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  • 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.

  • We leave the left bank of the Garonne and journey on to a triangle of land 'between-the-two-seas', meaning in fact the rivers Garonne and Dordogne. Anyone who has witness a flood of these rivers can understand what is meant by 'Entre-Deux-Mers'. The French wine-growing area of Entre-Deux-Mers is a huge plateau, criss-crossed by countless small valleys and streams that wind their way through the softly undulating hills. It is a fairly large area from which the main output is of the dry white EntreDeux- Mers AC. The other appellations are Cotes de Bordeaux St-Macaire, Ste-Croix-du-Mont, Loupiac, and Cadillac (all of which are sweet liquorous white French wines), Graves de Vayres (red, dry and sweet white), Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux, and Ste-Poy Bordeaux (both red and sweet liquorous whites) In addition to the wines listed above the entire area of Entre-Deux-Mers also produces a great deal of Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur (red, rose, dry and sweet white 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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  • Generic Burgundy

    Before we continue   our   journey south let us consider a few of the generic wines of Burgundy.


    White Bourgogn e AC (Chardonnay) is an aromatic, fresh white wine. Drink it at about 51.8°F (11°C)and preferably within two years of the harvest.

    Red BourgogneAC (Pinot Noir) is ruby red and has a nose of red fruit and wood land fruit (raspberry, blackcuriant, blackberry, and redcurrant). It is a lithe, generous, and friendly wine. Drink at about 60.8°F /16°C within five years of the harvest.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE


    The red French wine is made with a minimum of one third Pinot Noir to which Gamay grapes are added. The better wines though contain more Pinot Noir. It is a light, cheerful , and generous wine that should be drunk when young. For completeness, there is also a rosé variant.


    This appellation is rarely seen these days because it sounds too 'ordinary' for a Burgundy yet very acceptable whites, reds, and roses are to be found at a very reasonable price in this category.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE



    This French white wine is very popular in Burgundy and much further afield. This very fresh wine is often strongly acidic and has a bouquet of green apple, lemon, and may blossom with the occasional hint of flint.{jcomments on}

  •   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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    grave del friuli docThere are many different varietal Italian wines here from a specific grape and a few generic wines. These are made along the banks of the Tagliamento river in the province of Udine. Wines like the Colli Orientali Friulani (see that entry) are also to be found here. The white wines are made from Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Riesling Renano, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Tocai Friulano, Traminer Aromático, and Verduzzo Friulano. The last four of these are usually the better wines. The Spumante versions of these wines are also of excellent quality. The Rosato is fresh, fruity, and unforced (and also available as a Frizzante). The red Italian wine is made from either or both of the two Cabernets, Merlot, Pinot Nero, and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso.{jcomments on}

  • Graves & Graves Superieures Bordeaux Wines

    Graves Bordeaux WinesIt is undoubtedly in this area, within and just outside the city of Bordeaux, that the region's winemaking roots run deepest. Graves wines, both red and white, have always increased the reputation of Bordeaux wines around the world. During the Middle Ages they were particularly renowned, and punishments were severe for those who cheated the public by passing off wines from other regions as being from Graves. Under the jurisdiction of Bordeaux, the vineyard at that time completely encircled the city.

  • Serving wine

    Serving Wine Good wine deserves good glass. Crystal is fine but it can interfere with your perception and appreciation of the colour of the wine. I prefer clean, clear and large glasses. Clean glasses are essential because there is almost nothing worse than being offered wine in a glass which reeks of washing-up liquid.

    Nor is it pleasing to be given wine in a small glass. This is not just a matter of greed, but because wine needs to breathe and you must be able to appreciate the bouquet given off. A large glass should be used and only half-filled, so there is space between the surface of the wine and the rim of the glass, where the aromas can gather.

  • This French wine region lies in the heart of the French Basque country and was known already at the time of Charlemagne. The village of Irouléguy was then a trading centre for these Basque wines. Winegrowing fell into decline following the phylloxera epidemic until a number of growers decided in the 1950s to establish a co-operative. The vineyards of the once famous Irouléguy were restored or replanted. Enormous investment was made to improve the quality of the wine and in the 1980s further great efforts were undertaken to reach greater heights. New vineyards were planted, mainly on terraces. In addition to the efforts of the local co-operative venture, various private initiatives were also undertaken such as those of Etienne Brana, whose business has become world famous. In recent decades the wine-growing and making in Irouléguy is so improved that it can be fairly described as one of France's premier wine-growing areas.


