Community Question: How Do You Celebrate Love?

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Understanding Italy: Alto Adige

Residing in the northernmost reaches of Italy, sitting just due east of the center, and producing a whopping <1% of the country’s wine production is the small, yet world-renowned wine producing region of Alto Adige.  The region is known for its Austrian influences not only on the grapes,…

Understanding Italy: Piemonte

Beautiful Piemonte, home to Barolo and Barbaresco.  Well, home to Nebbiolo more correctly.  Take it a step further, home to Barbera, Dolcetto, Moscato, Cortese, and Arneis in addition to other local and international varietals. In addition to a plethora of grape varietals grown in Piemonte, the region produces…

Understanding Italy: Chianti & Chianti Classico

In both Chianti and Chianti Classico, Sangiovese is the main grape.  So what is the difference between the two? No one would fault you if you believed (until reading this) that one is what it is and the other is the more “classic” expression of the wine.  Sorry,…

Understanding Italy: Super Tuscans

Super Tuscans are wines made in Tuscany, outside of the well known Chianti and lesser known Tuscan regions DOC guidelines.  In the 1970s winemakers wanted to experiment with blending Sangiovese (the main regional variety) with the noble grapes of Bordeaux (and in a few cases Syrah from the…

Understanding Italy: DOC, DOCG, IGT & VdT

European wine labels can be confusing if you don’t speak the language they are written in, furthermore they have all types of different classifications from one country to the next without consistent naming or labeling even existing within the same country itself, and to make things even more…

What is Chaptalization?

Developed by (and named for) French chemist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal, chaptalization is the process of adding sugar to unfermented grape juice to increase the alcohol percentage post-fermentation.  The added sugar is consumed by the yeasts and converted into alcohol. Chaptalization as a process does not increase the sweetness of the…

What is a Hectare?

If you’ve geeked out at a wine tasting room, wine bar, or local wine shop, you may have come across the term hectare in conversation about the land the grapes were grown on, but what exactly is a hectare? A hectare is a unit of measurement used by…

Open & Closed Wine

More than just pulling the cork out and shoving it back in, open and closed in regards to wine are important terms for describing your experience with the juice. You’ve most likely heard the term “letting the wine open up” at some point in your wine journey.  Opening…

What is Terroir?

There is no single word in the english language that can be translated from terroir.  So what exactly is terroir? Terroir is a beautiful word to describe essentially the essence of a particular piece of land.  More than just the piece of land itself, but also its climate…