Wine Searcher

  • Alicante region

    Alicante wine and region

    Alicante blanco wine Alicante is the most southerly of the Valencian DO areas. The area under cultivation by vines comprises a fairly large tract of land from the Mediterranean to the foot of the central hills of the Meseta. This region is further subdivided into two sub-areas of La Marina, around Cabo de la Nao inland from Benidorm, and Alicante, around and to he north¬west of the town of the same name. The famous beaches such as Benidorm and Villajoyosa are to be found between these two sub-areas. Oddly enough almost everyone in the world has probably heard of Benidorm but few will have heard of Alicante wine.

    Here in Alicante like elsewhere the local growers have been engaged for centuries in the production of wine to trade in bulk, such as the doble pasta wine, a heavy double concentration wine for ‘cutting’ with other wines. Alicante was once famous for its rancio Spanish wine, which sold readily.

  • Anjou-Saumur French Wines

    ANJOU-SAUMUR

    Great French wines were made here more than fifteen centuries ago. With its 27 appellations the area around Anjou and Saumur has something for everyone. It is a true journey of discovery from which newcomers to wine drinking and connoisseurs will both experience pleasure. The underlying ground is extremely complex around Anjou. Crudely speaking there are two main types: the 'blue' of Anjou which is blue slate and eroded igneous rocks from the Massif Central, and the 'white' Anjou of Saumur, Vouvray, and Montlouis with underlying beds of chalk and tufa.

    The most widely grown variety of grape is Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Loire) for white French wines and both Cabernets for reds French wine. You will also encounter some Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for white wines here and there and some Gamay for red wines.

  • Austrian Wine Areas

    Neusiedler See-Hügelland Austrian Wine

    Austrian WineThis area is located on the other - western - side of the Neusiedler See lake, between the lakes of the plains and the Thermen-region. It is best known for its seductive sweet Austrian wines such as the famous Rüster Ausbruch.

    The white Austrian wines are made from I Welsch Riesling, Weiss I Burgunder, Neuburger, Sauvignon, and Morillon (Chardonnay).

    Excellent red Austrian wines are Neusiedler See-Hügelland made in the area around the picturesque village of Rust from Fränkisch, Zweigelt, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Most of the vineyards are sited on soils of clay, sand, chalk, and black loam.

  • Bosco Eliceo Region and Wines

     

    Bosco Eliceo DOC

    Brosco Eliceo Bottle ItalyThis Italian wine region lies on the Adriatic coast to the north of Ravenna. There are two types of white wine and two types of red made here.

    The ordinary Bianco is made from at least 70% Trebbiano Romagnolo together with Sauvignon Blanc or Malvasia Bianca di Candia. This pale golden Italian wine has a light and mellow nose and pleasant mellow taste. It is available as dry or slightly sweet and as a still or lightly sparkling wine. It is certainly not a wine for laying down.

  • Brescia Wines - Italian Wine

    Brescia wines

    Brescia is not a DOC wine but a wine area around the town of the same name and the famous Lake Garda.

      The region of Brescia encompasses the following denominated (DOC) wines: Botticino, Capriano del Colle, Cellatica, Garda, Garda Bresciano, Garda Classico, Franciacorta, Lugana, and San Martino della Battaglia. From this it is apparent that this region produces a large number of different types of wine so that it is impossible to describe them all. Below are some pointers for each denomination to make choosing a little easier.

    Botticino DOC

    This is a geographical area that has the village of this name at its epicentre. The vines grow on the rocky hills around Brescia on soil that is clay, marble, and chalk. The wines are made using Barbera, Marzemino, Sangiovese, and the many varieties of Schiava grapes. The Botticino wines are generally ruby red with hints of granite red, and are warm in bouquet and taste and extremely pleasing. Drinking temperature is 55.4-59°F (13- 15°C).

     

    Garda DOC

    Because most Garda DOC wines are made in the province of Veneto, I described them there.

    Riviera del Garda BrescianolGarda Bresciano DOC

    This wine is only made on the Brescian side of Lake Garda and this DOC has existed for thirty years. The vineyards receive ample sun and moisture and the surroundings here are always green. The geology though is complex, without one definite soil type.

