Fortified Wine

fortified-wine

Fortified wine is made by adding a neutral distilled spirit or Brandy (a spirit produced by distilling wine) to wine. Preservation was the original reason that wines were fortified. When people began exporting wine, they found it went bad before it reached its destination, so, in an effort to preserve the wine, distilled spirits were…

The Alcohol Content of Wine

Wine Expert Stephanie Caraway discusses the factors that influence the alcohol content of wine.

What is Biodynamic Wine?

what-is-biodynamic-wine

We’ve all seen it – a wine list marked with asterisks indicating a wine is “biodynamic.” Is this just a fancy way of saying “organic?” Not exactly, but it does mean that the wine was probably made with organic methods and, usually, then some… Many winemakers both in the US and abroad have been frustrated…

The Cork and the Screw Top

the-cork-and-the-screw-top

The cork and the screw top — is one better than the other? Here’s a quick overview of both. The Cork A cork is traditional and romantic — who doesn’t have memories of bungling an attempt to pop a cork at a most inopportune moment — or smile at the satisfaction of getting that “pop”…

High Altitude Vineyards

high-altitude-vineyards

Few factors affect the taste and quality of a wine more than climate. This broader term encompasses everything from altitude to weather. Given this season one of our episodes focuses on Malbecs from Mendoza, Argentina, we thought looking at how altitude affects wine was worthy of further examination. Malbecs grown in Mendoza, Argentina’s largest wine…

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…

The Grape Harvest

Often, people ponder over the “secret” to making a great wine. In fact, there is no “one” thing that determines a wine’s quality or taste. Winemaking involves hundreds of decisions before the grapes even start to ferment! The way a vine is pruned, when grapes are harvested, and so on, play crucial roles in the…