    The French wine-growing

    The vineyards around Irouleguy are situated in the neighbourhood of St-Jean Pied de Port and StEtienne de Baigorry. They are mainly sited in terraces with soil of red sandstone, clay, and shale, interspersed with some chalk. The green of the vineyards set against the red-oxide sandstone makes for a taste French wines.

    The climate is set between moderate oceanic weather and the extremes of the mountains and continent. The winter is fairly mild with plenty of rain and snow. The spring is wet with occasional harmful periods of frost. Summer is hot and dry. The greatest risk lies in thunderstorms which can cause destruction, when combined with hailstorms.

    The autumn is often hot and dry, which is ideal for harvesting and ripening of healthy grapes. These circumstances combined with the difficulty of access to many of the vineyards means that the output is fairly low here.


    The French wines from Irouléguy

    Brana's Irouleguy red wineAbout two thirds of the production from Irouléguy is of red French wine. The wine's character is derived from the Tannat (maximum 50%), Cabernet Pranc (Axeria) and Cabernet Sauvignon. There are three categories of red French wine from Irouléguy: ordinary, the cuvees and the estate bottled wines in escalating levels of quality. The simplest Irouléguy is sturdy, high in tannin, fruity (blackberry) and spices. The better cuvees are more full-bodied, are aged longer in oak, and benefit from several years ageing in the bottle. The top estates (Brana, Ilarria, Iturritxe and Mignaberry) make outstanding wines with powerful bouquets of spices and black fruit (blackberry and plum) with a hint of vanilla. The taste for this French wine is complex, full, and rounded with a perfect balance between the fresh acidity, fruitiness, alcohol, body, and strong but rounded tannin. Enthusiasts never stop talking about the aftertaste.

    Just as with Collioure, ordinary Irouléguy red can be drunk when young with grilled fish, if chilled, especially if they are garnished with baked peppers. Drinking temperature for Irouléguy French wine: 14-16°C (57.2-60.8°F). The cuvees and estate wines can be drunk at 16-18°C (60.8- 64.4°F) .

    Brana's Irouleguy wineThe rose Irouléguy French wine is fresh and quite dry. It was this wine that originally established the good name of Irouléguy.

    Here too there is a combination of Tannat with Cabernet Pranc and Cabernet Sauvignon French wine. The colour resembles red currant and the delicate nose is fruity too with red currant and cherry, while the taste is both fresh and fruity. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

    The rare Irouléguy white French made with Xuri Ixiriota (Manseng) and Xuri Cerrabia (Petit Courbu) is richer and fuller than its cousins of Bearn. This white French wine of great class has a bouquet containing white flowers, white peach, citrus fruit, butter, hazelnut, and almond underscored with a hint of vanilla and a mineral undertone. Drinking temperature for this white French wine: 9- 10°C (48 .2-50°F).


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    JASNIÈRES French wineThis French wine-growing area is only 4 km (2  miles) long and several hundred metres/yards wide, along the hills of the Loir, north of the vineyards of Vouvray and Montlouis. Small volumes are produced here on a bed of tufa of a consequently rare white wine that is considered to be among France's best. This French wine is made from the Pineau de la Loire (Chenin Blanc) and it is distinguished by its finesse. The characteristic aromas are citrus fruit, almond, quince, apricot, peach, and sometimes also floral notes like rose or herbs such as thyme and mint. Depending on the season and the maker's preferences, the wine can be either dry or semisweet. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

  • KunsÁg Hungarian Wine

    Casks Aszu and Eszencia HunaryThe area of Kunság (known as Kiskunsag up to 1998) is on the Great Plain (Alfold) of Hungary to the south of the town of Kecskemet and extends to the small town of Hajos. This region does not have a real history of wine making, dating back to the end of the nineteenth century when it was found that phylloxera less readily affected vines grown on sandy soils such as those in the south of Hungary. The climate is also not ideal for Hungarian wine-growing with very hot and totally dry summers and extremely cold winters. This Hungarian wines from this area are mainly intended for sale as bulk wine and they have little to offer except the high alcohol of both reds and whites, and the syrupy nature of the white Hungarian wine. Drinking temperature is 8-10°C (46.4-50°F ) for white Hungarian wines and 12-16°C (53.6-60.8°F) for red Hungarian wines.

