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JESUS GETS A LOT OF KUDOS for turning water into wine but this is a trick that wineries across the world do all the time when they irrigate their vineyards, a widely-used but controversial practice that can increase grape and wine yields by up to 300%.
PORTUGAL is a refreshingly exotic ‘mainstream’ wine producer: hardly anyone has heard of its regions, with one notable exception; mention of its extensively-used native grapes – 200 are in use – prompts blank-faced head scratching in all but the most devoted oenophiles; and its big wine ..
WE AT CURIOUS hate when lazy wine communicators fall back on these tired banalities while speaking or writing about their subject. Wine is the world’s most diverse and thought-provoking drink - how hard is it to come up with fresh, engaging ways of talking about it? Unbelievable! P. s.
COMMITTED WINE DRINKERS could rattle these off in their sleep but, anyway, here are the world’s top 10 most-planted wine grapes: 1/Cabernet; 2/Merlot; 3/Airén (used for Spanish brandy); 4/Tempranillo; 5/Chardonnay; 6/Shiraz; 7/Grenache; 8/Sauvignon; 9/Trebbiano/Ugni Blanc (used for Cognac); 10/Pi ..
Naas to meet you - second Curious warehouse opensAfter months of planning, negotiating, nail biting and graft, we were thrilled in June to announce the opening of our second shop, in Naas. The new Leinster wine mecca is 3 miles from Naas, at the Tougher Business Park, barely 3 minutes off the M7 motorway.
The C-wordOkay, let’s be clear: sparkling wine can be any old fizz, but Champagne is always a particular sparkling wine made in a certain way and that can come only from the legally-delimited Champagne region of northern France. (Now, that should keep the Champagne lawyers happy.
ONE OF WINE’S ENDURING MYTHS is that all wines improve with time; in fact the overwhelming majority of wines sold today are best drunk within a year or two of harvest! The reason for ageing wine is to give time for harsh tannins or acidity to mellow, and to allow complex, ‘tertiary’ aromas ..
Innovative VINO DO PAGO is Spain's most illustrious appellation, the highest classification that can be attained under Spanish wine law.
Lactose-intolerant oenophiles will be happy to hear they can enjoy a chilled glass of vinous ‘Cream’ without keeling over – it is dairy free! This Sherry style – whose defining trait is its sweetness – was christened in a moment of inspiration by a nineteenth-century no ..
HOME TO 10,000 GROWERS farming 120,000 hectares, Bordeaux’s 57 appellations churn out everything from weedy dishwater to the world’s most lionized, weepingly-expensive wines.
THE LANGUEDOC, France’s most ‘new world’ wine region, is a massive, diverse expanse, arcing from Montpellier southwest around the Gulf of Lyon towards the Spanish border.
SAUVIGNON BLANC, the world’s eight most-planted grape, hails originally from Bordeaux and the Loire but is today cultivated in every country that makes wine. Famous regions that specialise in it include Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Bordeaux, Casablanca (Chile), Friuli (Italy) and the Adelaide Hills.
NEW RHONE SUPPLIER SAINT COSME'S 'LITTLE JAMES' GRENACHE (whose jaunty label appears below) is unique in that - unlike the vast majority of table wines - it is not the product of one harvest but is instead a blend of wines from a number of years.
CRIANZA is a general Spanish wine term relating to the maturation of a wine prior to its sale. But it also has a locally-defined meaning: in Rioja, for example, a red Crianza must legally spend at least one year in oak barrel (generally not new) plus a year in bottle.
GRENACHE, the world’s 7th most-planted grape, is an increasingly-fashionable Mediterranean variety that is grown extensively across the wine world's warmer spots, particularly either side of the Pyrenees and in South Australia.
USE OF SCREWCAPS (sometimes seen as ‘Stelvin’, a brand) today is widespread and growing, especially for early drinking, white, non-premium or New World wines. Some countries (e. g.
RUEDA, 100km northwest of Madrid, was something of a sleepy backwater until the 1980s when massive Rioja house Marques de Riscal ‘discovered’ and popularised local sleeping beauty grape Verdejo, in the process propelling the region into the spotlight.
BIODYNAMIC VITICULTURE (<1% of the world’s vineyards) is a controversial approach to grape growing that is best understood as an enhanced (extreme?) form of organic farming, boosted by liberal additions of mystical sky-watching.
OUR NEW SPANISH RANGE, BESO DE VINO (‘the kiss of wine’), has raised some eyebrows among customers as a result of three teensy holes in the wines’ screwcaps – aren’t closures supposed to be pretty much airtight? The people behind the BDV brand took the time to explain ..
Ripassos have proliferated in Italy’s Valpolicella region since the 1980s and are now basically the ‘second wine’ of Amarone.
THE WORLD'S MOST ISOLATED COUNTRY, separated by three hours’ flight time from its nearest neighbour Australia, New Zealand lies between 36° and 45° south. Indeed it is the planet’s southernmost wine-producing nation and boasts also its most easterly wine region, Gisborne.
The Rhône, in southeast France, is the country’s second-largest wine region after Bordeaux; but it’s really best considered as two separate, distinct, areas. The elevated north, which grows mostly Syrah, makes barely a tenth of the Rhône’s wine but more-or-less monopolises the zone’s glamour.
THE CONSENSUS IS THAT OLD VINES - a hazy term not defined anywhere except in the Barossa (but generally meaning plants at least 20-30 years old) - make the best wine. True? Kind of.
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