Wine Types and Terms

Wine Types - Apple Wine to Dessert Wines

APPLE WINE:  Apple cider or juice that has been allowed to ferment. Served cold or hot as a beverage. Distilled to make apple brandies such as applejack (an American product) or Calvados (from Normandy, France). Some people increase the alcoholic content of this drink by allowing it to remain at subfreezing temperatures, then decanting the unfrozen concentrated liquid.

AROMATIC WINE:  A fortified wine flavored with one or more aromatic plant parts such as bark, flowers, leaves, roots, etc. An aperitif (drink served before a meal to stimulate the appetite) that is best when poured over ice. Mixer for cocktails and similar drinks. Vermouth is one of the best known types of aromatic wines.

BRANDY:  Distillate from a wine (Hence, the characteristics of each product stem from those of the original wine, the type of distillation and the aging process). After dinner drink. Used in desserts and other dishes. Brandy improved when aged in wooden casks, but not when held in a glass bottle.

BURGUNDY:  A wine produced in the Burgundy region of France. May be red, white, or sparkling. Served with meals. The best Burgundy wines come from the northern section call Cote ď Or.

CABERNET SAUVIGNON:  Wine made from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, in Bordeaux, France, California, Chile, Australia and Spain. Serve before dinner with hard cheeses and with dinner.

CHABLIS:  A dry white wine (with a green-gold tint) from the French town of Chablis. Serve with fish hors ď oeuvre, seafood, and shellfish. The best wine for serving with oysters.

CHAMPAGNE:  A sparkling wine that is made by allowing wine from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes to undergo a second fermentation after a small amount of sugar has been added to the bottle. Used as an aperitif that is served chilled. However, it may also be served at any time during any meal. A tulip-shaped glass helps to retain the bubbles. In France, the name Champagne is limited to the sparkling wines produced in the Province of Champagne. Also made in California and New York.

CHIANTI:  Red wine from the Tuscany region of Italy that is often sold in a round-bottom flask placed in a straw basket. However, the best wine comes in tall bottles that can be binned for aging. Serve with meals, particularly when Italian meat or pasta dishes are served. The best known Italian wine. Some types of Chianti (such as those sold in the straw-covered flasks) deteriorate after 2 years.

CLARET:  A dry, red Bordeaux wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Serve with or after a meal. The name Claret is an English term for this type of wine. (Elsewhere, it may be called a red Bordeaux wine.)

COGNAC:  Brandy that is double distilled from wine made in the Charente district of France. Serve as an after dinner drink. Cognac is best after it has been long aged in Limousin oak barrels.

COLD DUCK:  A sparkling wine that is similar to champagne. Serve as an aperitif or with meals. Among the sparkling wines, it is second in popularity to champagne and accounts for one-third of the sales of this type of wine.

CONCORD WINE:  A strong flavored, dark red wine made from Concord grapes (a native American variety). Serve with or after dinner. Most of this wine is produced in New York.

CRACKLING WINES:  Wines that are less carbonated than sparkling wines. Serve as an aperitif or with dinner. Crackling Burgundy is usually much appreciated, but not always easy to find.

CREAM SHERRY:  A heavy, dark-colored, sweetened sherry that is made by a process similar to the one developed in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Serve with dessert or after dinner. Cream sherries from California rival those from Spain.

DESSERT WINES:  Sweet wine that contains 15 to 20% alcohol by volume. Serve with dessert or after dinner. Should be served in small, narrow glasses.

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