Off The Beaten Path: Corsica

Coat tailing off of our Understanding AOC series and introducing the Off the Beaten Path series this April, we are taking a look at one of the lesser-known regions of France, the Island of Corsica. The simplest way we can generalize Corsica for those unfamiliar with the island…

Understanding AOC: Loire Valley

Ok, no lie, we were holding off on writing about the Loire for as long as possible.  What direction should we go?  How should we present the information?  What is the best way to simplify such diversity?  This is not an easy region to generalize.  There are some…

Understanding AOC: Alsace

Well, time to break it up a little in this series! The Alsace AOC of France makes it easy to figure out what is in the bottle (for the most part…more on that later in the post).  As we mentioned a few times earlier in this series, the…

Understanding AOC: Burgundy

Ok, it’s officially the theme for this series.  You’ve heard of Burgundy, so we will skip over that part.  But as with all facets of the Understanding AOC writings, what is in the bottle!? If it is a red wine, it is Pinot Noir.  If it is a…

Understanding AOC: Champagne

We feel like there might be a theme building here with the Understanding AOC series, but we will skip over the introductions to Champagne as the most widely recognized sparkling wine in the world. At one point in time the wine was in danger of losing its signature…

Understanding AOC: Bordeaux

We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume you have heard of Bordeaux before and skip the whole “one of the most recognizable wine regions in the world” speil and get down to the real reason we are talking about it – what is in…

Understanding AOC: The AOC

When you buy a bottle of Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, or any other French wine, there is a governing body that oversees the labeling and production standards to guarantee the finest provenance for the labeled product.  That body is the Appellation d’origine contrôlée, or more simply, the AOC. The…

Understanding AVA: Meritage

In California wines, you will see a blend called Meritage (rhymes with “heritage”), but what does that mean? Meritage is a portmanteau of the words “merit” and “heritage.”  It is used in regards to the merit of the noble Bordeaux grapes that make up these blends and a testament…

Understanding Italy: DOC, DOCG, IGT & VdT

European wine labels can be confusing if you don’t speak the language they are written in, furthermore they have all types of different classifications from one country to the next without consistent naming or labeling even existing within the same country itself, and to make things even more…

What is Chaptalization?

Developed by (and named for) French chemist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal, chaptalization is the process of adding sugar to unfermented grape juice to increase the alcohol percentage post-fermentation.  The added sugar is consumed by the yeasts and converted into alcohol. Chaptalization as a process does not increase the sweetness of the…