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Red Wine

WHAT TO KNOW

About Red, White, and Sparkling Wines.

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WINE?

Wine can be broadly broken down into a few main types: 

  • Red wines are defined by their dark fruit flavors and tannins that make them a great match for food. Oak aging plays a part in many red wines. 

  • White wines tend to be more tart and refreshing than reds, with aromatic notes like flowers, citrus, and orchard fruits. White wines are usually lighter in body and in alcohol. 

  • Rosé, sparkling, and fortified wines. These styles of wine are often paired with a matching occasion: rosé wine during the summer, sparkling wine for special events, and fortified wine after a big meal.

Wine Tasting

ALL ABOUT RED WINE

Red wines are made from black-skinned grapes that have colorless juice. When the grapes are pressed at the winery the grape skins mix with the juice to create a reddish-purple beverage. 

  • Tannins. The grape skins also contain tannins, the compounds responsible for red wine’s bitterness and mouth-drying quality. The tannins in red wine act as a preservative, which means that red wines with higher tannin can generally age longer than white wines or red wines with lower tannin.

  • Aging. Many red wines are aged in new oak barrels to add flavors and aromas of sweet baking spice, cocoa, chocolate, and vanilla to the wine.

  • Taste. The flavors and aromas of red wine vary depending on the aging method and grape varieties included. Fruit flavors in red wines include red fruit, black fruit, and blue fruit. Warmer climates produce wines with riper, jammier fruit qualities. 

  • Varietals. Red wines can be varietal wines made from a single type of red grape. These wines will be labeled with the name of the grape or the name of the wine’s appellation, like Burgundy. Some grapes have different names depending on where they are grown.

ALL ABOUT WHITE WINE

White Wine

White wines are made from green-skinned grapes whose juice is also colorless. For white wines, the grape skins are removed from the must before fermentation. Acid structure and aroma are more important in white wines because they lack the tannins that red wines have from contact with the grape skins. 

  • Aging. White wines are more likely to be aged in stainless steel barrels, a technique which maintains their fresh aromatics. 

  • Varietals. White wines are most often varietal wines made from one grape variety. Like red wines, they will usually be labeled by variety and appellation. 

  • Taste. White wines can range from dry to sweet in style. Classic dry white wines include Italian Pinot Grigio and French muscadet. Some producers make dry wine and sweet wine from the same grapes. 

  • Aroma. Some white wine grapes are considered aromatic, meaning they have powerful fruit and floral aromas. Semi-aromatic grapes include Sauvignon Blanc, and Albariño. Neutral grapes, like Chardonnay, have less distinct aromas but respond well to winemaking processes like oak aging or sparkling winemaking. 

  • Climate. The flavors and aromas of white wines vary based on the grape and the climate they are from. Warmer climates tend to produce riper tropical fruit aromas. Citrus dominates in cool climate wine regions.

Everyone knows that wine comes from grapes but what many people don’t know is that the grapes used in wine are much different from those you can get at any grocery store. Wine grapes are smaller, sweeter, have thicker skin and also have seeds!

 

There are hundreds of different wine grapes, which means hundreds of different wines! Wines are usually categorized on the sweetness and the richness of their flavor as well as the color, ranging from white to rose to red.

CABERNET SAUVINGNON

“Kab-er-nay Saw-vin-yawn”  -  13.5% - 15% ABV   

Wine Toasting

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely planted grape varietals. Its ability to thrive in a multitude of climates and its flexibility in the winemaking process make it a popular choice for growers and vintners, but its robust flavors and depth of character make it a “go to” for many drinkers, from by the glass pours at restaurants to coveted treasures in collector’s cellars. Wines featuring this grape will typically have pronounced flavors and aromas of red fruit (cherry, plum, currant) with a pronounced backbone from the tannins (coffee, chocolate, tobacco) and nice acidity. It is probably best to begin your cabernet journey with New World examples, California, Washington, Chile and Australia which offer fruit forward and friendly options that will introduce you to the marvels of this grape. When you are ready for the next level, let us pick you a Left Bank option from Bordeaux, France so you may explore the more earthy, herbal terrior driven flavors of old world options.