    White, red, pale red, rose, and spumante wines are produced here under this DOC label. Garda Bresciano Bianco is made with Riesling Halico and/or Riesling Renano supplemented with up to 20% of other grapes. The wine is pale golden yellow tinged with green. The nose is aromatic and slightly herbal while the taste is soft on the palate and almost velvet, with a clear bitter note and hint of salt. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10- 12°C) .

    Garda Bresciano Rosso is made with Gentile, Santo Stefano, Mocasina, Sangiovese, Marzemino, and Barbera. Single varietal wines can also be found but others contain two or more types of grape.

    Consequently the range of possible taste for these wines run into thousands. A ruby red colouring and bitter note in the finish are characteristic of the area though. Drinking temperature is 53.6-60.8°F (12-16°C), depending on the individual type of wine.

    Garda Bresciano Chiaretto is a pale red wine (claret, clarete, clairet), made using the same grapes as the Garda Bresciano Rosso. The colour is usually cherry red and the taste is normally very smooth and rounded with a bitter almond finish. Drink at 50-57.2°F (10- 14°C) .

    Garda Bresciano Groppello is a ruby red wine made with Gentile, Groppellone, and varieties of roppello grapes. This too is fully flavoured, smooth and rounded, and has a pleasing bitter aftertaste.

     

     The better wines are sold as Superiore. Drink at 53.6- 57.2°F (12- 14°C). The spumante rosato/ rose made with Groppello is a much rarer wine. This is deliciously full of flavour while remaining fresh tasting. Drinking temperature is 42.8- 55.0°F (6-10°C).

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  • Calabria wine and region

    Calabria italian Wine

    Calabria vineyard ItalySea, The Straits of Messina, and the Gulf of Squillace. The Greeks once regarded Calabria as the Garden of Eden. The cultural inheritance can be found in towns such as Cosenza and above all Reggio di Calabria. The ancient Greeks founded the wine-growing in Calabria but all the old and famous wines have more or less disappeared and are forgotten, but something of the Greek civilisation can still be touched on with an old and matured Ciro. Superb white and rosé Italian wines are made here but the area is most famous for its red wines.

  • Campania Wines

    GRECO Di TUFO DOC ITALIAN WINE

    Montefaliesi Greco di TufoThis is a famous dry and fresh white Italian wine that is elegant and full-bodied, made from Greco grapes. This Greco di Tufo is produced around Avellino, from where the red Taurasi also comes. The ordinary Greco di Tufo is a pleasant white wine but the top ones are little gems of finesse. Drink this Italian wine at 10-12°C (50-53.6°F). An excellent Greco Spumante is also made.

  • Central Greek Wines

    Central Greece

    Ionian Greek wine mapThis area is the centre of the Greek mainland, bounded in the north by Ipeiros and Thessalia, in the west by the Ionian Sea, and in the east by the Aegean. Vast quantities of wine are produced here but the region only has one guaranteed source of origin wine. The other wines are all table wines or country wines. The three areas that together form Central Greece do produce an excellent Cava-style wine (Hatzi Michalis) and very good topikos oinos (Hatzi Michalis, Zarogikas, and Cambas). There are very fruity retsina (appellation traditionelle) wines from Thebe and Messoghia that are made from Rhoditis and Savatiano. There has been substantial investment in this region recently in Prench grape varieties and the better Greek ones. It is anticipated that fine wines will originate from here in the future.

     

    KANTZA Greek wine

    This is a very subtle white wine made from Savatiano and Rhoditis, that is like a retsina without the resin. Drinking temperature for Kantza Greek wine is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

     

    Ionian Islands and greek wine

    The Ionian Islands lie to the west of the Greek mainland on a latitude with Ipeiros, Central Greece, and parts of the Peloponnese. Vines are cultivated on virtually all of these islands. The conquest by the Turks in this part of Greece - also known as Eptanessos or the seven islands - was of sufficiently short duration that the inhabitants were able to continue to cultivate vines and make wine.

    The wine industry in the most northerly island of Corfu (Kerkyra) has been somewhat depressed by the rise of tourism and the growing of olives. Here too though excellent white wines are made such as that from the house of Ktima Roppa. This is an oldfashioned and traditional wine with the culture of 'flor' (a film created by the fermentation) in the same way as sherry.

