California Wine Facts

California is the leader of wine producing state—making more than ninety percent of all U.S. wine—and also ranks first in wine consumption. Californians enjoy nearly one in five (eighteen percent) of the bottles consumed in the United States. If California were a nation, it would be the fourth leading wine-producing country in the world behind France, Italy and Spain. With this great culture of wine, there is significant interest in all aspects of the grape.

Wine is good for the waistline.

Wine is fat free and contains no cholesterol. A 4-ounce glass of table wine has about 80-100 calories.

Just how many grapes are in that bottle of wine? It takes about six to eight clusters, or about 600 to 800 wine grapes (2.4 lbs), to make a bottle of wine.

One barrel of wine contains 740 lbs of grapes, equivalent to 59 gallons or 24.6 cases of wine.

And how many bubbles in a bottle?

It is theorized there are approximately 44 million bubbles in a bottle of sparkling wine/champagne.

What is on top in 2010?

Chardonnay, with 95,000 acres, is the wine type variety with the most acreage planted in California.

Cabernet Sauvignon was the second most planted winegrape in California with 76,800 total acres.

The red wine category for the second year in recent history edged out white wine by volume in food stores in 2010. Red held a 41.7 percent market share; white, a 41.0 percent share; and blush accounted for 17.4 percent share of case volume, according to ACNielsen.

Chardonnay remained the leading varietal wine, followed by Merlot, White Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Together these four varietals made up over half of the wine sales in food stores.

Variety is the spice of life in the California State

Wine-type grapes are grown in 46 of California's 58 counties, covering 522,000 acres in 2010.

There are more than 107 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in California (distinct winegrape growing areas recognized by the U.S. government), a testament to the variety of microclimates in the state.
other american wine  %tages California Wine Facts
California wines have benefited from the unique and varied mix of cultures that found new homes in the Golden State. From Spanish missionaries who established the state's first vineyards and wineries beginning in 1769, Continue reading

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Dry Red Wine Types

history of wine culture of wine consuming wine  %tages Dry Red Wine TypesRed wines come in many unique styles, the most obvious difference being dry and sweet. The dryness or sweetness of a wine depends on its mount of residual sugar. The vast majority of red wines available are dry, meaning they have little to no sugar. It would be nearly impossible to create a complete listing of every type of dry red wine, but the basic categories are easy to define.

Classic French Reds

Many of the world's most famous and highly regarded dry red wines come from old France, and most of those come from three major regions: Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. Bordeaux red wines are blends of several grapes, mainly cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. Red wines from Burgundy are made exclusively from pinot noir. In the northern Rhone, red wines are made from syrah, while southern Rhone wines can be blends of as many as 13 grapes like the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape but are predominantly made from grenache. The best of the wines from these regions are extraordinarily complex and tend to age well.

Other Old World Reds

Italians create many well-known dry red wines in two main regions: Piedmont and Tuscany. The major Tuscan grape is sangiovese, which produces the ubiquitous Chianti, as well as the more refined Brunello di Montalcino. When sangiovese wine is blended with wine from non-Italian grapes, the wines are dubbed "Super Tuscans" and are usually wines of great quality and high prices. In Piedmont, the king of all grapes is nebbiolo, which produces such distinguished red wines as Barolo and Barbaresco, Italy's most complex and robust wines made for long aging. Spain produces some high-quality reds from the tempranillo grape, including notable wines from Rioja and Priorat.

Countries all over the world have jumped into the wine-making game, many with great success at producing dry red wines. In California, Napa Valley Continue reading

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Chinese Wine, Chinese liquor, Chinese alcohol and Chinese Culture

Jiu - Chinese wine or alcoholhistory of wine chinese wine  %tages Chinese Wine, Chinese liquor, Chinese alcohol and Chinese Culture

In Chinese language the word for alcohol "jiu" is used to mean all types of alcoholic beverages, from 'pijiu' (beer) to liquors (just called 'jiu') to grape wine ('putao jiu'). The same character is used in Japanese and Korean languages, for that matter. This lumping together of all intoxicating beverages gives us awesome insight into the traditional use for alcohol, intoxication. Even today in China alcoholic beverages are generally classed by the general population by how much intoxication it delivers for the money. From this point of view table wine is at the bottom rung of the consumer preference list, with brandy being much higher.

