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  • Alsace Wine Region and Grapes

    Alsace Wine Region

    Alsace Wine RegionAlsace wine region lies in the eastern corner of France, sandwiched between the Rhine in the east and the foothills of the Vosges in the west, with Switzerland to the south and Germany to the north east. This region runs for 90 miles along the border and has been fought over for centuries. Historical links explain why the wine making techniques are similar to those of the Rhine and why local names often appear Germanic. There are about 30,000 acres of vineyards, which in good years produce about 150 million bottles.

    Alsace is unique in France because usually all wines are labeled according to the seven main grape varieties used. Where this is specified the wine is made 100 per cent from that variety.

  • Bordeaux wine region

    Bordeaux Wine Region

    Bordeaux Wine BottlesThe Gironde, in south west France, is the country’s largest Departement, and the home of Bordeaux wines, including claret, Britain’s favorite French wine for centuries. But while all claret is Bordeaux, not all Bordeaux is claret.

    Bordeaux is the largest region of fine wine production – red, white and dessert – in the world. The vines cover more than 500 square miles, split almost evenly between red and white grapes, and most of the wines have AC status. The vineyards run from the west bank of the Gironde estuary southwards to below the river Garonne.

  • 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.

  • Burgundy style and white wine

    Region and style from Burgungy

    Burgundy Wine GlassesMorey-St.Denis (Côte de Nuits): Deep colour, big bouquet and full fruity flavour. Age well.

    Musigny (Côte de Nuits): Smooth and stylish with velvety fruit. Will keep for ages.

    Nuits St. George (Côte de Nuits): Has improved recently. Spicy nose and big, rich plummy fruit flavour with touches of sweetness. Age well.

    Pernand-Vergelesses (Côte de Beaune): Can be silky- smooth and fruity, but often not. Best drunk youngish.

    Pommard (Côte de Beaune): Big and solid but classy, with plummy fruit. Age well.

  • Colli Bolognesi DOC

     

    Colli Bolognesi DOC Italian Wine

    Pignoletto Superiore Colli BolognesiAs the name indicates, these Italian wines come from the gently undulating hills to the south and west of Bologna. Drink this Italian wine at 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C). The local Sauvignon makes a fine aperitif. It is fresh, dry, slightly aromatic, with a fulsome flavour. Drinking temperature for this Italian wine is 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C). The Pinot Bianco is delicate and refined, fresh, warm, and harmonious. This is a very successful wine from the usually so neutral Pinot Bianco. You can drink this Italian wine at 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

  • Emiglia-Romagna Italian Wine Region

     

    Emiglia-Romagna Wine Region

    Emiglia Romagna Italy MapItaly resembles a boot with a wide open thigh piece. We are now leaving the upper part of that boot and moving towards its middle. Emilia-Romagna is south of Lombardy and Veneto, extending from Liguria to the Adriatic. Emilia-Romagna is separated from Tuscany and the Marche in the south by the Apennines. For Italy, this region is remarkably flat and this gives the local wines a character all of their own among Italian wines. The name of Emilia- Romagna probably says little to most people about the region of origin of these wines but the individual vineyards are readily pin-pointed. These lie between Piacenza and Parma, around Reggio and Modena, and surrounding Bologna, and finally in the triangle formed by Ravenna, Forli, and Rimini. The main city of Emilia-Romagna is Bologna, so famed in culinary terms.

  • Friuli Wine DOC

     

    COLLI ORIENTALI DEL FRIULI DOC ITALIAN WINES

    colli-orientali-del-friuli-venezia-giulia-italyThese Italian wines originate from the province of Udine where you find varietal wines of a specific grape. There are first class Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Riesling Renano wines and excellent Traminer Aromático, which is full- bodied, sultry, and has a very intense bouquet and taste. Drink this Italian wine at 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C) except the Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Traminer Aromático 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

    The following wines are very typical of the region. Tocai Friulano: golden to lemon yellow, refined bouquet, fulsome and warm taste with discernible bitter almond note. Temperature for this Italian wine when you drink is 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

  • Garda DOC Italian Wines

     

    GARDA DOC

    Pinot-bianco-lombardy-wineWine from Veneto bears the denomination of Garda Orientale DOC, that from Lombardy just carries Garda DOC. This Italian wine must be made from not less than 85% ofthe grapes indicated on the label. These are the well-known Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling Italico, Riesling Renano, and Sauvignon Blanc. These are all excellent Italian wines. Drinking temperature for this Italian wine 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C) for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Bianco, and Rieslings and 50-53.6°F (10-12°C) for Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio wines.

