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Wine All-In-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Both red wine and white wine come in myriad styles, from delicate to robust. They taste best when paired with the right foods. Fortunately, you can find a red or a white wine to go with any meal you might [more…]

French Wine For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Choosing a French wine means understanding how to read and pronounce French wine names and words you find on the label, the variety of grape specific to certain French wines, and getting the best value [more…]

How Wine is Made

Wine is essentially liquid, fermented fruit. After grapes are gathered from a vineyard's grapevines and crushed, yeasts(tiny one-celled organisms that exist naturally in vineyards) come into contact with [more…]

Why Color Matters with Wine

It’s okay to like some wine colors more than others. You may prefer white, red, or rosé (blush) wines. The winemaking process and the color of the grape determine whether a wine will be white, red, or [more…]

Understanding How Wines are Named

Most of the wine names that you find in your wine shop or on restaurant wine lists are named in one of two basic ways: [more…]

How to Pronounce Wine Names

Nothing will set a wine snob on your case more quickly than a mispronounced name of a famous wine or wine region. The pronunciations of dozens of wines and wine regions appear in the table below, for easy [more…]

How to Discern Wine Quality

Wine producers constantly brag about the quality ratings that their wines receive from critics, because a high wine rating — implying high quality — translates into increased sales for a wine. But quality [more…]

Understanding How Grapes Used in Wine Vary

Many attributes distinguish each grape variety from the next. The attributes of grape varieties fall into two categories: personality traits and performance factors. [more…]

The Most Popular White Grape Varieties

Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio are the most important and popular white grape varieties today. The wines made from these grapes can be varietal wines, or place-name [more…]

The Most Popular Red Grape Varieties

The most popular red grape varieties today are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz, and Zinfandel. You’ll encounter these grapes in varietal wines and place-name wines. These red grape [more…]

Shopping for Wine in Supermarkets

Supermarkets and discount warehouses make wine accessible to everyone. When you shop for wine in supermarkets or discount stores, the mystique surrounding the wine selection process evaporates: Who can [more…]

Shopping for Wine in Specialty Shops

Wine specialty shops are small- to medium-sized stores that sell wine and liquor and, sometimes, wine books, corkscrews, wine glasses, and maybe a few specialty foods. The foods sold in wine shops tend [more…]

How to Choose a Wine Merchant

Sizing up a wine merchant is similar to sizing up any other specialty retailer. The main criteria for picking a wine shop are fair prices, a wide selection, staff expertise, [more…]

Strategies for Wine Shopping

Most wine lovers discover (at least eventually) that wine shopping can be fun. You can assure yourself of more good wine-buying experiences than bad ones by coming to terms with your knowledge — or lack [more…]

Understanding American Wine Labels

Many American wine bottles have two labels. The front label names the wine and grabs your eye as you walk past it. The back label gives you a little more information, ranging from food pairings to other [more…]

Looking at California's Wine Regions

Wine grapes flourish throughout much of California — in wine regions as far north as Mendocino County in the upper third of California, as far west as the edge of the Pacific Ocean, and as far east as [more…]

How to Decipher Labels on European Wines

Wines produced or sold in the European Union (EU) must include some of the same information found on American wine labels. But the EU regulations require additional label items for wines produced in its [more…]

Optional Lingo Often Used on Wine Labels

In addition to the mandatory information included on wine labels (as required by government authorities), all sorts of other words can appear on them. This wine label lingo can be meaningless phrases intended [more…]

The Role of Sulfites in Wine

Sulfur dioxide, a compound formed from sulfur and oxygen, exists naturally in wine as a result of the fermentation process. Winemakers add sulfur dioxide [more…]

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…]

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