Category: Focus/Fokus

Seven wine faults and how to sniff them out!

As wine drinkers we consume a lot of flawed wine without even realizing it. Nothing to be ashamed of because most of us just don’t know what wine flaws are. The good news is, the majority of wine faults are not bad for us. They just taste bad. So, here’s a short primer on the most common flaws in wi …

The Nahe: The German wine region so often overlooked

Sometimes overlooked for its larger and better-known neighbors, the Nahe is leveraging its geological diversity to build a reputation in the global wine world as a region for distinctive, world-class wines. Situated about 45 minutes southwest of Frankfurt, the Nahe is named for the river that winds …

To age or not to age, that’s the question!

When you think of drinking wine at the appropriate age, what picture comes to mind? Usually it is a red wine. Maybe a decanter is involved? It’s a special occasion or with friends and family. However, not all wine is designed to age a long time. I have heard so many stories of people saving a bottle …

Why 750 ml?

Have you ever wondered why a standard bottle of wine is 750 ml? Well, it actually remains unknown precisely why, but one thing is sure, it has become the worldwide standard. A brief history helps understand how we got to this state. Glass wine bottles didn’t become widely available before the 19th c …

Shiraz, Syrah, Petite Sirah: What’s in a name?

Shiraz. Syrah. Petite Sirah. These wines sound similar leaving people confused about the difference between the three of them. Syrah and Shiraz are the exact same grape, much like Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are also the same grape. So, whether you’re drinking a wine called Syrah or a wine called Sh …

Petite sirah: small berries, big wines!

Just when I thought wine was giving me a break, it surprised me (again!) by adding durif to my journey of discovery. It’s not that I’ve never heard of durif (or petite sirah), it’s just that I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing this bold red wine. Until Sunday at the home of Ayama wines in th …

Understanding where aromas in wine come from

A lot of us have done this. Holding up a glass of wine to our nose and smelling the Pandora’s box of different wine aromas and wondering where these aromas come from? Are there lemons and lime in my Pinot Grigio, and have they put plums and raspberries in my Merlot? Wine is only made from one ingred …

What are tannins and how do they effect aging?

  Wine is one of the most diverse products out there. Not only are there reds and whites (and rosés and sparkling varieties), but each wine also has a constellation of flavors and characteristics. Dry, sweet, full-bodied, light, and notes of just about anything you can imagine (apple and tobacc …

Pinot Noir, ‘the most romantic of wines’

The name pinot noir is derived from the French words for pine and black. The word pine alludes to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit. Pinot noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler climates, and the grape is chiefly associated with the B …

Brazilian sparkling wines make a summer splash

I don’t see nearly enough sparkling wine from Brazil on restaurant menus and in retail shops. It makes sense, really, since the industry did not begin making strides in foreign markets until the 1990s. Brazil’s wine industry is nascent, relatively speaking. And while the focus of this article is on …

South Africa has come a long way since it re-entered the democratic world some 24 years ago, as has its wine industry which today is flourishing as winemakers continue to test the limits of its terroir. One of the results of its new found freedom was exploration, the results of which are only now be …

Uruguay is a traditional South America’s wine producer. The country is about the size of England (not the UK), with a mere 3,4 million inhabitants. Its capital, Montevideo (with nearly half the population) lies on the Rio del Plata, across from Buenos Aires. Most Uruguayan men drink “mate” (a hot dr …

Why the “lesser” Cabernet has more to say

Cabernet Franc continues to surprise wine lovers with its profound potential. Will it create the next collectible craze? Let’s look at it more deeply. Cabernet Franc is the parent grape of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Complex reds result from it with aromas of raspberry, bramble and bell pepp …

Some of the most bizarre flavors found in wine

If wine tasted only like flowers and fruit, it wouldn’t be as awesome as it is. See the most bizarre wine flavors below and find out what wines have them. Walnut An aroma commonly found in aged Madeira wines, particularly Malmsey and Bual. Banana An aroma that comes from a winemaking process called …

The big secret about pinot!

Having just spent time in Burgundy, France, sampling some of their superb pinot noir offerings, I decided to find out more about one of the “parents” of our very own pinotage. And then I discovered this interesting article on pinot. Pinot is a little bit misunderstood. Recent findings have shown tha …