October 2009

France

The style of French wine echoes that of the French themselves—elegant, well-dressed, showing an appreciation for the good things of life but never to excess.

Getting Started

Learning to taste wine is no different than learning to really appreciate music or art—the pleasure you receive is proportionate to the effort you make.

Evaluating Wine

How to judge a glass of wine by sight, smell and taste.

Italy

Italian tradition is so closely grafted to the vine that the good cheer and easy attitudes associated with wine culture are mirrored in the nation’s temperament.

Glassware and Serving Basics

Insisting on a good glass is not snobbery; it’s common sense.

Germany

German wine labels can be intimidating: long foreign words and ornate gothic script are enough to make many consumers head for a different section of the wine shop.

Varietal versus Appellation Labeling

Throughout Europe, wines are classified by vineyard, village and/or region where they are made. This appellation system is based on precisely defined wine regions, some as small as a single vineyard.

Austria

Thanks to two grapes, and two wine styles, Austrian wine has an important presence on the international wine-making stage.

Spain

Today Spanish winemakers are making sought-after wines at almost every price and quality level, and in most of the country’s sixty-plus denominated regions.

Portugal

With the great strides in winemaking techniques and the results of great research into grape varieties and vineyard sites being put into practice, Portugal’s Port is entering a golden age. What makes Portugal so exciting at the moment, is that the same can now be said for Portuguese table wines.

California

California wines account for a 64 percent share of the United States wine market.

Washington

Though a distant second to California in terms of total production, Washington wines get more medals and higher scores and sell for lower average prices on a percentage basis.

Oregon

The pinot noirs of the northern Willamette valley have brought Oregon to the attention of the world.

Australia

To characterize all Australian wines as broad-shouldered, plum- and berry-flavored and high in alcohol is as short-sighted as saying that all Americans—from the Bronx to Alabama—have the same accent.

New Zealand

In recent years, the New Zealand wine industry has mushroomed in size like no other.

Chile

Chile is one of the world’s most aggressive exporters; its wines make it to nearly one hundred countries around the globe, with shipments to the United States leading the way.

Argentina

For all intents and purposes, Argentina’s wine industry was until fairly recently geared toward domestic consumption.

2009 Wine Star Award Winners

Uruguay

The calling-card grape for Uruguay is Tannat, a rustic variety hailing from Madiran in southwest France.

South Africa

South African wines are sold at an impressively good value, and the country offers styles and tastes that are special and—importantly—enjoyable.

Creepy Cocktails

Halloween Wine and Spirits

The Season 1 WINEMAKERS: Where They Are Now

A Farewell to David Lake, Washington Syrah Pioneer

Recipe: Caipirinha Sorbet

South Africa On the Radar

Pumpkin Parties

A New Kind of Shelf Talker

Sip for the Cure 2009

Ein Prosit for Oktoberfest 2009

A first-hand report from the Munich beer tents.

Cliff Lede Acquires Breggo Cellars

Recipe: Irish Smoked Salmon with Fresh Goat Cheese, Poached Eggs and Tarragon

Destination: Cambridge

Wine lovers find history, pedigree and welcome surprises in this storied academic town.

Canada

Canada's ice wines, marketed in super-tall, slim, 375 ml bottles, have brought it global acclaim.

Q&A with Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Legend

The Global Saké Bomb

Best Bets for the Bargain Wine Hunter

Seriously Good Mocktails