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Fun Fact Friday — Spain

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Fun Fact Friday!! Spain is the third largest producer of wine in the world and has the MOST planted vine acreage of any counrty in the world. The most planted and popular grape in Spain is Tempranillo. Some other grapes planted in Spain are Garnacha (Grenache), Cabernet Sauvignon, Mencia, Monastrell, Albarino, Verdejo, and Chardonnay. The two most known wine regions in Spain are Rioja and Priorat. Other regions include Rias Baixas, Toro, Rueda, Ribera del Duero, and Navarra.

Domaine Talmard Macon Chardonnay

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Wine of the Day!! Domaine Talmard 2011 Macon-Chardonnay ($19-21 retail) — this steely French wine is the perfect Chardonnay for your deck this summer! The nose has an abundance of flint and slate but also apple, peach, and pineapple aromas. The wine is creamy on the mid-palate with the same fruit flavors as the nose leading to a flinty finish. This wine has the perfect combination of fruit and minerality. If you are looking for a nice French Chardonnay without the price tag of a White Burgundy — give this wine a try!

Founded in 1971, the original estate of brothers Paul and Philibert Talmard comprised about 100 acres overlapping two communes, Uchizy and Chardonnay, two of the higher-quality named villages within the Mâconnais. Although they sold their wine initially to the co-op, the brothers started to domaine bottle and export in 1978. Shortly after the turn of the millennium, the brothers divided their domain in order to prepare for the future for their sons. Philibert and his son Gerald built a new cellar next to the original one, completely modern and efficient, all stainless, designed for producing one wine. Their 50 acres of vineyards lie predominantly within the commune of Chardonnay – thought to be the geographical origin of the variety – and thus are entitled to use the AOC “Mâcon-Chardonnay.” Their wine is the essence of pure, crystalline, varietal Chardonnay, un-marked by any oak, exhibiting all the subtle minerality and invigorating acidity that makes these wines such perfect partners with cuisines of all sorts.

Dog Point 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

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Wine of the Day!! Dog Point 2013 Marlborogh Sauvignon Blanc ($25-26 retail) — This is a true New Zealand gem! Founded by two Cloudy Bay alums, Dog Point produces high-end New Zealand wines at affordable prices. This Sauvignon Blanc is intense. The nose begins with a touch of graphite, grass, and herbs and then continues on to ripe tropical fruits, citrus, melon, and tangerine. The palate has excellent balance with kiwi, lemon, and lime fruit with a touch of jalapeno pepper on the finish. Nice minerality and tangy acidity too. Food match: White meats, pale cheeses, and seafood,especially scallops and oysters.

Fun Fact Friday — Rieslings

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Fun Fact Friday!! Rieslings can run the spectrum from very sweet to super dry. In Germany, Rieslings are categorized by the level of ripeness/sugar at harvest so, when purchasing the wine, you can tell from the label if the wine is sweet or dry.

Kabinett — driest
Spatlese — off dry to sweet
Auslese — sweet
Beerenauslese — sweeter
Eiswein — sweeter
Trockenbeerenauslese — sweetest

The Auslese to TBA levels are usually dessert wines.

Enjoy!!!!

Fun Fact Friday — California

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Fun Fact Friday!! California is responsible for 90% of all wine produced in the United States — in all price and quality categories. It has the longest history of quality wine production dating back to the 1850s and a great diversity of regions, climates, and grape varieties. Surprisingly though, only 4% of the US production comes from the Napa Valley. Now, enjoy a bottle of CA wine tonight!

Fun Fact Friday — Piedmont, Italy

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Fun Fact Friday!!!! Who does not love Italian wines??? One of the two most famous wine regions in Italy is Piedmont. Here are a few fun facts about this region.

Barolo and Barbaresco, both made from the Nebbiolo grape, are the most important and well-known wines made in Piedmont. Barolo and Barbaresco are the regions in Piedmont where the Nebbiolo for these wines is grown.

Barbera is the most widely-planted grape in Piedmont.

“Piemonte” is Italian for “foot of the mountains.”

Wine Storage

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Fun Fact Friday!! Today, I will give you a few fun facts about wine storage.

Why is it preferable to store wines lying down? Bottles are stored on their sides in order to keep the liquid up against the cork, which theoretically should keep the cork from drying out.

What is the perfect temperature to store wines? The best temperature for wine storage is between 45 and 65 degrees (colder for whites, closer to 55 for reds). Temperatures higher than 70 degrees will age a wine more quickly than is usually desirable.

Other things to remember — consistency with regards to temperature is important. A dark room is better than one with sunlight and bright light. Humidity and vibration should also be considered when storing wine.

Bottom line — don’t keep your wine in the laundry room or kitchen — a dark closet or dark corner of the basement is your best bet!!!