for any type of wine! Any wine straight out of the fridge will not show many aromatics and will seem simple and close up. if you are served a wine which is too warm it may be harder to remedy. On the other hand. hold the bowl of your glass in your hand and swirl the wine around. it may be harder to do this in a discrete way that won't insult your host.38° F (1. even those that are really picky about correct wine temperature. you can estimate the starting temperature of your bottle. While a strip thermometer can be held against the side of the wine bottle or decanter. this would be impractical for most situations. The warmth of your hand will help warm up the wine faster than just sitting at room temperature. For example.• • What effect can the wrong wine temperature have? Many of the components of a wine's aroma and flavor are very temperature dependent.3° C). alcohol is a volatile substance which is very temperature sensitive. On the other hand. many aromatic compounds in wine are more prevalent and noticeable at higher temperatures because they are volatilized more and are hidden at lower temperatures. for example if you are served a wine at a tasting or dinner which is not at the correct wine temperature. Likewise. there are a few things you can do. Ideally. A happy medium is the goal which varies for different types of wines. Maybe suggest to your host that the remainder of the bottle be chilled a bit if you feel comfortable doing so. An . do not take specific temperature readings of their wines. While you are welcome to dip a clean thermometer into your open bottle to get an exact reading.7 . • What is ice bucket temperature. a refrigerator and a Champagne bucket or other wine chilling ice bucket.3. If you are at a wine tasting. having a sense for what temperature the wine was to begin with will help you determine the right time to serve the wine. If the wine is served too cold and you are having a hard time smelling the aromatics. refrigerator temperature and cellar temperature? Most refrigerators have a temperature of about 35 . If you are in a restaurant. Higher wine temperature accentuates alcohol aroma and flavor and lower temperature tends to hide it. if you are not in control of the wine service. This means that wines which have sat long enough to equilibrate in the refrigerator will be this temperature when first removed. How do you control the wine temperature when you are serving? Most people. ask your server for an ice bucket to chill the rest of the bottle. this may be misleading because if the bottle was recently in the refrigerator or an ice bucket the outside may be cooler than the wine within. The three main ways we can get an initial temperature for a bottle of wine is a wine cellar. By knowing the temperature of these areas. More importantly. you want a wine at a temperature where all these components are balanced so that none are too dominant or obtrusive. At higher temperatures the wine can seem "hot" exhibiting too much alcohol which obscures the other aromas while at too low a temperature the aromas may be hidden and hard to distinguish.

ice bucket with plenty of ice and some water such as a Champagne bucket is even colder at close to 32° F (0° C). General Wine Temperature Guidelines for Various Types of Wines • Red Wines Red wines generally show best at slightly higher temperatures but not as high as you may think! Generally. this varies by type and weight of wine. Full bodied white wines like some Chardonnay. . but a standard wine cellar keeps wine at a stable 55° F (13° C). fruitier grapes like dry or off-dry Rieslings and Sauvingnon Blanc show better at the lower end of this range down to the mid-40°'s F. To achieve these temperatures you have a few options. For example. These temperatures can be achieved quickly with a bit longer time in the refrigerator or in an ice bucket. the wine will continue to warm up in the glass. Not everyone has a wine cellar. If you have a wine cellar at 55° F. lighter Pinot Noirs. white wines show better at slightly lower temperatures. If you leave it too long it will be too cold to serve. In general. Cabernet Sauvignon. The bottle can be kept cool by keeping it in an ice bucket periodically to keep it at ideal wine temperature. Again. room temperature (around 70° F. white Burgundies and Savennieres can show well at higher temperatures in the low 60°'s F or down to as low as around 48° F. removing the wine from the cellar and letting sit for a few minutes before serving will allow it to move up into the upper 50's to low 60's. full-bodied red wines like Bordeaux. These are very general guidelines of course as each wine is different and any one type of wine can vary quite considerably. there are versions of Pinot Noir that are quite full-bodied and others that are very light and might benefit from lower temperatures.) are better at the lower end of the range. Another option is to chill the room temperature bottle in the refrigerator or an ice bath for only a few minutes. Chianti. the more powerful. red Burgundy. but a few minutes helps to bring down the temperature a few degrees below room temperature.) can even benefit for more of a chill down to the mid-50°'s F. fruity wines (Beaujolais. etc. Lighter. Rhone wines and others show best at just under room temperature in the 60 to 65° F range. Again. Very light-bodied. full-bodied wines are better at the upper end of the range while slightly lighter wines (Pinot Noir. once opened and poured. Generally. etc. The wine will continue to warm up towards room temperature after pouring in the glass. • White Wines In general. but this can vary somewhat depending on the climate and air conditioning or heating) is generally too warm for most wines! So even red wines can benefit from a bit of chilling.