  • 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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  • Loire Wine Region

    LOIRE wine and region

    Cheverny Blanc Loire FranceThe Loire is France’s longest river, flowing almost 650 miles from the foothills of the Massif Central in the Ardéche to the Atlantic Ocean west of Nantes. Fairy tale castles overlook the vineyards that flank most of the river and its tributaries. Near its source are the vineyards of Sancerre, Pouilly and the Coteaux du Giennois. Reuilly and Quincy mingle among the southern tributaries. To the east of Tours is Vouvray, and then Chinon, Bourgueil, Saumur, Muscadet and a scattering of smaller appellations as you near the sea.

  • Montilla-Moriles Spanish Wine

     

    Montilla-Moriles wine and region      

    Montilla Moriles SpainLike Jerez, this is one of the oldest wine-growing areas of Spain. The history of Montilla-Moriles is similar to that of Jerez. The Montilla wines were adored by both the Greeks and Romans but what has become known as the characteristic Montilla style was only developed in Medieval times. Despite its reputation, Montilla has always remained in the shadow of sherry. In an ironic situation, the growers of Jerez have named one of their best sherries after the old-style Montilla wine: Amontillado.

    The Spanish wine-growing area of Montilla-Moriles is situated around the towns from which the name is derived in the province of Cordoba.

    The best soil is located in the centre of the area and is known as the Superior wine territory. The soil here is also albariza in common with Jerez (which the locals here sometimes call alberos); soil that is high in chalk that stores water so that the vineyards do not dry out in the hot summers. In the rest of Montilla-Moriles the soil is sandy, which is termed arenas in Jerez but ruedos in these parts. The vineyards are sited at an elevation of between 984 and 2,296 feet (300 and 700 metres).

  • More about fortified wine

    What it is fortified wine?

    Fortified WineA fortified wine is a kind of wine that has added distilled beverage, generally brandy. A fortified wine can be differentiated from spirits that are made using wine. The spirits in that are produced by distillation method while the fortified wine is just wine that has spirit included to it. Several different kinds of fortified wines have been made till date including Sherry, Commandaria wine, Marsala, Madeira, Port, and aromatized wine Vermouth.

    Fortified wines are wines that are “fortified” with addition of alcohol that is added to during fermentation to base wine, increasing the average alcohol amount to about 17 to 20%. The fortified wines are made in either sweet or dry style (with middle-ground of medium-dry or medium-sweet covered in generally all kinds of fortified wine categories). Among the most common varieties of fortified wines include Marsala, Madeira, Sherry, and Port.

  • Nebbiolo d'Alba - Italian Wine

    Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC

    The name implies this wine is made with Nebbiolo grapes from the area of Alba. What it does not say isthat Nebbiolo d'Alba tastes great, with a full rounded and velvet smooth flavour with a long finish.

    Check the label before opening for in addition to this delicious dry wine there is also a sweet amabile version which can be extremely sweet.

    There is also a spumante. The dry wine is worth the necessary additional maturing in before opening. If you buy a top year's vintage this wine can almost achieve the levels of a good Barbaresco or Gattinara.

    Drink at 55 .4- 59°F (13- 15°C ) dry or  42.8-48.2°F (6- 9°C) for sweet or sparkling.

     

    SizzanoDOC

    Once again this is an excellent red wine made from Nebbiolo from the hills around Sizzano. This wine is less full and powerful than a Barolo or Barbaresco but resembles a more delicate and smoother Gattinara with floral undertones of violets instead of the Italian culinary herbs that characterise a Barolo or Barbaresco. This wine requires at least three years maturing before it can be sold. Drinking temperature  57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) .