    The wine is a lot like dry sherry. The grapes used are Robola and Kakotrychi. New businesses are developing modern-style dry white wines of elegance using the native Kakotrychi grapes. Production of this new wine is very limited. Very little wine worth mentioning is produced at present on the islands of Paxi, Lefkas, and Ithaki (with the exception perhaps of Lefkas's Santa Mavra). Cephalonia (Kefallinia) does make good wine though.

     

    KEFALLINIA ROBOLA GREEK WINE

    Robola, also known as Rombola, is one of the finest white grape varieties of Greece. This grapevine thrives extremely well on the seven Ionian islands, thanks to both the weather and soil structure. The summers are hot but there are light sea breezes to provide the necessary moisture and cooling. The vineyards are sited at 1,968 feet (600 metres) and sometimes as high as 2,952 feet (900 metres) .

    Robola's colour is fairly pale yellow with a tinge of green. The bouquet, with hints of hazelnut and citrus fruit, is seductive and the taste is mellow, elegant, and extremely pleasant. Drinking temperature Kefallinia Robola Greek Wine is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

     

    KEFALLINIA MAVRODAPHNE GREEK WINE

    Mavrodaphne Kourtaki Greek WineThis is a first class sweet red wine made from Mavrodaphne grapes. At first glance it resembles a ruby port in looks. Drinking temperature for Kefallinia Mavrodaphine Greed wine is 46.4-53.6°F (8-10°C) or 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) according to preference.

     

    KEFALLINIA MUSCAT GREEK WINE

    This is a first class sweet Muscat wine that is very aromatic. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 42.8- 50°F (6- 10°C). A number of reasonable white and red wines are also made on Cephalonia. The white wines, made from grapes such as Rhoditis, Sideritis, Tsaoussi, Zakinthino, Robola, or Sauvignon Blanc, are fresh and fruity. The reds, made from Agiorgitiko, Mavrodaphne, or Tymiathiko, are fresh, fruity, very aromatic, and not always equally dry.

    VERDEA GREEK WINE

    On Zakynthos just as on Corfu, a fresh green white wine in the style of a Madeira is made that is known as Verdea. This is an excellent aperitif. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 46.4-53.6°F (8-10°C).

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  • Chablis and Beaujolais Wine Regions

    CHABLIS WINE REGION

    Grapes

    Chablis Fine Wine Chardonnay: The only grape allowed for Chablis producing a steely dry, green, acidic wine. The best wines are much richer, with depth and intense flavour although still bone dry.

    Sauvignon Blanc: Used for Sauvignon de St.Bris. The variety is not legal in Chablis which is why the wine has only VDQS status.

    Pinot Noir: Mainly used for red wine production, with some César, Gamay and Tressot.

  • Champagne & sparkling wines

       Putting the bubbles into wine can be done in several ways but only sparkling wines made in a certain region of narthern France can be called Champagne.

      The best way to produce sparkling wine is the 'Methode Traditionelle' , practised in Champagne and elsewhere. Base wines high in acidity and fermented to dryness are bottled and a small amount of sugar and yeast is then introduced to create a second fermentation. It is the second fermentation which creates carbon dioxide and thus the bubbles which give the wine its sprakle. As the carbon dioxide is unable to escape into the air it dissolves into the wine. The sediment, or less, left behind by the spent yeast stays in conctact with the wine until dégorgement, and imparts biscuity flavours and complexity.

      'Dégorgement' is the removal of the lees, in order to render the wine clear and bright. A process known as 'rémuge', which invols the twisting and turning of the bottles, slowly shifts the lees to the neck of the bottle. The necks of the bottles are then passed through a solution of freezing brine in order to freeze the first inch or so of wine now containing the lees. When the cap is removed, the pressure in the bottle forces out the ice pellet.

    sparklin wine To finish, the wine lost during 'dégorgement' is replaced by a mixture of wine and cane sugar, called the 'dosage' or 'Liquer d'Expedition'. The amount of sugar added has a bearing on the final style of the wine, for example a small amount of sugar is added for the dryish style of Brut while more is added for the quite sweet and sticky rich.

     A cheaper form of secondary fermentation can take place in closed tanks. Known as 'Cuve close', the wine is bottled under pressure so that it retains carbon dioxide. This method is generally reserved for less expensive fizz.

