Knowledge Base

Know your wine

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Wine Variety

Drinking wine is one of the greatest pleasures an individual can undertake. For thousands of years, people have been making, drinking, and enjoying wine. We've created this page to assist you in understanding some of the basics about wine and to help you understand and enjoy this wonderful experience.

Chardonnay The Primary White grape of Burgundy, also well known for its California incarnations. Chardonnay is one of the most versatile grapes, it can be grown in a variety of conditions and vinified in many different ways to give a different characteristics. Chablis is crisp and minerally, Mersault is nutty and rich, and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley tends to be ripe and mouth-filling with a touch of toasty oak. Chardonnay is also used for sparkling wine production from Champagne to Sonoma.
Merlot Used as either a base grape or a blending grape for some of the finest Bordeaux table this grape is also grown the world over. St Emilion and Pomerol are the two Sub-Regions of Bordeaux most known for their Merlot, California is another area producing world-class wine from Merlot. Keep an eye out for great Merlot values from the South of France
Shiraz This grape, also known as Shiraz, is grown the world over, from Southern France, to Australia, Argentina, California, and Washington State. It can vary in intensity from lighter fruity wines to the hearty world-class wines of Penfolds, Jaboulet, Chapoutier, and Phelps. The wines from the Northen Rhone are spicy and full-bodied while most Australian examples are great for everyday drinking with grilled foods, lamb, and other rich dishes. It is also made into both a sparkling red wine and a dessert style wine in Australia where it is the most highly planted grape vareity.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is the King of Red grapes. Making some of the most famous wines in the world this grape has all of the components necessary for producing blockbuster wines with a long aging potential; lots of color, tannin, and a complex aroma. Wines made from Cabernet include most red Bordeaux, wines from all over California both as straight Cabernet and as blends, and other regions like South Africa, Australia, and Chile, which has a wonderful heritage of making great Cab.
Chenin Blanc Often described as the Chameleon of the wine world this grape is capable of producing huge yields with little character or being one of the world’s premier Dessert wines, it all depends on production and vinification. Grown in the Central Loire Valley, South Africa, and California its zippy acidity and ripe honey-like flavors when very ripe are things to look for in good examples. Dry Vouvray is excellent with shellfish, Savennieres is known for its beeswax intensity and fine aging potential Coteaux du Layon makes some of the worlds finest dessert wines, and great everyday drinking wines come from South Africa often labeled as Steen.

Pinot Noir

This is the Primary red grape of Burgundy but is also grown in cooler regions of the West Coast, it is known for its delicate yet complex aromas and flavors. There are many different clones of Pinot Noir and they are vinified into everything from Champagne to red table wine. The style of Pinot Noir has much to do with the location or terroir it is grown in. Pinot Noir from around the village of Corton is known for its power, from around Volnay for its silky elegance and from the West Coast of America for its pleasant fruity constitution and round tannins.