 

Pairs well with: 

Meats: Steak Buckhead Beef Filet Fresh Certified Angus, Steak Buckhead Beef Strips Fresh Certified Angus, Steak Beef Rib Eye Boneless Angus, Steak Beef Rib Eye Boneless Frozen, Beef Patties Certified Black Angus Frozen, Lamb T-Bones 4 per Package Frozen, Lamb Boneless Leg Frozen

Cheeses: Cheese Cabot 4 year old Vermont White Cheddar, Cheese Asiago, Cheese Parmesan, Cheese Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue

SYRAH

“Sear- ah” -  13.5% - 15% ABV   

Syrah is a grape that originally found its way into bottles along the banks of the Rhone River in Eastern France. Inky and dark in appearance, it provides intense fruit flavors with bright acidity and a touch of peppery, spicy notes. In recent years, this grape has found a particularly robust expression in the hot, dry summers of Australia, where they call it Shiraz. These fruity, spicy wines are affordable and delicious and provide a great springboard to some really great Old World options including Cotes du Rhone and Chateauneuf de Pape from France.

 

Pairs well with: 

 

Meat: Steak Buckhead Beef Filet Fresh Certified Angus, Steak Buckhead Beef Strips Fresh Certified Angus, Steak Beef Rib Eye Boneless Angus, Steak Beef Rib Eye Boneless Frozen, Beef Patties Certified Black Angus Frozen, Lamb

T-Bones 4 per Package Frozen, Lamb Boneless Leg Frozen

 

Cheeses: Cheese Cabot 4 year old Vermont White Cheddar, Cheese Asiago, Cheese Parmesan

Dinner Outside

ZINFANDEL

“Zin-fan-dell”  -  Over 14% ABV

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This grape started humbly in Croatia, but it found a loving home in the Puglia region (think heel of the boot) of Italy, where it is known as Primitivo. However, it was when it immigrated to America and followed Italians to California during the Gold Rush of 1849 that it really took off, and due to its longevity, one can still find wines made from vines planted in the 1800’s. It is still one of the most widely planted grapes in California to this day, and it makes some full-bodied, flavorful wines with smooth, soft finishes. Although some people will turn up their noses at the rose version of this grape (White Zinfandel), the same qualities that made it a great candidate for this sweet blush (that introduced many of us to the wonders of wine) also make it a great place to start your red wine journey. These wines are fruit forward and friendly though not without character, and they can stand up to a variety of foods and accoutrement. We would love to show you a few examples of the wonders of this grape. 

 

Pairs well with: 

 

Meat: Pork Chops Buckhead Fresh, Lamb T-Bones 4 per Package Frozen, Lamb Boneless Leg Frozen, Beef Patties Certified Black Angus Frozen    

                                

Cheese: Cheese Cabot 4 year old Vermont White Cheddar, Cheese Parmesan, Cheese Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue

PINOT NOIR

“Pee-no Nwar”  -  11.5% - 13.5% ABV

This is a particularly finicky grape. It grows best in a narrow band of latitude, encompassing Oregon, France, and Germany in the Northern Hemisphere and Tasmania and New Zealand in the South. The conditions in these regions allow the Pinot Noir to fully develop its flavors, acid, and tannin, reaching a combination of power and grace like that of a ballet dancer. Bright fruit flavor and aromas are accompanied by soft tannins and mouthwatering acidity that finish quickly but can leave a lasting impression. Outside of these regions, this grape can become jammy and less elegant but still an enjoyable and accessible varietal. Due to its popularity, winemakers have found a few micro climates that provide the cooler temperatures this grape requires or have developed techniques to deal with its shortcomings from less than ideal terroirs, including blending grapes from multiple appellations to create the desired sensations. Come try some beautiful pinot noirs from California, and when you are ready we can help you select some classics from Burgundy in France or the Willamette Valley in Oregon. 

 

Pairs well with: 

Meat: Duck Breasts Maple leaf Farms, Duck ½ Fully Cooked Rotisserie, Quail Semi Boneless Frozen / more fruit-forward wines pair with Crab Cakes, Lobster Meat Frozen, Salmon Wild Caught Filet, Tilapia Filets Frozen, Tuna

Cheese: Cheese Cabot 4 year old Vermont White Cheddar, Cheese Asiago, Cheese Parmesan

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CHARDONNAY

“Shar-dun-nay”  -  13.5% - 15% ABV

Two Wine Cups

When people tell me they don’t like Chardonnay, I know they really mean they haven’t found one they like yet because it is a very flexible grape that can present any number of flavors and aromas according to the terroir in which it is grown and various winemaking techniques used to highlight the power and quality of this fruit. For example, the climate can have a huge impact on the flavors of the grape, with cooler climates bringing out citrusy (lemon, lime, orange) notes, moderate climates accentuating tree fruit (apples, pears, peaches), and warm climates highlighting more tropical notes (pineapple, mango). Additionally, the winemaking techniques can add several other layers, from oak ageing (carmel, vanilla), malolactic fermentation (buttery, creamy), or ageing on the spent yeast, known as lees (bready, biscuit). If you are not particularly fond of the bold, over the top, California style maybe a more restrained French option will fit the bill.

