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  • The various category by French wine

    Vin de table for French wine

    Anjou Blanc French wineBasically Vins de table are fairly simple wines for daily consumption with a consistent taste that is usually achieved through blending. Some specific wines are also included in this category.

     

    Vins de Pays for French wine

    The growth in Vin de Pays wines is enormous at the present time and this is not suprising because of the great inprovements in quality of this better table wine in recent years.

    A Vin de Pays originates from a strictly defined wine-growing area, representing the soul of a specific territoir and is linked to the special characteristics of one or more varieties of grapes. Consumers find these French wines appproacheble with clear language on the label. Some Vins de Pays wines are so well made and demonstrate such love on the part of the wine maker that they outperform characterless AOC wines of anonymous wine merchants in both quality and price. Today’s wine drinkers demand quality for their money.

     

    Appellation – Vins Delimite de Qualite Superieure (VDQS)

    The quality of these French wines is certainly not lower than AOC wines. The criteria for selection are indeed often more rigid than for most AOC wines. VDQS wines are the only ones which have to be tested annually on order to retain their category. A VDQS wine is always therefore approved by a panel of experts before the predicate is awarded. For this reason you can rely totally on this category.

     

    Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AC) for French Wines

    French wine classed as AOC (usually referred to as AC) originates from a clearly defined area in which the soil, climate, variety of grapes, and various legally-defined requiments provide a guarantee that the wine originates fron a given place. This is not, however, a guarantee of quality since these French wines are not tested each year and some of them do not deserve a quality predicate. Despite this, AOC wines form the top category of French wines.

     

    Alsace Grapes

    Additional information on the label for French wine

    Here we mean additions such as ‘Premiere Cru’, or ‘Grand Cru’ for Bordeaux wines, not such meaningless phrases as ‘Vin Supérieure de la cave du patron’ or ‘Cuvée reservé du sommelier’.

    The better Bordeaux were classified in 1885 for a World Exhibition, based on quality criteria of the time. At that time ot related solely to wines of Médoc, Sauternes and on wine from Graves.

    This lattercategory received its own Cru in 1959. Other area which have a similar Premier and Grand Cru classification include St Emilion and Côtes de Procence. Since 1932 the term ‘Cru bourgeois’ has also been used in Médoc. In Burgundy terms such as ‘Premier Cru’ and ‘Grand Cru’ are part of the official name of origin.

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  • The various types of Champagne

    Some labels bear predicates such as ‘Grand Cru’ or ‘Premier Cru’. These descriptions are in no way a guarantee of quality of the Champagne. They merely relate to the quality of the Champagne. They merely relate to the quality of the grapes used in the making of the wine.

    Extra brut/Brut sauvage/Ultra brut

    This wine is very very dry. After degorgement, extra brut is solely topped up with the same wine and therefore contains virtually no residual sugar. Few people appreciate Champagne as dry as chalk.

  • The wines from Chile

    The wines

    Chile produces a great deal of Cabernet Sauvignon (about 47 percent of the total production) followed by Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Small amounts of Riesling, Pinot Noir,

    Chenin Blanc, Semillon, and Gewilrtztraminer are also produced. Chardonnay was originally not so widely planted but has seen explosive growth, with a seventeen fold increase between 1985 and 1996.

     

    SAUVIGNON BLANC

    This classic Bordeaux grape is also known as Fumé Blanc here. Chilean Sauvignon Blanc varies in intensity and quality from area to area and also from maker to maker. The colour of ordinary Sauvignon Blanc is mainly pale yellow tinged with green. The bouquet is very seductive with fresh aromas of tropical fruit and freshly mowed grass. Some wines have a hint of citrus fruits, gooseberry (Santa Carolina), or flowers (Santa Digna, Torres). The taste is always fresh without being firm as can be the case in Bordeaux. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8- 10°C).

     

    SAUVIGNON BLANC RESERVA ESPECIAL

    This wine is cask aged in wood and possesses a characteristic bouquet of wood and vanilla without losing its fruitiness. Drinking temperature is 50°F (10°C).

     

    SAUVIGNON BLANC LATE HARVEST

    This is a rare wine from Concha y Toro that has heady aromas of white fruits (such as peach and apricot), melon and honey. It is a luxuriant and sweet yet fresh white wine with a broad taste and long aftertaste. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8- 10°C).

