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    Margaux wine label French Everyone has heard of Chateau Margaux of course, the showpiece from this appellation. The AC Margaux includes the communes of Margaux, Arsac, Cantenac, Labarde, and Soussans. The underlying soil of Margaux is extremely poor gravel with some larger stones. The microclimate is somewhat different to the other areas. Firstly Margaux is more southerly than the other Grand Cru vineyards which means more warmth and quicker ripening of the grapes. Equally important though is the role that the islands and sand banks play for Margaux. These protect the area against the cold northerly winds, creating ideal conditions for producing great French wine.

    The French wines of Margaux are excellent for laying down of course but their charm is rather more in the finesse and elegance than in their tannin. Margaux is perhaps the most feminine French wine of the Medoc, being soft, delicate, subtle, sensual, and seductive. Certain characteristic aromas include red ripe fruit, cherry, plum, spices, resin, vanilla, toast, gingerbread, coffee, and hot rolls. Drink this Margaux French wine at: 17- 18°C (62.6- 64.4°F) .

  • Matanegra region

    Matanegra Spanish Wine MapMatanegra surrounds the small town of Zafra, approximately 19 miles (30 km) south of Almendrajelo. The production of Spanish wines in this area with 8,000 hectares of vines in cultivation is mainly in the hands of family businesses. Ribera Baja del Guadiano (the lower loop of the Guadiana, that extends to 7,000 hectares) is situated just to the west of Badajoz.

    Ribera Alta del Guadiano (upper loop of the Guadiana, that extends to 8,500 hectares) is found around the towns of Don Benito and Villanueva de la Serena, about 75 miles (120 km) upstream of Badajoz. Montanchez is a small territory of 4,000 hectares, situated surrounding the small town of the same name, about 44 miles (70 km) north-east of Badajoz. This area is known for its ancient vines and olive trees. It is a picturesque region with lots of gently undulating hills and hospitable valleys.

  • Medoc French Wine  We leave the right bank behind and complete our journey through the French wine region of Bordeaux in the Medoc, on the left bank of the Gironde. Medoc is more or less a peninsula with vineyards, bordered by the waters of the Gironde in the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the north-west, and the city of Bordeaux to the south-west, with the extensive forest of Les Landes to the south.


    Soil and climate

    The sand and gravel-bearing strip of land of about 5- 10 km (3-6 miles) wide provides a broad assortment of terroirs and microclimates. What is locally known as 'graves' is actually a complex mixture of clay, gravel stone, and sand. The stones have been deposited by the Garonne and some come from the Pyrenees (quartz and eroded material from glaciers). Some material is of volcanic origin from the Massif Central (quartz, flint, sandstone, igneous rock, sand, and clay) which has been carried first by the Cere and then the Dordogne. Here and there calciferous clay breaks through the gravel.

  • Mentrida wine and region

    Mentrida Spanish wineThis area to the south-west of Madrid (close to the small towns of Mentrida and Torrijos) was also renowned for its cheap but heavy and highly alcoholic Spanish wine which sold readily through bars and cafés in Madrid. Even after the authorities gave a quandary to the apathetic growers, who had little ambition, with DO recognition in 1960, little appeared to change among the local bodegas. It was only after nearby Madrid gained its own DO and threatened Mentrida’s market that the growers in Mentrida woke up. Since 1991 the Spanish wine making equipment has been replaced at a vigorous tempo or at least greatly improved. The Spanish wine has been somewhat amended to meet the wishes of today’s wine drinker with a lighter structure and less alcohol but above all more refinement in taste.

  • Merchant power and Chateau system for Bordeaux Wine

    Wine Bordeaux VineyardsBefore the chateau wine estate concept, land had been worked on crop-sharing basis. Slowly this feudal system changed from late seventeenth century onwards. Bordelaise brokers evolved habit of classifying and recording wines as per their growth or cru and prices that they fetched, with this, reputation of properties became established individually.

    In 19th century, there was a rise of négociant or the merchants in Bordeaux. Several negociants came from English origin and few firms had been established by Irish, German, Dutch, or Scottish businessmen.


    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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  •  Mexico is probably the oldest wine-producing country of the New World. Vines were introduced by the Spanish conquistadors under the command of the faimous Henando Cortez in the sixteenth century.

    The results were very disapponting though because of the tremendous heat and arid conditions.

     The Spanish searched for better places to plant the vines further north in satisfactory. It was only in the eighteenth century that Franciscan monks imprived the Spanish vineyards and extended those in the former greater California. After California was separated from Mexico, wine-growing in Baja California (the Mexican part of California) fell into total neglect. Several large American and European wine and drinks companies saw an opportunity in the later twentieth century to establish a wine industry in Mexico in the best locations.

