Become a Wine Expert.
Syrah is making headway in Chile with different styles, depending on where it is grown. Syrah from the Rapel, Maipo, and Aconcagua regions yield full, berry-rich wines from fruit swollen to maximum ripeness in the hot sun. Meanwhile, Syrah from the cooler Chilean areas of Elqui, Limarí, and Casablanca are elegant, savory, meaty expressions of the land and grape.
Trade Secrets - Storing Wine
Ever wonder why some better Champagnes are wrapped in curiously heavy cellophane? It's because the wrap is actually light-proof. Light can change the flavor of wines, particularly sparkling ones. Long-term exposure to light can produce flavors of wet cardboard— a condition known as "light struck." This is why wines should be stored in the dark and why many are now sold in very dark bottles. It's also a reason to avoid buying wines that seem to have been sitting in the bright light of a wine merchant's window for ages.
Portuguese Wine - Port
If you like Vintage Port but don't want to pay the price for this most premium selection, buy either Crusted Port or Late- Bottled Vintage Port.
The most important secret of German wine is that it is out of fashion and underappreciated, which means you can find very good wines from this country at excellent prices. And as in all wine regions, the best bottles come from the best producers.
French Wine - Wines of Champagne
Krug Champagne's majestic nonvintage, called Grande Cuvée, is very fullbodied with flavors of caramelized nuts, cooked apple, and buttered toast. It is very much like a bubbly white Burgundy. The intense flavors result from the fact Krug makes all its Champagne in small oak casks, and is the only house that does so.
French Wine - Wines of Languedoc and Roussillon
The Languedoc still suffers from a grim reputation as a producer of large amounts of poor wine, which was indeed the case until fairly recently. Today, excellent wines are starting to be made by some quality-minded producers investing heavily in the region. Producers to watch for include Château de Caraguilhes from the area of Corbières, Château Laville-Bertrou from Minervois, and Château Pech Redon from Faugères.
Spanish Wine - Sherry
A small but leading Sherry producer is El Maestro Sierra. If you see their wines, snap them up. This house's full range is outstanding, crowned by the Oloroso Jerez Extra Viejo 1/7.
Talking the Talk—Wine Terminology
Garagiste: Originally a French term for winemakers who produce small quantities of wine from their garages in Bordeaux. Jean-Luc Thunevin was the first garagiste in St. Emilion, Bordeaux, taking the world by storm by producing amazing wines under the label Valandraud. The first vintage was 1991 and by 1996 the prices had soared to more than those of the top Premier Grand Cru Classé wines of the region. Like all fads, the market for these wines deflated, but Thunevin is looking to get his wines recognized formally in 2006 when St. Emilion reclassifies its wines—an event that takes place every ten years. Today, many small-scale wineries all over the world market themselves as garagistes.
Talking the Talk—Wine Terminology
Négociant: A merchant who buys grapes, grape juice, or wine and makes wine under his or her own name. Louis Jadot, for instance, is a major négociant in Burgundy. Stone Creek is a major négociant in California.
Spanish Wine - Wines of Rioja
And the top wine from Bodegas Palacios Remondo is the grandly unique Propiedad. The 2003 is a wine to hunt down, cherish, and cellar. A quietly impressive nose leads to a firm core layered with flavor after resounding flavor. Provencal herbs, smoke, tobacco, fine dark chocolate, cinnamon, caramel, toast, cherries and raspberry jam, and again rich, pure, melted chocolate.With this depth of flavor, along with a structure that will allow the wine to mature until about 2016, expect very good things to come. It is a serious wine offering extraordinary value for the money.
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