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Wine (the beverage) FAQ, part1 of 10 [LONG]

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Part8 - Part9 - Part10 )
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Archive-name: drink/wine-faq/part1
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Copyright: (c) 1995-2000 Bradford S. Brown (Notices/Disclaimers in pt. 10)
Last-modified: 2000/06/01
U.S. WWW (HTML) Mirror: http://www.sbwines.com/usenet_winefaq [newest]
U.K. WWW (HTML) Mirror: http://www.bath.ac.uk/~su3ws/wine-faq/wine-faq.html

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
-----------------------------------------------------------------

                      INTERNET GUIDE TO WINE

                       FAQ for alt.food.wine
                               rec.food.drink

                (Frequently Asked Questions and More)

                              By

                       Brad and Dri Brown

------------------------------------------------------------------


Copyright 1995-2000 Bradford S. Brown

PLEASE READ THE COPYRIGHT INFORMATION AND DISCLAIMERS AT THE
END OF THIS GUIDE.

This version is date 26 July 1997, though it has been updated to
include more recent versions of Dean Tudor's List (see Appendix), up 
through April, 2000.

To all who have sent me suggestions, please note many are not yet
contained in this version.  There's a lot more to come. Thanks for your
help.  If I have included your work and forgotten to give you credit,
please send me a note.

Posted updates occur approximately every four months or so.  This
is because there is a lot more involved in creating this document
beyond the sheer typing.  In order to create the Index and Table
of Contents in a way which is suitable for use on the Internet,
as opposed to being printed by page in a book, it must undergo
some homegrown programs which produce those items.  Also, the
HTML version gets created in the same way.  All of that isn't as
easy as I would like it to be (maybe someday when there is time).
Fortunately, at this point, a LOT of the "frequently asked
questions" are already in the FAQ and I'm working on the finer
details now.

The authors may currently be reached at bradb@netcom.com

A complete copy of this FAQ can be obtained by dropping us a
note or through the WWW at:

(US) http://www.sbwines.com/usenet_winefaq
(UK)  http://www.bath.ac.uk/~su3ws/wine-faq/wine-faq.html


---------------------------------------------------------------------------


Introduction
 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

_
Drinking wine is an experience. To drink for the purposes of becoming
drunk is not what drinking wine as an experience is all about. Wine is
food. Just like the delight which comes from eating your most favorite
food, wine, as food can provide similar enchantment.
 
But drinking wine has somehow also entered into the realm of snobbery.
This is a shame for it can (and does) prevent many from getting in on the
enjoyment of this marvelous product of nature. For that reason, I have
undertaken to prepare this guide, not as a wine expert (which I am most
assuredly _not_), but as an average drinker of relatively good wine. My
aim here is to try and explain about wine in a way that is understandable
but, I hope, not forbidding. With this intent, I may offend some
sensibilities or make some outright mistakes. Remember, I am relying on a
little bit of knowledge, and everyone knows what happens with a little bit
of knowledge. If I'm wrong about the facts, please let me know. If I get
carried away and the tone gets too pompous, pretentious, or downright
haughty, also let me know. Some *have* let me know that they think this
thing I call a FAQ is a wee-bit, shall we say, "wordy.". Perhaps, but I'd
rather err on the side of length. As with anything else in this world, you
don't have to look at it!
 
To the correspondent who let me know that I clearly personally knew
nothing about wine and was merely copying the work of others, I think he
missed the point. First, except where stated, so far as I know, I have
copied nothing. Any new book or article contains the ideas of author,
especially if he or she comes to the subject with enthusiasm. While I am
no expert, I definely have some ideas about the subject, especially when
it comes to breaking down the mystery and mystique that some seem to want
to bring to the subject. Wine is food. People like to eat--and drink. If
you choose to drink wine, do it to enjoy, not to be part of a cult.
Second, this was and is still meant to be a FAQ for "Frequently Asked
Questions." To cut down on the repetition of questions and answers in
Usenet, we started this project. The Internet is a marvelous way of
sharing information. See us here as a repository of that information
(notice we don't necessarily say "knowledge" here).
 
