Topic: Varietals-and-Wine-Styles

180 result(s).

Making Mulled Wines

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As autumn rolls into winter, it’s time to heat things up with mulled wine. A holiday tradition around the world, mulled wines usually include spices, citrus fruits, and wine served hot to take the chill away.

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Flexible Frontenac: Making a case for this hybrid

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Scattered throughout the Upper Midwest and Rockies, Frontenac wines are making waves as winemakers learn to coax a lot of flavor from this red grape. Chik Brenneman offers several tips and tricks to working with this hybrid varietal.

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The Illustrious Chardonnay: Fine-tuning the classic

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The king of the white wines, Chardonnay can be expressed in a wide array of styles. Chik Brenneman takes readers on a journey through this grape’s story and tips to creating his favorite version of wine from Chardonnay grapes.

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Pét Projects

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Pétillant-naturel sparkling wines — which are bottled prior to the conclusion of fermentation — are having a moment. Without any required riddling, disgorging, or extended aging, pét-nats are a perfect fit for home winemakers to try when getting into sparkling wines.

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Bold Brianna: A strong and healthy grower

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Elmer Swenson’s grape breeding program has had a profound effect on the North American wine scene. One such grape to come from his program is Brianna, a grape that required an estimated 93 crosses to produce. Learn about this grape’s heritage as well as how to best work with it.

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Melon De Bourgogne: Or Muscadet or just plain Melon

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More commonly associated by the wine it produces, Melon de Bourgogne is the grape varietal behind Muscadet wines and the sur lie aging technique. But its mystique doesn’t stop there. Learn more about this old grape varietal known by many names.

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Crafting a Buttery-style of Chardonnay

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Indeed, that flavor you’re after is primarily caused by the malolactic bacteria, which impart that buttery, dairy, or creamy taste in many Chardonnays. This is because these bacteria, depending on the strain,

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Colorful Carménère

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Similar to a varietal like Malbec, Carménère has come to be identified with the wine growing regions of South America, but this grape actually was one of the classics of Bordeaux. Chik Brenneman explains the history of this varietal and how to tame this grape when it gets temperamental.

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Grenache Blanc: Some lessons from the Old World

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Grenache Blanc is a grape from the northwestern region of Spain and, as the name implies, has evolved from Grenache Noir. Chik Brenneman provides instructions on making this grape shine, starting in the vineyard and taking it through to bottle.

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Cinsault: The grape that could . . .

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One of the mainstay grapes found in the heat-prone regions in the Rhône Valley of France is Cinsault. It often is utilized in blends to add softness to Rhône-style wines. Another great use is to turn it into rosé wine. Chik Brenneman gives you the scoop on this varietal.

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LaCrosse or La Crosse? True diversity in a grape

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Elmer Swenson helped revolutionize the greater wine world with his cold-hardy grape breeding program. One such grape varietal that emerged from all his work was LaCrosse, with five species of grapes in its heritage. Learn about this grape made popular in colder climates — for good reasons.

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Rosy Roussanne: A grape that doesn’t mind a little heat

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In its homeland in the south of France, Roussanne grapes love some heat . . . probably one reason that it’s found a new home in the Texas Hill Country. Learn about this white grape that can stand up to being a varietal wine when conditions are right or blended with others.

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Primitivo: The early-ripening varietal

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Anyone well versed in wine grape nomenclature knows that Primitivo and Zinfandel are genetically identical. Yet test trials have shown there are some differences with grape types. Learn some of the history and best practices when handling Primitivo.

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Malbecs Around the Globe

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25 years ago, Argentina’s leading red grape, Malbec, was relatively unknown to Americans. Some wine lovers probably knew the grape from Bordeaux blends. A few aficionados may have tried an inky black


Fruit Port From Puree

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Dessert wine paired with a sweet pie, savory cheese, or fine cigar is one of the best ways to finish off an excellent meal. Home winemakers have a variety of dessert wine

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Baco Noir: The emigration of a French hybrid

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Originally bred in southwestern France, Baco Noir is a French-American hybrid whose acreage has declined in its native country, but has since emigrated to American soil. Learn about this grape that has found success in some cooler-climate North American vineyards.

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Pinot Meunier: The forgotten grape of Champagne

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When it comes to the grapes found in Champagne, most casual wine drinkers can point to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but Pinot Meunier is often left off that list. Find out about the forgotten grape of Champagne, its history, and why you may want to give it a try if you can.

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The Many Sides of Chardonnay

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If Cabernet is the King of Grapes, Chardonnay is probably the Queen. It’s the most popular wine among US drinkers with about 20% market share, and in California there’s more of this

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Foxy Concord: Finding the sweet spot with this American classic

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The grape of North America, Concord has come to dominate the grape juice and jelly markets, but making a solid wine with it can require a little more care than most vinifera grapes. Chik Brenneman digs deep to come up with a solid game plan to making a worthy wine from this grape variety.

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Get groovy with Grüner Veltliner

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Towards the end of the fall 2018 harvest I was looking for a little respite in my calendar, and I came across an appointment scheduled for a Friday night in late November

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Sugar Conversion Tables, Making Wine from Sugar Cane: Wine Wizard

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Sugar solution I am fairly new to home winemaking having only made a few kits and three batches of Muscadine wine. I have been using Daniel Pambianchi’s book Techniques in Home Winemaking

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Grape Profiles

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Here are some abbreviated profiles for lesser known wine grapes varietals: Baco Noir: Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com A hybrid red grape varietal whose parentage is linked to the French grape Folle Blanche,

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Beyond Beaujolais: Get acquainted with Gamay Noir

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com Wine brings people together. This is cause for great reflection for me personally because as you read this, I will have been retired from the University of California

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A Quicker Route to Bubbles

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Making non-traditional sparkling wine at home through force carbonation is simple and can yield amazing results. With just a few pieces of equipment, one can make delicious bubbly in a matter of

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Méthode Champenoise

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Méthode Champenoise is the most traditional way to make sparkling wine. It requires extra time, attention to detail, and more steps than other methods of sparkling wine production. However, it also makes the highest quality bubbly, which is why it is the only technique used by Champagne makers. Learn how to master this technique at home.

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