Tag Archives: terroir

Wine Bible {A Giveaway}


I was cleaning out my office the other day and came across a second Wine Bible! Have you seen this book before?

Wine Bible

It’s a thick {900-page!} book that I’ve referred to over a thousand times. I’ve never read it cover to cover, but it has been a great source of reference when I was first learning about wine. There is no reason for me to have two of these books, so I’m offering one up to one of you!

This book covers everything from how wine is made, to particular varietals, to wine regions around the world to wine pairings and much more.

I remember being confused at the beginning of my research on wine because I’d search the label of the bottles I was marketing for The Traveling Vineyard and couldn’t find what kind of wine that was. Back then, I didn’t know that some wines were labeled by the region and others were labeled by the varietal.

A particularly confusing wine for me that the company once carried was the Roero Arneis. Was this a Chardonnay? A Sauvignon Blanc? I had no clue!

After referring to my trusty Wine Bible, I learned that arneis is the name of the grape. I just had never heard of it before. Most people haven’t. Roero is the specific area in the Piedmont region of Italy where said grapes for that bottling were grown. While Traveling Vineyard doesn’t currently carry this type of wine, I still don’t see it very often. Sometimes I’ll find it at an Italian restaurant that has an extensive Italian wine list. When I do, I smile. I feel like I know a secret that not everyone knows. And now you do, too!

So what’s arneis like? Well, I remember it being crisp, with hints of mineral and pear. I remember it going well with spinach and artichoke dip at my tastings. However, I’m not really sure if that’s a pairing that would please wine critics! As I open to page 333 of the Wine Bible, I read that arneis goes in and out of style, pairs well with seafood, means rascal in the dialect of Piedmont, and that it’s “dry, lively, and fairly full in body with light pear and apricot flavors.”

These days, you can wiki such things. However, having the information available at my fingertips by a reputable wine expert, Karen MacNeil, in a perfectly laid-out fashion does not even compare.

Understanding the difference between region and varietal was a pivotal point in my wine education. Add that to learning that the terroir can affect the final product of the same grape being grown in one region versus another opened up my entire wine world.

Still, you can’t know everything about wine. Styles, trends and even climates are constantly changing. That’s one of the things that makes wine so interesting. This book is a great reference tool whenever you have a question about wine. It’s the perfect gift for a wine lover, too.

Enter to win this book by commenting below on the #1 thing you’d like to learn about wine!

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, September 10th at 12:01am.

The winner will be announced on that week’s Wine Wednesday.



The Difference Between a Good Wine and a Great Wine – Part 5


Wine Wednesday: The Difference Between a Good Wine & a Great Wine…

In the past few weeks, we’ve been examining five reasons that differentiate a good wine from a great wine:

1) Terroir

2) Age of the Vines

3) Yield of the Vine

4) Vintage

Today, we will wrap up that topic with:

5) The Technique

Some winemakers put more time, effort and money into producing a wine than others do. Because of this, the wine that sees more attention is often better in quality. Here are some factors that will affect the outcome of a wine:

  • How the wine is destemmed and crushed
    • Is it done properly?
    • Is it done mechanically or by hand?
  • Fermentation
    • Is the temperature controlled?
    • Does the winemaker ferment slowly for best results?
  • Storage
    • Are the wines stored properly until release?
    • Are they released at the right time?
    • Does the winemaker rack the wine to eliminate undesirable solids?
  • Oak
    • Is the wine fermented or aged in oak?
    • If so, for how long?
    • If so what kind? {Different barrels give different flavors to the wine.}
    • Is the oak new or old?
  • Clarification
    • Is this done through fining? {This is a painstaking process that is careful, but time-consuming.}
    • Is it done with screen filtration? {This can strip the wine of flavor.}
  • Release
    • Is the wine rushed to the shelves?
    • Is the wine aged in the bottle prior to release?
    • Is it released at the right time?

When a winemaker invests more time, energy and resources in the making of the wine, the quality will undoubtedly be better. In my opinion, winemakers can be considered artists. Depending on what they do at each step in the wine-making process and what care they put into it, they can create a quality wine that has its own unique character every time.