White Wine . NET

Archive for the ‘White Wine History’ category

By Giuliano Bortolleto

Asti wine, White Wines

The Asti is a well-known sparkling wine from the Piemonte’s region, in the north of Italy, where there is a city named Asti, which explains the name of the wine. The Asti, as well as the Moscato sparkling wine, is made from the traditional white grape of that area, the muscat. This is one of the most popular wines from that region and in all Italy.

This grape is also responsable for another famous sparkling wine of that region: the Moscato D’Asti, which is a different wine, although is elaborated with the same grape. But that is a matter for our next post. Asti is a litte different from the other general sparkling wines. That’s because there is no second fermentation. There is only one fermentation which is made in a closed tub (autoclave). But before the fermentation is concluded, the producer interrupts it, what creates a high level sugar wine.

That’s why Asti is wordly known as a sweet and fresh wine, particulary perfec to pair with some deserts. Asti is also very easy drinkable, due to the low level of alcohol in the wine, which is a consequence of the interrupted fermentation too. In the end, the drink is sweet and not much alcoholic, however it conserves a very cool acidity that is soon noted as you feel the first citrus aromas.

Asti also has some sweet lime, lemon and apple flavours, and, if you choose a good producer, a very nice perlage too. Although Asti is known as a very sweet wine, which is not a quite lie, it is absolutelly perfect to goes with some apple deserts, lemon sweets and vanilla deserts.

It should be served at 6 to 8 Celsius

by Wink Lorch

Sometimes my self-imposed brief seems to be to collect obscure wine regions, preferably in or close to mountainous areas. Hence, my acceptance of an invitation to a Clairette de Die (pronounced ‘Dee’) harvest festival.

This was the ideal focus for an exploration of the Diois (pronounced ‘Deewah’) area of the Drôme department, which lies just south of the stunning Col de Rousset pass, generally considered to be the north-south dividing point of the French Alps. To the north, the vegetation is typically continental with mountain spruce, larches and alpine cows; to the south it changes towards Mediterranean, with umbrella pines, ‘garrigue’ scrubland and hundreds of sheep.

In wine terms, the Die area is included in the Rhône Valley region (though it doesn’t fit into either north or south categories); the town of Die is 50km (30 miles) southeast of Valence and the vineyards follow the Drôme River, a tributary of the Rhône. The vineyards are some of the highest in France (higher than most in Savoie for example), lying between 400 and 700 metres with a climate that is a cross between semi-continental and semi-Mediterranean.
Clairette de Die
There are different versions of how the semi-sweet, delicate sparkling Clairette de Die got its name. Strangely it is not named after the Clairette grape even though it’s grown there. Sparkling wine had been made in this area for centuries, even in the days of Pliny, when Muscat was mentioned as grown here; however, it was most widely enjoyed in the late 19th century. At the turn of the 20th century, in the closest large towns of Lyon and Grenoble, the fizzy wine from Die was still sold in bars directly from a barrel - a little like Vin Bourru, the part fermented wine which is sold just after harvest all over France. Needless to say, it was cloudy with the yeast in suspension, but gradually it would clear leaving the deposit behind - so the name derived from this phenomenon of ‘clearing’ or ‘clairette’.

The main grape grown is Muscat à Petit Grains (shown left) which for AOC Clairette de Die must be at least 75% of the blend, with the balance being Clairette, better known further south in the Rhône. Some of the best Clairette de Die is made with 100% Muscat. Clairette is an acidic grape used in particular here for the dry sparkling wines, previously Clairette de Die Brut but now, with stricter production controls, Crémant de Die, in which recent changes to the law state that small quantities of both Muscat and Aligoté must also be included.The area also makes a little still wine, the best from the appellation Châtillon-en-Diois, named after a village at higher altitude than Die - these are dry, fresh whites from Chardonnay and Aligoté, and light reds/rosés from Gamay and Pinot Noir grapes.

Search: http://www.wine-pages.com/guests/wink/die.htm

It seems that the years running up to the Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1855 were indeed busy for the merchants of Bordeaux. That they were charged with drawing up a new classification of the red wines of the Médoc, in order to facilitate showing the wines at the exhibition, is well known. It is easy to forget, however, that the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac were classified along with their red counterparts.

As with the wines of the Médoc, the sweet wines were classified according to market value. It is not surprising that the Bordeaux négociants already had firmly established league tables, based largely on price (and therefore quality), and this knowledge formed the basis for this particular Bordeaux classification.

The system is less complicated than the Médoc classification, with essentially just two tiers, although within the higher ranking Yquem is accorded special recognition with its rating as Premier Cru Supérieur, an accolade unmatched by any wine from the Médoc. Below this level come the remaining 25 properties, and they range right across the quality spectrum, from the frequently delicious - such as Rieussec, Coutet and Climens - to the rarely seen, which obviously produce wines on which I am unable to comment. Here I am thinking of estates such as Caillou, Myrat and Suau, to name three examples, all second growth properties that should perhaps have a somewhat higher profile.

