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Wine is an alcoholic beverage made with the fermented juice of grapes.

Technically, wine can be made with any fruit (i.e. apples, cranberries, plums, etc) but if it just says “wine” on the label then it’s made with grapes. (By the way, wine grapes are different than table grapes).

Red Wine

Red wine is a type of wine made from dark-colored (black) grape varieties. The actual color of the wine can range from intense violet, typical of young wines, through to brick red for mature wines and brown for older red wines. The juice from most purple grapes is greenish-white, the red color coming from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) present in the skin of the grape; exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red-colored juice. Much of the red-wine production process therefore involves extraction of color and flavor components from the grape skin.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada’s Okanagan Valley to Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. From France, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World where it found new homes in places like California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Napa Valley, New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay, Australia’s Margaret River and Coonawarra regions, and Chile’s Maipo Valley and Colchagua. For most of the 20th century, it was the world’s most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s. However, by 2015, Cabernet Sauvignon had once again become the most widely planted wine grape, with a total of 341000ha under vine worldwide

Malbec

Malbec (pronounced [mal.bɛk]) is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins, and are known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. The French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in South West France. It is increasingly celebrated as an Argentine varietal wine and is being grown around the world.

Called Malbec in Bordeaux, Auxerrois or Côt Noir in Cahors, and Pressac in other places, the grape became less popular in Bordeaux after 1956 when frost killed off 75% of the crop. Despite Cahors being hit by the same frost, which devastated the vineyards, Malbec was replanted and continued to be popular in that area where it was mixed with Merlot and Tannat to make dark, full-bodied wines, and more recently has been made into 100% Malbec varietal wines

 

Merlot

Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the color of the grape. Its softness and “fleshiness”, combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin.

Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, and it is the most widely planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. Merlot is also one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets.This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world’s most planted grape varieties.  The area planted to Merlot has continued to increase, with 266,000 hectares (660,000 acres) in 2015

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire’s Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States, it is sometimes made into ice wine in those regions.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine that contributes finesse and lends a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.

Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a variety of black-skinned wine grape. The variety is grown in over 10 percent of California vineyards. The grape found its way to the United States in the mid-19th century, where it became known by variations of a name applied to a different grape, likely “Zierfandler” from Austria.

The grapes typically produce a robust red wine, although in the United States a semi-sweet rosé (blush-style) wine called White Zinfandel has six times as many sales as the red wine.

The taste of the red wine depends on the ripeness of the grapes from which it is made. Red berry fruit flavors like raspberry predominate in wines from cooler areas, whereas blackberry, anise and pepper notes are more common in wines made in warmer areas and in wines made from the earlier-ripening Primitivo clone.

Pinot Noir

Pinot noir  is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from pinot noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black. The word pine alludes to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.

Pinot noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler climates, and the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Pinot noir is also used to make the Italian wine Franciacorta.  Pinot Noir is the most-planted varietal (38%) used in sparkling wine production in Champagne and other wine regions.

White Wine

White wine is a wine that is fermented without skin contact. The colour can be straw-yellow, yellow-green, or yellow-gold. It is produced by the alcoholic fermentation of the non-coloured pulp of grapes, which may have a skin of any colour. White wine has existed for at least 2500 years.

The wide variety of white wines comes from the large number of varieties, methods of winemaking, and ratios of residual sugar. White wine is mainly from “white” grapes, which are green or yellow in colour, such as the Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Riesling. Some white wine is also made from grapes with coloured skin, provided that the obtained wort is not stained. Pinot noir, for example, is commonly used to produce champagne.

Among the many types of white wine, dry white wine is the most common. More or less aromatic and tangy, it is derived from the complete fermentation of the wort. Sweet wines, on the other hand, are produced by interrupting the fermentation before all the grape sugars are converted into alcohol; this is called Mutage or fortification. The methods of enriching wort with sugar are multiple: on-ripening on the vine, passerillage (straining), or the use of noble rot. Sparkling wines, which are mostly white, are wines where the carbon dioxide from the fermentation is kept dissolved in the wine and becomes gas when the bottle is opened.

White wines are often used as an apéritif before a meal, with dessert, or as a refreshing drink between meals. White wines are often considered more refreshing, and lighter in both style and taste than the majority of their red wine counterparts. In addition, due to their acidity, aroma, and ability to soften meat and deglaze cooking juices, white wines are often used in cooking.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay  is a green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine. The variety originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France, but is now grown wherever wine is produced. For new and developing wine regions, growing Chardonnay is seen as a “rite of passage” and an easy entry into the international wine market.

The Chardonnay grape itself is neutral, with many of the flavors commonly associated with the wine being derived from such influences as terroir and oak. It is vinified in many different styles, from the lean, crisply mineral wines to New World wines with oak and tropical fruit flavors. In cool climates, Chardonnay wine tends to be medium to light body with noticeable acidity and flavors of green plum, apple, and pear. In warmer locations, the flavors become more citrus, peach, and melon, while in very warm locations (such as California), more fig and tropical fruit notes such as banana and mango come out. 

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage (“wild”) and blanc (“white”) due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France. It is possibly a descendant of Savagnin. Sauvignon blanc is planted in many of the world’s wine regions, producing a crisp, dry, and refreshing white varietal wine. Sauvignon blanc is widely cultivated in France, Chile, Romania, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the states of Washington and California in the US. 

Depending on the climate, the flavor can range from aggressively grassy to sweetly tropical. In cooler climates, the grape has a tendency to produce wines with noticeable acidity and “green flavors” of grass, green bell peppers and nettles with some tropical fruit (such as passion fruit) and floral (such as elderflower) notes. In warmer climates, it can develop more tropical fruit notes but risk losing a lot of aromatics from over-ripeness, leaving only slight grapefruit and tree fruit (such as peach) notes.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio, Pinot gris or Grauburgunder is a white wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Thought to be a mutant clone of the pinot noir variety, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name but the grapes can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance. The word pinot could have been given to it because the grapes grow in small pine cone-shaped clusters. The wines produced from this grape also vary in color from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink, and it is one of the more popular grapes for skin-contact wine.

