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2021 London Wine Competition Winners Announced

by Sophie Mellor

2015 Anubis Cabernet Sauvignon made by Levrier Wines in Australia won the superlative ‘Wine of the Year’ award. The results of the 2021 London Wine Competition are out. This is a competition where wines are judged for end consumers. Wines are rated with three main criteria in mind: quality, value and package. To be a medal winner, wines must show an overall rating in all three factors. This year’s competition saw entries from more than 36 countries. 135 different types of grape varietals were entered with the top three being Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The top countries to enter were Australia, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, United States and Moldova. The biggest increase in wines was seen from Moldova. 2015 Anubis Cabernet Sauvignon made by Levrier Wines...

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Tasting- What It’s All About

by Jennifer Evans

We have finally arrived at the best part of the wine tasting series- TASTING! If you’ve been following the wine tasting series, we’ve had an overview, discussed appearance, and reviewed aroma. We’ve finally reached the part that most people think of when they think about wine tasting. As we talked about last week, the aroma of the wine is actually an important part of fully tasting the wine, but this week we’re going to talk about what all you perceive when you take that first sip or two. There’s actually a lot more going on than just the flavor of the wine! We’ll break this into two categories: structural characteristics, and flavor. Structure There are four different structural characteristics to consider. All of these contribute to how the wine both tastes and feels...

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All About Aroma

by Jennifer Evans

The Sugar Vine's wine tasting series is back this week and we are covering wine aroma today. As with any other food or drink, the smell of wine is an important part of the tasting experience. Don’t believe me? Try it. Hold your nose and take a sip or bite of something flavored. Before you swallow, let go of your nose. The flavors will seem much brighter than when you held your nose because your senses of smell and taste are very closely connected. You may also hear aroma referred to as nose or bouquet. While there are slight differences in how these are used, for the most part they are interchangeable and we’ll usually use the term aroma. The best way to smell wine is to swirl the wine around and then put your nose into the glass. Every time you take a sniff, you should re-swirl ...

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6 Changes To Wine Tourism In 2021 And Beyond

by Marla Durben Hirsch

Wine tourism, which had been growing steadily, is expected to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic within the next one to two years. But there will be changes to wine tourism moving forward. It won’t look quite the same as it used to – and we consumers are going to benefit. I recently had the opportunity to attend Wine Future 2021, one of the wine industry’s premier conferences. The conference, held over several days in February, featured more than 80 expert speakers from around the world, as well as keynote speeches from Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, and movie director/wine producer Francis Ford Coppola, among others. According to a recent worldwide survey of wineries, almost a third (31%) intend to increase their investment in wine tourism. Another 32% will at...

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Wine Appearance, Aka What’s That I See?

by Jennifer Evans

The 2nd installment of the introduction to wine tasting series is here and we are talking all about wine appearance. Some people define appearance as just the intensity of the wine, but we’re including everything you can see when you look at a glass of wine- color, intensity, and viscosity. To accurately evaluate the appearance of wine, it’s important to be in a well-lit space without harsh lights shining directly at you and to have a white background (a solid white piece of paper will work). Ready? Let’s go. Why does it matter? Now, you might be asking yourself what’s the point of worrying about appearance? Everyone knows that the smell and taste are important, but who cares what the wine looks like? It may not be too important if you’re casually wine tasting with frien...

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Introduction To Wine Tasting

by Jennifer Evans

One of the most common things I hear when I talk to people about wine is that they want to drink it but they don’t know how. You know what I say? You drink wine the same way you drink anything else- put it in a glass and take a sip. That really is true to an extent, but what these people are really saying is that they don’t know how to do a wine tasting to deepen their understanding and appreciation of wine. The good news is that anyone can learn to do a “proper” wine tasting and it really will help you appreciate wine better and learn more about why you like certain wines, as well as guide you in choosing new ones. Glasses The first thing to consider is your glassware. Don’t feel like you have to go out and get special wine glasses. If you don’t have any wine glasses at ...

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The In-between Wines Of Spring

by Jennifer Evans

Happy spring! I love this time of year because it’s all about rebirth, freshness, and growth. Everything seems new and full of potential. The downside of this time of year is that everything is still pretty in-between. It’s not totally warm or cold; it’s somewhere in-between. Flowers are starting to bloom, but the garden isn’t completely blanketed in color. Food is also stuck in the in-between- soups are too rich, but salads are too light. The same thing goes for the wines many of us drink at this time of year. It’s a little too warm for Syrah and Malbec, but it’s not quite hot enough for Riesling and Pinot Grigio. Fortunately, there are two great categories of wine perfect for this time of year: full-bodied whites and light-bodied reds. Full-Bodied White Wine Full-bodie...

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Wine, Wine Everywhere!

by Lisa Graziano Csw,cse

And, so many drops to drink! There are a total of 14 different wine regions in Portugal. 12 on the mainland, and two more on the islands, Madeira and the Azores. My current pipe dream is to visit each one and to write a book about them. I am planning my next trip to the Minho now. It is the northernmost wine region in Portugal. I might as well start at the top. The Minho comprises the better part of northern Portugal. It starts at the Spanish border and goes south until the Douro region. Alvarinho is one of the predominant grapes in the area. It is known as Albarino in Spain. Same grape, different country, and spelling. Vinho Verde is the best-known type of wine in this area. Meaning green wine, green, in this case, refers to young wine. The most common grapes in Vinho Verd...

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Pro Tips: Hosting Your Own Zoom Tasting

by Lee Romano Sequeira

Even though we’re enjoying wine more than ever, I know many of us are missing the camaraderie of in-person tastings with friends and family. You probably know we have plenty of virtual tastings for you to check out, but how about hosting your own ZOOM tasting? Of course I’d love for you to attend some of the events we have listed on the site, which help support the people who post with us (many are small businesses), but I also wanted to give you some tips to host your own virtual tasting with your favorite people. First, make your guest list. 3 to 10 guests make for a good ZOOM crowd...just keep in mind the more you drink, the more rowdy it'll get (and the more fun you'll all have!) Then, select your theme. Will it be red, white, bubbly, etc.? For example, California Cabs ...

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Everything You Want To Know About Port

by Mary Ann Purtell

Port is a luscious, sweet, powerfully fortified wine. The base for Port is made like any other wine. Grapes are pressed and fermented with yeast, converting the wine’s natural sugars into alcohol. However, before all the sugar has been converted to alcohol, a distilled grape spirit, usually brandy, is added to the wine base to stop fermentation. This process is known as fortification. The resulting wine will have an alcohol content ranging from 18-20%. True port is made in Portugal’s Douro Valley, almost always from a blend of indigenous Portuguese grapes. The five leading grapes include Touriga Nacional (intense color, flavor, and aroma); Touriga Franca (adds floral aromas); Tinta Roriz (body, flavor, and aroma and in Spain it’s known as Tempranillo); Tinta Barroca (adds alcohol...

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