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Varietal - A varietal wine is made primarily from a single grape variety. Examples include Merlot or Chardonnay. In the U.S., wines are typically named according to varietal as opposed to Europe, where wines are usually named after the production region (appellation).
Blend – A wine made from more than one grape variety
Appellation – The area or region where the grapes were grown
Vintage – The year the grapes were picked to make the wine
Non-Vintage – A wine that is produced from a blend of grapes picked in two or more years. Often marked on wine labels as NV.
AOC / DOC: Appellation terminology in multiple languages that indicates a higher or special quality wine
While perusing wine facts, I came across this instructional web page for reading wine labels that I found really helpful. http://www.bettertastingwine.com/winelabel.html
As an aside, there are tons of terms used to describe the taste of wine. If you are interested in wine tasting, I found this great list of wine terms which includes descriptors for the many flavors in wine. https://www.erobertparker.com/info/glossary.asp
Now that we can understand what we are looking at a bit better, let’s delve into our study of the major types of wine. We will kick off the series with a look at red wines. I am planning to spend as much time on the subject as it takes to understand it, and I’m sure that for the purpose of research, I will have to try a few bottles myself. Research doesn’t always have to be boring! See you next time…