     

    Other recommended DOC wines from Piedmont

    Boca (violet, pomegranate), Bramaterra, Colli Tortonesi Barbera, Para (violets) ,Gabiano and Lessona, Roero Rosso, Rubino di Cantavenna, Ruche di Castagno Ie Monferrato, Verduno Pelaverga, Piemonte, Langhe, Colline Novaresi, Carema DOC,

     

     Erbaluce di Caluso / Caluso DOC, Grignolino DOC, Loazzolo DOC, Cortese dell' Alto Monferrato, Anghe (Pavorita, Arneis), Monferrato (Casalese Cortese), Piemonte (Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Cortese, Moscato, Moscato Passito and spumante),aand Oero (Arneis).

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  • Other white grapes

    GEWÜRZTRAMINER GRAPES

    Gewurztraminer White grapes This distinctive grape variety is known by its friends simply as Gewürtz but sometimes also as Traminer. It provides interese aromas, reminiscent of lychee, rose petals and spice.

    Gewürtraminer often smells sweet, but may produce an element fi suprise, by tasting dry. It tends to grow best in cooler climates where there  is a decent levet of acidity in the soil. Alsace Gewürztraminers are the most successful, with wines from other territories tending to be bland in comparison.

     Gewürztramineris found in Alsace, Germany, Northern Italy, Eastern Europe, and the USA.

     

    MUSCADET - MELON DE BOURGOGNE GRAPES

    Muscat grapesThis grape makes the seafood simple par excellence. Offering hints of apple and gooseberry, the wine becomes dry, savoury and tangy, particlarly when aged in contact with the lees - the yeast deposit left after fermantation. Attempts to age Muscadet in oak are not guaranteed to meet with success as the grape's structure and body tend to preclude assimilation with the wood.

     The Muscadet grape thrives in the Loire Valley.

     

    MUSCAT GRAPES

     All members of the large Muscat family share a floral, grapey, and aromatic charanter. Depending on when it's picked, Muscat is capable of making dry to sweet wines, from the very lightest to the biggest 'stickies', such as the Liqueur Muscats of Australia. The tast of sweet Muscats is redolent of raisins and  oranges. These wines may be fortified with grape brandy during the fermentation process in order to preserve sweetness. The Muscat is often blended with other varieties of grape in order to increase complexity and flavour. It is used in the well-known Italian wine Asti Spumante.

     Muscat is grown throughout Europe anda also in Australia.

     

    TREBBIANO - UGNI BLANC GRAPES

    Trebbiano Pinot Noir Grapes  The most widely planted white grape in Italy, the soil and warm climate help to create wines with highsh acidity. Indeed, because of its high acidity it is sometimes belnded with red wines. Trebbianos tend to be medium bedied and with zesty fruit character, Trebbiano is usually fermented is stainless steel vats and may be matured in oak in orded to add some complexity to the flavour.

    Italy and France, where the grape is used in the blend for Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne. It also makes excellent distilling material for both Cognac and Armagnac.

     

    VIOGNIER GRAPES

     Very aromatic, Viognier's hallmark notes are of apricot, peach, and honey. Lush and flesh, the dry wines produced by the Viognier grape are so aromatic that they can seem sweet on the palate. Viognier is a difficult grape to grow successfully. Indeed, modern winemaking techniques are being developed to encourage a consistency in the taste. In France it tends to do best on the small hillsides outside Lyons.

     Viognier takes centr stage in Condrieu (Northern Rhône) and is also doing well in Southern France, Chile, Australia, and California.

     

    MARSANNE GRAPES

    From the Rhône Valley, France's Marsanne makes full-bodied, fat and weighty wines, with flavours of peach and toast, and can even taste nutty when mature. Marsanne may be blended with Roussanne.

     

    Pinot Blanc GrapesPINOT BLANC - Pinot Bianco GRAPES

     Pinot Blanc invariably makes dry, apple-scented and flavoured white wines, with a touch of honey and a whiff of spice in Alsace. Very adaptable with food, Pinot Blanc is also star material for sparkling wine.

     Pinot Blanc is another grape to originate in the Alsace region of France and also in North America.

