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Rare Varietals Cure Wine Boredom
The future of the Australian wine industry will be shaped by a group of innovative grapegrowers and winemakers who are busily experimenting with new varieties in new regions.
The phenomenal success of the industry in producing quality wine at competitive prices does not need recounting here. But this success has led some critics to brand Australian wine as boring. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A pioneering spirit has been sweeping the industry and this has resulted in a much wider range of winegrape varieties being used.
There are over a hundred winegrape varieties grown in Australia. In a recent book Varietal Wines, leading Australian wine writer James Halliday uses a classification of varieties into classic, second tier and Lesser varietals for both red and white. He identifies four classic whites (chardonnay, semillon, riesling and sauvignon blanc) and five classic reds (cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot, shiraz and grenache).
The Australian wine industry is heavily dependent on these classic varieties. They are all French by the way; although there is merit in the argument that grenache can be regarded as a Spanish variety.
A supporting role is played by a cast thirteen white varieties and seventeen red varieties, second tier varietals in Halliday's language.
For the rest there are about seventy varieties that are used by ten or less producers. Let's call them the under-tens. They look like the also rans.
But this is the exciting part of the industry. These varieties are being used by people are the pioneers who are intent on leading the industry into new territory.
Some of the under-tens are survivors of an earlier age. Chasselas for example is now much less common than it was previously. Others have been introduced into Australia more recently from diverse European sources. Australians will soon be able to sample wine from such exotic varieties as Graciano (Spain), petit manseng France, lagrein (Italy) and Saperavi (Russia).
Yet another group of under-tens are of Australian origin. The Australian research body CSIRO has bred a few varieties to suit particular Australian viticultural niches. Cienna and tyrian are two such varieties
Two varieties, malian and shalistin have also emerged from a vignerons identifying and breeding from sports (mutations) of existing varieties.
Purists recoil in horror at this kaleidoscope of varietal diversity. But a closer analysis reveals that this diversity is a sign of a healthy dynamic industry. It is quite possible that the next success story in Australian wine will emerge from this group of under-tens.
If this seems a bit far-fetched, then look at what has happened to Viognier. In the late sixties the variety was virtually extinct, with just a few hectares in the Northern Rhone Valley. It is now seemingly ubiquitous, with plantings in other regions of France, California as well as in Australia. There are more a hundred winemakers using it Australia.
In November each year the diversity lovers have their day in the sun, both literally and figuratively. While Melbourne is preoccupied with horseracing the Australian Alternative Wine Varieties Show is held in Mildura, on the banks of the Murray River.
Growers and winemakers from throughout Australia and New Zealand will be showing of their products, sharing knowledge and experience as they plan to stretch the boundaries of Australian wine even further.
The end result will be an ever-widening choice for discerning winelovers.
About The Author
Darby Higgs is the founder of Vinodiversity an information resource about wines made from alternative grape varieites in Australia.
Buying Wine, How to Read a Wine Label and Select a Great Bottle of Wine
I must admit, that for many of us, walking into a store to buy a bottle of wine can be a little like visiting a foreign country and not knowing the language. If you're buying wine for yourself that's probably not a big deal, although it might be nice to be somewhat knowledgeable so that you're more likely to buy something you will enjoy. However, if you are buying a bottle of wine as a gift, then being able to interpret information on the label becomes a bit more important. But, first things, first.
Start Your Wine Cellar The Right Way
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Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the relationship between the amount of alcohol consumed and the elimination of alcohol in your blood. This is usually measured as the percentage of deciliters of blood. So if it is measured by how much blood you have, your body weight makes a difference on how much you can drink. There are a few variables that determine your blood alcohol level:
France Car Hire
Here is a quick summary of the different French wine regions you can visit with some idea of what you'll be tasting and the airports where you can conveniently pick up a rental car.
Wine, Wine, Wine
What in the world is up!
