1. The Scent of Black (Cahors)

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    The Cahors region of Southwest France is as rightly famous for its black truffles as it is for its Malbec: two products that exemplify the scent of black. Black truffles are almost literally as valuable as gold in the culinary world. Prized for their glorious scent, black truffles are fungi that grow exclusively on the roots of oak trees. Found in late autumn and winter, the truffles cannot be seen since they grow under the ground. Pigs, or specially trained dogs have been used to search for these elusive truffles. About 20% of the French production comes from southwest France, which possesses the limestone soils and dry hot weather that truffles need to grow. In the late 19th century, an epidemic of phylloxera destroyed many of the vineyards in southern France. Large tracts of land were set free for the cultivation of truffles. Thousands of truffle-producing trees were planted, and production reached the peak of hundreds of tonnes by the end of the 19th century. Wars during the 20th Century decimated the fields. After 1945, the production of truffles plummeted, and prices rose dramatically. In 1900, truffles were used by most French people, and on many occasions. Today, they are a rare delicacy reserved for the wealthy, or used on very special occasions. Originally a common grape in Bordeaux, Malbec has lost popularity as one of the five varieties in the Bordeaux blends. Meanwhile, Malbec increased its status in the French region of Cahors, an area southeast of Bordeaux, where it creates distinctive wines that now require 70% of the variety.

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    • World of Pinot Noir - 2010

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      • Distillation: The Birth of Cognac

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        • Hospice du Rhône 2009 - Part II

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          • Hospice du Rhône 2009 - Part I

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            • All About Comté - Part II

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              • The Wines of Murcia - Part II

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                • The Wines of Murcia - Part I

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                  • Murcia: Soul of a Land

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                    The Murcia region of Spain attracts millions of tourists every year, mostly for its pristine beaches bathed by the warm Mediterranean climate. But, Murcia is also rightly known for its cuisine – and soon, its wine. Located in Southeastern Spain, the history of the region alone could account for its gastronomy. The original Iberian tribes formed commercial relationships with the Phoenicians and Greeks, then the region became a Carthaginian colony taken over by the Moors. All of these various influences created a culinary perfusion of stews, salads, and baked meat and rice dishes. Finally, there was the obvious connection to the Mediterranean – which spawned a host of seafood delicacies. However, what would be a Spanish meal without a good wine to accompany it. Thus far, the wines from Murcia have not been very well-known to the public, yet they are well worth discovering. Murcia is the home of the Monastrell grape variety, also known as Mourvèdre in France and Mataro in Australia. Believed to have been introduced to the Iberian peninsula by the Phoenicians, Monastrell does quite well in the hot arid region, producing a rich and powerful wine. Bodegas dot the wine routes between Bullas, Jumilla and Yecla, and offer plenty of opportunity to the visitor to experience the best the region has to offer. GrapeRadio is proud to present a brief look at the cuisine, the people, and the wines of Murcia, Spain. Join us for a close-up of this beautiful region, rich in history, respectful of the past, and looking to the future. Sponsor: Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

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                    • World of Pinot Noir 2009

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                      The World of Pinot event, held annually in Shell Beach, California, celebrates all the best things about the “heartbreak grape.” From France’s Burgundy region to shores of the New World and even the Southern Hemisphere, Pinot Noir is everything to its legion of fans. Join us as we get a snapshot of the event, its tastings and seminars, and talk with several winemakers to get their take on some of our most burning questions. We asked them: “If you weren’t a winemaker, what would you be,” to get a sense of who they were. And we asked them, “Do you have more North American Pinot or Burgundy in your wine cellar,” to check their stylistic preferences. Of course, there was no way we could dodge the high alcohol question, and quizzed them with, “Can you make a Pinot Noir over 15% alcohol and have it still be balanced?” Finally, we wondered about their sensitivity level. So, we asked them to finish the sentence, “Pinot Noir is like sex because….” Needless to say, one or two of the responses were…uh…thought provoking. To find out more information and to buy tickets: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

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