Because of the sheer volume of information, I am not following the
question and answer FAQ format. A Table of Contents and a comprehensive
Index are provided instead. The choice of what to include was made up from
the questions I have had about wine, suggestions from others, and from
watching the Usenet groups on the subject. Suggestions, comments,
criticism and whatever are welcome. While this already seems like a book
to me, I've actually tried to cut down on the verbiage. It will probably
get even longer through time. The discussion about the University of Davis
(especially given the global reach of the internet) is a case in point.
However, this being in nature a FAQ, topics which generate repeated
questions or a great amount of replies deserve, in my humble opinion, more
attention. Electronic "paper" is relatively cheap. In any event, I have
take a great deal of time to try to make the index and table of contents
broad enough to let the reader find just about anything--quickly!
 
Living in Southern California means that I get to enjoy the huge diversity
of the West Coast of the United States at, perhaps, a somewhat reduced
cost. It also means that I can visit the wineries and winemakers that
produce these wines from time to time. That is good. Unfortunately it also
means that I have virtually no knowledge of the wonderful (and to me, much
more expensive) wines of Europe and most of the rest of the world. This
guide is a compilation of information, and can grow, through time, through
the assistance of the Internet Community. Please send me comments,
information, or anything else you think belongs here. I don't expect early
versions to be earthshaking, merely distributed worldwide. What all this
means is that if I have the chutzpah to prepare a wine guide as a relative
novice, newcomers to wine can realize that they need not be put off by the
sometimes arcane world of wine and can join it without fear!
 
Since the making, drinking and enjoyment of wine is a huge subject (and I
certainly don't know all the answers), I've been necessarily superficial
in my answers (though perhaps longer, than in many FAQS!). This can lead
to argument about the validity of what I have had to say. Since this isn't
meant to be an encyclopedia, some sort of brevity is important. As I've
said, I have received comments that say some of the portions are too long.
Many feel that specific great wines of the world have been overlooked.
This is true, not just because this--so far--isn't a book, but because I
have made a conscious decision to not go too far out on a limb in
incorporating information about things about which I truly know _nothing_
and can't adequately satisfy for myself that the information sent to me is
correct. They say that more information is published on the Internet in
one week than is set to paper in a year. They don't say how much of it
(including, of course, this FAQ) is correct. With this as with everything,
caveat emptor--"Let the buyer beware."
 
I stand in the position of chronicler first, wine enthusiast second. Why
do I say this? I received a somewhat unfriendly note telling me that it
was clear from the FAQ that I knew very little about wine and that I was
merely repeating the thoughts of others. My response was that everything I
wrote (unless I said otherwise) was made up by me, but very well may have
been a distillation of information from elsewhere. On a subject upon which
there has been written so much, it is almost foolhardy to think that one
can contribute anything new in what is merely a primer on a subject, but
my intent here was to at least give out some information in non-stuffy
way, with my own views on the subject. Furthermore, as several have
mentioned, this is a rather wordy document for a FAQ. Nevertheless, it
tries to remain true to the concept of a FAQ, that is, to answer
Frequently Asked Questions in the hopes that it won't be necessary for the
friendly folks in the world, especially those who chat amongst themselves
using Usenet, to keep repeating the same answers over and over and over
and.... To that end, I am quite happy to try to distill the thoughts of
others and repeat them here. Ere what's a FAQ for?
 
In any event, everyone is urged to buy a book or two on the subject and
read away. More importantly, drink away and have a good time.
 
_PLEASE NOTE_
 
This is a _work-in-progress_. Some, but not all, of the mistakes pointed
out to me have been incorporated in this version. I'm still working on
fixing the errors and will then move on to incorporating new sections that
have clearly been areas of discussion in the Usenet groups I have monitored
 
One final note on the drinking of wine vis-a-vis the information in this
Guide. What _you_ like is the best rule of thumb. The experiences of
others are a handy guide but these experiences often get shrouded in the
myths, mysteries and ritual. This is off-putting and shouldn't be. In some
parts of the world, wine is drunk daily as a part of the meal. There's no
big conundrum about what glass to serve it in or how long to age the wine
(since most is drunk young). In other parts of the world, the United
States, for example, wine often is a restaurant's marked-up profit center
and the "rituals" of wine are haggled over incessantly. Since this Guide
is somewhat of a rulebook by virtue of its existence, I would like to lay
to rest the idea that this is what I have in mind in creating it. Use this
Guide to get into wine, if that is your goal. After that, just have fun.
 
Special thanks to the people listed in the Acknowlegment section!
 
