Wine, Beer & Spirits

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What to Expect on a California Winery Tour

When you visit any winery in California, you can be sure of one thing: The scenery will be beautiful. Beyond that, the experience of touring a California winery can differ depending on which region [more…]

Visiting a Wine Tasting Room

After you tour a winery, you usually end up at the wine tasting room. Alternatively, the wine tasting room may be the place you spend all your time during your visit if you prefer not to tour the winery [more…]

The Grape Varieties of Champagne

In most cases, Champagne is an extremely complex blended wine — not only a blend of grape varieties, but also a blend of wines from vineyards throughout the Champagne region of France. The blend, called [more…]

The Methods of Producing Sparkling Wine

Most sparkling wines go through two fermentations: one to turn the grape juice into still wine without bubbles (that’s called a base wine) and a subsequent one to turn the base wine into bubbly wine. The [more…]

Defining Dessert and Fortified Wines

Dessert wines and fortified wines aren’t mainstream beverages that you want to drink every day. Some dessert and fortified wines are much higher in alcohol than regular wines, and some of them are extremely [more…]

Sherry: A Misunderstood Wine

Sherry is an alcohol-added white wine of true quality and diversity that can be sweet or dry. Sherry-type wines remain undiscovered by most of the world. This helps keep the price of good Sherry attractively [more…]

The Styles of Dry and Sweet Sherry Wines

New styles of Sherry wines occur when the natural course of aging changes the character of a Sherry so that its taste no longer conforms to one of the two main categories [more…]

The Styles of Port Wine

Port is the world’s greatest fortified (alcohol-added) red wine. Port takes its name from the city of Oporto, situated where Portugal's Douro River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. But its vineyards are [more…]

Sweet California Dessert Wines

Sweet wines, also called dessert wines, date back to the earliest days of California wine production. Until the 1960s, dessert wines were more popular nationwide than dry table wines. Today, they represent [more…]

The New World of American Wines

Even though the United States produced wine commercially in the nineteenth century, the U.S. wine industry made it big only beginning in the 1970s. Prohibition from 1920 to 1933, the Great Depression, [more…]

Why California Wines Are So Popular

The Golden State of California makes more wine than all other U.S. states combined. Its wine production is huge even on a world scale. The U.S. as a whole ranks fourth for the quantity of wine it produces [more…]

France's Alsace Wine Region

France's Alsace wine region seems a world apart from the rest of France. Alsace sits on the verge of France, with a culture, architecture, and cuisine uniquely its own. Alsace’s wines are also unique. [more…]

California's Red Varietal Wines

The most popular red varietal wines in California include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel (a red wine and also a pink wine). Pinot Noir and Syrah/Shiraz are also fairly popular red varietal wines [more…]

California's White Varietal Wines

California's best-known and most popular white varietal wines are Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Other widely available California white varietal wines include: Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio/Gris [more…]

California's Rosé (Blush) Wines

Because of the popularity of White Zinfandel and other California blush (pink and sweet) wines, California’s rosé wines have had a reputation for being sweet and innocuous. That reputation is changing, [more…]

California's Napa Valley Wine Region

California's Napa Valley is the best-known, most prestigious wine region in America. And yet only about four percent of California’s wine comes from the vineyard lands of Napa Valley! Most of Napa Valley’s [more…]

The Wines of California's Napa Valley

The Napa Valley wine region in California benefits from its range of growing conditions. Winemakers of the Napa Valley region produce popular types of wine, along with some of the lesser-known whites and [more…]

California's Sonoma County Wine Region

The Sonoma County wine region is on California’s North Coast, directly north of San Francisco. It borders the Napa Valley wine region to the east but extends farther north. Sonoma is more than twice as [more…]

The Wines of California's Sonoma County

California's Sonoma County succeeds with many diverse wines, but Sonoma's two most renowned wines are Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. Many wine critics believe that the nation’s best Pinot Noirs come from Sonoma’s [more…]

Lesser Known Wine Regions in California

Napa Valley and Sonoma County might be California’s most famous wine regions, but they’re only part of today’s wine story in California. Vineyards that are north, east, and south of Napa and Sonoma grow [more…]

How Different California Varietal Wines Age

Some California varietal wines — especially the “better” vintages from years in which climatic conditions were superb — age remarkably well or even improve with aging. However, it’s perfectly fine to drink [more…]

The Wine Regions of Oregon

Oregon’s wine regions share a cool climate, primarily because no high mountains separate the vineyards from the Pacific Ocean. The ocean influence brings cool temperatures and rain to Oregon. Grapegrowing [more…]

The Wine Regions of Washington State

Although Washington and Oregon are neighboring states, their wine regions have vastly different climates due to the location of the vineyards relative to the Cascade Mountains, which cut through both states [more…]

Wines Produced in New York State

Wines produced in New York state don’t get the recognition they deserve, perhaps because of California’s overwhelming presence in the U.S. winemaking market. New York ranks as the third largest wine producing [more…]

Wine Regions in Canada

Canada’s wines are known mainly to Canadians, who consume the bulk of their country’s production. Ask many wine lovers in the U.S. about Canadian wines, and you’ll probably get a blank stare in response [more…]

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