Wine Secrets
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French Wine - Wines of Alsace
Alsace grows mainly German grape varieties but, due to the climate and French winemaking tradition, the wines are richer and drier than those of Germany.

Spanish Wine - Wines of Northwest Spain
Verdejo is a good quality white wine grape from the Rueda region in Northwest Spain. Verdejo-based wines taste of lemon, herbs, and nuts and are often blended with Sauvignon Blanc for body.

French Wine - Wines of Burgundy
In the northern Burgundian region of Chablis, wine-producing areas are ranked from best to average, with the main classifications of Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Chablis, and Petit Chablis.

Central and Eastern European Wine
The more "puttonyos" indicated on a bottle of Tokaji Aszú, the sweeter the wine. A minimum of three puttonyos and a maximum of six can appear on labels. Puttonyos comes from the word puttony, which was the name given to the portable troughs traditionally used to dump nobly rotten grapes into a barrel of dry base wine during the process of making Tokaji Aszú. The more puttonyos tipped in, the sweeter the resulting wine. Puttonies are no longer used of course, but the wine labels still reflect this tradition.

Chilean Wine
The best wines of Chile tend to come from higher altitudes, where temperatures fluctuate significantly from day to night. This oscillation helps the grapes develop broad complexity, as well as good levels of acidity to balance the ripe fruit flavors that occur naturally in this hot climate. Alto Maipo is one such region, another is Alto Cachapoal. Alto means high.

German Wine
German wine tends to be fairly light, racheting up only about 9 percent alcohol by volume.

French Wine - Wines of Alsace
Muscadet is always a light- to medium-bodied wine. By law, the alcoholic strength can never exceed 12 percent.

French Wine - Wines of Provence and Corsica
Domaine de Trevallon, Château Sainte-Anne, and Château Margillière farm organically.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
The house of Louis Roederer, which makes the coveted prestige cuvée Cristal, also makes the more affordable non-vintage Champagne Brut Premier. This wine is excellent quality at a fraction of the price of Cristal, and can be aged for several years after purchase to increase the wine's complexity. Its style is lighterbodied and elegant, with flavors of cooked apple and pastry, much like tart tatin.

Spanish Wine - Sherry
Since Sherry is usually a blend of wines from different years, vintage tends not to matter to these wines. The exception of course is in the case of vintage Sherries, which as noted above, is a new phenomenon.

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  • Buying Great Wine
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  • Detecting Faulty Wine
  • French Wine - Wines of Alsace
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  • French Wine - Wines of Champagne
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  • Giving the Gift of Wine
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  • Pairing Food and Wine
  • Portuguese Wine
  • Portuguese Wine - Madeira
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  • Serving Wine Like a Professional
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  • Spanish Wine - Sherry
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  • Talking the Talk—Wine Terminology
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