The most current copy of the FAQ is available in text format by e-mail
from us at bradb@netcom.com. The most current WWW copies are found at: 

(U.S.)    http://www.sbwines.com/usenet_winefaq (newest)
(U.K.)   http://www.bath.ac.uk/~su3ws/wine-faq/wine-faq.html

We hope you get some use and enjoyment out of our project.
 
Cheers!
 
Bradford Brown
July , 1997
 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------


I would like to acknowledge those who have provided special assistance,
and please forgive me (and e-mail me) for anyone I have forgotten! A lot
of mail has been received and not all of it has been sifted through, yet.
So far, thanks to John Bailin, Mike Christensen, Peter Curran, Thomas
Hill, Mark Levesque, Jim Karegeannes, Sandra Kidd, Daniel Harris Lapin,
Jason Brandt Lewis (who was kind enough to send me an entire f.a.q. on
port--which hasn't been included yet--as well as detailed information used
in "Fine Print, U.S. Style", Gloria Mercado-Martin, Matthew Mitchell,
David Murphy, Marcelo Portnoy, Bill Rohwer, David Tan, John Thorngate, Roy
Wilkinson. Some asked not to have their names included, our anonymous
thanks are given. Some merely sent small notes with little additions,
others provided large amounts of material. All of it was necessary and
appreciated!
 
A very special thanks to Paul S. Winalski who clearly spent a great deal
of time pointing out and providing changes for a number of specific areas
of the FAQ. His knowledge of wine and willingness to consistently help out
the Internet community is appreciated and I thank him for myself and on
behalf of all those who have learned from him.
 
Also special thanks to Jarrett Paschel who first made the FAQ available on
the World Wide Web.
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

FAQ HISTORY

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


Here's where we'll try to keep up with changes/additions to the FAQ.
 
*July 1997*

Various additions have been made.  Usenet ASCII version updated to
reflect WWW HTML version.


*November, 1996*
 
FAQ re-designed for the World Wide Web, including hyper-text links and
graphics. Some re-writes and corrections made. Many additions waiting in
the wings, so we wouldn't suggest re-reading the thing for a while if you
have already been through it!
 
_*Pre-History*_
 
FAQ written solely for Usenet and text archival purposes, starting in 1994.
 

Table of Contents
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


Introduction
Acknowledgements
FAQ History
Table of Contents

I.  What is Wine?
 
II.  How Wine is Made
 
      + Growing Grapes 
        +   Phylloxera vastratrix  
        +   University of California at Davis 
      + Harvest 
      + Initial Processing of the Grape Juice 
      + Turning Juice into Alcohol 
        +  Brettanomyces
 
      + From Fermentation to Bottle:  Malolactic, Filtering and Fining,
                                             Barrel Aging and Blending 
      + Bottling Wine 
III.  Aging Wine
 
IV.  Storing Wine
 
      + Cellar Software 
V.  Drinking Wine
 
      + Temperature to Drink 
      + Opening the Bottle 
        + Corks & Capsules 
        + Corkscrews 
      + Dealing with the Open Bottle 
        + A Light Touch 
        + Smelling the Cork 
        + Decanting 
        + Letting the Wine Breathe 
        + Getting the Label Off 
      + Flaws 
      + Describing Wine 
      + The Ritualisitic Art of Wine in Restaurants and other Quibbles 
      + Restaurant Pricing 
      + Glassware 
      + Storing Wine After It's Opened 
VI.  Buying Wine
 
      + What Wine To Buy? 
      + Where To Buy Wine 
      + What is Wine Worth?" 
      + "My Signficant Other Doesn't Like Red Wine" 
VII.  Wines
 
      + Red Wine Grapes 
      + White Wine Grapes 
      + What's In A Name? 
        + Meritage 
        + The Fine Print, U.S. Style 
      + Champagne 
      + Port 
      + Dessert Wines 
        + Botrytis 
        + Eiswein a.k.a. Icewine 
        + Other Sweet Wines 
VIII.  Wines Around the World
 
      + Argentina 
IX.  Food and Wine
 
X.  Learning about Wine
 
      + Starting Out 
      + Cyberbia 
      + The Internet 
      + Internet Resources 
      + Miscellaneous Electronic Stuff 
      + Printed Materials 
        + Books 
        + Mazagines and Newsletters 
      + Miscellaneous 
        + Courses on Wine 
        + Wineries 
        + Wine Tastings 
        + Critics 
XI.  Physiologic Notes on Wine
 
