Russ Winton: Wine List

Wine Line: Wine Institute Expands Website

The Wine Institute’s consumer website, www.DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com is a good resource for wine lovers. The site offers information on California’s wine regions with maps, a winery finder and calendar of events in the state and around the world, wine and food pairings, seasonal recipes and more. The Institute recently translated the website for its top export markets, including the European Union’s 28 member countries, accounting for $617 million in annual sales; followed by Canada, $454 million; Japan, $102 million; Hong Kong, $78 million; China, $77 million; Mexico, $22 million and South Korea, $18 million.

Russ Winton: Wine List

Wine Line: Wine thoughts and wine walks

One of the most common mistakes people make when tasting wine is to confuse the fruitiness of a wine with sweetness. Sweetness in wine means only one thing; the amount of sugar left in the juice after the fermentation stops. It is referred to as residual sugar or R.S. When tasting wine, your tongue really can only taste sweet (sugar), sour (acids) and bitter (tannins). Fruitiness is the tendency of wine to taste and smell of fruit. When the fruit is sweet, like cherries or plums, tasters often mistake the fruitiness for sweetness.

Russ Winton: Wine List

Russ Winton: In search of wine deals

In my last column I mentioned the wineries along Route 116 and the great deals available for wine tasters (if you missed the column you can find it online). Visiting wine country has become very exclusive and expensive and it really shouldn’t be. No, I’m not against reasonable tasting fees and of course they should be waived with purchase. That said, here are some smart wine deals that I’ve discovered and hopefully they’ll keep you going back to the wine country.

Russ Winton: Wine List

Wine Line: Chillin’ on hot summer nights

I have finally found a solution to my “Novinophobia,” a condition manifested by a fear of running out of wine. Two Target Wine Cubes now fit neatly on the top shelf of my garage refrigerator, once occupied by a bowl of moldy chili beans and a half-empty jar of pickled something.

Russ Winton: Wine List

Wine Line: In Clarksburg, saving the chenin blanc

In the 1970s, one of the best-selling white wines was Charles Krug Chenin Blanc. It was so popular it sold out every year and had to be allocated to restaurants. In 1996, the winery quit producing it. . What happened? The 1976 Paris Tasting made chardonnay the new white wine star; a new sweet white zinfandel hit the streets; and the rapidly growing wine industry pushed chenin blanc to the lowest shelf . Fortunately, there are a few wineries out there who still believe in the noble grape from the Loire region of France.

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