  • La Mancha wine and region

    La Mancha white Spanish wineIn terms of area this is by far the largest DO of Spain at 194,864 hectares. In this immense area of La Mancha, where once the legendary Don Quixote tilted at windmills, the wine-growers fought against what they regarded as arbitrary rules laid down by the European Community. Even today not every-body in La Mancha accepts that there is a vast lake of surplus wine in Europe. Fortunately more and more bodegas are addressing themselves to the demands of the market and improving the bad name associated with La Mancha wine. These bodegas have substantially replaced their equipment and directed themselves towards making quality Spanish wines. Thanks to the effort of these innovative houses the name of La Mancha has increasingly been linked to quality wines, that can be

  • Mâconnais

    The Mâconnais, between Sennecey-le-grand and St­ Verand, is the home of the quick charmers.



     With a few exceptions, the ordinary white Macon is an uncomplicated and excellent French wine which can be drunk without a long wait. The red compatriots are of better quality and are made   from   Pinot   Noir and Gamay grapes. The greater the proportion of Gamay the more approachable, generous and often more fruity is the French wine. Some Macons with lots of Pinot Nair can be more powerful and high in tannin, with plenty of structure, particularly when aged in oak.

    The better   white   wines from the Maconnais have their own appellation.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE


    Chardonnay is always most at home on chalk and that is apparent in the wine. This French wine is a very clear and pale golden colour with a bouquet of fresh grapes and almonds, with a juicy and fresh taste of great elegance. When the wine is aged in oak casks it develops a characteristic nose of vanilla, toast, hazelnuts, and roasted almonds.



    These French wines are less well-known and generally lighter than Pouillly-Fuissé. They are usually elegant, very aromatic wines with a bouquet of butter, lemon, flowers, and grapefruit.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE


    This is an exceptional French wine from the borders with Beaujolais. (note the name of the wine is written without the final 'd' of the village of St­Verand).

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  • How to make wine

    How to make wineA horizontal press is normally used for white wines. The grapes are put into the cylindrical container until it is full, and it then revolves. As it rotates, chains inside the container break up the grapes and the juice runs off either to fermenting vats or barrels. A second type of horizontal press contains a central bag which is gradually inflated once the grapes have been loaded. The expanding bag pushes the grapes against the side of the container and the juice is pressed out The amount of juice extracted is carefully controlled by the winemaker. The first pressing is generally considered to make the best wine, but wineries can go on to second and third pressings.

  • Many of the world's vest producers believe that great wine is first created in the vineyard. 

    Indeed, it is difficult to argue with the suggestion that using top-quality ingredients helps when transforming grapes into red wine or good wine. White wine can be made from both white and black grapes. Crushing breaks the skins, after which de-staking takes place. Gentle pressing is favoured and skins are removed. Fermentation traditionally happends in oak barrels, although today, when minimal change is required, most white wines will ferment in stainless steel vats, Maturation in oak barrels can add another dimension and flavour profile to a good wine.

    Red wine must be made from black grapes. This time the juice is fermented on the skins for better colour extraction. The juice, which runs freely after fermentation, is of the highest quality. The remaining pomace, or skins, are further crushed to release any more juice, which is generally used in blending for the best red wine.


  •  A member of the Bordeaux family, Merlot, in constrast to Cabernet Sauvignon, is soft, fruity, fleshy, and less tannic. It's the principal grape variety in the wines of St Emilion and Pomerol, and is often blended with Cabernet Franc. These Bordeaux wines are much more accessible when young, but they invariably age quickly, creating a supple, smooth, and velvety texture. Merlot is the most planted grape variety in Boredeaux.

     Its characteristics tend to lean towards plum, blachberry, fruitcake, and currantly tones, In cooler climates, such as northern Italy, grass notes are evident, Due to its softness and moderate tannins, Merlot, which has a natural affinity with oak, is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon.

    merlot grape A grape which thrives on clay and limestone-based soils, it is all the range in California and Chile, where rich, even chocolaty Merlots are mede. The dense Merlots of California can be extremely good and again can provide perfect blending material for Cabernet, as seen in the Mondavi-Rothschild icon wine, Opus One. The relatively cool climate of New Zealand enables Merlot, in good vintages, to obtain excellent balance between fruit and acidity. In contrast, Australia's warmer vineyards are not necessarily ideal, as acidity cand sometimes be found wanting, making 'cooler' Coonawarra and Western Australia more favourable locations.