Chateau d’Yquem

With all such classifications the first question usually trotted out is relevance. What does this classification mean to us today? In quite straightforward terms I would argue none at all, and I would suggest that those who proffer a newly revised classification simply suffer from a lack of imagination. This is an item of historical interest, nothing more. The wines were classified to inform visitors to an exhibition, more than 150 years ago, as to which wines should impress them most, assuming those that cost the most also tasted the best. Today, the world is populated by a very different body of consumers, and to be frank very few of these consumers have any interest in Bordeaux, never mind the communes of Sauternes of Barsac, at all. Those that do, however, buy on tasting experience, track record and critical review, and for the latter they usually pay a handsome subscription fee. It may be that many of the high ranking properties continue to dominate the trade, that the premier cru estates on the whole tend to be better known, and tend to make better wines, than those ranked as deuxième cru. But this is not an unchallengeable assertion; there are a number of wines that frequently disappoint, as well as some that punch well above their weight - their weight in 1855, that is. It is these properties that show classifications such as this to be nothing more than an historical curiosity that we should all summarily acknowledge, and then summarily ignore, before moving on to taste and explore the wines of the region for ourselves. (30/11/07)

Source: http://www.thewinedoctor.com/regionalguides/bordeauxclassificationssauternes.shtml

The use of wine tasting descriptors allow the taster an opportunity to put into words the aromas and flavors that they experience and can be used in assessing the overall quality of wine. Many wine writers, like Karen MacNeil in her book The Wine Bible, note that the difference between casual drinkers and serious wine tasters is the focus and systematic approach to tasting wine with an objective description of what they are sensing. The primary source of a person’s ability to taste wine is derived from their olfactory senses. A taster’s own personal experiences play a significant role in conceptualizing what they are tasting and attaching a description to that perception. The individual nature of tasting means that descriptors may be perceived differently among various tasters.

The following is a list of wine tasting descriptors and a common meaning of the terms.


  • Astringent An overly tannic white wine.
  • Acidic A wine with a noticeable sense of acidity.
  • Balanced A wine that incorporates all its main components—tannins, acid, sweetness, and alcohol—in a manner where no one single component stands out.
  • Big A wine with intense flavor, or high in alcohol.
  • Body The sense of alcohol in the wine and the sense of feeling in the mouth.
  • Bouquet The layers of smells and aromas perceived in a wine.
  • Chewy The sense of tannins that is not overwhelming.
  • Closed A wine that is not very aromatic.
  • Complex A wine that gives a perception of being multi-layered in terms of flavors and aromas.
  • Concentrated Intense flavors.
  • Connected A sense of the wine’s ability to relay its place of origin or terroir
  • Crisp A pleasing sense of acidity in the wine.


  • Dry A wine that is lacking the perception of sweetness.
  • Expressive A wine with clearly projected aromas and flavors.
  • Fat A wine that is full in body and has a sense of viscosity.
  • Finish The sense and perception of the wine after swallowing.
  • Firm A stronger sense of tannins.
  • Flabby A lacking sense of acidity.
  • Fresh A positive perception of acidity.
  • Fruit The perception of the grape characteristics and sense of body that is unique to the varietal.
  • Green Overly acidic wine. Typically used to describe a wine made from unripe fruit.
  • Hard Overly tannic wine.
  • Heavy A wine that is very alcoholic with too much sense of body.
  • Hollow A wine lacking the sense of fruit.
  • Hot Overly alcoholic wine.


  • Lean The sense of acidity in the wine that lacks a perception of fruit.
  • Mature A wine that has aged to its peak point of quality.
  • Oaky A wine with a noticeable perception of the effects of oak. This can include the sense of vanilla, sweet spices like nutmeg, a creamy body and a smoky or toasted flavor.
  • Powerful A wine with a high level of alcohol that is not excessive alcoholic.
  • Rich A sense of sweetness in the wine that is not excessively sweet.
  • Round A wine that has a good sense of body that is not overly tannic.
  • Smooth A wine with a pleasing texture. Typically refers to a wine with soft tannins.
  • Soft A wine that is not overly tannic.
  • Supple A wine that is not overly tannic.
  • Sweet A wine with a noticeable sense of sugar levels.
  • Tannic A wine with aggressive tannins.
  • Tart A wine with high levels of acidity.
  • Toasty A sense of the charred or smoky taste from an oaked wine.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_tasting_descriptors

White Wines

February 18th, 2008

White wine differs from red wine in, first and most obviously, color. Under that skin, the pulpy part of a white grape is the same color as that of a red grape. The skin dictates the end color for red wine, which differs from the white’s color determinates.

This is mainly due to the pressing of the grapes. When white grapes are picked, they are immediately pressed and the juice is removed from the skins with little contact.

