Wine 101 (A Wine Introduction)
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.
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:
Main Red Varietal:
* Pinot Noir
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:
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.
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!