Part 2 of this blog post on "Decoding Wine Labels" will be very technical. Many illustrations will be provided to help support the confusing and unique language given to European wine bottles. To begin, let's look at 'indications of origin' in the European Union (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and so on). The E.U. has a system to recognize and protect agricultural products, such as wine, cheese, meats,etc..., that come from specific places so that companies outside these locations can't make products with the same name and thereby confusing consumers. For example -
We browse the shelves of wine stores all the time, not only to find that perfect bottle for dinner or dinner party, but also to see what's new and on sale. More than ever, we are overwhelmed and stymied by the proliferation of wine labels, varietals, countries, blends, regions, etc...Having this much choice is awesome - or paralyzing - depending on your knowledge of varietals, regions, and foreign languages. This is where feeling comfortable interpreting or decoding the info on wine labels comes in.
Today, Nov 21st, is Beaujolais Nouveau Day in France. It is on the third Thursday in November with fireworks, music and festivals. Under French law, the wine is released at 12:01 a.m., just weeks after the wine's grapes have been harvested. Parties are held throughout the country and further afield to celebrate the first wine of the season.
There are about 120 Beaujolais Nouveau related festivals held in the Beaujolais region.
On November 14, the world celebrates International Tempranillo Day. Here are some fun facts wine lovers should know about this lusty Spanish grape.
You’re getting into red wine. You’re craving something different. Something savory. Enter Tempranillo, Spain’s #1 wine grape. With the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon and meaty nature of Carignan, Tempranillo is an experience to behold. When young, it can be surprisingly fresh and fruity. However, with oak and age, you’ll find more of the dust, tobacco, and leather flavors.
If you’re a penny pincher and don’t want to spend a lot of money on wine, but want good, quality wines, then these wines will satisfy your palate and budget. All bottles listed are under $30/bottle, which constitutes a “best buy” in my opinion. I tried to include all different wine types, but a little partial to the wines of Oregon and Washington State these days. Official ratings from “Wine Enthusiast”, but I also offer my notes. Many of these wines listed are hard to find, but available through ordering. ABV (Alcohol By Volume) is the measurement of alcohol.
Someone once ordered a martini at a networking event. “How do you want it?” the bartender asked. I had no idea what he meant but I didn’t want to look dumb. “Uh, shaken?” I replied (because that’s what James Bond says). The bartender smirked. “No, I mean, do you want Vodka or Gin, what brand?, dry, straight up or rocks?” That patron felt dumb. Here’s how to order booze or a drink without embarrassing yourself and avoid being jeered all night.
In August of 2007 the United States Senate declared that September be recognized as National Bourbon Heritage Month. While this may not have much impact with the average consumer, it is an honor for the craftsmen in the bourbon industry. The designation is designed to celebrate "America's Native Spirit" and the significant historical, economical and industrial role the bourbon industry has played in the country's history.