     Bordeaux (Sr Emilion and Pomerol), Australia, Chile, Southern France, New Zealand, South Africa, California, and Washington State.


    Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes

    cabernet sauvignon Grapeswhite-grapes

    One of the word's most popular black grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon's deep colour, blackcurrant aroma and flavour is the backbone of many is the backbone of many full-bodid red wines.


    Pinot Noir Grapes

    pinot noir Grapes white-grapes 

    A difficult 'customer' described by one well-known winemaker as a 'moving target of a grape variety', on top form Pinot Noir can make the most complex and hedonistic of red wines.   Pinot Noir has fewer colouring pigments than other dark-skinned varieties, so it can appear to be lighter or more aged, when compared to wines such and almost inky on occasions.

    Syrah Grapes

    Syrah Grapeswhite-grapes

    The Hill of Hermitage and vineyards steeply overlooking the Rhône provide the home of Syrah and one of the most famous place names associated with this great grape variety. Hermitage, Cornas and Côte Rôtie are full-bodied red wines, while Crozes Hermitage and St Jopeph are generally a touch lighter. Syrah is a hardy grape, growing well in poor soil, such as the

    Other Red Grapes

    other red 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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    Although a very acceptable red is also made, it is the white wine from here that is of greatest interest. It is a very typical Chardonnay, pale golden, sometimes tinged with green, that has refined aromas

    of white flowers and white fruit such as pear, mirabelle plum, and peach. The nose and taste often contain strong notes of butter, hazelnut, almond, and occasionally of baked dried fruit. It is a rich and complex French wine.


    Wine from Meursault is celebrated throughout the world for its wonderful golden colour, intense bouquet   of butter,   honey, hazelnut, and lime blossom in which surprising suggestions can be detected of may blossom and spiced bread. It is a silken soft, full, and generous with an aftertaste that lingers on the palate. Enjoy a young Meursault as an aperitif or with a light starter. Do not drink any cooler than 53.6°F(12°C).

    There is also a red Meursault, which is fruity and pleasant but never truly convincing.



    The 'ordinary' Puligny-Montrachat is a perfect example of refinement and complexity. It is a pale golden colour with nose of white flowers and fruit, sometimes combined with honey, roasted dried fruit, almond, and quince. In the better years the bouquet develops hints of tropical fruit. It is a really fine French wine, fresh and silken, with a tremendous assortment of flowers and fruit in the taste and a prolonged aftertaste. The Premier Cru (e.g. Folatieres, Clos de Ia Garenne) has a more complex bouquet. The nose is reminiscent of new-mown hay, honey, fresh almond, dried fruit, and herbs. This French wine needs to be kept for at least five years in order to fully enjoy its quality. Do not chill too much (approx55.4°F/. 13°C).



    This French wine is one of the pillars on which the reputation of Burgundy is built both within France and abroad. It is a fabulous pale golden colour. It takes a number of years for scents captured in the wine to develop themselves fully. Those who drink this wine too young will be disappointed because the bouquel fails to open out. Remain patient for after five years it develops an unimaginable bouquet in which young exotic fruit are combined with the nose of exotic wood, citrus fruit, herbs, lily-of-the­ valley, peach, and almond. Wines from certain climals also possess a light mineral undertone.


    The French wine is simultaneously fresh and rounded, full and elegant, refined and seductive, and the aftertaste lingers almost for ever. Drink this rare and expensive wine at 57.2-59°F/14-15°C.


    Has a golden colour and very seductive bouquet containing butter, Loast, and vegetal undertones with occasional hint of mineral. It is a full, warm, genetous, and juicy wine with a very aromatic taste.

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  • Moldavian WineMoldova is a relatively small state wedged in between the big neighbours of the Ukraine and Romania. In terms of culture and language, Moldova forms an entity with Romania. Moldova's wine-making goes back to the times of the ancient Romans.  In the times of the Cezars, Moldova's wine industry flourished greatly. When phylloxera decimated the vineyards of Western Europe, certain French growers set up in Moldova in order to survive the crisis. These brought French varieties of grapevine with them.