     Particular grape varieties are sought the world over. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir both have the attributes required to make great champagnes and sparkling wines. Although the best champagne may be a first choice for many as a 'desert island' bottle, there are plenty of fine sparkling wines around.

      Areas of England with chalky soil, combined with the country's cool climate, make it capabile of producing top-quality sparkling wine. Fruity and expressive sparklers come from riper fruit in countries such as Australia, USA, New Zealand and South Africa, while the favoured choice from Spain is Cava, a lighter sparkling wine made from indigenous grape varieties.

     Areas of England with chalky soil, combined with the country's cool climate, make it capabile of producing top-quality sparkling wine. Fruity and expressive sparklers come from riper fruit in countries such as Australia, USA, New Zealand and South Africa, while the favoured choice from Spain is Cava, a lighter sparkling wine made from indigenous grape varieties.

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  • Champagne and Cava

    It is a shame that almost everything with bubbles in gets called Champagne. There are top quality Cavas made by the traditional method that are far better in quality than the most lowly of Champagnes.

     Calling these wines Champagne is to undervalue them. Not only is it incorrect but in common with other sparkling wines, the Spanish Cavas have their own story to tell about the grape varieties used, the soil on which they are grown, and the weather conditions that are quite different to those of Champagne. This Spanish wine has been made by the same methode traditionnelle as French sparkling wines since the end of the nineteenth century.

    Cava came into being in the province of Barcelona in 1872 because the local innkeepers and hoteliers could not meet the increasing demand for good sparkling wine. The Catalans decided to make their own sparkling wine instead of always having to import either expensive Champagne or cheap Blanquette de Limoux.

     This wine was made in precisely the same way as the other methode­ traditionnelle wines, but the Cavas have their own taste and character. This is determined by the use of different grapes and other ideas about how a good sparkling wine should taste.

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  • Champagne Wine Region

    CHAMPAGNE REGION

    Champagne FranceWhen asked why he drank Champagne for breakfast every morning, Noel Coward replied, “Doesn’t everyone?”.

    “In victory you deserve it; in defeat you need it,” said Napoleon.

    Champagne is the most northerly vineyard in France, a large plain split by the River Marne 90 miles east of Paris. There are about 72,000 acres of vineyards within the Champagne appellation, some 15,000 growers, more than 4,500 producers including 110 Houses and about 250 miles of tunnels for storing and ageing the wine. Annual sales are around 250 million bottles, of which 40 per cent is exported.

  • Chilean Wine and History

    Chilian WinesChile produces much less wine than Argentina, but has had greater success on the export markets. Known of its fruits and appealing wines, made from a wide range of grape varieties, Chile has the knack of producing wine style that consumers are very happy to drink.

     The foundations of today’s Chilian wine industry were laid down in the 1850s. Many South Americans were great travellers and wealthy landowners made the long journey to visit the vineyards of Europe.

    They retured with healty vines from regions like Bordeaux, which explains the presence of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carménere, a grape variety that was, eventually, to give Chilian winemakers a real point of difference. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Carménere eas identified by the French ampelographer Jean Michel Bourisiquot. Up until this time Carménere had been commonly mistaken for Merlot. Chilian Carménere has abundant blackbarry-like fruit, chocolate, and coffee flavours.

  • Croatian Wines

    Pošip Croatian wine

    Kiridzija Dingac CroatianThe island of Korcula is south of Hvar and at a similar latitude to Peljesac. The superb Pošip white wine made here is probably the best known Croatian wine made from the native variety of grape of that name and has been made from these grapes for centuries. The grapes are entirely hand picked. Pošip is a delightful full-bodied, rounded, and powerful white elevated from others by superb fruitiness in both inose and taste. Drink this Croatina wine at 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

  • Croatian Wines and regions

    Malvazija Istarska Croatian Wine

    Croatian Wine BottlesExcellent Croatian wine is made in Porec and Rovinj in the region of Istra from Malvasia (Malvazija) grapes. This is a fresh and fruity dry white. Drinking temperature for this Croatian wine is 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

    There are also several interesting red Croatian wines from Istra of which the first choice should be the Teran. The Merlot from Istra is well made but lacks identity.

  • Fortified wines

      Fortified wines are wines which have bad extra alcohol added during their production. Sherry is fortified after the juice has fermented to the extent that all the sugar has been used up. In the case of port, fortification takes place during fermentation.

