In my last article on the origins of French wine regulations, I had the nerve to say that French wines over the centuries were mediocre. Several people rightfully questioned that statement, saying they had always heard that French wines were the best of the best. How could the best of the best be just mediocre? The answer lies in the history of French wine laws. [Read more…]
A friend recently asked me about the history of French appellations and growing prohibitions. Specifically, she asked, “Why do the French care so much about what grapes are grown in what regions? Why is Pinot Noir, for example, the only red wine grape that can be grown in the Burgundy region? Isn’t that a bit obsessive? Where do all these rules come from?” I used these questions as an excuse to do a series on French wine laws. This article is focused on the background. Future articles will delve into the laws and their implications, along with recent trends. [Read more…]
With its beautiful floral notes, Muscat is the perfect spring wine. This article provides all kinds of information about the Muscat grape and wine. [Read more…]
In my “Wine Naming and Labeling” article, I talked about how people’s knowledge of wine grape names (e.g., Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) is a relatively new phenomenon that resulted from the growth over the last 30 years in the availability, quality and popularity of “New World” wines. I also talked about how this relatively new knowledge of grape names has sparked some interesting discussions around blended wines (wines made from several different grape types) vs. varietal wines (wines made almost entirely from a single grape variety).
A lot of people wonder which is better. The quick answer is they’re both good. [Read more…]