History of Chinese wine

In China, wine could also be called the "Water of History" because stories about wine can be found in almost every period of China's long story. The origins of the alcoholic beverage from fermented grain in China cannot be traced definitively. It is believed to have 40 centuries history. A legend said that Yidi, the wife of the first dynasty's king Yu (about 2100 BC) invented the method. At that time millet was the main grain, the so-called "yellow wine", then rice became more popular. It was not until the 19th century that distilled drinks become more popular. Traditionally, Chinese distilled liquors are consumed together with food rather than drunk on their own. Although China has a 6,000 year history in grape growing, and a 4,000 year history in wine making, it was not until this century that Chinese wine was recognized in the West.

Wine and Chinese peoplehistory of wine chinese wine  %tages Chinese Wine, Chinese liquor, Chinese alcohol and Chinese Culture

Without a doubt, wine has influence in the culture and life of the Chinese people. Wine was intimately connected with most Chinese men of letters. It was also an inseparable part of the life of ordinary Chinese people. The banquets of ancient emperors and kings could not take place without it. Every sort of wine vessel thus became an important kind of sacrificial object. Inscriptions on bones and tortoise shells as well as bronze inscriptions preserve many records of Shang-era people worshiping their ancestors with wine. There were many famous Chinese poet or artist who crafted their masterpieces after getting "drunk". The famous poet Li Bai of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) is known as the "Immortal of Wine" because of his love of alcohol. Guo Moruo, a modern scholar, compiled statistics about Li's poems and found 17 per cent of them were about drinking. Early writers liked drinking and thought it an elegant way to pass the time. Apart from the taste of the drink, they also concentrated on the process of drinking. They created many games to go with drinking sessions involving a knowledge of history, literature, music and poetry. In ancient times, before a battle, a general would feast his soldiers with alcohol and meat. If they won the battle, they would be rewarded with good wine. If a warrior fell in battle, his fellows would scatter wine on the ground as part of a memorial ceremony.

Wine culture in China today

Ordinary Chinese people today have always just used alcohol to help them celebrate the happiness in their lives. In China, a banquet known as "Jiu Xi" means an alcohol banquet and the life of every person, from birth to death, should have pauses for drinking banquets starting a month or 100 days after a baby's birth when the parents invite people in for a drink. When someone builds a new house, marries, starts a business, makes a fortune or lives a long life, he should invite people in for a drinking session. In modern times it is a pity that the games that go with drinking are not the elegant ones of the past that involved poetry or music. Today, drinkers just play simple finger-guessing games along with a lot of heavy drinking. It also seems today that friendship depends only on the volume of drink being consumed. "If we are good friends, then bottoms up; if not, then just take a sip" is a common phrased exchanged during gatherings.

Chinese wine general classification

Chinese wines can be generally classified into two types, namely yellow liquors (huangjiu) or clear (white) liquors (baijiu). Chinese yellow liquors, are fermented wines that are brewed directly from grains such as rice or wheat. Such liquors contain less than 20% alcohol, due to the inhibition of fermentation by ethanol at this concentration. These wine are traditionally pasteurized, aged, and filtered before their final bottling for sale to consumers. Yellow liquors can also be distilled to produce white liquors, or baijiu (see below). White liquors (baijiu) are also commonly called shaojiu, which means "hot liquor" or "burned liquor", either because of the burning sensation in the mouth during consumption, the fact that they are usually warmed before being consumed, or because of the heating required for distillation. Liquors of this type typically contain more than 30% alcohol in volume since they have undergone distillation. There are a great many varieties of distilled liquors, both unflavored and flavored.

List famous Chinese liquors, wines

Fen jiu - this wine was dated back to Northern and Southern Dynasties (550 A.D.). It is the original Chinese white wine made from sorghum. Alcohol content by volume: 63-65%. Continue reading

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