Writer: Chik Brenneman

74 result(s).

Zinfandel Wine Case Study

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The concept of a case study to help learn or understand a process is well known in the science and medical fields. During my previous career as a clinical laboratory scientist, my

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Müller-Thurgau: Germany’s other white grape

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Prior to giving way to Riesling at the turn of the century, Müller-Thurgau was the most prominent white grape in Germany. It is still very popular as an everyday drinking wine enjoyed young.

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The Many Shades of Muscat

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Muscat is a complex family of grapes with a distinctive aroma tying them all together. There are hundreds of Muscat varieties, both white and red, which are used to make all styles of wine.

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Mourvèdre: A Tannic grape for many wine styles

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Mourvèdre is a fine blending grape with significant tannins, but don’t overlook the varietal and rosé options.

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Symphony: 40 Years in the Making

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Symphony is a white grape bred from Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris by Dr. Harold Olmo. Grown in California, Symphony grapes are found in many wine kits.

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The many wines of Chardonel

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Chardonel, as the name implies, has Chardonnay as one of its parents and is used to make similar wine styles. Its popularity is largely along the East Coast and Midwest regions of the United States, but its wines stand up against those from any region.

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Touriga Nacional

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I was a late bloomer when it came to seeing the world. It wasn’t until 10 years ago that I had the opportunity to start traveling internationally. Despite growing up in an

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Ruby Cabernet

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When I started graduate school at UC-Davis in 1995, one of my first classes was a seminar series. Being the first session of the academic year, a round of introductions started the

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Skin Contact Decisions

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Winemakers have to decide how long to macerate their grapes to make the best wine. But how? Too little skin contact and the wines can lack color or body; too much contact and you wind up with wines that are too bitter or astringent. Learn more about skin contact to make an informed decision.

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Traminette: Little Gewürztraminer grows up

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It is so wonderful to have such friends and colleagues at WineMaker magazine who keep inviting me back to speak at the annual conference (and I am looking forward to San Diego,

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Tannat: The Tannin-rich Grape of Legend

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Tannat grapes are synonymous with highly phenolic and tannic must. Learn about this grape’s storied past and how to hit the sweet spot in the vineyard and the winery to tame this potent grape.

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Carignane/Mazuelo: A Spanish grape with many names

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Many wine grapes have different names when grown in various parts of the world. That is especially true for Carignane, which is officially called Mazuelo in its homeland of Spain. Find out how both viticulturalists and enologists handle this unique grape.

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Alicante Bouschet: An eccentric grape with a unique history

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At one time, Alicante Bouschet was one of the most popular grapes planted in the United States. Learn about the history of this grape variety and how you can add it to your winemaking quiver.

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Black Spanish

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Will the real Black Spanish stand up? I have to admit, when we first decided on this variety as a topic, I had never thought I had made wine from it. However,

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Petit Manseng

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A long time ago, brave souls looking for an easier route to the Far East set sail west across the Atlantic Ocean. Controversial at the time given the prevailing philosophy was that

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Aligoté

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I am writing this on an airplane on my way to Burgundy, the crossroads of France known for its great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. But did you know that Burgundy has

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Sémillon

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Wine literature is essentially a snapshot in the history of wine as portrayed by that author. Have you ever received or purchased a book on wine, read it cover to cover, made

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Petite Sirah

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When I was first introduced to wine in the 1980s, I was certainly overwhelmed about how complex the subject of wine could be. I had some friends that had enrolled in a

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Pinot Noir

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While traveling recently in the Burgundy region of France, it was easy to see why the world loves Pinot Noir. It is the only red grape grown in that region, and the


Malbec: Beyond Bordeaux

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When we think of the great wines of the Bordeaux region of France the names of the Grand Cru châteaus of Lafite, Latour, Mouton-Rothschild, Haut-Brion or Cheval Blanc come up. Today, the


Seyval Blanc

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Seyval blanc (say-VAHL blahnk) is a hybrid, the product of intentional breeding to blend and express desirable traits from the parent vines. And unfortunately, hybrids often get no respect in the world


Ways to Rosé

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In the summertime, many of us gather with family and friends around the barbeque. The chefs boast their talent amid the billowing smoke and the guests quaff a few glasses of wine


Keys to a Great Crush and Press

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When the harvest season rolls around each year, and winemakers gear up for the busy season, a winemaker’s plans to improve on the previous vintage should have already started in spring and

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Chardonnay

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Chardonnay is one of the world’s most popular wine grapes, as evidenced by widespread plantings in France, Australia, South Africa, South America and the United States. The grape is thought to have


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