30 December 2008 - Wine character varies with terroir but also vintage; place but also time. These characteristics change with age as well -
tannins soften in the bottle and wines often mellow. One way to learn these differences is through vertical tasting - sampling several vintages
of the same wine from the same winemaker. In the past few months we've tasted our way through several verticals.
29 November 2008 - Here at TheWineRater.com we use a 5 star system to rate our wines. While magazines like Robert Parker and Wine Spectator
have popularized a 100 point system, like school grades they rarely report values out of the tippity top of that range leaving one to wonder
what exactly the other 70 or 80 grades are for. Since the ranges they report in are also the ranges they consider to be "good" wines, one is
left to wonder if they've ever tasted a wine they didn't like! Or perhaps they, like my mother, believe that if you don't have something nice
to say you shouldn't say anything at all. Here at TheWineRater.com we have no such gumption.
25 October 2008 - Ideally, wine buyers would always buy from the wineries themselves to assure quality and provenance. However, most of us
have been making the majority of our wine purchases from the local grocery store or wine shop as a matter of convenience. Convenience nowadays
is leading many online to make purchases because of the increased brand and vintage selection and sometimes even price. Unfortunately for many others
there are still a number of states where shipping wine directly to consumers is illegal, but this number shrinks annually and smaller outfits
are often willing to flout laws which are difficult at best to enforce. In this article we review websites from the behemoth Wine.com down
to smaller upstarts like MyWinesDirect.com and from posh auction websites like WineBid.com down to overstock discount sites like Wine.Woot.com.
A regularly updated list of website reviews will
also be available for future information on this topic. (more info)
16 September 2008 - As the crisp cold of Autumn approaches and the grape harvests start to take place in the northern hemisphere the first
wines of the 2008 vintage from the southern hemisphere start to hit the shelves. The whites naturally represent the vanguard, and this year
my first 2008 came from Kim Crawford in
16 August 2008 - In 1994 while studying Merlot vines in
Chile viticulturist Jean-Michael Boursiquit made a surprising
discovery: many of these "Merlot" vines there were in fact Carmenère.
During Bordeaux's early history Carmenère had been one of the French
region's main grapes, but during the phylloxera epidemic
of the late 19th century they were basically wiped out in France. And so Carmenère, whose grapes look quite similar to
Merlot's, passed out of the mainstream and became known only to viticulturists.
25 June 2008 - Summertime is upon us again here in the northern hemisphere and with it comes a myriad of festivals, barbeques and
other outdoor events. While for many the traditional lineup of beverages is a cooler filled with beer and sodas, an increasing
number are adding a bottle or two of white wine to the mix. So what is it that sets white wine apart from its seeming more
austere cousin red? (more info)
14 April 2008 - Deutschland, commonly called Germany in English, has a viticultural tradition
dating from the Middle Ages. Famous primarily for white wines, the country also produces some red wines.
23 March 2008 - During the 18th century when Thomas Jefferson was minister to France he traveled throughout Europe studying viticulture and upon
his return to Virginia implemented that knowledge on his estate at Monticello. Alas, Jefferson's attempts were less than successful. Honoring the
tradition he helped start, however, the AVA of central Virginia has been named
Where Jefferson failed a number of Americans and transplanted Europeans have succeeded.
11 February 2008 - Australia's high quality inexpensive wines have caused a surge in the popularity of Australian vintages over the past decade.
To come in line with international standards the Geographic Indication (GI) system was created.
These appellations are regulated by the Australian Wine and Brandy
Corporation and include all the Australian
States and Territories. (more info)
18 January 2008 - Italy has several hundred wine designations divided up as
IGTs, DOCs and
DOCGs from over 100 provinces in 21 regions. Making wine in these appellations are nearly 1 million
different vintners. Not surprisingly, many consider understanding Italian wine an insurmountable task and just drink
Pinot Grigio if
they drink any Italian wine at all. If you'd like to understand better however, keep reading. Cultivation Vitis vinifera was introduced
into the Italian peninsula by the Ancient Greeks and has been cultivated there for millennia.