    Of these companies the firm of Domecq achieved short-term success with Mexican wine. Because of the very hot and dry conditions it is essential for wine-growing to find cooler places so sites were sought on the high plateaux. Hence some vineyards are sited at 3,300-5,000 feet. Although there are well-hnwon internationally. These are L.A. Cetto, Mission Santo Thomas, and Domecq to a lesser extent in terms of the wine than the name.

    L.A. Cetto and Domecq have vineyards in Baja California, about 50 miles south of the bode with the United States, tin the Guadalupe Valley, and Mission Santo Thomas has them in the Santo Thomas Valley. There are also vineyards in the Baja California of the smaller scale but high quality wine producer of wines, with a sultry and unforgettable Chardonnay and excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. Both wines are very expresive and difficult to get and appers to be less interested in wine. Mission Santo Thomas has entered into a joint venture with the famous Californian company of Wente and is extremly busy. Their Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon are absolute gems.

    L.A. Cetto makes a wide range of different types of wine from very acceptable cheap ones for local consumption to excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Zinfandel, and Petite Syrah that are mainly intended for export.

    Mexican wines, as the taster will soon discover, are long on sensuality and short on finesse.

     The success of Mexican wine is due to the soft acidity and fulsome, rounded, and warm taste. In addition the wines from producers such as L.A. Cetto are really quite cheap for the quality they offer. Drinking temperature is 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) for the Cabernet Sauvignon and 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C) for the other red wines.

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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.


    Molise italian region wine

    Molise MapFor many years Molise was linked with its northern neighbours of Abruzzi. Many websites still give the wine area as Abruzzo e Molise. This is because the quality of Molise Italian wines was too low for a DOC nomination. The quality has improved so much in recent times that Molise now has DOC for a good Italian wine.

  • Mondésir Gazin (Ch.) Bordeaux Wine

    Chateau Mondesir Gazin Bordeaux WineMonsieur Pasquet bought this vineyard in 1990 and was able to draw on his previous experience working in Saint-Estèphe on the vineyards of Château Marbuzet—a useful apprenticeship.

    When M. Pasquet acquired the vineyard, which produces a Premières Côtes de Blaye AOC cru, it was already in excellent condi¬tion, with the vines averaging twenty-five years in age. His first projects were to restore the stones of the longère —a long building typical or the region— to their original blond beauty, and to bring the cellar up to his standards. For the winemaking, a sorting facility was, added, so that only perfectly sound grapes would go into the vats.



    Avignonesi Rosso Italian WineThis Italian wine is kin to the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The name is somewhat confusing especially if one bears in mind other wines with similar sounding names such as Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino. The difference between the DOC and DOCG wines will be apparent though once tasted. This Rosso di Montepulciano originates from the same wine area as the Vino Nobile. The grapes used are also the same 60-80% Sangiovese (Prugnolo) with other blue grapes and addition of some white.


    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).

  • Moravia Czech Wine and Region

    Moravian Wine FestivalConditions for wine-growing are better in Moravia than Bohemia. There is a tradition here of wine-making that goes back at least a thousand years. The start of wine-making coincides with the occupation by the Roman legions in third century BC.

    At present there are about 12,000 hectares of productive vines in Moravia. The climate is relatively favorable. The average annual temperature is between 10°C (50°F) and 15°C (59°F) during the growing seasons. Average precipitation is 500-700 mm per annum. The consistency of the soil is extremely varied, ranging through slate-like strata and chalk-bearing layers to gravel, and pre-dominantly clay soils. The vineyards are cultivated on both slopes and level ground with a preference for frost-free locations.

  • Moravian Czech Wine region

    Moravian Czech Wine CellarThe Mikulov wine area is one of the largest that extends from Novomlynske Nädrze to the border with Austria.

    The best-known towns are Valtice, Mikulov, and Lednice. This is an area of mainly white Czech wines that are fulsome in taste with pleasing acidity and striking character. A number of Czech wines are produced here with quality predicates, mainly made from Ryzlink Vlayky, Veltlinske Zelene, Muykät Moravsky, Ryzlink Rynsky, Chardonnay, and Aurelius. There is also a plant improvement station at Perna where frost and disease resistant grape varieties are developed.

