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Wine, Beer & Spirits

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How French Wines Differ from American Wines

France has been the leader of the winemaking world for centuries. France is number one in wine production (most years) and also in wine consumption. In the quality department, the most critically-acclaimed [more…]

Types of French Wines Available Today

France produces more wine than any other country — except when Italy does. (The two countries are neck and neck.) The amount of wine produced varies from one year to the next, according to the weather. [more…]

Grape Varieties Grown in France

Practically all the most famous grape varieties used in the world's wines are French varieties, meaning that they either originated in France or became famous through their expression in French wines. [more…]

Understanding How French Wines are Named

The first step toward understanding French wine names is to realize that, in France, the government controls how wines are named, and every wine name is a reflection of French wine law. In theory, you [more…]

France's Bordeaux Wine Region

The Bordeaux region that produces France's famous red Bordeaux wines lies in the southern part of western France, on the Atlantic coast. The Gironde Estuary and its two major rivers, the Dordogne and the [more…]

The Grape Varieties of French Red Bordeaux

France's red Bordeaux is always a blended wine. It’s made from two to five so-called black grape varieties — with most Bordeaux wines made from three or four of the five varieties. Red Bordeaux goes best [more…]

France's White Wines of Bordeaux

The Bordeaux region of France produces some of the world’s finest white wines, in addition to the more commonly known red Bordeaux wines. The finest dry white wines of Bordeaux are unique to the Bordeaux [more…]

France's Burgundy Wine Region

Many wine lovers claim that Burgundy wines — from the Burgundy wine region of France — are the greatest red wines in the world, while others insist that Bordeaux wines hold that claim. Nothing quite compares [more…]

Serving Red and White Burgundy Wines

Burgundy is a complex region that encompasses four distinct wine districts. Although the four Burgundy districts grow essentially the same red and white grape varieties, the wines of each district are [more…]

France's Chablis Wine District

Chablis is a tiny town in the center of France's Chablis wine district, about a two-hour drive southeast of Paris. The Chablis wine district produces white wines only, 100 percent Chardonnay. [more…]

France's Beaujolais Wine District

The Beaujolais region is unique among French wine regions because it makes wines that are happy to please without trying to impress. Beaujolais wine is the product of the Beaujolais region of France and [more…]

South Africa's Wine Regions

South Africa began focusing on table wine production in the 1980s. At the end of the eighteenth century, South Africa was producing a fortified wine called Constantia, which became sought after in European [more…]

What Makes Australian Wines Unique

Australia is one of the world powers of wine. The wine industry of Australia is perhaps the most technologically advanced, forward-thinking on earth, and the success of Australian wines around the world [more…]

The Wine Regions of Australia

The more well-known wine regions in Australia are located in the states of South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia. The wine regions in each of these states produce different [more…]

Wines from New Zealand

The history of winemaking in New Zealand is relatively short, having been hampered by conservative attitudes towards winemaking and alcohol. In the 1980s, New Zealand finally began capitalizing on its [more…]

How Aussie and Kiwi Wines are Named

The name of an Australian or New Zealand (Kiwi) wine is usually the most recognizable thing on the wine bottle's label. In the case of small vineyards, the brand name and the name of the company are usually [more…]

Understanding Aussie and Kiwi Wine Labels

Every piece of information on an Aussie or Kiwi wine label must be accurate. Federal and state legislation covers the labeling of wines in Australia and New Zealand, like any product. [more…]

Less Common Red Grape Varieties Used in Wine

Some less common red grape varieties used in many wine regions today include Aglianico, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Grenache, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo. These red grape varieties may not [more…]

Riesling and Other Alsace Region Wines

The quality of winemaking in the Alsace region, especially known for its Riesling white grape variety, is among the highest in France. The finest wines are magnificent, but even the ordinary quality wines [more…]

Understanding the Categories of Italian Wine

Because Italy is a member of the European Union, her official system of categorizing wines (her appellation system) must conform to the two-tier EU system. This system distinguishes quality wines from [more…]

Wines of Italy’s Piedmont Region

Red wines reign supreme in Italy's Piedmont region. Piedmont’s claim to wine fame is the Nebbiolo grape, a noble red variety that produces great wine only [more…]

Wines from Italy's Tuscany Region: Chianti

Chianti is a large wine zone extending through much of Italy's Tuscany region. The zone — all of it DOCG status — has eight districts. Chianti wines may use the name of the district where their grapes [more…]

Wines from Italy's Tuscany Region: Brunello di Montalcino

While Italy's Chianti wines have been famous for centuries, another great red wine from the Tuscany region, Brunello di Montalcino, exploded on the international scene much more recently, when the Biondi-Santi [more…]

Wines from Italy's Tuscany Region: Vino Nobile, Carmignano, Vernaccia

Italy's Tuscany region offers two lesser-known red wines — Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Carmignano — and Tuscany’s most renowned white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano. All three are DOCG wines, the [more…]

Newer Super-Tuscan Wines of Italy

The newer, red super-Tuscan wines were born in Italy when Chianti sales lost momentum in the 1970s. Progressive producers created these red wines — collectively known today as super-Tuscans — and caught [more…]

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