Even very spicy food can be mellowed out by these wines and the flavor combinations are awesome! Generally. More mild dishes can go with Riesling Kabinett and Spätlese wines while very spicy foods are excellent with even fairly sweet Auslesen. Dessert (Sweet) Wines Dessert wines with some sweetness are hard to generalize because of the wide range in styles. high acid wines. sparkling wines are served at quite low temperatures. Laotian. the higher sugar content will work. with its richness and slight spiciness can also work well although we prefer it with Chinese food. spicy foods. open it early so it has a chance to come up a few degrees before serving. refrigerator temperature is quite low for most wines. White sweet wines like Sauternes and sweet Rieslings show well cooler still in the low-50° range. It can be hard to pair many wines with spicy cuisine. Alsatian Gewurztraminer. Likewise. but these work like a charm! General Ideas about Pairing Spicy Food with Wine In general. Indian. The complex flavors of the wine stand up to the complex spices . Besides being one of our favourite wines with one of our favourite foods. there is something wonderful about washing down the luxurious. FOOD PAIRING. If your wine has been chilling in the refrigerator for some time. Chill even red wines down a bit and you'll notice them come into more focus and balance. Vietnamese. the spicier the food. they will warm up to the proper range quite quickly from that starting point. are best with slightly sweet. around 45° F. acidic and fresh will work as well. Other sparkling wines and even still wines that are crisp. So in conclusion remember that room temperature is almost always too warm to serve any type of wine (unless your air conditioner is set quite low!). However. Because the pours and glasses tend to be smaller. This helps to keep the flavours focused and prevents overly aggressive bubbling from the carbonation. crisp Champagne with sushi or sashimi. sweet sparklers like Moscato d'Asti and some Champagne Demi-Secs do well at quite cool wine temperature in the low40° range. Japanese Cuisine with Champagne Japanese food. Thai Food with German Riesling How someone discovered this brilliant combination we have no idea! Who would think that Thai food and German wine would be one of the best wine and food pairing combinations? The spicy food is perfectly complimented with the slightly sweet. particularly Asian (Thai. fresh fish with a crisp sparkling wine. in the upper-50's. Simple. Heavy. Lighter ports like Tawny or Non-Vintage ports can show well a bit cooler. particularly sushi and sashimi are typically paired with sake and/or crisp lager beers. Champagne and other sparkling wines pair beautifully with these cuisines as well as Indian foods. yet vibrant and intense flavors of the wine. sweet red wines like Vintage Port tend to do well closer to room temperature around 66° F. these foods go beautifully with many wines! We particularly love pairing a dry. Wines such as German or Alsatian Riesling work wonderfully. heightening your wine tasting experience.• • Sparkling Wines Typically. These can be kept in the refrigerator or in a Champagne bucket.) cuisine. etc.

with a few tips you'll have all the info you need to ensure that your tasting goes off without a hitch. consider having two bottles of each wine available. Imagine your embarrassment if you run out of one of the wines you are serving before getting to your last guests! But don't worry. You can use this glass throughout the evening to measure 2 oz pours for each guest so that you are sure the bottle will be enough for everyone. too much of each wine can lead to a lot of wasted wine or very drunk guests! A few general guidelines and tips: o o o A standard wine bottle is 750 ml which is just over 25 fluid ounces. ideally need a bit of sweetness in the wine to stand up to it. try to find off dry Champagne like a Demi-Sec or slightly sweet Italian sparklers like off-dry Prosecco or Moscato d'Asti. Figuring out how many glasses per bottle of wine depends on whether you are serving for a dinner party or a wine tasting. pre-mark a small tumbler glass with 2 oz of water. Another option is to go back to the old German Riesling standby or even a lager beer. like Pacifico.2 oz tasting glasses per bottle of wine. either Thai or Indian. Tecate and the like. dry lager beers. at wine tastings several wines are poured through the evening. HOW MANY GLASSES PER BOTTLES. For tastings of over 12 guests. Knowing how many glasses per bottle of wine you can expect can really help plan your next wine tasting or dinner party. o . crisp. You need enough wine in each glass so that each guest has enough to really get a feeling for each wine and can spend some time studying it and can have more than one or two sips. A tasting pour is generally about 2 oz. if you make pours smaller than 2 oz. so generally each pour size is smaller than if you were just drinking wine with dinner. each guest is not really getting enough to evaluate the wine. these tend to prefer beer. there are several things that go into ensuring that the event goes smoothly. It also depends on how many wines you are featuring through the night. Otherwise. For these fiery foods. the spicier dishes. but with any the dishes. are good matches here. a rich but fruity red wine like Zinfandel can occasionally work. you can get about 12 . • Wine Tasting Pours Generally. Therefore. If you have 10 to 12 guests and want to be sure everyone gets a fair pour of each wine. One type of spicy food which can be hard to make a perfect wine and food pairing is Mexican and other spicy Latino cuisines. Read on to get some tips about how much wine you will need and how much you should pour. Dos Equis. Knowing how to serve wine is not just about pouring. Corona. For some reason the whites that work with spicy Asian cuisine don't really work with Mexican food. For the less spicy dishes. You can use a marker or piece of tape to mark 2 oz. In general. However. However. Every guest will get to sample each.

A magnum bottle is 1. o A few general guidelines and tips: o A full-size pour can be anywhere from around 4 to 6 oz. you may want each guest to get a larger glass of each. you may want to only serve small 2 oz pours of each wine as you would for a wine tasting. one case of wine (12 bottles) generally gives you approximately 70 glasses of wine. If you are going to have many different wines to accompany the meal. Therefore. Wine Dinner Parties The number of glasses per bottle of wine for a dinner party can vary depending on how you plan your party.• If you are serving sparkling wines in Champagne glasses. As mentioned above. you can expect to get about 5 to 6 full-sized glasses per bottle of wine. However. the pours are generally small and you can get away with 1-1/2 oz pours. you can get about 25 2 oz tasting glasses per magnum bottle of wine or about 8 to 10 full-sized pours. if the focus is more on the food or if you have less wines. o o o . depending on the size of glass. which is twice the size of a normal wine bottle. Another thing to consider for bigger parties or tastings is to find larger format bottles. Therefore. sparkling wines are generally served in smaller pours If you are hosting a large party or event.5 liters.

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