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Syrah Vs. Shiraz

Syrah Grapes

Is there a difference between Syrah and Shiraz?… yes and no.  They are made from the same type of dark skinned grape, but based on the climate in which the grape is grown, you can expect to find very different characteristics in the wine. By paying attention to whether it is labeled Syrah or Shiraz, you can usually get a pretty good idea of what to expect from the wine

The Syrah grape originated in the Rhone area of France and is used to make dry, full bodied reds.  There are myths that the grape was originally brought to France from the city of Shiraz in Iran.  There is no actual proof, however, to back this up. There has. however, been DNA typing of Syrah grapes that prove that they came from two grapes from the Rhone Region of France. Read the rest of this entry

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America’s Wine Country: California

Ok now sing it with me-California here we come! If you haven’t made it to Northern California then you really need to book that flight and head to the Bay Area. Why? Because outside of being amazingly beautiful it has some of the greatest wineries. Most people think of Napa when you think of wine but there is a place called Sonoma. It’s actually right next to Napa but is home to small wineries, some that you have never even heard of and usually aren’t available in your hometown wine shop. Since many of these guys are small businesses their distribution isn’t as big as say Kendall Jackson (don’t act like you’ve never heard of them).

While I was in San Francisco, my friends and I went up north to do a little wine tasting. YUMMY! I was in the bay area to celebrate my best friend’s birthday (Happy Birthday again Alison!).  Four Chicagoans went up to do a little drinking with our favorite SF couple.  We hit up three wineries, one that you will know (surprise!). Read the rest of this entry

Wine Speak 101

Have you ever been at a wine tasting and been asked to speak about the wine? Did you have no idea what to say other than you liked or disliked the wine? Here are some terms to help you sound like wine connoisseur whether you know anything about wine or not. 

Full-Bodied- This describes a wine that has a rich or heavier feel to it. They are usually complex and the flavor lingers in your mouth (Cabernet and Bordeaux are good examples of wine that are often full-bodied)

Thin- This is the opposite of full-bodied. The wines are usually not as complex and the flavor does not linger on your palette. Read the rest of this entry

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