Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wine -1 (Updates)

Updated the post (in red) under Sparkling Wine and Fortified Wine sections as per inputs from Carolinagal - Thanks
A couple of months back Preethi posted an interesting post on different types of wines. Adding to her input, presenting this two part series on Wines. This post will be an elaboration of what she had mentioned in her post with certain additional information.

In the next post I will talk more about Wine Selection, Grading Process, the Different Types of Wine Glasses and other relevant information.
Wine grapes mostly grow between the 30th and the 50th degree of latitude, in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. (Link to major Wine growing regions of the world) Grapes will sometimes grow beyond this range and minor amounts of wine are made in some very unexpected places. The types of grapes used to make a wine are the most important factor in the taste of the wine. However, the flavors are also affected other factors such as soil, exposure to sunlight, climate, how the grapes are handled and fermented, types of yeast used, whether the wine is aged in wood, etc. Because of this, the same type of wine can be produced in several different regions, but various factors result in wines which taste different. Half the fun of experiencing wine is the incredible array of flavors available.

There are 5 basic types of wines namely:
Red Wine
White Wine
SparklingWine (in other words - Champagne)
Rosé Wine
Dessert or Fortified Wines

Red Wines - are made with red grapes. But the color does not actually come from the grape juice itself. Instead it comes from the grapes being fermented with skins still on. Names of the wine are based on the names of the grapes they are made from. There are about 40 important types of red wine grapes grown in the world today.
Some popular grapes and hence the red wines are:
Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese,
Syrah/Shiraz, Tempranillo and Zinfandel

White Wines - Almost every white wine is made with white grapes, though it is possible to make white wine using red grapes. This is because when white wine is made, the juice is separated from the skins before the fermentation process. The juice does not absorb the color of the skins. For the same reason, white wine has much less tannin than red. (Tannin - Wikipedia Link) There are 50 major white grapes grown in the world today, 24 in California alone.
Some popular grapes and hence the white wines are:
Chablis, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewruztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling,
Sauvignon/Fume Blanc, Semillon and Viognier

Sparkling Wine - Many sparkling wines made after the style of Champagne, but only those made in that Champagne region in the north of France, according to the painstaking Méthode Champenoise, can rightfully be called Champagne. All others should be labeled as Sparkling Wine. Apparently how the fizziness in the wine is brought about determines the texture and the taste of this wine. They also make sparkling red wines namely Shiraz, Merlot etc.

Rosé wine- Rosé wines are made with red grapes, but are only allowed to stay in contact with the grape skins for a short time. This allows it to keep only some of the reddish color. The provide a perfect backdrop to many of summer's greatest food fare. Rosé wines are sometimes called blush wines. Sometimes they are even called white despite the obvious pink color. White Zinfandel is a rose wine, not a white.

Dessert/Fortified Wine: Also called dessert wines or liqueur wines, this type of wine has been "fortified" with extra alcohol. The Alcohol content of these wines will be over 14%.
Fortified wines are not generally served with a meal. These types of wines are often served after retiring from the dinner table. Although grape brandy is most commonly added to produce fortified wines, the additional alcohol may be derived from a variety of other sources including sugarcane, sugar beets, and even petroleum.
Some of the examples of Dessert Wines are:
Madeira, Port, Sherry and Vermouth

Sources :, Wine Spectator, Virtual Wine Guide
Hope this will help you distinguish different kinds of wines available. - Ceedy


  1. Now I wanna have red meat with red wine! ;-(

  2. True.
    Red Wine/Red meat...
    yummmyy but I quit Drinks.

  3. Hey Ceedy, which is your favourite?

  4. wow so much info..
    thanks for enlightening me.. :)
    now i am definitely coming back to drinks .. :D
    and yaa i have to second smokin joe..


  5. OMG... thanks for the info bhai...

    but as u know, i m not into wine... unless i go out with a girl for dinner which dont happen with me!!! ;) :P

    but i have tried all except the last one... next time i will try the last one for sure!!! :)

    n i wud also like to kwow ur ans to anindita!!


  6. ជំរាបសួរ

    ផងណា ណាបងណា!


  7. @smokin joe

    Did you have it??? then THEN

  8. @hobo

    I hope you know the famous quote - Wine Madiera Nahi Hoti - Wine is not really go try it

  9. @anindita

    In terms of favorites - I prefer red wines - which go well with spicy food - that I will discuss in the next post. I like the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz.

    Mostly prefer South American wines from Chile or Argentina.

    But certain California wines are really good.

    And I also like Muscat as a desert wine....

    So in simply words...there are so many different types...that I try all :)

  10. @vicky my response to do come back to wine :)

  11. @ankur are a beleiver of Wine Women and Song...then you have to wait all your life I guess :P

    About the last one - dude Goa in India is a great place to get a good Port try it.

    And I responded to Anindita

  12. @កូនខ្មែរ

    Appreciate your comment - seems it is in Khmer language...

    Tried translating - but was unsucessful...

    Can you guide me to a good translator so I can respond...or if it is not a problem can you type in English...


  13. Nice post.
    If I may add a bit to the last part.
    The 'extra' alcohol that is added to fortified wines, is usually brandy.

    (I know that you would know this,,but maybe you should also add it to the post...)

  14. @vicky...

    hope you come back sober too

  15. @cg

    Thanks for the correction. I did a little more reading and added a line to the post.