      + Allergic Reactions 
      + Calories 
      + Pregnancy 
      + Wine as a Sleeping Aid 
      + Lead in Wine 
XII.  Touring the Wine Country
 
      + California 
      + Canada 
      + France 
XIII.  Miscellany
 
      + Importing 
      + Kosher Wine 
      + Making Your Own Wine 
      + Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster 
      + Recipes 
      + Shipping 
Appendix A.  An HTML Wine Bookmark Page
 
Legals
 
Word List

The following represents a key word list for the Wine FAQ.  If you
have obtained the FAQ in parts, you should reassemble the parts and
then you may use your favorite software to search for the words as
they appear throughout the document.    

If you have access to the WWW, the HTML version of the Wine FAQ
contains the following index with hypertext links to the appropriate
place in the FAQ where they appear.

Supported web site are located at:

  (U.S.) http://www.sbwines.com/usenet_winefaq
  (U.K.) http://www.bath.ac.uk/~su3ws/wine-faq/wine-faq.html




    4-ethylphenol
    75% Varietal Rule


    A.O.C.
    AVA
    Accessible
    Acetic bacteria
    Aging Wine
    "Aging" wine by shaking
    Ah-So
    Air Conditioners and Storing Wine
    Alcohol Content
    Allergic Reactions
    All-in-One Page
    alt.food.wine
    American oak
    Appellation
    Appellation d'Origine Controlee
    Approved Viticultural Areas
    Argentina
    Austere
    AxR #1


    Baby Icewine
    Bacteria
    Balance
    Balthazar
    Barbera
    Barrel Fermentation
    Beaujolais Nouveau
    Beerenauslese
    Bentonite
    Beverage Media
    Big
    Bleaching corks
    Blend
    Blind Tastings
    Blush
    Bookmark Page
    Books
    Bordeaux
    Bordeaux (Meritage)
    Botrytis cinerea
    Breathe
    Brandy (and Port)
    Brettanomyces
    Brettanomyces (as a flaw)
    Brix
    Buttery (fermenting wine)
    Buttery (desribing wine)


    Cabernet Franc
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    California and Touring
    Calories
    Canada
    Cap
    Capsules
    Carbon Dioxide (Champagne)
    Carbon Dioxide (Fermentation)
    Case
    Cellaring
    Cellars
    Central Coast of California
    Champagne (Champagne)
    Champagne (What is Wine?)
    Chardonnay
    Chateauneuf-du-Pape
    Chateau d'Yquem
    Chenin Blanc
    Chlorine
    Chocolate and Wine
    Cholesterol as affected by Wine
    Clarification
    Clay
    Closed
    Complex
    Corkage
    Corked
    Corks
    Corkage, fair
    Corkscrews
    Cotes du Rhone
    Courses on Wine
    Critics
    Crud in the bottle
    Cryoextraction


    Dean Tudor's Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net
    Decanting
    Decanting Port
    Declared Year
    Dekkera
    Dessert Wines
    Deuxiemes Crus
    Disgorgement
    Distillation
    Distilled Liquor
    Double Magnum
    Dry
    Duck and Wine
    Dumb
    Duouro


    Egg whites
    Eiswein a.k.a. Icewine
    Electronic Stuff, Miscellaneous
    Enology


    FAQ Design
    Fermentation: What is Wine?
    Fermentation: Juice into Alcohol
    Fillette
    Filtering
    Fining
    Flabby
    Flaws
    Foil
    Food Combinations
    Food and Wine
    Fortified Wine (and Port)
    Fortified Wine (What is Wine?)
    France and Touring
    French Oak
    Freezing wine
    Fume Blanc


    Gamay
    Garnacha
    Gelatin
    Generic Wine
    Gewurtztraminer
    Glasses, storing
    Glasses, washing
    Glassware
    Gold Country of California
    Gopher
    Graft
    Grand Premier Cru
    Grapes
    Grape Skins and Color of Wine
    Grassy
    Grenache
    Grey Rot


    Half Bottle
    Hard
    Herbaceous
    Humidity and Storing Wine
    Hybrid


    Icewine a.k.a. Eiswein
    Imperial
    Importing
    International Standards Organization (ISO)
    Inert Gas
    Internet, The
    Internet Resources