     

     

    Chardonnay Grapes

    Chardonnay Grapeswhite-grapes

    Today world's most popular white grape, Chadonnay express its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Vally, California. 

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes 

    This is an aromatic grape, which ripens early and is mostly grown in cool-climate vineyards.   Its range extends from featherweight tangy, dry white wines like Sauvignon de Touraine, to the ripe, almost tropical-like fruitiness obtained in California, where the less common addition of oak is often adopted and labelled 'Fume Blanc'. Sauvignon Blanc thrives on chalk or gravel soil.

    Riesling Grapes

    Riesling Grapeswhite-grapes 

    The Riesling grape is seen by many as the most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.

    Semillon Grapes

    Semillon Grapeswhite-grapes

    Arguably one fo the most underrated verieties of grapes, Sémillon, Bordeaux's most widely planted white grape, makes delicious dry and sweet wines. With an almost honeyed texture, Sémillon is often partnered by Sauvignon Blanc to lift the acidity, although Australian winemakers also blend Sémillon Trebbiano.

    Chenin Blanc Grapes

    Chenin Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes

    An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.

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  • Other wine regions of France

    SAVOIE and JURA Wine Regions

    Wine Savoie FranceSavoie is close to the Swiss border, a few miles south of Geneva and most of its production is white wine, although it does produce light red and rosé. The Jura vineyards start about 25 miles north west of Geneva and, like Savoie, cover about 3,000 acres. Red, white, rosé and sparkling wines are produced, as well as the unusual Vin de Paille, so-named because the grapes are dried on straw before pressing to impart very special characteristics.

  • Rhone Wine Region

    RHONE wine and region

    Rhone Winecellar FranceThe vineyards of the Rhone extend from just below Lyon as far south as Avignon straddling both sides of the river but not continuously. In the north, the vineyard belt is rarely more than a few hundred yards wide, while in the south the vineyards stretch out into the widening valleys.

    The northern vineyards are hot and rocky and all the famous red wines are produced from the Syrah grape, while in the south where many of the wines are blended there have been enormous improvements in the past few years.

  • Romanian Wine Areas

    Romanian Wine in Moldova

    Romania Wine GrapesThis area with is renowned vineyards of Cotnari, Odobesti, Panciu, Nicoresti, Husi, and Dealurile Moldovei, borders the Ukraine (Russian Federation). The soil chiefly consists of a mixture of humus and chalk.

    Many Romanian wines here are made from the native grapes of Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Feteasca Negra, and Galbena, possibly supplemented with or even supplanted by imported grapes such as Rhine Riesling, Welsch Riesling, Pinot Gris, Traminer, or Sauvignon Blanc.

  • Sherry Fortified Wine

    Sherry Fortified WineSherry is the unique fortified 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.  ‘White, chalki’ Albariza soil, ample sunshine and the cool influence of the Atlantic Ocean help to ripen the Palomino grapes whitch produce the base wine for sherry fortified wine. The best sweetening fortified wine will be made from the Pedro Ximénez grape.

     After fortification, the sherry will be stored in casks (butts), until the following year, when classification will take place. All sherry butts are filled just five-sixth full. The delicate fortified wine, fortified to a maimum of 15.5 per cent alcohol, will be classified as finos. 

    There are three major styles of fino: fino fortified wine, manzanilla fortified wine and amontillado fortified wine. The type of fino fortified wine depends on the influence of flor, a yeast unique to Jerez. It’s in the atmosphere and grows on the surface of the wine, affecting its composition and flavour. The very presence of flor produces the characteristic tanghy and ‘yeasty’ nose and flavour of the dry sherries.

     Butts not classified as finos will develop into the richer fortified wine known as olorosos, which are fortified to 18 per cent alcohol, a level too high to be affected by flor. Olorosos mature in direct contact with air and are sometimes sweetened during this process.

     To maintain style and consistency, a system of fractional blending and maturation takes place. Known as the solera system, this allows a younger fortified wine to be added to an older wine after one-third of the older wine has been drawn off for bottling.

     

    Styles of Sherry fortified wine

    Sherry fortified wine is diverse and therefore not only makes an excellent aperitif wine, but is also extremely versatile with food:

    FINO FORTIFIED WINE: light and dry.

