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28 Cards in this Set

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Barbera is a red wine grape from Italy's Piedmont region. Barbera grapes can be found in many generic red wine blends. Well-cultivated and low-cropped Barbera vineyards, however, can produce flavorful grapes that result in a charming wine when bottled separately. This grape is part of the "Cal-Ital" varietal trend in California, but East Coast producers are experimenting with it as well. "Try it with Oso Bucco!"
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc has traditionally been used as a blending wine with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Cabernet Franc is one the five varietals that account for the first class reputation of red Bordeaux. A cousin to the more well known Cabernet Sauvignon, this grape is normally used in minute quantities, blended with both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to create a wine which ages very nicely. Cabernet Franc is seldom found by itself. "Try it with your Entrecote Double!"
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied and full bodied wine with noticeable tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon is also the most popular of California's red-wine grapes. The intense flavor, complexity, and longevity (making this an ideal collector's wine) attribute to the wine's popularity. Cabernet Sauvignon's flavors are often described as black cherry, black currant and blackberry and often exhibit nuances of bell pepper, oak, cedar and mint. Many California wines are made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. In Bordeaux Cabernets are blended with other grapes. "Try it with your Fillet Mignon a la Wellington!"
If it's an American Chablis, such may describe a jug wine. If we talk about the French Chablis we talk about a dry white wine from the Burgundy. Most of the premier Cru Chablis are 100% Chardonnay grapes, harvested early and therefore very dry. "Such is an excellent wine with oysters!"
Chardonnay is the most popular premium white wine varietal produced in California. The California Chardonnay is often full bodied, buttery, nutty, creamy or toasty and oaky. It can take on flavors that include apple, pear, tropical fruits, butterscotch, honey or lemon. In comparison the French Chardonnays are in general very very dry. Chardonnay is a very popular grape in the production of sparkling wines and Champagnes. "Have a glass of Chardonnay with your Seafood in creme sauce, or just by itself before or after dinner!"
Chenin Blanc
Chenin Blanc is a white wine with fresh, delicate characteristics. Chenin Blanc wines exhibit delicate floral aromas and flavors. Although sometimes produced in a dry style, most Chenin Blanc wines are semi-sweet to semi-dry in style. "Try it with Fried Chicken or Salads!"
Dolcetto - This red wine grape is found almost exclusively in Italy's Piedmont region. It produces soft, purple and fruity wines with fragrances resembling licorice and almonds. Dolcetto is best enjoyed one to three years after harvest. "Try it with your Jaeger-Schnitzel!"
French Colombard
French Colombard is a white wine and usually light and semi-sweetsweet. It is the most widely planted varietal in California. "Try it with your cheese and crackers!"
Fume Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc aka Fume Blanc is a white wine best known for its grassy light flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is a popular alternative to Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc is California's second most popular white wine grape. The wine is crisp. Sauvignon Blanc is often considered the poor man's Chardonnay. "Try it with your Vegetarian Spaghetti Dinner!"
Gamay is the grape used in red wine from the Beaujolais. It is fruity, with little tannic, and not as overpowering as the Cabernet Sauvignons. "Try it with your daily meals, pizza, sandwiches as well as fish." BTW serve your young fresh Gamay Beaujolaise chilled. Try it!
Gewurztraminer is a white wine that produces distinctive wines rich in spicy aromas and full flavors, ranging from dry to sweet. Gewurtztraminer wines are available in various levels of sweetness, from dry to medium-sweet and late-harvest and should be consumed while young. The Alsatian region of France has more than four centuries of experience in producing these fine wines in the traditional style. "Try dry Gewuerztraminer with your Eisbein or Sauerbraten!" BTW All sweet Gewuerztraminers belong with dessert!
Grenache is a red wine grape that produces fruity, spicy wines with medium body and little tannins. Often used for rose wine it is common in France, Spain and California. It also can show a lighter side when it's turned into Rose. "As red wine try it with venison!" "As a rose have some with your sushi!"
Meritage is a Boutique Label. Vintners may use this term only if they are members of the Meritage Association. Otherwise wines are sometimes simply referred to as Bordeaux blends. The most common red Bordeaux varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, St. Macaire, Gros Verdot, Carmenere and Malbec. White Bordeaux varieties include Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscatelle. Meritage wines typically contain less than 75% but may not contain more than 90% of a single variety. Check the label it should tell you what is mainly used in your particular Meritage and pare your food accordingly!
Merlot is a red wine with medium to full body and herbaceous flavors. Merlot is typically softer in taste than Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot has become quite popular in the states as a wine of its own, though traditionally, it was used more for blending with other grapes to shape the character of a wine. It can offer up some rich berry, honey, or mint, and is not as tannic as say, a Cabernet. "Try with leg of lamb!"
Muscat - The white Muscat grape produces spicy, floral wines that often do something most other wines don't: they actually taste like grapes. Muscats can range from very dry and fresh to sweet and syrupy. "Try with chocolate decadence!"