  • Moravian Czech Wine

    Czech Wine BottlesThe finest Moravian vineyard of Yobes is on the Austrian border. The ideal climate here ripens the Rulandskeyede, Ryzlink Rynsky, and Ryzlink Vlasky fully. The Czech wines from the Yobes vineyard are characterised by their fullness and pronounced bouquet. The Sauvignon Blanc from Znojmo is pale yellow-green and has a wonderful nose that in lesser years is reminiscent of nettles and in good years of ripe peaches. The Irsai Oliver from Yatov has a bewitching Muscat bouquet and fulsome and harmonious taste. The Neuburské is a dry Czech wine that is green-yellow with a gentle nose and fulsome taste with mild bitterness. In good years this Czech wine is capable of maturing well and develops into a fine rounded wine after five years. The Ryzlink Vlasky is a mildly aromatic dry Czech wine with higher acidity, green- yellow colour, and spicy aroma. It is drunk when young.

  • 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.


    This grape achieves its best I believe in sweeter wines. The bouquet of citrus and tropical fruits keeps the sultry,

    comforting ripeness of banana and honey in balance. The relatively high acidity also moderates the otherwise very sweet taste of the wine.


    Pine medium dry to sweet wines are made from the noble Riesling here just as they are in Germany. The fresh and refined acidity of Riesling keeps the wine well balanced in spite of its cosseting sweetness. There are very attractive floral aromas and also apple, peach, and honey with the sweeter Late Harvest, and the occasional mineral undertones. Drinking temperature is 46.4-53.6°F (8- 10°C).


    Ice-wine is probably the best-known Canadian speciality. The best of these wines walk off with major prizes at the majority of the international exhibitions. Ice-wine can in principle be made from any type of grape including red varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pranc, but with a few exceptions the most interesting of them are produced from Vidal and Riesling. The method of making Icewines is the same as that for making German or Austrian Eiswein and French Vins de Glace from the south-west of France.

    The grapes are allowed to hang until frozen by the frost. They are then quickly pressed and the tasteless frozen liquid remains behind with the seeds and skins, with only the honey sweet juices emerging from the press.

    These juices are so concentrated that the yeast cells which can normally live up to a level of alcohol of 15% are finished by 8 or 9%. Ice-wines are very complex, powerful, extremely aromatic wines with notes such as apricot, peach, sweet melon, and honey with Vidal grapes and tropical flowers, apricot, citrus fruit, toffee, and vegetal nuances with Riesling. To gain double the pleasure serve it cold at 46.4-53.6°F (8- 10°C) but then allow it to warm up slowly.


    Most Canadian roses are very lightly structured and not terribly interesting. They are certainly fruity but despite good acidity and reasonable complexity most are knocked back like soft drinks. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).


    This is an extremely surprising French-Canadian hybrid which produces quite exciting results in Canada with full-bodied wines with lots of juice and taste that are very scented with suggestions of blackcurrant, blueberries, tobacco, and animal undertones. Some top Baco Noirs slightly resemble better Rhone Syrah wines. Drinking temperature is 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C).


    The typical bouquet is of woodland fruits, cherry, and a hint of wild strawberry which when older become more rustic notes of leather, animal, and humus. Drinking temperature is 57,2- 60.8°F (14- 16°C).


    Bear in mind that many Canadian Cabernet wines are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc but may also contain Merlot. These are generally well-made wines but the best of them are simply fantastic. They have constantly caused great surprise in blind tastings with their power, complexity, seductive fruitiness, and elegant tannin. Drinking temperature is 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C).

    Other wines

    The best wine houses also make excellent Sauvignon Blancs, Aligotes, Gamay Blancs and Rouges. These wines are not very abundant though.

    Recommended wines

    The following wines from the best Canadian wineries are well worth trying.

    - Ontario: Chateau des Charmes, Hildebrand Estates Winery, Inniskillin, Marijnissen Estates, Reif Estate Winery (all Niagara-on-the-Lake); D'Angelo (Amherstburg); Henry of Pelham (St. Catharines); Stoney Ridge Cellars (Winona); Lakeview Cellars (Vineland); Cave Spring Cellars (Jordan); Colio Estate (Harrow); and Pelee Island Winery (Kingsville) .

    - British Columbia: Calona Vineyards, Quails' Gate, Summerhill, Mission Hill, Cedar Creek, St. Humbertus (all Kelowna); Hawthorne Mountains, Inniskillin Okanoga, Jackson Triggs, Peller Estate (Okanoga); Domaine Combret, Tinhorn Creek (Oliver); and Langley's Estate Winery (Langley).