     

    Sherry Fortified Wine

    Sherry Wine SpainSherry is the unique wine made in southwest Spain. Like Champagne, its name is protected by law and may only be applied to the wines made in the ‘Sherry Triangle’ around the town of Jerez.

    Find more about Sherry Fortified Wine

    Port Fortified Wine

    Port WinePort is made in various styles in the Douro Vallery, a rugged, yet beautiful and stunning location in northern Portugal. The area was first dermacated in 1756.

    Find more about Port Fortified Wine

    Madeira Fortified Wine

    Madeira WineMadeira is a small, mountainos island in the Atlantinc Ocean. Lying 350 miles from the coast of Morocco, the island is warm and temperate the whole year round, and has fertile, volcanic soil.

    Find more Madeira Fortified Wine

    Madeira is a small, mountainos island in the Atlantinc Ocean. Lying 350 miles from the coast of Morocco, the island is warm and temperate the whole year round, and has fertile, volcanic soil.

    Find more Madeira Fortified Wine

     

    ► Fortified Wine  ► Sherry Fortified Wine ► Port Fortified Wine   ► Madeira Fortified Wine {jcomments on}

  • Franciacorta DOCG - Italian Wine

    Franciacorta DOCG

    The wine region of Franciacorta lies between Brescia and Bergamo, on the banks of Lago d'Iseo. Good wine is made here in a mild but windy climate. The fame of Franciacorta has been established chiefly by its sparkling wines.

     The Franciacorta Cremant is made with Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco, Franciacorta rose uses Pinot Nero (minimum 15%) and Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco. The best Franciacorta Spumantes are white wines made with Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, and/or Pinot Nero (without skins).

    The wine has a superb colour that is deep golden yellow with a tinge of green and a sparkle of pure gold. The nose is fresh and heady while the taste is juicy, and both fresh and refined. Drinking temperature is 42.8-48.2°F (6-9°C) . Franciacorta also produce a number of pleasant red and white still wines. The reds are made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Barbera, and Nebbiolo. These are well worth discovering. These are sold as either bianco or rosso Terre di Franciacorta DOC.

    LuganaDOC

    Lugana originates from the south of Lake Garda where both still and sparkling wines are made with the Trebbiano grape. A slight saltiness is typical of these wines, derived from the minerals in the soil here. The colour varies from pale greenish yellow when young to golden yellow after a few years maturing. The bouquet is fresh and pleasant, the taste is fresh, smooth, and dry, with good balance between acidity, body, and alcohol. Drink the sparkling wine as an aperitif and the still wine with freshwater fish. Drinking temperature is 46.4- 50°F (8-10°C) .

     

    San Martino della Battaglia DOC

    This area is less well-known but has much in common with Lugana (q.v.) in terms of climate and mineral soil. San Martino della Battaglia is made using Tocai Priulano (note: not Pinot Grigio but Welsch Riesling. The colour is lemon yellow and the nose is very inviting and intensely aromatic, while the taste is filled with flavour, dry, and with a slight bitterness in the finish. Drinking temperature is 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F). There is also a San Martino della Battaglia Liquoroso, which is much darker in colour (golden yellow) , very fruity and seductive.

    The taste is filled with flavour, smooth, and pleasantly sweet. The wine is well balanced with minimum alcohol of 16%. Drinking temperature is 42.0- 50.0°F (6- 10°C) depending on personal preference.

     

    Vini Mantovani

    Garda DOC wines are also made to the south of the lake, which falls within the province of Mantua (Mantova). These wines vary little from the other Garda wines. Single varietal wines include Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, Chardonnay, Tocai, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Pranc, and Merlot. Good frizzante wines are also produced here, usually with Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Colli Morenici Mantovani del Garda DOC is worth a special mention. This wine from the south of Lake Garda originates from the most favourably placed hills (Colli) above Mantua.

    This wine is slightly better than the other Lake Garda wines. The basic grapes are Pinot Bianco and Garganega for the whites (bianco) and Rondinella, Rossanella, Negrara, Sangiovese, and Merlot for the roses and reds (rosato and rosso) . The vineyards of Lambrusco Mantovano DOC are south of Mantua. This wine contains quite high levels of carbonic acid created by fermentation. At least four different varieties of Lambrusco type grapes may be used in this wine, which can be supplemented with Ancellotta, Portana, or Uva d'Oro.