Pinot gris is grown around the globe with the “spicy” full-bodied Alsatian and lighter-bodied, more acidic Italian styles being most widely recognized. The Alsatian style, often duplicated in New World wine regions such as Marlborough, Tasmania, South Australia, Washington, and Oregon, tend to have moderate to low acidity, higher alcohol levels and an almost “oily” texture that contributes to the full-bodied nature of the wine. The flavors can range from ripe tropical fruit notes of melon and mango to some botrytis-influenced flavors. In Italy, Pinot grigio grapes are often harvested early to retain the refreshing acidity and minimize some of the overt-fruitiness of the variety, creating a more neutral flavor profile

Riesling

Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked. In terms of importance for quality wines, it is usually included in the “top three” white wine varieties together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. Riesling is a variety which is highly “terroir-expressive”, meaning that the character of Riesling wines is greatly influenced by the wine’s place of origin.

In cool climates (such as many German wine regions), Riesling wines tend to exhibit apple and tree fruit notes with noticeable levels of acidity that are sometimes balanced with residual sugar. A late-ripening variety that can develop more citrus and peach notes is grown in warmer climates (such as Alsace and parts of Austria). In Australia, Riesling is often noted for a characteristic lime note. Riesling’s naturally high acidity and pronounced fruit flavors give wines made from the grape exceptional aging potential, with well-made examples from favorable vintages often developing smokey, honey notes, and aged German Rieslings, in particular, taking on a “petrol” character

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it, making it fizzy. Commonly called champagne, European countries legally reserve that term for products exclusively produced in the Champagne region of France. Usually sparkling wine is white or rosé, but there are a handful of red sparkling wines. The sweetness of sparkling wine can range from very dry brut styles to sweeter doux varieties (French for ‘raw’ and ‘sweet’, respectively).

The sparkling quality of these wines comes from its carbon dioxide content and may be the result of natural fermentation, either in a bottle, as with the traditional method, in a large tank designed to withstand the pressures involved (as in the Charmat process), or as a result of simple carbon dioxide injection in some cheaper sparkling wines.

Champagne

Champagne is produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France following rules that demand, among other things, secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation, specific vineyard practices, sourcing of grapes exclusively from specific parcels in the Champagne appellation and specific pressing regimes unique to the region.

It must be made from Pinot Noir (a blanc de noirs is a Champagne made predominantly from Pinot Noir grapes), Pinot Meunier, or Chardonnay (blanc de blanc is made from Chardonnay), and is most often a blend of all three.

Prosecco

Prosecco is Italy’s most widely known sparkling wine and perhaps America’s most favourite sparkling wine. For many years, it played a second fiddle to Champagne because much of the Prosecco available just wasn’t that good. But fine Proseccos have become more widely available, and it now runs neck and neck with Champagne for popularity.

Because it is not aged “sur lie” as Champagne is, the flavors of Prosecco tend to be simpler and less complex. Think white flowers, apple and pear. Some even have a bit of sweetness, especially cheaper versions.

Cava

Spain’s sparkling wines can be extremely high quality, but historically the ones that were exported to the U.S. were not the nation’s best but this is changing. They are also made in the Methode Champenoise, and many are aged even longer than Champagne is. The principal grapes are Xarello, Macabeo and Parellada, but many others can be used as well. Like Champagne, cava is produced in varying levels of sweetness, ranging from the dryest, brut nature, through brut, brut reserve, sec (seco), semisec (semiseco), to dolç (dulce), the sweetest.

Rosé Wine

A rosé (from French rosé; also known as rosado in Portuguese and Spanish-speaking countries and rosato in Italy) is a type of wine that incorporates some of the color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. It may be the oldest known type of wine, as it is the most straightforward to make with the skin contact method. The pink color can range from a pale “onion-skin” orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the varietals used and winemaking techniques. There are three major ways to produce rosé wine: skin contact, saignée, and blending. Rosé wines can be made still, semi-sparkling or sparkling and with a wide range of sweetness levels from highly dry Provençal rosé to sweet White Zinfandels and blushes. Rosé wines are made from a wide variety of grapes and can be found all around the globe.

Trust Us, You Have To Taste These Wines…

Hillside Wine

This great tasting local BC wine is sold  exclusively at Great Canadian Liquor Warehouse in Cranbrook BC. Hillside winery is committed to producing handcrafted, naturally fruit-forward, well-balanced wines that represent the true character of their grapes. Simple, elegant, yes, but easy? Definitely not.

Moraine Cliffhanger

The Okanagan Valley is the ideal location to grow grapes for making award-winning wines.  And by combining Moraine Winery’s superior vineyard sites, along with using sustainable vineyard practices, and by adding careful but minimal winemaking principals, they can, and will, produce world class wines that offer a unique, desirable flavour profile.

1000 Stories Zinfandel

1000 Stories begins its aging in wine barrels. Then, the tradition transitions to innovation. Bob selects a combination of new and used bourbon barrels to complete the aging process. Each batch is crafted individually and is unique in its final profile. Aging in bourbon barrels imparts characteristics of charred vanilla and dried herbs.

Copper Moon - Sauvignon Blanc

Taste the magic of Copper Moon. Pour yourself a glass, sit back and relax! The Sauvignon Blanc grapes used for this wine are pressed, cool fermented and aged in stainless steel to retain fruit characteristics. A light-bodied wine with refreshing flavours of apple, peach and citrus.

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