    Moldova's climate is ideal for growing grapes and making wine from them: it is cold in winter and hot in summer, which is particularly beneficial for white wine. Despite this it is difficult to find any good wines in Moldova.


    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.



    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.



     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 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.



     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.



    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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  • Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Wines

    The Vic-Bilh wine-growing area is the same one that produces Madiran. This area produces the red Madiran wine and dry, medium sweet, and sweet French white wines as Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. Pacherenc is derived from the Basque or Gascon word for little berry or grape. The ideal soil for this white French wine is a mixture of clay and sandstone. The grapes used are the native Arrufiac, Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, and Courbu, with a little Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon being used for the modern type of French wine.

    Pacherenc du Vic-BilhDry Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh is very aromatic with floral notes and hints of citrus fruit combined with a full taste of ripe and preserved fruits. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53.6°F). The medium-sweet or sweet Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh shares the aromatic properties ofthe dry wine (citrus fruit, preserved fruit, dried fruit, and flowers) with the addition of a little honey, toast, and exotic fruit. The texture and taste are fuller, fatter, more fleshy, and juicy. Drinking temperature for French wine: 8-10°C ( 46.4-50° F).

    Your attention is drawn to the excellent quality of the local vins de pays des Cotes de Gascogne and the   many vins de cepages. The vins de pays des Cotes de Gascogne of Colombard, Gros Manseng, and Sauvignon (white French wines) and reds of Egiodola, Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon, together with those from Jurançon are worth a separate mention.


    Jurançon Wines

    Juracon Label WineThis wine-growing area, south of Pau and close to the French Pyrenees, is slightly less ancient than its predecessors. The first signs of wine-growing date back only to the tenth century. Jurançon was one of the first AC status French wines in 1936 and Jurançon Sec acquired its own recognition in 1975.


    The wine-growing

    The area is barely larger than 600 hectares with the vineyards being dispersed throughout the district. They can be found strung out along a 40 km (25 miles) stretch like small islands amidst the other greenery. The better French wines are produced on hills of about 300 metres (984 feet) high with soil of clay, sandstone, and boulders.

    The climate is a mixture of high and regular rainfall from the Atlantic combined with the harsh winters of the Pyrenees. The area does though appear always to be blessed with warm autumns and dry southerly winds that make it possible for the grapes to be left to overripen in order to make a great sweet French wine. The grapes used for Jurançon are the native Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Courbu, Camaralet, and Lauzet. Jurançon Sec is truly dry with fresh acidity, with floral notes (broom and acacia) and fruity aromas (passion fruit, white peach, and citrus fruit) . As the French wine matures it develops a more complex bouquet with almond and other nuts, dried fruit, and sometimes a marked suggestion of truffle. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 8- 10°C (46.4-50°F) .

    Either Jurançon Doux or Moelleux are little gems. The colour drifts between gold and amber, the bouquet is fine and complex, varying from honey, vanilla, toast and preserved fruit to the subtlest hints of white flowers, lime blossom, camomile, pineapple, and citrus fruit. The taste is full and rounded for this French wine. The high sugar content is perfectly balanced with fresh acidity. This sweet French wine can be kept for a very long time. Drinking temperature this French wine: 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F).



    Beam is fairly hilly, lying at the foot of the Pyrenees where it enjoys an ideal microclimate that combines Atlantic moisture with a harsher mountain climate. Bearn white French wine is quite rare and is produced in the vicinity of Bellocq. This white French wine made with Raffiat and Manseng grapes is fresh and fruity with an undertone of floral notes (broom, acacia) . Drinking temperature for this white French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53.6°F) .

    The more widely available Rose de Beam owes its charm to the combination of Tannat with Cabernet

    Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc (better known in this locality as Bouchy). This is a wonderful rose that is velvet smooth, full-bodied, rounded, and very fruity. Drinking temperature for this rose French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53 .6°F).

    The more straightforward Bearn red is lightweight but comforting and easily consumed. The taste and scent tend more towards Cabernet Pranc than Tannat. Drinking temperature for this Bearn French wine: 12°C (53.6°F).

    The better Bearn-Bellocq red by contrast is sturdier, fuller, more full -bodied, and fleshier. Tannin clearly has the upper hand in this French wine. Drinking temperature for this red French wine: 14-16°C (57.2- 60.8°F) .{jcomments on}


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