Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir grape courtesty of the Oregon Wine Board

If you’re unfamiliar with Oregon Pinot Noirs, it can be tempting to approach them with California in mind—and in fact, there are similarities. Both California and Oregon are younger Pinot-producing regions where innovative winemakers have found their stride, and both states now produce not only some of the best examples of Pinot Noir, but the…

Riesling Sweetness Scale

Wine Expert Stephanie Carraway discusses a new “sweetness” scale US Riesling producers have introduced to help consumers find Rieslings that suit their tastes — from dry to sweet. For information on the episode featuring Finger Lakes Rieslings, click Episode Guide: Ranking Rieslings from the Finger Lakes.

Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Sonoma Coast is an AVA that encompasses vineyards that run along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean within the larger region of Sonoma County. Because the vineyards that grow in this area are closest to the ocean, they’re also the coolest and get the most moisture from the fog that rolls in off the ocean….

Red Zinfandel, White Zinfandel

White Zinfandel is one of California’s all-time most-successful accidents. Zinfandel, the grape from which both red and white wine is made, is almost black in color. Although the vine is infamous for its unevenly-ripening berries (often, ripe black berries will hang next to a tart, green, small berry on the same bunch), White and Red…

Paso Robles Zinfandel

if-you-like-paso-robles-zinfandel

Zinfandel has a colorful past. Even though it was long thought to be an indigenous American grape, sometimes dubbed “California’s own,” its origins are Croatian. Zinfandel’s origins were not known for certain until as late as the 1990s, when researchers at UC Davis and in Croatia worked closely to determine that Zinfandel is the same…

Mendoza Malbec

if-you-like-mendoza-malbec

Even though Malbec is currently most associated with Medoza, Argentina, the grape’s origins are French. Experts have traced Malbec to Auxerrois, a small region in Northern Burgundy, and to Southwest France. The grape currently thrives in several French regions. It is perhaps most associated with Bordeaux (where it is one of the five allowed varieties,…

Chardonnay: To Oak or Not to Oak

chardonnay-to-oak-or-not-to-oak

For a very long time winemakers noted something mysterious happening to their wine as it was aged in oak barrels – if the wine was left in the barrel for a while after it had fully fermented, it took on a soft and supple character. It wasn’t until a Frenchman named Pascal discovered the bacteria…

Columbia Valley Chardonnay

Though some might argue that delicate is not a word that has much to do with Chardonnay, many producers in Washington State are taking that sentiment to task and turning out fine examples of Chardonnay that show the wine’s refined side. Chardonnay as most Americans know it is a wine that really came of age…

Napa Oakville Cabernets…

Cabernet Sauvignon is a survivor. It’s relatively easy to grow and can thrive in an impressively wide array of climates. It’s a grape that produces rich, dark, and fairly tannic wine that is easily manipulated to exaggerate certain flavors while muting others. Napa Valley is one of the world’s leading producers of Cabernet Sauvignon. Unlike…

Finger Lakes Rieslings

if-you-like-finger-lakes-rieslings

The Riesling grape is widely presumed to have German origins, but today the grape is grown and made into high-quality wines across the world from Washington to Australia. It’s a cold blooded grape that thrives on bone-chilling winters. Riesling is almost always used to produce single varietal wines and unlike other white grapes like Chardonnay,…