by Sarah on December 14, 2009

I’m studying for my wine final tomorrow. Which means I have no recipe. I ate a crab for dinner. The recipe? Buy a cooked crab. Break it apart and eat it.

Perhaps you’d like to benefit from some of my fancy book-learnin’? Terrific. Studying and blogging, killing 2 birds with one stone.

My favorite type of red wine. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Bordeaux wine can only be made in the Bordeaux area of France, though many blends are made in California in this style–usually labeled “Meritage” or just by some made up name. The Symmetry wine I described for my
wine-pairing dinner was a Bordeaux-style wine.

Botrytis is a mold that develops when dry conditions follows very wet weather conditions and is otherwise known as “Noble Rot”.  The mold dries out the fruit and leaves behind a higher percentage of solids like sugars, minerals and acids, leaving a more intense final product.  The sweet French wine Sauternes is a botrytis wine, where the mold is sought to produce a distinctive flavor.

Chablis is an AREA in France, not a grape variety.  It is located in the northern area of the Burgundy wine region.  Chablis is actually made from Chardonnay grapes.

White wines can be made from either red or green grapes.  The wine gets its red color from being in contact with the grape skins.  For white wine, the skins, seeds and stems are filtered out right away.  Rose wine has contact with the skins for just a little while.

And my favorite favorite for last.  Champagne!
Champagne is not supposed to be labeled “champagne” unless it comes from the area of Champagne in France.  Unfortunately, sometimes it gets labeled as champagne, or “California Champagne”–Korbel, I’m talking to you–misleading customers.  It ought to be labeled “sparkling wine”.
Champagne is most often made from a blend of grapes–Pinot Noir (red), Pinot Meuniere (red) and Chardonnay (green).  If the wine is made from 100% red grapes it will be labeled as “Blanc de Noirs” and if it is all Chardonnay it will be labeled as “Blanc de Blancs”.

So, there you are.  Beginner’s wine trivia.  Enjoy.
And wish me luck on my final.

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