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eBook 1 –
The Newbies Guide To Wines & Spirits
Table Of Contents
1, THE BASICS – Wine 101 6
What Is Wine? 6
Color Classifications 9
White wine 9
Red wine 10
Rosé wine 10
Dry, Semi-Sweet (Off –Dry) or Sweet 11
Dry wine 11
Semi-sweet wine 11
Sweet wine 12
Table, Sparkling, Fortified and Dessert 12
2, WINESPEAK – A LOOK AT WINE TERMINOLOGY 14
3, NEW WORLD, OLD WORLD, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? 18
General Differences 18
Old world wine 18
New world wine 19
Viva La Difference 20
4, SELECTING, STORING AND SERVING WINE 23
Selecting Wine 23
5, SWISH, SWIRL, DON’T GARGLE – WINE TASTING 101 29
6, CHOOSING WINE IN A RESTAURANT 32
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The history of wine making and drinking goes back several thousands of years. Early civilizations discovered the process of fermentation. The exact date remains unknown. It is known, however, that by 7,000 B.C. cultivated vines were growing in the region of Mount Ararat and in Asia Minor. Successive civilizations continued to develop on the process of growing and making and storing wine. Irrigation systems created by the Sumerians around 3500 B.C. helped water the vineyards of Mesopotamia and other arid lands. The Assyrians, The Babylonians and the Egyptians continued the trend.
Although the Egyptians preferred beer, the upper echelons drank wine. The pyramidal tombs in both the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Nobles contain wall hieroglyphics depicting the growing and the harvesting of grapes as well as the making of wine. The Egyptians were also the first to label the wine vats, sealed against the negative effects of air.
The Greeks were the first to begin categorizing the different types of grapes. Authors recorded such things as techniques and tools. In fact, the Greeks invented the pruning knife. They also developed wine containers – amphorae, of clay to act as storage vessels. The Romans took the Greek’s inventions and techniques developing them further.
Between 750 and 450 B. C., the Romans refined wine growing techniques and processes. Pruning, fertilization and reduction of acidity owe much to the Romans. Pliny the Elder recorded much of the Roman farmers’ practices in this field of agriculture. He classified grapes and recorded the terminology for future generations. The Romans are also responsible for spreading wine culture throughout their empire. Soon, the “provinces” of Hispania (Spain), Gaul (France) and Germania (Germany) – to name a few, were growing grapes for wine making. Even England was learning about wine making. The Roman legions stationed there would trade wine for woolen cloaks and cloth.
Between 500 A.D. and 1400 A.D., the Christian Church began to seriously cultivate land for their own purposes. They needed sacramental wine. Monasteries oversaw large segments of land devoted to growing grapes. Monks made basic vintages, but they also began to experiment, improving upon a basic product. They recorded their work for posterity.
During this period, wine and other spirits were common beverages. Water was not always potable. Wine usually was. Some countries, however, could not grow grapes or produce wine. As a result, trade increased between the haves and the have-nots. The result was a lucrative trade around the European world. Wars arose, some based on cornering and/or controlling the market on the wine-trade.
eBook 2 –
How To Make Wonderful Wine
History and Technique for Mastering Vinification
Table Of Contents
A Little History Lesson 4
Grape Varieties 7
Wine Classification 9
Classification via Appellation 9
Regional wine classifications 10
Classification via Vinification 11
Sparkling and still wines 11
Dessert And Fortified Wine 12
Other styles 12
Classification By Vintage & Varietal 14
The Winemaking Science 16
First Thing’s First: Harvesting 16
Let’s Make Some Wine! 20
First Thing’s First: Supplies! 20
Understanding Your Hydrometer 22
Sterilization and Hygiene 23
Methods of Sterilization 24
Stage One: Flavour Extraction 24
Stage Two: Fermentation 25
Stage 3: Bottling and Aging 26
The Ingredients 27
Popular Wine Recipes 28
Traditional Dry Grape Wine 28
Sweet Concord Grape Recipe 28
Strawberry Wine 29
Almond Wine 32
Legendary Apple Wine 33
Extra Tips and Tricks 35
Wine With Legs 35
How Do Wine Tasters Keep From getting Drunk? 35
How About a Nice Punt? I’m Not Talking About Football! 36
Advanced Winemaking Techniques 36
Growing Your Own Grapes 36
Clarification & Wine Tasting 37
Final Thoughts 41
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Wine is usually made from one or more varieties of the European species Vitis vinifera, such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay and Merlot. When one of these varieties is used as the predominant grape (usually defined by law as a minimum of 75% or 85%), the result is a varietal, as opposed to a blended, wine. Blended wines are not necessarily considered inferior to varietal wines; some of the world’s most expensive wines, from regions like Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley, are blended from different grape varieties of the same vintage.
Wine can also be made from other species of grape or from hybrids, created by the genetic crossing of two species. Vitis labrusca (of which the Concord grape is a cultivar), Vitis aestivalis, Vitis rupestris, Vitis rotundifolia and Vitis riparia are native North American grapes usually grown for consumption as fruit or for the production of grape juice, jam, or jelly, but sometimes made into wine.
