Wine 101 (A Wine Introduction)

tumblr_inline_n8f51kEaCF1silf69

Wine might seem a bit daunting at first. We can help you with that. Enjoy the process.  We’ll take it one step at a time.

STEP ONE: WINE REGIONS

A good way to learn about wine is to learn about wine regions. I’ve included special wine regions here, ones that gave birth to the most popular grape varieties for making wine. Interestingly enough, they’re all in FRANCE.

tumblr_inline_n8f5dpymA61silf69

BURGUNDY  (Borgogne in French)

Located in the centre of the map above (light shade of orange), Burgundy produces both whites & reds, often barrel-aged. Chardonnay is a rich and buttery white, Pinot Noir is a soft, delicate red.

Main White Varietal:
Chardonnay

Main Red Varietal:
Pinot Noir

BORDEAUX

Bordeaux is in South Western France (light blue, lower left on map). This is the famous wine region with the world’s most sought-after wines. They are rich, bold and full bodied.

Main White Varietals:

Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

Main Red Varietals:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot

RHONE

The Rhône is in South-Eastern France (light purple on map), and is divided into the Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône, home of Sablet, Gigondas, Cotes du Rhone, and Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Northern Rhône wines are delicate and light.

The Southern Rhône is especially captivating and gorgeous to visit. I hope you add it to your list of areas to see. The regions and wines are amazing.The wines can be delicate (usually in the north), and robust (southern Rhone). They are often more “rustic” in character than the wines of Bordeaux.

The wines from this geographically beautiful part of France are every bit as exciting as those from Bordeaux but in a different way.

 

Check out our visit to The Rhône here!

0448e7bfedf7d9659e00e39091320f50.jpg

 

Main White Varietal (Northern Rhone):

Viognier  (classic tasting notes of apricots, peaches and wood)

This rare varietal originated in Condrieu, in the northern Rhône. Very nice examples are found in the Rhône valley, California, and Ontario.

Main Red Varietal (Northern Rhone):

Syrah  (classic tasting notes: prunes, spices and berries)

The Rhône region has grown it for centuries. You can get some very nice Rhône wines that are 100% Syrah, particularly from the northern Rhône.  Other regions blend additional varietals with it, for example, in the southern Rhône.  Syrah can possess a mineral, blueberry, and spicy/peppery flavor.

Main Varietals (Southern Rhone):

About 17 varietals officially available. Grenache and Syrah are usually the major varietals.

Two stars are: Grenache and Syrah, both red and usually blended together and with other minor varietals. Try a Southern Rhone wine. They are a discovery!

>>> TO STEP 2 (The Rest of The Wine Regions)

>>> To the LONG VERSION of Wine 101

Advertisements