The goal of the "Cork" club is to promote the appreciation of wine through wine education. In every meeting we discuss various aspects regarding the styles of wine tasted in any given meeting.Here you will find some information regarding the wines tasted in previous “Cork” club meetings. This list and information will continue to grow with each meeting.
Chardonnay is the name of a white grape variety and is the sole wine responsible for the finest white burgundy. It had a popularity boom in the 1980s and was heavily planted. Subsequently, in the late 1990 and early 21st century there was shortage of Chardonnay in throughout Australia. Up to the mid 1990s, rich and oaky varietals were the trend in chardonnays. This trend has however moved toward leaner, less oak dominated.
Winemakers like Chardonnay for its high ripeness levels and its ability to respond to a wide range of wine fermentation techniques. This grape is also a main ingredient in most of the world’s champagnes. (Oxford Wine Companion)
Depending on origin and fermentation techniques Chardonnays can taste semi-sweet or sour, heavy or light and simple to complex. Many chardonnays produced outside of France tend to be big, creamy and oaky typically dry, buttery and fruity. Some noticeable aromas include apple, pineapple, lemon, lime, melon, pear, butterscotch, nuts, honey, spice and oak. Chardonnay is usually dry, and goes best with poultry, creamy sauces, egg dishes and seafood, like lobster or scallops. It can even go well with a light red meat dish, grilled and smoked especially. Good cheeses for Chardonnay include Gruyere, Provolone, and Brie.
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Chianti is the name of a specific region in Italy that is approximately six times the size of Napa. Chianti used to be identified by the squat bottle enclosed in a basket. However, it is most commonly today found in a standard wine bottle. Until the middle of the 19th century Chianti was based solely on Sangiovese grapes. Later, wine makers began producing Chianti with 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia bianca. In 1984 regulations permitted the addition of up to 10% of non traditional grapes to the final blend, leading to frequent use of Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot and Syrah are also use to a small extent. The use of barrel maturation is common with the production of Chianti.
Chianti is a red wine, strong and bold. It goes well with well-seasoned foods and red meats. Chianti's acidity matches up with acidic foods like tomatoes and cuts through rich dishes.
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Ice wine (Eiswein) is a very sweet dessert wine made from ripe grapes picked when frozen on the vine and pressed so that the water crystals remain in the press and the sugar content of the wine is high. Ice wines are commonly made in Canada, Austria, Luxembourg, and the United States. In Canada, grapes for ice wine must have reached temperatures as low as -18 F before harvest and sugar levels must reach 35 Brix. This is considerably higher than many grapes harvest around 19 - 26 Brix.
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Pinot Grigio (Gris)
This relative of Pinot Noir is known as Tokay in Alsace and as Pinot Grigio in Italy, where it produces an excellent, dry white wine with a pleasing lemony quality. In the US it can make a high quality white wine rivaling Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc in quality. If well ripened, Pinot Gris wines have a pleasant spicy quality; but if allowed to get overripe, the grapes tend to lose character and will turn red if left to hang too long. Pinot Gris tends to have a high acid and low pH, even at high sugar levels. Malolactic fermentation can often be used to add some body to the wine. Pinot Gris is less susceptible to mildew and bunch rot and ripens earlier than Chardonnay.
Pinot Grigio flavors can range from melon to pear and some even offer a subtle tropical or citrus fruit, often there is a honey or smoky flavor component as well. As for color, Pinot Grigio is typically a pale, straw-like yellow with some golden hues thrown in. The texture of a Pinot Grigio is worth noting, as it has very smooth, almost silk-like overtones that leave an impression on the palate.
Pinot Grigio pairs nicely with seafood, light pastas and cheese cracker combinations. Since this wine is fairly acidic itself, avoid pairing with foods that have high acid contents, like citrus fruits or tomato-based recipes.
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Pinot Noir is the most difficult variety to grow and to ferment. With ripe grapes a very good red wine can be expected. The grape is inherently low in tannin and light in color, and the color diminishes further as the wine ages. It is usually necessary to put Pinot Noir through malolactic fermentation as a means of getting total acidity down to the desired range. Press the grapes without crushing and the juice will be white. Pinot Noir juice is often blended with Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay.
Pinot Noir’s flavors are reminiscent of sweet red berries, plums, tomatoes, cherries and at times a notable earthy or wood-like flavor, depending on specific growing conditions.
Pinot Noir is well-suited to pair with poultry, beef, fish, ham, lamb and pork. It will play well with creamy sauces, spicy seasonings and may just be one of the world's most versatile food wines.
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Merlot is a black grape variety that rivals Cabernet Sauvignon as the most widely planted grape. Merlot has become the red answer to Chardonnay. Merlot is considered smooth or Cabernet without the pain. (Oxford Wine Companion)
Merlot has less tannin than a Cabernet and this is the reason for the lower astringency and can therefore be drunk earlier. It is hearty, smooth and mellow. Styles can vary greatly from low to medium intensity. Typical aromas include plums, black cherry, violets, blueberry, raspberry, mint, pepper, and orange.
Merlot is the perfect match for beef and rich red pastas, pork, and chicken with a rich and heavy sauce.
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White Zinfandel is a relative newcomer to the world of wine, even though bottles of wine were first labeled with the name "Zinfandel" as far back as the 1880s in California. Contrary to what the name suggests, white zinfandel is a rosé or blush wine rather than a white wine.
First, in the 1980s red wine was touted as having medicinal effects and a red wine boom hit the US. California started planting Zinfandel by the county, because it grew so well in that state. Then white wine rose in popularity, and the wineries with acres of Zinfandel grape planted wondered if they could make a wine out of it. Thus White Zinfandel was born.
Produced from the zinfandel grape varietal, white zinfandel remains pale in color because the skins are quickly removed after the grapes are crushed, this stops the transfer of color from the skin's pigments. White Zinfandel is a pale-rose wine that's very sweet, although some may be dry. In general, it is looked down upon by "avid wine drinkers" because of its youth and sweetness. White Zinfandel is often a wine that new wine drinkers will "enter into wine drinking" with. Tastes mimic flavors of vanilla, strawberry, raspberry, orange, raspberry, cherry, and light citrus. In addition, new White Zinfandels have fruit juices added to them right before bottling to create new flavored versions.
White Zinfandel is delicious with pasta dishes (especially with cream sauces), fish, pork, bacon and pancetta, mild cheeses, Asian cuisine, couscous, crab cakes, Creole, crudités, dessert, egg dishes, Indian cuisine and tandoori spices, lamb, pâté, anti-pasto.
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Red Zinfandel is an "American Classic" wine - it was even originally thought to be made of native Californian grapes. Research has now shown that the Zinfandel grape originated in Italy, but this wine is still mostly grown in the United States.
Zinfandel is always structured but can vary from dry to sweet and from a light to a heavier full bodied red. The grape grows its best in cool, coastal locations.
The color of a Zin is deep red, bordering on black. Zinfandel is a spicy, peppery wine, with a hint of fruity flavor - berries, plumb, raisin and dark cherries are often in the taste range.
Zinfandel goes well with "typical American" food such as pizza and burgers, but it is hearty enough to pair with red sauces, gamey meats, spicey dishes and asian cusisine. Zin also matches will with highly acid foods like tomatoes and citrus fruit.
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