     

    CHARDONNAY

    The taste of Chilean Chardonnay is largely a matter of the wood in which it has been stored and the duration of its storage. The humidity of its place of origin also plays a role. Chardonnay here is generally pale straw yellow with a green tinge. Most wines have a fresh and fruity bouquet with aromas of apple, citrus fruits such as grapefruit, and pineapple and passion fruit. Those Chardonnays made from riper grapes exude heady aromas more distinctly of honey, butter, mango, cinnamon, apricot, peach, and occasional note of tropical flowers. Those cask aged in good quality wood also acquire a fresh bouquet of oak, hazelnut, toast, and vanilla. These wines are distinguished as in Spain by the additions of the names Reserva and Gran Reserva.

     All Chardonnays are fresh and mild, creamy, dry but not harsh, rounded, and full in taste. The taste (and price) varies from simplicity to good, broad, complex, and superb. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10- 12°C) for young wines and 53.6-57.2°F (12- 14°C) for Reserva and Gran Reserva.

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  • The wines of Provence - French wines

    The wines of Provence - FRENCH WINE

    Cotes de Provence French wineThere are eight AC areas in Provence for a good French wine. We start with the most Northerly and then travel via Nice and along the coast to Aries.

     

    CÔTES DE PROVENCE FRench WINE

    This is the largest appellation of Provence wines in terms of volume. The area is subdivided into five terroirs: Les collines du Haut Pays, La vallee interieure, La bordure maritime, Le bassin du Beausset and La Ste-Victoire.

     

    CÔTES DE PROVENCE ROSE FRENCH WINE

    The colour of the rose depends on the winemaking method used and the length of time that the juice remained in contact with the grape skins. The longer this is, the darker is the wine. Provençal rose is dry, fruity, and elegant. The colour is always clear and sparkling. Drink this French wine at appr. 10°C (50°F).

     

    CÔTES DE PROVENCE ROUGE FRench WINE

    This is an excellent French wine made by traditional methods but with the help of modern technology. The wide differences in colour, bouquet, and taste result from the different terroirs, grapes used, and vinification  method. Some wines are light and fruity with floral notes, others are mainly aged in wood, stronger, and fuller. These French wines need to be kept for a few years before drinking them.

    Drink the lighter coloured fruity types French wine chilled at 14°C (57 .2°F) while the heavier types are better served slightly warmer at approx. 16°C (60.8°F).

     

    COTES DE PROVENCE BLANC FRENCH WINE

    This is a very rare French wine of high quality and always made with just white grapes: Blancs de Blancs. The choice of grapes and the terroir determine the character of the wine - from fresh and lithe to fullbodied and rounded. This French wine is worth discovering. Drink this French wine it chilled at approx. 10- 12°C (50- 53 .6°F) .

    Coteaux Map Wine 

    COTEAUX VAROIS FRench WINE

    Coteaux Varois has only been recognised with an AC appellation since 1993. Pleasing, fruity, and full-bodied wines are made in the centre of the department of Var, around the picturesque little Provençal town of Brignoles.

    Of these, 60% are rose, 35% red, and a mere 5% white wines. This French wine is similar to the Cotes de Provence. The vineyards of Bandol are planted in terraces or restanques on poor, calciferous gravels, protected by the amphitheatre of the wooded mountains (Massif de Ste-Beaume, 1,147 metres/3,763 feet). The sun shines here for at least 3,000 hours per year.

    Fortunately the easterly and south-easterly winds bring showers and the southerly winds from the Mediterranean mitigate the heat. Generations of hard-working wine-growers built and maintain the restanques by hand. It is a constant battle over the course of centuries on this dry soil and steep slopes to prevent erosion. There is never a quiet time in these vineyards. Every job has to be done by hand because machines cannot work these terraces. This has its effect on the price of a good Bandol wine. An important factor in the price is the profit per hectare.

    The legally prescribed maximum yield of 40 hectolitres per hectare is almost impossible to achieve here. The average is around 35 hectolitre per hectare. The total area in cultivation amounts to slightly more than 1,000 hectares. The local winemakers are perfectionists who constantly seek the best sites, the best grapes, the best vats etc. Their results mirror their efforts. Bandol belongs to the elite club of great French wines.