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Many people are intimidated by the task of selecting wine in a fine restaurant. This article is intended to provide a simple guide that will enable anyone to feel confident enough to choose a wine that will impress their dinner guests. The focus is on French and Italian wines.
Beer, Wine and Your Bones
If you like the taste of a good brew, then here is some good news! In a recent research study of over 2,900 women and men, researchers found that beer, which contains silicon, may promote bone health. Silicon is a mineral that is thought to stimulate collagen production, which is a building block in bone formation. Wine is rich is phytochemicals, which may also benefit bones. Research does not show, however, in the battle of the sexes, that beer or wine has better or less results in either men or women. In a recent WebMD interview, Katherine Tucker, PhD says that it is possible that two glasses of wine could benefit men, while women may get a bone boost from two cans of beer. Another study of 2,847 people from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study found that men and pre-menopausal women who drank the most silicon, about 40 mg a day, had the highest bone mineral density, a measurement of bone health. Silicon is rarely listed on food labels, so it is hard to tell exactly how much you are consuming. But, you can estimate that one 12-ounce beer has approximately 7 mg of silicon.
Enjoy Your Favorite Wine - But With Some Rules
The mere mention of etiquette brings to mind various images, mainly negative. Etiquette means observing set rules. It's not about the quaint traditions but where wine is concerned etiquette matter.
Counting Carbs With Wine
Ecco DomaniCabernet Sauvignon ('01) 5 oz 4.00 gChianti ('01) 5 oz 3.60 gMerlot ('01) 5 oz 4.05 gPinot Bianco ('96) 5 oz 3.50 gPinot Grigio ('02) 5 oz 3.15 gFor more information on the carbohydrate count of more than 1000 worldwide brands of beer, 400 wines, 60 liqueurs, and distilled products, go to www.lcbartender.com.© Bob Skilnik, 2004
An Introduction to Wine
What is wine?
Using Cooking Wine
Cooking wine is sort of a holdover from prohibition. People who grew up thinking Alcohol is Evil didn't want to have any in their homes. But they wanted those delicious flavors in cooking. Cooking wine seemed to be a reasonable compromise.
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So, you find yourself having been invited to a dinner party and decided to bring the host a bottle of wine. But which type of wine should you buy? I am sure you have seen people seemingly bewildered in front of the wine shelves at the local grocery or liquor store. You have seen them, staring dumbly with no idea what wine to pick out. After you read this article, you can be assured you will never be one of those people.
Australia's wine industry has boomed in the past ten years. Employers have had to triple their staff numbers to cope with the demand for Aussie wine. Considering the lower average national population of Australia, compared to say the United States or even South Africa, 30,000 (2001) workers is pretty high.
Pairing Food and Wine is a Matter of Taste
First off let me say that I am in no way a wine snob. I do not believe that there is an ultimate right and wrong way to pair wine with food. It all boils down to your personal taste and the tastes of your guests. Most people like to pair white wines with white meats and lighter meals like fish, and red wines with red meats and pastas. You can certainly mix it up, however. Experiment and go with what you think tastes good.
Wine Etiquette With Ease
Correct wine etiquette makes the tasting experience much more enjoyable. Like most interests, there is a set of protocol that most wine lovers adhere to. Good taste dictates that tasting at wineries, ordering wine at restaurants, and hosting a dinner party all require certain formalities.
Wine and Your Health
During the 1990s, a physician voiced on a national TV show that drinking red wine reduces heart disease. It made all the headlines. He cited the relatively lower levels of the disease in France despite their ever so famously high fat diets. Since that program, it seems that red wine health effects have been on the forefront of the wine consumer´s mind.
Chardonnay is the world's most popular white wine grape. Chardonnay wine's homeland is the Burgundy region of France, where it produces sublime, complex Chardonnay table wines (in Champagne and elsewhere it provides the base for many of the world's best sparkling wines), but it also flourishes in California, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and South Africa.
The Old Fashioned: Two Recipes of an Underrated Classic
Like many mixed drinks, the Old Fashioned has a number of variations and a history.
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