Color in white wine does vary, often from the type of grape, occasionally from the use of wood. Listed below are a few of the most common white varieties in the world wine market and of wine.com. They are listed from lighter bodied, and lighter colored, to fuller bodied with deeper colors. The list is not set in stone – winemaker’s decisions and climate may affect the end result of a white wine’s body and color – we just give you the guidelines.

Grapes/Region Where primarily grown
Champagne Champagne, France
Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris Alsace, France; Italy; Oregon; California
Sauvignon Blanc Loire, France; New Zealand; California; South Africa
Chenin Blanc Loire, France; South Africa
Riesling Germany; Alsace, France; Australia; New Zealand; Washington State; California
Chardonnay Burgundy, France; Australia; California; South America; South Africa; Oregon
Viognier Rhone, France; California

Other white grapes to notice, listed alphabetically:

Grapes Where they grow best
Albariño Spain
Gewurztraminer Alsace, France; Germany
Sémillon Bordeaux, France; Australia

Source: Wine

Early history | White Wines

February 8th, 2008

White WinesWine residue has been identified by Patrick McGovern’s team at the University Museum, Pennsylvania, in ancient pottery jars. Records include ceramic jars from the Neolithic sites at Shulaveri, of present-day Georgia (about 6000 BC) , Hajji Firuz Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of present-day Iran (5400–5000 BC), and from Late Uruk (3500–3100 BC) occupation at the site of Uruk, in Mesopotamia. The identifications are based on the identification of tartaric acid and tartrate salts using a form of infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). These identifications are regarded with caution by some biochemists because of the risk of false positives, particularly where complex mixtures of organic materials, and degradation products, may be present. The identifications have not yet been replicated in other laboratories.

In his book Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), McGovern argues that the domestication of the Eurasian wine grape and winemaking could have originated on the territory of modern Georgia and spread south from there.

Little is actually known of the prehistory of wine. It is plausible that early foragers and farmers made alcoholic beverages from wild fruits, including wild grapes (Vitis silvestris). This would have become easier following the development of pottery vessels in the later Neolithic of the Near East, about 9000 years ago. However, wild grapes are small and sour, and relatively rare at archaeological sites. It is unlikely they could have been the basis of a wine industry.

Domesticated grapes were abundant in the Near East from the beginning of the Early Bronze Age, starting in 3200 BC. There is also increasingly abundant evidence for wine making in Sumer and Egypt in the third millennium BC. The ancient Chinese made wine from native wild “mountain grapes” like Vitis thunbergii for a time, until they imported domesticated grape seeds from Central Asia in the second century. Grapes were, of course, also an important food. There is scant evidence for earlier domestication of grape, in the form of grape pips from Chalcolithic Tell Shuna in Jordan, but this evidence remains unpublished.

Exactly where wine was first made is still unclear. It could have been anywhere in the vast region, stretching from North Africa to Central/South Asia, where wild grapes grow. However, the first large-scale production of wine must have been in the region where grapes were first domesticated, Southern Caucasus and the Near East. Wild grapes grow in Georgia, northern Levant, coastal and southeastern Turkey, northern Iran or Armenia. None of these areas can, as yet, be definitively singled out, despite persistent suggestions that Georgia is the birthplace of wine.

font: Wikipedia 

History of wine | White Wines

February 7th, 2008

The history of wine spans thousands of years and is closely intertwined with the history of agriculture, cuisine, civilization and man himself. Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest wine production came from sites in Georgia and Iran, dating from 6000 to 5000 BC. The archaeological evidence becomes clearer, and points to domestication of grapevine, in Early Bronze Age sites of the Near East, Sumer and Egypt from around the third millennium BC.

Evidence of the earliest European wine production has been uncovered at archaeological sites in Greece, dated to 6,500 years ago. These same sites also contain remnants of the world’s earliest evidence of crushed grapes. In Egypt, wine became a part of recorded history, playing an important role in ancient ceremonial life. Traces of wine dating from the second and first millennium BC have also been found in China.

Wine was common in classical Greece and Rome and many of the major wine producing regions of Western Europe today were established with Phoenician and later Roman plantations. Wine making technology improved considerably during the time of the Roman Empire; many grape varieties and cultivation techniques were known and barrels were developed for storing and shipping wine.

In medieval Europe, following the decline of Rome and therefore of widespread wine production, the Christian Church was a staunch supporter of the wine necessary for celebration of the Catholic Mass. In places such as Germany, beer was banned and considered pagan and barbaric, while wine consumption was viewed as civilized and a sign of conversion. Whereas wine was also forbidden in medieval Islamic cultures, Geber and other Muslim chemists pioneered the distillation of wine for medicinal purposes and its use in Christian libation was widely tolerated. Wine production gradually increased and its consumption became popularized from the 15th century onwards, surviving the devastating Phylloxera louse of the 1870s and eventually establishing growing regions throughout the world.

Source: Wikipedia

Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Copyright © White Wines - The finest tips about White Wines. All rights reserved.