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  • Tokaji Wines

    TOKAJI SZÂRAZ SZAMORODNI HUNGARIAN WINE

    Hungarian wine Tokaji

    The dry (szâraz) Tokaji Szâraz Szamorodni has much in common with a Fino Jerez (sherry). Drinking temperature for this Tokaji Hungarian wine is 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

     

    TOKAJI ASZU HUNGARIAN WINE

    The secret of Tokay wine is the microclimate which causes autumnal mists in the morning which are driven away later in the day by the heat of the sun. These are ideal environmental conditions for Botiytis cinerea (the noble rot) which eviscerates almost all the moisture from the grapes, leaving a very high concentration of sugars, aromatic, and flavour substances in the grapes.

  • Tolna Wine Region From Hungary

    Tolna Hungarian wine

    Tolnai Wine RegionTolna is a new Hungarian wine area that was part of Szekszárd until recently. Although the name of Tolna is little known outside of Hungary, the area produces wines of exceptional quality. The Hungarian wines were better known for a long time under the name Bátaapáti, but these days the better wines bear the Möscényi Kastélyborok name on the label. The company of Európai Bortermelök, which is a joint venture between Piero Antinori and Peter Zwack set up in 1991, is a typical example of what can happen elsewhere in Hungary. Hungary has the capability to become a top wine-producing country. With good insight, plenty of foreign investment, government help, and good wine-making skills, everything is possible. The wines from this company are the fruit of bringing together the Hungarian wine traditions with the latest technology, combined with ideal climate and geological conditions.

  • Top wine

  • Torgiano DOC and DOCG Wines

    TORGIANO ITALIAN WINE DOC

    Umbria wine cellarSeveral excellent white, rosé, red, and even sparkling wines are made in the neighbourhood of Perugia. The white Italian wine may be sold as Bianco (usually Trebbiano and Grechetto) or under the name of the specific grape such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Riesling Itálico. The single grape varietal wines must contain not less than 85% of the grape variety indicated on the label. Each of these wines is elegant, fresh, fruity, and fulsome in flavour. Drinking temperature is 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

  • Toro Spanish Wines

    The Duero valley

    toro map wineWe have already dealt with one of the DO regions of Castilla y León with Bierzo. Bierzo is officially one of the five wine areas that form Castilla-León. Our website, seven-wines.com has separated Bierzo (León) from the other areas for both geographical and climatalogical reasons.

    The other areas are all situated in Castilla. These remaining four DO areas are sited on the banks of the Duero river (which is known in Portugal as the Douro). The Toro and Rueda DO areas are situated south of Valladolid in a rectangle formed by the towns of Zamora, Salamanca, Segovia, and Valladolid. The Cigales and Ribera del Duero DO areas are found to the north and north east of Valladolid.

  • Touraine French Wines

    TOURAINE FRENCH WINE

    Touraine red gamay French wineThere are nine appellations around the picturesque town of Tours. This French wines are made from the same grapes as those of Anjou-Saumur. The climate here is very mild and moderate. The underlying strata are mainly tufa but calciferous clay and flint are found in some valleys.

    The dry white Touraine is perhaps the most interesting of the French wines from these parts. It is fresh and fruity, with a pronounced nose and abundant character. In contrast to most of the French wines from the area, this one is made with Sauvignon Blanc. Drinking temperature for Touraine French wine: 48.2-50.0°F (9-10°C).

    The red Gamay (Pineau d'Aunis) French wine is light, lithe, and fresh. It is suitable to be drunk with any meal. Drinking temperature for Gamay French wine: 53.6-57.2°F (12-14°C).

  • Trebbiano di Romagna Wine Region

     

    Trebbiano di Romagna DOC

    Cagnina di Romagna ItalyThis Italian wine also derives its name from the Trebbiano grape which is the majority grape used in its making. The wine is produced in the area around Bologna, Ravenna, and Forli.

    The colour of these Italian wines is pale golden to a slightly more intense gold and the nose is fresh and pleasing. The taste is dry and harmonious. There are still, Frizzante, and Spumante versions of these wines. Drinking temperature for this Italian wines is 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C).

  • Trentino DOC

       This is generic area wine. It is difficult to give an overview because each of the growers and winemakers uses their own blends and methods.

      The Trentino Bianco is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco. It is pale golden yellow and a pleasant but unobtrusive. Drink at 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    *** the best italian WINE ***

    The better whites are of the single grape variety with their name alongside Trentino DOC on the label. The best are usually the Chardonnay Trentino wines but there are also some excellent wines made with Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Riesling Italico, Riesling Renano, Traminer Aromatico, and Miiller-Thurgau.

