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

This article was archived around: 30 Sep 2000 17:18:58 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: drink/wine-faq
All FAQs posted in: rec.food.drink, alt.food.wine
Source: Usenet Version

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