     

     The wine is ruby red in colour and tastes fresh and juicy. Both dry and sweet versions are available. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10-12°C). There is also a lighter rosato version of this wine.

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  • Gaillac French Wines

    Gaillac French wine was already known in the fifth century, particularly in ecclesiastical circles. With the arrival of the Benedictine monks in the tenth century Gaillac became known as one of the best winegrowing areas of France. The vineyards cover 2,500 hectares on either side of the river Tarn, stretching from the town of Albi, north of Toulouse. The soil on the left bank of the Tarn is poor, consisting of stone and gravel, which is ideal for red French wine. The right bank of the Tarn is more complex and diverse with granite, chalk, and sandstone predominant. White, rose, and red French wines are produced, with the current production of Gaillac consisting for 60 per cent of red wine.

    The white Gaillac French wine is made with Mauzac grapes, which are also found in Languedoc (Limoux) and in various small southwestern wine-growing areas. Mauzac is supplemented here with the Len de l’el grape for its finesse and aromatic strength. The Len de l'el grape is also grown in both French and Spanish Catalonia. French wine from the right bank is wellbalanced and possesses rich fruitiness, floral bouquets, and is very fresh. The modern-style white wines are slightly less broad, lithe, and lingering in their aftertaste than the traditional Mauzac and Len de l'el wines. This French wines produced on the left bank are fruity, juicy, and warm. Drink Gaillac white at 10°C, and the sweet white at 8°C.

    There is also sparkling white Gaillac, available in two types: the methode artisanale is achieved without the addition of liqueur. The gas bubbles are created by the fermentation of the sugars already present in this French wine. This Gaillac methode artisanale is very fruity and full of character. Gaillac methode traditionnelle is produced with a second fermentation in the bottle after a dose of liqueur has been added to this French wine. This sparkling wine is perhaps somewhat fresher but less complex and above all less fruity. Drink it as an aperitif at about 8°C.

    Gaillac French rose is generally made by modern means using the saignee method (early drawing off during the steeping of the wine of a little red and subsequent vinification as white Frech wine). This is a friendly, fairly light, and easily drinkable rose. Drinking temperature for a good French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53 .6°F) .

    Gaillac red Frech wine is made with the Duras grape, an old variety that made a comeback about twenty years ago, to which the native Braucol or Brocol (local names for the Per Servadou or Mansoi) is added. Duras imparts colour, backbone, and refinement to the wine while Braucol gives it fleshiness and rustic charm together with superb aromas of black currant and raspberry. The red French wine made by modern methods from grapes grown on chalky soils are light, aromatic, and easy to drink. This French wine has much in common with the Gaillac rose. A warm, stronger, but more lithe red with plenty of fruit aromas (preserved fruit, red currant and blackcurrant) originates from the granite soil of the hills. This French wine can be readily laid down. The red wine from the left bank is darker in colour and more richly flavoured, with bouquet of preserved fruit, spices, and blackcurrant. This French wine, which is robust and rich in tannin, needs to be aged in the bottle for some years. Drink the modern-style Gaillac French wine at 14-16°C (57.2-60. 8°F), and the traditional and robust red at 16°C (60. 8°F).

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  • Georgian wines

      Georgia, which is sandwiched between Russia and Turkey, produces a tremendous volume of good white, rose, red, and sparkling wines but these are rarely seen outside of the country.

    Some Georgian wines are unlikely to charm Western consumers because of their earthy tones and somewhat tart acidity. This results from the oldfashioned wine-making methods that are still in regular use in which entire bunches of grapes are left and more or less 'forgotten' for a time in earthenware pitchers to ferment. Georgian wines can easily be recognised by the decorative labels with at least six or seven gold medals on them on somewhat ungainly bottles.

    White wines are dominated by the two native grapes varieties of Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane. Several strange but high quality dry wines are made from these two types of grape. These are Tsinandali, Gurdzhaani, and Vazisubani.