    Drink Pinot Grigio, Traminer, Miiller-Thurgau, and Chardonnay at 50-53.6°F (10-12°C) and 46.4-50°F (8-10°C) for the rest. The subtle wine from the native Nosiola is worth considering though do not expect great miracles, rather the discovering of a very different grape. The wine is fine and delicate, pleasingly fruity in bouquet and taste with a slight bitterness in finish. Drink at 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    *** the best italian WINE ***

    Pinally there is an excellent sweet white wine made with Moscato Giallo. There is also a liquorous version of this wine, identified by the name Liquoroso.

    This is a first class after-dinner liqueur if well chilled to around 42.8-46.4°F (6-8°C). Pirst class sparkling wines are made with Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco. This Spumante is a remarkably fine aperitif. Drink at 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    Trentino Rosso DOC is made from Cabernet and Merlot and is almost always cask aged. Depending on the wine's origins it may be light and approachable or fullbodied and powerful. The full bodied type keeps well. Drink the light and amenable type while it is still fruity at about 53.6°F (12°C) and the fuller version at 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C).

    *** the best italian WINE ***

    The other type of Trentino red is made from one or two types of grape and is very characteristic of its grape and terroir. You will encounter wines made with the Cabernets (Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Cabernet Pranc) , Merlot, Marzemino, Pinot Nero, and Lagrein.

      These are all excellent but the best are the Riservas, which had at least two year's additional maturing. Drink at 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C).

    There is also a full-bodied Spumante made with Pinot Nero. Drink at 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

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  • Trentino Wines

    The southern part of Trentino-Alto Adige also makes fine white wines of course but generally produces better and more red wines than the northern (Alto Adige) part of the region.

    Most of the vineyards are sited in the hills in the valleys of the Adige, Cembra, Lagarina, or the slopes above Lake Garda. 

    The only exception are the vineyards of the Rotaliana valley where they are on the valley floor. The giant trellis along which the vines are trained is a typical scene in Trentino. The trellis keeps the vines off the ground so that fewer leaves are formed, enabling the sun to penetrate better in order to ripen the grapes. This also allows air to circulate freely through the vines to reduce the risk of autumn night frosts. Considerable development work is underway in this area, not just in the field of wine-making itself but also in respect of cultivation and pruning techniques and the introduction of experimental grape varieties. Large scale trials are underway with the Rebo grape, which is a cross between Merlot and Marzemino. Most Trentino wines are single varietals made with just one sort of grape. Por the whites the most popular is the Chardonnay (50% of the white grapes and 15% of total production).

    Chardonnay is used for making both Chardonnay Trentino DOC and the excellent Spumante Trento Classico. An exceptional white grape can be found amid the others here which is a native of Trentino: the Nosiola. This highly aromatic grape imparts its Nosiola-Trentino wine with a delicate and fruity character but even more so in the magnificent Vino Santo Trentino DOC.

      Schiava holds sway here as the leading red wine grape accounting for at least 30% of all the vines planted.

    Por those who like Grappa (eaux-de-vie), Trentino perhaps makes the finest in all Italy.{jcomments on}

  • Trentino-Alto Adige - Italian Wine

       Trentino-Alto Adige, also known as Siidtirol, is bounded to the west by Lombardy, Veneto to the south, and Switzerland and Austria to the north. The principal towns of Trentino are Trente (Trento) Alto Adige (German speaking), and Bolzano.

     The area is bisected by the river Adige, the second longest river in Italy. In the north of the region the climate is continental while in the south it is less severe and warmer. Trentino-Alto Adige is somewhat of a transitional zone between Austria in the north and Italy in the south. The Swiss and Austrian influences can be see in the German names for both wines and places. Hence you will find both Santa Maddalena and Sankt Magdalener alongside each other and Caldaro Kalterersee, Alto Adige and Siidtirol. The grapes here also have two names and because they are generally exported to Austria, Switzerland, and Germany the German names are generally found on the labels.

      ***Italian WINE ***

    The Italian wines

    Due to the position at the foot of the mountains or even in the mountains, white wines are the general order of the day here. Because the local gastronomy runs towards fatty, the fresh acidity of these wines is seen as a benefit. The enormous temperature range between night and day during harvest imparts these wines with an aromatic nose which makes them worth considering. The reds too, mainly from more southerly Trentino, have a charm of their own. The fresh rosato, made in the north of the region, is much appreciated.