Petit Shyrah
Petite Sirahs are often confused with Sirah/Syrah/Shiraz. Petite Sirahs are red wines with firm, robust tannic tastes,which can be chocolaty and/or smoky often with peppery flavors. Petite Shirahs exhibit deep color, and generally age well. Because of their qualities, they are often used for blending. "Try it with your Prime Rib dinner!"
Pinot Blanc
Predominant in Alsace, Italy, and Austria, this grape suggests some of the character of Chardonnay. Pinot Blancs are clear and intense with hints of fruit and honey. They are often used to make sparkling wines. Pinot Balnc is related to the Pinot Gris. "Try with fried shrimp!"
Pinot Gris
Pinot Gris is a clone of Pinot Noir, grown in France, Germany, Austria and along the west coast of the US. It's also known as Rulander or Grauer Burgunder. It can be used to create both fine whites and roses. The low acidity of this white grape helps produce rich, lightly perfumed wines that are often more colorful than other whites. "Try it with your Dover Sole dinner!"
Riesling Late Harvest
Late Harvest wines are made from grapes (commonly Riesling) that are picked toward the end of the harvest when the very ripe grapes have a high sugar content. Because of the high sugar content (Brix) they usually make very sweet, highly alcoholic wines. Late Harvest Rieslings, which are usually sweet and fruity with intense flavors of honey, peaches and apricots, are most often used as dessert wines. If picked ripe and frozen and pressed while still frozen, thus reducing the water content to very little and the sugar to a very high content, we call it Eiswein. Eisweins are excellent dessert wines. "Try with your Creme Brulee!"
Sangiovese is best known as the grape behind the Italian red wine, Chianti. It often boasts a distinctively smooth texture topped with spice, raspberry and licorice flavors. It's a wine for all occasions. "Try it with your vegetarian dinner!
Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc aka Fume Blanc is a white wine best known for its grassy light flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is a popular alternative to Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc is California's second most popular white wine grape. The wine is crisp. Sauvignon Blanc is often considered the poor man's Chardonnay. "Try it with your Pesto Dinner!"
Semillon is an early-ripening grape which is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc. It is the primary grape in White Bordeaux wines. It also has a grassy character. Some interesting Semillions have been coming out Australia and New Zealand of late. The white Semillon grape reaches its pinnacle in sweet, honeyed wines such as the Sauternes of southwest France. "Have some Semillion with your Escargot Maitre de or Gambas con Ajollo appetizers!" BTW Semillion is also used to produce one of the finest sweet dessert wines the Chateau d' Yquem.
White Zinfandel
White Zinfandel is made from the red Zinfandel grape and gets it's pale pink (blush) color by quickly removing the skins from the juice after the grapes are pressed. White Zinfandels are usually slightly sweet but may be produced in a semi-dry style. "Have some any time, with any food!
Zinfandel is a red wine with light to full body and berry-like or spicy flavors. The Zinfandel grape is also widely used in the popular off-dry blush wine known as White Zinfandel. Rumors are that Zinfandel originated in Southern Italy, Ungary or Croatia, depending on with whom you speak. As a matter of fact Zinfandel is not found in any country other than America. Zinfandel can be fruity or spicy, depending on age. "Try it with Tuna Sashimi!"
Syrah/Shiraz/Sirah is known in France and California as Syrah, and in Australia as Shiraz. It is the main grape in many Rhone wines. Syrah can possess a mineral, blueberry, or sometimes spicy/peppery flavor. Some remarkable wines are being produced in Australia and South Africa with this grape. Syrah is the grape found in French Côte Rôtie, St. Joseph and Cornas, and plays a major role in the spicy Châteauneuf-du-Papes of the southern Rhône, too. "Try it with your Wild Boar dinner or grilled Ostrich sausages!"
Viognier this varietal originated in Condrieu, on the northern Rhône. It is predominantly found in the Rhône valley and California, noted for spice, floral, citrus, apricot, apple and peach flavors. It typically produces medium bodied wines with relatively high acids and fruit. "Try with Beef Stroganoff!"
Riesling is considered to be one of the great wine grapes of the world. Riesling wines are considered complex, yet delicate, and can be vinified from dry to very sweet. These light, fruity wines may exhibit apricot and peach flavors and a flowery bouquet. Riesling Late Harvests and Eiswein are dessert wines. "Try Riesling with any food!"
Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a red wine of light to medium body and delicate, smooth, rich complexity. Used mostly for red wines, Pinot Noir is also used as a white ingredient in Champagne. A Pinot Noir can possess quite a bit of personality, but isn't usually as deep as say, a Cabernet. Pinot Noir is also used extensively in Burgundy. When young Pinot Noir wines exhibit flavors of cherries, strawberries, raspberries and plums and aromas of rose petals. When aged, these wines gain complexity and exhibit characteristics of chocolate, prunes, figs and smoky flavors. "Try such with your Rack of Lamb!"