 

Pairs well with: 

Meat: Crab Cakes, Lobster Meat Frozen, Salmon Wild Caught Filet, Tilapia Filets Frozen, Tuna, Chicken Filets

Cheeses: Cheese Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue, Cheese Asiago

SAUVIGNON BLANC

“Saw-vin-yawn Blonk”  -  11.5% - 13.5% ABV

Wines made from this highly aromatic grape are easily identifiable by their pungent herbal, grassy, or citrusy scents. In recent years, the New Zealand variety of this grape has become wildly popular, with its strong grapefruit aromas and crisp finish. However, it has found homes in many places around the globe and shows subtle differences for each new location, from the floral and soft in France to the bright and herbal examples from Chile. No matter where it began Sauvignon Blanc creates a wonderful experience whether it is a full meal of delicious seafood or an afternoon on Lake Keowee.

 

Pairs well with: 

Meat: Crab Cakes, Chicken Filets, Turkey Fully Cooked Block & Barrel Supreme

Cheese: Cheese Asiago, Cheese Cabot 4 year old Vermont White Cheddar, Cheese Parmesan, Cheese Mellage Goat, Sheep & Cow’s  Milk

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PINOT GRIS

“Pee-no Gree”  -  11.5% - 13.5% ABV 

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There are not a wide variety of winemaking techniques involved in producing this grape. For the most part it is picked, juiced, fermented, bottled, and sold to you. Therefore, where it grows becomes of utmost importance. Its most popular and most well known expression is from Italy where its most tasty examples come from the areas to north of Venice as the land slopes toward the Alps, rising rapidly in altitude and providing the cool evenings in which Pinot Grigio seems to thrive. Here it produces wines of fine citrus and tree fruit flavors with crisp acidity. It is also produced in areas like Alsace, France, where a neutral oak winemaking treatment can round the acidic edges and produce a softer, mellower style. It will always be light bodied, friendly and enjoyable. 

 

Pairs well with: 

Meat: Crab Cakes, Lobster Meat Frozen, Salmon Wild Caught Filet, Tilapia Filets Frozen, Tuna, Chicken Filets, Turkey Fully Cooked Block & Barrel Supreme

Cheese: Cheese Mellage Goat, Sheep & Cow’s  Milk

RIESLING

“Reese-ling”  -  Under 10% ABV

Riesling is the most misunderstood of all the grapes. Perhaps it is because we were exposed to a great many poorly made and cheap rieslings (overly sweet or cloying) in the American market. However, fine Riesling is one of the most luxurious white wine experiences a drinker can experience. This grape is highly aromatic and can present some interesting scents (gasoline, rubber, tennis ball) as you plunge your nose into the glass, but the flavors can be intensely fruity without being syrupy or sweet. The best examples have a dry, crisp finish with a hint of minerality and tart acidity. Like Chardonnay, there is a wide range of flavors which Riesling can present, but we can help you find one that is suited to your menu or personal palate. Great examples come from Germany, Washington State, and Alsace, France.     

 

Pairs well with:

Meat: Chicken Patties Skinless, Breaded & Cooked,Salmon Fresh Never Frozen, Tuna Ahi Seasoned, Seared & Sliced Frozen, Tilapia Filets Frozen

Cheese: Cheese Asiago, Cheese Cabot 4 year old Vermont White Cheddar, Cheese Parmesan, Cheese Mellage Goat, Sheep & Cow’s  Milk

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ALL ABOUT SPARKLING WINE

Sparkling wines can be white, rosé, or red in color. They can be made from any grape varieties, depending on the appellation rules of the area where they are made. Sparkling wines can be single-varietal wines or made from a blend of grapes. Sugar content in sparkling wines varies from dry to sweet. Most sparkling wines contain a few grams of sugar to balance their high acidity. Two of the most well-known sparkling wines are Champagne and Prosecco. 

Champagne can be a varietal wine or a blended wine, made from a blend of the permitted grapes. It is made in the méthode champenoise, also called the traditional method, which involves a primary alcoholic fermentation followed by a secondary fermentation in the bottle to produce its bubbles. 

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INDIVIDUAL WINE EDUCATION