The Etna DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata, a classification used to signify and protect Italy's most important terroirs) can be found in Sicily's far-east corner, hugging the neck of Mount Etna—Europe's largest active volcano—like a shirt collar.
Champagne—real Champagne—has unequaled power. Perhaps it's the finesse, the blush of bubbles that carry mineral notes like a stream burbling over stones. The hints of lemon peel and brioche, tea and quince. It's the festive pop, too, that tells us we're celebrating. But this love potion really works because we associate it with happy moments.
The name Dolcetto means "sweet little one" in Italian, but don't let that fool you: wines made from this grape are dry and easy drinking. Mostly cultivated in Piedmont, Italy, Dolcetto wants to be sipped while young and cheerful and full of fresh cherrylike flavor.
Watch your back, Aglianico, Gaglioppo just may be Southern Italy's newest darling variety. For Calabria—once considered to be Italy's biggest reject wine region behind the Molise—the phonetically charming Gaglioppo [gah-LYOHP-poh] has been the centerpiece of the region's mini-renaissance.
You can't ring in the New Year without bubbles. (Go ahead and toast with sparkling cider or a non-alcoholic punch dosed with club soda—it's the fizz that counts.) If you're not shelling out for real Champagne, there are a dizzying array of options. Luckily the Serious Eats team has sorted out the delicious from the drainpours and now present to you our top choices in bubbly for ringing in 2011.
The Canary Islands boast a stunning array of microclimates, elevations, and mineral-rich volcanic soils that are capable of producing a wide range of fascinating wines.
Back in April, Michael Honig reminded us that at the heart, winemakers are farmers. "We don't grow bottles," he said, "we grow grapes." So today I wanted to take a look at how those grapes have been growing around the country. The weather has been somewhat erratic, hotter than usual in New York's wine regions, and cooler in California (with a few scorching days), but winemakers are hopeful about what they're seeing. Will 2010 be a great vintage or a catastrophic one?
"Critter wines"—which feature a cat, dog, rooster, or other cute "critter" on the label—are generally sniffed at in the wine world. Some people love critter wines, but I've been warned that good critter wines are few and far between—that cute labels often compensate for mediocre wines. Today, I'm putting that theory to the test.
Today we wind up our Grenache series with six wines made from Grenache Blanc. This grape probably developed from a mutation in red-skinned Grenache—the same way Pinot Gris arose from Pinot Noir. Grenache Blanc is common in southern France, where it's blended into white Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône wines.
Just because it's summer doesn't mean our obsession with Grenache has to end. We've told you about our favorite grenache-based wines under $25, those under $10, and now it's time for the Grenache rosés. Winemakers all over the world include Grenache in delicious dry and tangy rosé blends. Don't be put off by the pinkness: these are serious wines, full of flavor and regional character.
Red wine with snake meat, white wine with bat? If you were ever a fan of Survivor, the reality show where contestants survive on some pretty funky foraged foods, you might have wondered if the right wine might have made that meal a little more palatable. We asked two gutsy, irreverent wine professionals to recommend wines to pair with "extreme" food choices. We even included suggested preparations.
Last week, we found a few very tasty whites packaged in boxes instead of bottles. We love the long shelf life and environmental benefits of the bag-in-box. It's lighter to carry and fills fridge space efficiently. But they're not all delicious—we did the homework for you and ended up with this list of the best boxed red wines.
When it comes to the whites, we always try the same tired varietals: Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Grigio. Riesling. Each can be wonderful, but there's a whole world of really interesting and unusual whites out there to try.
The idea of decanting a wine—pouring the contents of a bottle into another vessel—may strike you as fussy and pretentious act, conjuring up images of white-gloved butlers and wine snobs. People have been decanting wine since at least Roman times because until recently, wine was not filtered and clarified as part of the wine-making process.
If you are taking full advantage of the harvest, pick up a bottle of Pinot Grigio on your way home from the farmers' market. Pinot Grigio is a grape that pairs wonderfully with most vegetables because of its fresh flavors and abundant acidity.
If you're longing to learn something new this fall, how about grapes? Most of us gravitate to the same few grapes when we buy wine and prefer to bank on familiar favorites rather than take a risk with something we're not sure we'll like. But these grapes will please most palates and provide you with an opportunity to expand your wine knowledge--and your wine comfort zone.
Sometimes, you just have to. Between the breakage issues and the cleanup issues, we can all be forgiven for occasionally serving Chardonnay in plastic tumblers. But the wine will suffer for it.
This weekend, it's officially summer. How do I celebrate the longest day of the year? I drink pink.
Despite its tongue-twisting name, it's easy to fall in love with Gewürztraminer because the grape produces wines that are aromatic, spicy, and pair brilliantly with spicy food—especially Asian food.