     

    ALTO ADIGE DOC

    The vineyards are sited in terraces on the mountain slopes, which makes their cultivation and management extremely difficult. Por this reason Alto Adige is therefore never a cheap wine, but certainly an exceptionally delicious one. Just as in Alsace, this region uses a generic name of Alto Adige for countless single grape varietal wines (sometimes supplemented with up to 15% of a different grape).

    The best-known wines are the Moscato Giallo (Goldenmuskateller or Goldmuskateller), Pinot Bianco (Weissburgunder), Pinot Grigio (Ruliinder), Chardonnay, Riesling Italico (Welsch Riesling), Riesling Renano (Rhine Riesling), Riesling x Sylvaner (Miiller-Thurgau), Sylvaner (Silvaner), Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer Aromatico (Gewürztraminer), Moscato Rosa (Rosenmuskateller), and Lagrein Rosato (Lagrein kretzer).

     *** the best italian WINE ***

    LAGREIN SCURO (LAGREIN DUNKEL)

    This is the big brother of Lagrein Rosato. It is a deep ruby red with tinge of granite and pleasant nose of fresh grapes and velvet smooth taste. Riserva examples must be at least two years old. Drink at 50- 57.2°F (10- 14°C) , depending on age. Merlot Rosato (Merlot rose!Merlot kretzer), Merlot, Cabemet-Cabemet Pranc-Cabemet Sauvignon, and Cabemet-Lagrein are also well-known wines from this area.

     

    CABERNET-MERLOT

    There are also excellent wines from either Cabemet and Lagrein or Cabemet and Merlot. If kept for an additional two years to age these wines may also bear the title Riserva on their label.

     ***Italian WINE ***

    PINOT NERO (BLAUBURGUNDER)

    There is also a sparkling white wine, Alto Adige Pinot Nero Spumante plus Pinot Nero Rosato (rose), Blauburgunder Kretzer, Blauburgunder rose, Malvasia (Malvasier), Schiava (Vematsch) , and Schiava Grigia (Grauvematsch).

     

    SPUMANTE

    This is sparkling white with Pinot Bianco and/or Chardonnay, (sometimes with a maximum of 30% Pinot Nero and/or Pinot Grigio) . There are dry (extra-brut) and less dry (brut) versions. An ideal aperitif. Drink at 42.8-46.4°F (6- 8°C).{jcomments on}

  • Tursan VDQS/Madiran French Wines

    Tursan VDQS

    Tursan red winesThe vineyards of Tursan are situated on the borders of Les Landes, an extensive area that these days is covered with pines but was once marsh and sand dunes. The other neighbours are Gascony and Bearn. The soil of the 500 hectares of vineyards here is a mixture of clay and sand with some chalk and sandstone. The best vineyards are situated on hills of broken chalk. Approximately half the production is of white French wine with the rest being rose and red.

    Tursan white is made with the Baroque grape, supplemented with a maximum of 10 per cent of Gros Manseng and Sauvignon. This French wine is fresh, fruity, and very aromatic with a very pleasing taste. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 8-10°C (46.4- 50°F) .

    This rose French wine is pale, fresh, dry, and very delicious. It is made using Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc. For a good taste drink this French wine at temperature : 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F).

    The red French wine is made with a minimum 60 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc supplemented with a maximum 40% Tannat. This French wine is full-bodied , rounded, and comforting with great finesse, charm, and great aromatic properties. Drink this French wine at 16°C (60.8°F).

     

    Madiran

    Madiran was certainly known a century before the birth of Christ. Here too the success of the local wine results from the input of Benedictine monks.

     

    Alain Brumont

    Madiran wineAfter an extremely dark period during which Madiran seemed to have been wiped from the wine menu, a saviour appeared in the form of Alain Brumont, a modest, stubborn, ambitious, but charming and friendly son of a local winegrower. He bought the abandoned Montus estate, and replanted it with the traditional Tannat grapes, that once imparted their charm to Madiran French wines. The quality of the vineyards and the vines was the foremost issue with high quality standards and low yields. The true Madiran was reborn. In less than 15 years this shiny knight of the Madiran ensured that it had become one of the best known red wines of France. This is a huge achievement.

     

    Wine-growing in Madiran

    The 1,100 hectares of vineyards of Madiran are sited on calciferous clay interspersed with areas of poorer and stony soil. Madiran wine is produced with Tannat, possibly supplemented with Per Servadou, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc, which mellow the harshness of the Tannat. Madiran wine is full of tannin which needs at least 2-4 years maturing in the bottle (and at least 10 years for the best wines) in order to develop its full charm.