    Jails, Wine
    Jeroboam


    Kosher Wine


    Labels, Removing from Bottle
    Lactic acid
    Laying Down
    Lead as a health hazard
    Lead Contamination from Foils
    Lead Poisoning
    Learning about Wine
    Lees
    Leverpull (tm)
    Light
    Light and Storing Wine
    Liqueur de Tirage
    Listservs
    Louse


    Madeira
    Madeirized
    Magazines and Newsletters
    Magnum
    Making Your Own Wine
    Malaga
    Malic acid
    Malolactic fermentation
    Marbles in the bottle
    Marsala
    Mature
    Marie-Jeanne
    Medical Notes
    Menodocino
    Mercaptan (and bottling)
    Mercaptan (as a flaw)
    Meritage
    Merlot
    Methode Champenoise
    Methuselah
    Microsoft Wine Guide
    Mold
    Mold (and Dessert Wine)
    Moldy Corks
    Muscatel
    Must


    Napa
    Nebbiolo
    Nebuchadnezzar
    Newsletters and Magazines
    Nigara Peninsula
    Nitrogen
    Noble Grapes
    Noble Rot
    Nose


    Odors and Storing Wine
    Okanagan Valley
    Oporto
    Opus One
    Oxidize
    Oxygen


    Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster
    Parker, Robert
    Paso Robles
    Petite Sirah
    Phylloxera vastratrix
    Pinot Noir
    Plastic Corks
    Pint
    Port
    Port (Dessert Wine)
    Porto
    Pregnancy
    Premier Cru
    Proprietary Wine


    Quinta
    Quinta do Noval


    rec.food.drink
    Recipes
    Refrigerators and Storing Wine
    Rehoboam
    Reidel
    Remuage
    Returning a flawed bottle
    Reserve
    Restaurant Pricing
    Riddling
    Riesling
    Room Temperature
    Rose
    Rot
    Ruby Port


    Saccharomyces
    Salmanazar
    Sauterne
    Sauternes (aging wine)
    Sauternes (Dessert Wine)
    Sauternes (grapes)
    Sauvignon Blanc
    Second fermentation
    Sediment in Champagne
    Sediment
    Sediment (and Port)
    Semillon
    Semi-Generic Wine
    Sherry (Dessert Wine)
    Shipping Wine
    Shiraz
    Signficant Others Who Don't Like Red Wine
    Single-Quinta Vintage Port
    Smelling the cork
    Sonoma
    Sparkling Wine (What is Wine?)
    Sparkling Wine (Champagne)
    Split
    Stainless steel
    Starting Out in Wine
    Still Wines
    Storing Wine
    Storing wine after the bottle is opened
    Sugar
    Sulfites
    Sulfites and allergies
    Sulfite "free" wines
    Sulfur
    Sulfur Dioxide
    Sweaty socks
    Sweet Wines of the Loire Valley
    Sweet Wines of the Valpolicella District
    Syrah


    Table Wine
    Tannins
    Tastings
    Tawny Port
    Temecula
    Temperature and Drinking Wine
    Temperature and Storing Wine
    Thin (and harvest)
    Thin (describing wine)
    Torrontes
    Touring the Wine Country
    Trichloranisol (TCA) 2,4,6
    Trockenbeerenauslese


    Unfiltered
    Universal Disenfectant
    University of California at Davis
    University of California at Davis: A Graduate's Opinion
    University of California at Davis: Brett
    University of California at Davis: Courses on Wine
    Unfiltered
    Usenet


    Vacu-Vin (tm)
    Varietals
    Varieties
    Varietal
    Varietal Wine
    Variety
    Vertical Tastings
    Vibration and Storing Wine
    Vinegar
    Vines
    Vins Delimites de Qualite
    Vins de pays
    Vins doux naturels
    Vins ordinaires
    Vintage
    Vintage Date
    Vintage Port
    Viticulture
    Vitis vinifera
    Volatile Acidity


    Weather
    White Port
    Wild yeast fermentation: Juice into Alcohol
    Wild Yeast Fermentation: UC Davis
    Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma
    Wine Cellars, Building Your Own
    Wineries and Learning about Wine
    Wineries On-Line
    Winery Tastings, Charging For
    Wines of the World CD-ROM
    Wives who don't like red wine
    Wood
    Wood Port
    World Wide Web


    Yahoo.com
    Yeast


    Zinfandel

--
 

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