Hybridization is not to be confused with the practice of grafting. Most of the world’s vineyards are planted with European V. vinifera vines that have been grafted onto North American species rootstock. This is common practice because North American grape species are resistant to phylloxera, a root louse that eventually kills the vine. In the late 19th century, most of Europe’s vineyards (only excluding some of the driest vineyards in Southern Europe) were devastated by the bug, leading to massive vine deaths and eventual replanting. Grafting is done in every wine-producing country of the world except for Argentina, the Canary Islands and Chile, which are the only ones that have not yet been exposed to the insect.
In the context of wine production, terroir is a concept that encompasses the varieties of grapes used, elevation and shape of the vineyard, type and chemistry of soil, climate and seasonal conditions, and the local yeast cultures. The range of possibilities here can result in great differences between wines, influencing the fermentation, finishing, and aging processes as well. Many wineries use growing and production methods that preserve or accentuate the aroma and taste influences of their unique terroir. However, flavor differences are not desirable for producers of mass-market table wine or other cheaper wines, where consistency is more important. Such producers will try to minimize differences in sources of grapes by using production techniques such as micro-oxygenation, tannin filtration, cross-flow filtration, thin film evaporation, and spinning cones.
Wine classification is paramount to wine-making. It may be unnecessary for a simple home-brew that you share with your family but if you’re planning on going professional then you’ll want to understand this concept thoroughly. The classification of wine can be done according to various methods including, but not limited to, place of origin or appellation, vinification methods and style, sweetness and vintage, or varietal used. Practices vary in different countries and regions of origin, and many practices have varied over time. Some classifications enjoy official protection by being part of the wine law in their country of origin, while others have been created by, for example, grower’s organizations without such protection.
Classification via Appellation
Historically, wines have been known by names reflecting their origin, and sometimes style: Bordeaux, Rioja, Mosel and Chianti are all legally defined names reflecting the traditional wines produced in the named region. These naming conventions or “appellations” (as they are known in France) dictate not only where the grapes in a wine were grown but also which grapes went into the wine and how they were vinified. The appellation system is strongest in the European Union, but a related system, the American Viticultural Area, restricts the use of certain regional labels in America, such as Napa Valley, Santa Barbara and Willamette Valley. The AVA designations do not restrict the type of grape used.
eBook 3 –
Paso Robles Wineries:
The Essential Guide to a Weekend in Paso Robles
Table of Contents
Getting to Paso Robles
A Brief History of Paso Robles
Lodging and Accommodations in Paso Robles
Luxury Resort Accommodations
Bed and Breakfast Inns
Dining in Paso Robles
Paso Robles Wine Country
More to Do in Paso Robles
Exploring Paso Robles Through Agricultural Tourism
Sample Content Preview
Welcome to Paso Robles, California. The area is the up and coming wine Mecca of Central California. If you are looking for a great place to spend a weekend then Paso Robles, California is just for you. Paso Robles may be in the heart of wine country, but it offers so much more than the norm.
There are shops, it is the home of the California Mid-State Fair, museums, great food, wonderful views, and a relaxing atmosphere with an eclectic mix of entertainment. This is a kind of destination where you can fill your days with activities or just sit back and enjoy the breathtaking views while sipping a local wine.
The Paso Robles area is located in the Coastal Mountain Range, so you are able to capture the beauty of the mountains, the ocean, and the deserts. Each season offers incredible natural beauty. The winter will bring green hills, the spring will show vivid pink and white almond blossoms, there are lush vineyards to gaze upon during the summer, and fall will offer beautiful colors and a bounty of new wines and local harvests. All you need to do is pack a picnic, pick a road, and fall in love with the area.
A Brief History of Paso Robles
It can be fun knowing a bit of the history of an area that you are about to travel to. Paso Robles is full of history and can be further studied once there. However, history tells us that Paso Robles was once known as El Paso de Robles and is Spanish for “The Pass of Oaks”. The town was shortened to Paso Robles when California gained independence from Mexico.
The Native Americans and the Mission Fathers knew of Paso Robles for the hot springs that were flooding the area. During the Mission Period the Padres were so impressed with the healing powers of the hot springs that they would make annual pilgrimages from such missions as: Santa Yanez, San Luis Obispo, and San Antonio to bring their sick to bathe and drink the healing waters. As a matter of fact, it was the Franciscan priests from Mission San Miguel who constructed the first mineral baths. At the time, they did not realize what they had started because several years later many adopted the same idea.
Early on the padres at the missions imported certain grapes and grew them at the missions. The grapes were turned into sacramental wines, but some exported certain brandies that were also a product of the sweet grapes. After the missions were abandoned, there were Europeans that came to the area and revived the vines and started to import other varietals that would produce other types of wine. The word seemed to have gotten out and the area became increasingly popular. The pioneer settlers were attracted to this area and later established cattle ranches, apple orchards, almond orchards, dairy farms, and more vineyards.
Centuries later the 26,000 acres that makes up Paso Robles was purchased with a land grant for $8,000 in 1844, which was after the Gold Rush era. Two brothers by the names of Daniel and James Blackburn teamed with a partner and purchased this land; they were tired of travelling the area and thought the region was beautiful and had great potential. They donated two blocks to the city for a public park. Over several years the park was planted with regional plants like cacti and then a grandstand was built, which was enjoyed by many for years to come. James Blackburn and their partner took part of the claim and became ranchers. However, Daniel was more of a businessman and decided to create a town. After the Civil War, Daniel sold half of the town site to a Drury James, who was the uncle to the famed Jesse James.
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