    The best Madiran can certainly be kept for 20- 30 years. Madiran is the stereotype for masculine French wine: sturdy, full-bodied, substantial, sensual, and fleshy. When drunk young (after at least two years) a Madiran is very fruity but the tannin will dominate. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 14°C (57 .2°F).

    Older Madiran has a bouquet of toast, coffee, cocoa, herbs, vanilla, preserved fruit, liquorice, and much more. Drink this French wine at 16°C (60.8°F).

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  • Tuscan Colline Lucchesi DOC

     

    COLLINE LUCCHESI DOC TUSCANY WINE

    Colline Lucchesi Bianco Wine WhiteThe Italian vineyards of this area are sited on the hills between Lucca and Montecarlo. The area around Lucca is well-known for the superb olive oil and excellent white and red wines. Unfortunately these Italian wines are only available in limited quantities and the demand is huge.

    The Bianco delle Colline Lucchesi (also known as Colline Lucchesi Bianco) is made from 50-70% Trebbiano Toscano, 5-15% Greco or Grecchetto, 5-15% Vermentino Bianco, and not more than 5% Malvasia grapes. This Bianco is a pale golden colour and its nose is very subtle and elegant. The taste is quite dry, fulsome, and harmonious.

  • Tuscan Wine Region

     

    Tuscan wine making

    Tuscane Italy Wine MapThe Italian vineyards of Tuscany are spread throughout the area, extending from north of Pisa to Florence (Firenze), from Sienna to Montalcino and Montepulciano, from south of Livorno to the border with Latium and Umbria, and finally to the island of Elba. In addition to the famous Italian wines (Chianti, Brunello, and Vino Nobile) there are countless less well-known wines waiting to be discovered. With the prices of some of the best known Tuscan wines going through the roof it is well worth searching in relatively unknown areas. The Italian wines from the area around the little town of Lucca are reasonably priced for their quality. A search through Tuscan wines is rewarded by authenticity and character in the wines. Our journey through Tuscany starts in the north and we gradually travel southwards.

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  • Types of Montalcino Italian Wines

    BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO DOCG

    Brunello Di Montalcino Italian WineYet another giant of a wine from Tuscany, and perhaps the best DOCG wine of Italy. The little town of Montalcino is situated to the south west of Montepulciano. The geology here too consists chiefly of sedimentary layers. The history of Brunello is much more recent than the other great Tuscan wines. The great honour and first official DOCG recognition came in 1980. The soul of this Italian wine is the Sangiovese Grosso grape that is known locally as Brunello. The vines are deliberately pruned short to reduced the yield.

  • Types of Spanish Sherry

     

    Types of sherry

    Osborne Sherry SpainIt may be possible to find a sherry at the very best Spanish wine merchants that originates from one defined year. These superb quality sherries are usually very expensive and represent such a small percentage of the whole that they are not dealt with here separately. In this book we observe the Spanish grading system.

     

    FINO

    This is a straw yellow Spanish wine that is always dry and fresh with the characteristic bouquet and taste of almond and walnut, wood and flor; alcohol 15.5%. It makes a first class aperitif to drink at 50°F (10°C).

  • Ukrainan and Russian Wines

    Ukraine

    Recently much effort has been invested in the area around Odessa and Nikolajev, close to the Black Sea, and around

    Dnjeprpetrovsk on the Dnjepr, to replace the old but highly productive varieties of grapes with better quality new ones such as Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. The sparkling wines from the Crimea, of which in reality most come from Moldova, were a household name. The current economic uncertainty of the Ukraine leaves littlepositive that can be said at the moment.

     

    Russia

    During the time of Perestroika the Russian government carried out a policy of dissuading people from their wide-scale problem of vodka drinking. The wine industry was subsidised and consumption of wine (instead of vodka) was encouraged. Enormous wine plants or Kombinats produced an never-ending flow of syrupy, full-bodied, and often heavily oxidised white and red wines, ranging from somewhat on the dry side to extremely sweet. These wines were produced in the Black Sea region, around the Sea of Azov (Krasnodar), the Don basin, Stavropol, and the Crimea, and also utilised imported bulk wine from Bulgaria, Moldova Hungary, and Algeria.

     

    These foreign bulk wines were blended with wines from native grapes which lost their own identity.

     Given the current uncertain economic situation in Russia and the significant lack of funds, it is impossible to give a clear picture ofthe current state of the Russian wine industry.

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