  16. Thanks Ceedy.

    I saw in one of your comments above that you prefer South American wines.

    Have you tried Australian wines? (Not talking about the cheap Yellow Tail)
    My fiance' is from the wine country in Australia so I am a bit partial to those ;)
    I'll be happy to recommend you some good ones.

    Also, to add to the 'Sparkling' section, they also make Sparkling reds..shiraz, merlot etc. Total Wine in NJ carries some. Great in the summer time. Hic hic!

  17. Wine....takes me back to OZ land.....u already know my combo of wine but yeah i do like dessert wine n sprakling wine......

  18. hey the only wine i could have is Mateus...i mean without in mixing hehe

  19. @antonio

    Thank you and welcome here.

  20. Sorry for the delayed reply - caught up with stuff..

    /Have you tried Australian wines?
    My fiance' is from the wine country in Australia so I am a bit partial to those ;)
    I'll be happy to recommend you some good ones. /

    Sure let me know - will try them and let you know

    Thanks for the sparkling wine info I will update the post.

  21. @princess mia

    cool...enjoy the wines then

  22. I am glad to know more about the future, if any of my date ask me about wine...i can use the info shared here to impress her:). i had the red and wwhite wine....i never developed the taste for it:). as u know...All i need is beer...if i find beer i am all good and happy...:).

  23. aah dat was nice n informative:)

  24. CD I can here.. and I will have to say I am impressed with your knowledge of wines...

    Of course I drink A lot of Kosher wines with the High Holidays here for us Jewish people! lol Have ever tried any Kosher wines your self?.. oh and yes I love the RED wines!

  25. @kp

    You can call me directly...dont need to read this if you want to know more ;)

    Glad you liked the post

  26. @ne

    Thanks....well its just fascinating to look at all that goes behind a bottle of wine.

    Nope have not tried kosher wines...will try and do so....

  27. @carolinagal

    Updated the post with your two inputs...thanks!

    Where are my recommendations?

  28. I am a very big fan of wine, not just because i m from France and I think we have the best wines :D but because my grandpa was a wine maker :)
    (I made a post about him actually : I love Rosé during hot summer and a group of friends.
    A white wine like Viognier ( for cheese, and some Red wines for meat :) Love wine!, great post :)

  29. sooo what category does local wine come under-- > the one that makes me tipsy.. it's caled golconda here in chennai--> got some 16% alcohol..

    i soooo love it taht it's the alcohol i love the best.. 180 bucks--> three small bottles, n i go completely smashed up :D

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. heyyy..
    Tas Cool,a girl interested in Wine...:-)))

    tats something new and nice..:-))

    keep up the good work!!!:-))

  32. Hey
    Thanks for putting up the suggestions :)

    Ok, so here are a few recommendations from the top of my head. I hope its not too overwhelming.

    Kangarilla Road Shiraz (~&20)
    Footbolt Shiraz (D'Arrenberg) (~$14)
    [Actually, all D'Arrenberg reds are pretty awesome- can get pricey upto $60 or so]

    Marquis Philips Shiraz 9 (~$35)

    Cape d'Estaing wines (their Cab Sauvignon is awesome ~35)

    Most wines manufactured by 'Two Hands' are great. They have a nice 'Garden' series- Lily's Garden, Max's garden etc. They are about $45-50. But very very good, and for whatever reason, they are the cheapest in Pennsylvania.

    One of my favs is called Stella's Garden- lost highway project (also from Two Hands). They make a gorgeous Shiraz. We have gone through cases of this one. But it is quite expensive in PA/NJ. We found this great wine wholesale place in NC where you can get them for $27.99 case price). You can order it online from them []

    Clarendon Hills Merlot (~50).

    A nice SPARKLING RED is Majella. Costs about $27. Great in the summer.

    If you are really really interested, I can email you a list...that will be a bit more organized with prices and all..rather than having everything here in your comments section. Just send me your email address.

    Just quickly before I go, there is this really good American red Zinfandel that I like...its called Seven Deadly Zins (ranges from $13-20 depending on where you buy it from). It is awesome for its price.

  33. @cess

    Nice....I did have some fresh wine made here by a Portuguese client of mine. I will check that post.

    And yeah...different occasions different wines.
    I got hooked onto it in my grad school. As we had many lectures by architects and other design the lecture there was always wine - cheese - crackers :)

  34. @jane
    Local wine comes under "desi daru" :P

    Nice that you get smashed...if you really want alcohol content get hold of a drink from Chili in south some 98% alcohol :)

  35. @gauri

    I think you got it a guy.
    Thanks tho!

  36. im not much into wines...but ive tried a few and i liked zinfandel and port....
    i dunno if its psychological because i dont drink thaat much but i still feel a lil tipsy when i do :D
    so avoid drinking on a totally empty stomach though i know thats the way u enjoy it best....

    cheers! *raises her glass*

  37. @carolinagal

    Thanks for the info. Will try them out. Just in time for the holidays ;)

    I will post my email on your blog.

    Yeah send the file if you have it ready - can always use it.

    Hic for sure now !

  38. @pri

    Thanks for your visit.

    Any alcohol you have to get used to it. And yes having it on empty stomach or having it too fast or having too much has its effects...

    BTW you are from Goa - you shld have the good ol port wine there :)

  39. ohhhh!!!
    Sooo Sorry!!!
    i Deeply apologize friend!