    MANZANILLA FORTIFIED WINE: delicate, dry with a salty tang.

    OLOROSO FORTIFIED WINE: full, smooth with a walnut flavour.

    AMONTILLADO FORTIFIED WINE: dry, smooth, nutty.

    PALO CORTADO FORTIFIED WINE: amontillado, nose, oloroso-like palate.

    PALE CREAM FORTIFIED WINE:crisp, subtle sweetness.

    CREAM FORTIFIED WINE: sweet, dried fruit flavour.

    PEDRO XIMÉNEZ FORTIFIED WINE: rich, sweet, raisin-like flavour.

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

  • South West French Wine Regions

    SOUTH WEST Wine Regions

    A massive wine producing area running from Bergerac to the west of Bordeaux, and stretching south to the Spanish frontier and south east to the Mediterranean.

    Red wine FranceGrapes

    Sauvignon Blanc.

    Semilion.

    Muscadelle.

    Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Cabernet Franc.

    Merlot.

    Malbec.

  • The Canadian Wines

       It is best advised to buy only wines that have a VQA neck seal (Vintner's Quality Alliance). These wines are not only strictly controlled in respect of their guaranteed origin but are also quality tested for taste, colour, bouquet etc.

    Canada WinesThis gives assurance that you have bought one of the better Canadian wines. Canada also has two levels of guarantee of origin: the broad Provincial Designation Wines category i.e. British Columbia or Ontario, and the more precise Viticultural Areas Wines which originate from one of the recognised wine districts su'ch as Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, Fraser Valley, or Vancouver Island for British Columbia, and Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore, or Pelee Island for Ontario.

    The strength of Canadian wines is their firm and fresh white wines and the sultry, overripe sweet wines. Some wine-makers and growers though, mainly in Ontario, can also make excellent rounded and full-bodied reds. Most ofthe Canadian red wines though are very light in structure and a bit shallow. The same goes for Canadian wines as elsewhere: do not choose the very cheapest wines for a little more money will yield far better quality. The following types of white wine are generally recommended.

    VIDAL DRY CANADIAN WINE

    This is a fresh and firm dry Canadian wine with a bouquet of green apple and sometimes, with the better ones, hints of citrus fruit. Drinking temperature for this Canadian wine is 50-53.6°F(10-12°C).

    SEYVAL DRY CANADIAN WINE

    This wine is less severely dry than the Vidal and it has a nose containing grapefruit and the occasional hint of flowers and spices. It has a good balance between acidity, alcohol, fruit, and sweetness. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).

    RIESLING DRY CANADIAN WINE

    This is a very elegant wine that is quite fresh but not harsh and it possesses interesting floral notes in its nose. Most of these wines are of the 'off-dry' sort with some sugar residues which enhance the delicious taste.

    The best of these wines are drier but they have seductive bouquets in which pear, apple, and spring blossom appear. Late harvest wines have a touch of botrytis, which makes them more complex and attractive. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).

    CHARDONNAY DRY CANADIAN WINE

    Canadian WineMost Canadian Chardonnays are fresh and a touch green (unripe apples), partially full-bodied, with a subtle bouquet of butter, wood, and citrus fruit. The best Chardonnays (bottled sur lie, reserve, and barrel fermented) are more complex, full-bodied, and creamier.

    These wines also possess the elegant hints of toast and croissants of the better Burgundies. There are also typically hints of butterscotch, toffee, or caramel which are more Californian and Chilean in nature.

    Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C) for the simpler wines and 53 .6- 57.2°F(12- 14°C) for the better examples.

    GEWURZTRAMINER CANDIAN WINE

    This wine that is generally vinified as 'off-dry' with sugar residues, is full bodied and slightly spicy. It has a seductive bouquet in which lychee, melon, peach, and spices can be detected. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).

    GEWORZTRAMINER MEDIUM DRY/ LATE HARVEST CANADIAN WINE

    This one is fuller and more seductive than the 'offdry' version. It has a good balance between sweetness, alcohol, fruit, and acidity.{jcomments on}