Cabernet Sauvignon is among the most widely recognized and important red grape varietals anywhere in the world. It is grown in almost every major wine-producing country and revered for its complexity, age worthiness and historical importance.
Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally acclaimed through its prominence in Bordeaux. The traditional Bordeaux blend typically incorporates Merlot and Cabernet Franc. These refine the style and help bring out the overall complexion associated with great Bordeaux.
From France, the Cabernet migrated across Europe and to the New World. It has found a ideal home in places like California's Napa Valley, Australia's Coonawarra and up in the Pacific Northwest in Washington State. For most of the 20th century, Cabernet was the world's most widely planted premium red wine varietal, until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 90's.
Understanding the wines of Beaujolais, more than just Nouveau! MyCellarMaster.com - "Taste Life Now!"
Geographically, the Beaujolais region lies immediately south of Burgundy, it is a picturesque village. Beaujolais is an AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée), which is the term the French use to define products of distinct regional origin.
Unlike Burgundy, Beaujolais grows the Gamay grape for red wine instead of Pinot Noir. Gamay is one of the prettiest red wine grapes in a bottle. Its soft tannins, bright cranberry and raspberry-like fruit make it a great crowd pleaser. It is incredibly versatile with food, and simply just a lot of fun to drink, but can be complex and age worthy!
Sparkling wine is not just for special occasions, but for any occasion! Serve it on ANY occasion to lighten your or your guests' spirits. It is the preeminent cocktail wine and can set a celebratory tone for any gathering as quickly as a cork can be popped.
The classic example of sparkling wine is Champagne from France, but many other examples are produced in other countries and regions, such as Franciacorta and Prosecco in Italy, Sekt in Germany and Austria, Espumante in Portugal and Cava in Spain that can rival Champagne on any given day.
The five wine districts of Burgundy start in the north in the town of Chablis. As you move south, you reach the area known as the Côte D'Or, which means "Golden Slope." It is divided into two sub-regions, the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. As you continue south, you enter the Côte Chalonnaise and then the Mâconnais. The fifth and final region in the south is Beaujolais.
Location is key in Burgundy, as the region is comparatively cool and sun exposure is very important. The finest vineyard sites face the sun, which is critical to assure that grapes fully ripen. Vintners pay careful attention to weather conditions and in years when sunlight is not in abundance, highly acidic and thin wines are the costly result. In Burgundy, white wines are almost exclusively made from Chardonnay grapes and the red wines from Pinot Noir.