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    Paien Swiss WineThe Swiss wines made from Paien or Heida, as it is also known (meaning heaths), are quite unusual. Grapes grow on this very ancient native variety at altitudes of more than 1,000 metres (3,280 feet). In the Jura and Savoie in Prance it is known as Savagnin, Traminer in Alsace and certain German vineyards, and Tramini in Italy. This Swiss wine is fresh and quite dry with recognisable fresh nose of green apples. Drinking temperature is 8- 10C (46.4-50°F).



    The rare Rèze grape is still used piecemeal in Anniviers to make wine. This Yin des Glaciers ('glacier' wine) is remarkably tart and green if drunk young. Allow it to age though and it develops a quite unusual but exciting nose. Drinking temperature for Rèze Swiss wine is 6- 9°C (42 .8-48.2°F) .


    The ordinary wine of this noble Bordeaux grape here is fresh and intensely aromatic (citrus fruits including grapefruit with occasional hint of vanilla).

    This dry wine is balanced, rich, full-bodied and strongly alcoholic (13- 14%). Its alcoholic strength makes it Sparkling wines Chile produces a number of sparkling wines varying from moderate to excellent.

    Choose one of the better ones such as Vifia Miguel Torres Brut Nature which has a fresh spring-like aroma of meadow flowers combined with luxuriant white tropical fruits and a fresh but delicate taste of Chardonnay with the full, rich, and rounded taste of Pinot Noir. Drinking temperature is 42.8-46.4°F (6-8°C).



    This noble Bordeaux grape also produces classic, elegant, and complex wines in Chile. The ordinary Cabernet Sauvignon is fresh and fruity but it is worth while buying the better wines such as Reserva and Gran Reserva. These offer much richer bouquets and greater complexity for very little extra.

    The colour is dark ruby red with the occasional tinge of brown. The aroma is reminiscent of plum, blackcurrant, strawberry, mint, and pepper with undertones of vanilla, chocolate, nuts, cedarwood, tobacco, and toast.When young this wine is very tannic but the tannin is more muted after two to three years. Drinking

    temperature is 60.8-62.6°F (16- 17°C) .



    This is another classic Bordeaux grape that thrives here. The wine is dark ruby, cherry, or granite red with some purple tinges here and there. Plum, blackcurrant, blueberry, black cherry, morello cherry, and strawberries can be detected in the bouquet with undertones of pepper, mint, green herbs, wood, and vanilla.

    The tannin is mainly mellow and the taste full and rounded. These Chilean Merlots readily charm and are suited for drinking with lighter meat dishes. Drinking temperature is 57.2-60.8°F (14- 16°C).



    This fairly rare wine is certainly worth trying to find. The colour is a fairly pale ruby red with purple tinges.

     The bouquet is fresh and fruity (including rose hip) and the taste is generous, approachable, and specially pleasing. Hints of herbs and spices can be detected in the prolonged aftertaste. Drinking temperature is 57.2-60.8°F (14- 16°C).

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    This is the ubiquitous Bordeaux grape variety. Here in South Africa, Cabernet Sauvignon produces sturdy, highly tannic wines with herbal aromas and hints of red fruit and blackcurrant.

    There is a good balance between fruit and ripe woody notes. It is superb with red meat and mature hard cheeses. Drinking temperature is 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C).


    This Bordeaux grape appears to be gaining ground in South Africa, especially in the Stellenbosch and Paarl regions. Merlot is a full-bodied and velvet smooth wine with rich and warm nuances that include cherry. Drinking temperature is 60.8°F (16°C).


    This grape, like Chardonnay originates in Burgundy. It is a fairly temperamental variety which only produces excellent results in good hands and in good years. A good Pinot Noir is characteristically light in colour and quite aromatic with herbal notes and those of red fruit in its nose. Drinking temperature is 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C).


    The Shiraz here is often an amenable if not slightly exotic wine with sensual nose and taste. This wine is often excellent with plenty of warmth and spicy undertones and is ideal with grilled lamb or game. Drinking temperature is 60.8°F (16°C) .


    Tinta Barocca is a surprising wine that is full-bodied, warm, exciting, but also fruity, elegant, and refined. Drinking temperature is 60.8°F (16°C).


    The Bordeaux type blends of Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Pranc/Merlot (Meerlust Rubicon) are often excellent, especially where the process of cask maturing in oak is well done. These are superb, fullbodied, rich, and complex wines with blackcurrant and bilberry in their bouquet, mixed with spices and vanilla.

     Cabernet-Shiraz are very exciting wines which often age extremely well. Serve this full-bodied, warm, powerful, and complex wine with roast or grilled meat or mature hard cheese. The fairly new Pinotage-Merlots are quite promising. This is a wine filled with taste that combines spice and fruit. Drinking temperature is 60.8- 62.6°F (16-17°C).

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