    The equally excellent Napareuli wine is made solely from Rkatsiteli, and Manavi uses just Mtsvane. Tsitska, Tsolikauri, and Bakhtrioni are all made from native grape varieties of the same name. These wines and the Manavi and Vazisubani previously mentioned are all firm, fruity, and harmonious wines. Tsinandali, Gurdzhaani, Napareuli, and Manavi are all aged in wooden casks for at least three years.

    These wines are not truly fresh but they have marvellous fruitiness and a very elegant nose with a light and mellow fruity taste (by Georgian standards). Those who truly wish to try the authentic and very localised taste of old-fashioned Georgian wines (from earthenware pitchers) should try the Rkatsiteli, Sameba, or Tibaani. The colour of these dry white wines - made from pure Rkatsiteli in the case of the first and from Rkatsiteli and Mtsvani in the case of the others - is between dark yellow and amber. The bouquet is somewhat fruity, suggesting perhaps currants with clear sherry-like undertones. All these three wines are more alcoholic at 12-13% than the other white wines mentioned.

    Pull-bodied red wines are made here from Saperavi (Kvareli, Napareuli and Mukuzani) and Cabernet Sauvignon (Teliani). All these wines are cask aged for at least three years. These are not only full-bodied wines, they are also strong in tannin and have moderate levels of alcohol (12-12.5%) and fairly fruity with suggestions of overripe fruit and currants.

    Georgia also produces countless dry and sweet white, rose, and red sparkling wines. There are also reasonable to good fortified wines that are naturally sweet, made from grapes such as Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane. The Georgians themselves are not very fussy when it comes to the right wine for the dish being eaten.

     By Western standards the dry wines should be served at 50- 53.6°F (10-12°C), the dry reds at 60.8-62.6°F (16- 17°C), sweet reds at 50-53.6°F (10-12°C), and sparkling wines between 42.8°F (6°C) and 46.4°F (8°C).

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  • German Wine

       Some of the greatest white wines in the world come from Germany. When made from the Riesling grape, by a well-respcted grower, German wines can be extremly complex and deliver immense satisfaction.

     The cool climate is just one the factors explaining why German wines are some of the most difficult to make. Several of the vineyards lie at the northen limit for wine production. Nonetheless, in good years the grapes ripen slowly and can provide a wonderful balance between fruit and acidity. Winemaking was introduced to the region by the Romans who observed where the snow first melted, indicating where grapes might succesfully ripen.

    Germany Wineyards A grading system evolved, which linked quality to grape ripeness, rather then vineyard location. This notion has been challenged by several respected grawers, who argue that precise location is equally important. Traditionally, QMP wines, are made without chaptalisation and are categorised depending on the degree of natural grape sugar at the time of harvest.

     The categories are as follows:

    KABINETT: very light and perfect as an apertif.

    SPÄTLESE: much sweeter, with some noble rot apparent in some cases.

    BERENAUSLESE: rich, intense, sweet wines.

    TROCHENBEERENAUSLESE: made form individual handpicked verries, 100 per cent noble rot. The richest wines, at best balanced with crisp acidity,

    EISWEIN: picked at BERENAUSLESE ripeness or above when frozen. Sweet, intense and with pinpoint acidity.

     

    German regions for winemakers

     Tow new generic labelling terms have been introduced: ‘Classic’ and ‘Selection’. Linked to dry wines made from traditional grapes, ‘selection’ indicates that the wine cames from an individual wineyard in one specific region. Germany’s wine regions of note include Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Rheingau, Nahe and Pfalz. The steep, south-facing vineyards of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer overlook the River Mosel and its triburaries, the Saar and the Ruwer. Skate siuk us important here. Mosel wines,traditionally sold in tall, green bettles, are pale in colour, light in body, with racy acidity and elegance.

     Rheingau wines are fuller in style, with the river Rhine being influential. The wineyards, such as the Rudesheimer Berg, are also angled steeply. Halfway in style between a Mosel and Rhein, Nahe wines are fresh, clean and sometimes ‘minerally’. Wines from the Pfalz region are growing in popularity. Pfalz haz the warmest climate of Germany’s wine-growing regins and is home to some of Germany’s most innovative winemakers and some exciting wines. Certain wines, such as those from the Lingenfleder estate, exce. However, Pfalz is also home to a great deal of Liefraumilch production.

     

      Top-quality estate wines from Germany once fetched higher prices than firt-growth Bordeaux! {jcomments on}