Paringa Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Paringa Cabernet Sauvignon 2005I noticed that Paringa Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 was mentioned in the New York Times 10 Wines Below $10 article that I highlighted a while back and I thought I should include it in my search for excellent, cheap cabernet sauvignon.
Paringa wines are produced by David and Dena Hickinbotham in South Australia, where the Hickinbotham family has been involved in wine production for decades.  This wine is a fantastic example of how that experience enables them to produce fantastic wines at affordable prices.  This bottle cost me $9.99.
In my review of  Paringa “Individual Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, I found that it has nice complexity in the nose ant the palate.  To start with I found a bit of oak, tobacco, asparagus and blackberry on the nose.  The palate is nice and fruity with blackberry and black currant.  It also has rich, velvety tannins and nice cayenne pepper sharp taste.  The end is relatively long, so you can really savor this one.  I gave it an 89 and I would say it’s worth your $10.
Wine: Paringa “Individual Vineyard”
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2005
Alcohol: 14%
Rating: 89
Fee Paid: $9.99

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San Felipe Cabernet Sauvignon

San Felipe Cabernet SauvignonHere’s a quick review for an Argentine Cabernet Sauvignon.  This one comes from Mendoza and is imported by Billington Wines, although you won’t find any mention of it on their website.  I’m not sure if they’ve discontinued it or if it’s just not an vital brand to them.  I found this bottle stacked up in suitcases of bargain wines at a local wine shop.
The 2004 San Felipe Cabernet Sauvignon is a decent wine for the fee: $5.99.  It features a very earthy nose – wet rock, leather and cherry – and a nice mouth feel.  It has some blackberry and currant flavors, but they are overpowered by the tannins which end a small harsh although quite silky at first.  I gave it an 86.
If you stumble across this one, it might be worth the six bucks to give it a try, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hunt for it.
Wine: San Felipe
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2004
Alcohol: 13.5%
Rating: 86
Fee Paid: $5.99

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Dessert Wine

history of wine german wine culture of wine consuming wine  %tages Dessert WineDessert wines are sweet wines usually served with dessert.

A dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal, as opposed to the white fortified wines drunk before the meal, and the red fortified wines drunk after it. Thus, most fortified wines are compared as distinct from dessert wines.

In the United States, oppositely, a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines. This dates back to a time when the US wine industry only made dessert wines by fortification, but such a classification is outdated now that modern yeast and viticulture can produce dry wines over 15% without fortification.

German dessert wines can contain half that amount of alcohol.

Winemakers want to produce a dessert wine containing high levels of both sugar and alcohol, yet the alcohol is made from sugar. There are many ways to increase sugar levels in the final wine:

  • Grow grapes so that they naturally have sugar to spare for both sweetness and alcohol.
  • Add alcohol before all the sugar is fermented, this is called fortification, or 'mutage'.
  • Add sugar.
  • Remove water to concentrate the sugar.

Honey was added to wine in early Roman times Continue reading

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Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a traditional beverage that is offered during the Christmas holidays and Halloween. Mulled wine is prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with vanilla pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star aniseed, citrus, and sugar.
other consuming wine  %tages Mulled Wine
It has popularity in German- and Dutch-speaking countries. Mulled wine there named Glühwein. Blueberry wine and cherry wine can be used instead of grape wine in these countries for preparing Glühwein.

In France, vin chaud ("hot wine") typically consists of cheap red wine mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon. It must be not too sweet.

In Bulgaria, it is called greyano vino (Bulgarian: греяно вино) ("heated wine"), and consists of red wine, peppercorn and honey. Sometimes apples and/or citrus fruits, such as lemon or oranges, can be added.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia Continue reading

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The World’s Oldest Bottle And 24 Interesting Facts of Wine

other  %tages The World’s Oldest Bottle And 24 Interesting Facts of WineIn the whole of the Biblical Old Testament, only the Book of Jonah has no reference to the vine or wine.

Early Roman women were forbidden to drink wine, and a husband who found his wife drinking was at liberty to kill her. Divorce on the same grounds was last recorded in Rome in 194 B.C.

The world’s oldest bottle of wine dates back to A.D. 325 and was found near the town of Speyer, Germany, inside one of two Roman sarcophaguses. It is on display at the town's Historisches Museum der Pfalz.

There is increasing scientific evidence that moderate, regular wine drinking can reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and gum disease.

The smell of young wine is called an “aroma” while a more mature wine offers a more subtle “bouquet.”

In ancient Greece, a dinner host would take the first sip of wine to assure guests the wine was not poisoned, hence the phrase “drinking to one’s health.” “Toasting” started in ancient Rome when the Romans continued the Greek tradition but started dropping a piece of toasted bread into each wine glass to temper undesirable tastes or excessive acidity.

A “cork-tease” is someone who constantly talks about the wine that person will open but never does.

Since wine tasting is essentially wine smelling, women tend to be better wine testers because women, particularly of reproductive ages, have a better sense of smell than men.

An Italian study argues that women who drink two glasses of wine a day have better sex than those who don’t drink at all.

Red wines are red because fermentation extracts color from the grape skins. White wines are not fermented with the skins present.

While wine offers certain medical benefits, it may slightly increase the risk of contracting certain kinds of cancer of the digestive tract, particularly the esophagus. There is also a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

Red wine, typically more than white wine, has antioxidant properties and contains resveratrol, which seems to be important in the cardio-protective effects of wine.

California, New York, and Florida lead the United States in wine consumption.

California is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world, after France, Italy, and Spain.

Wine testers swirl their glass to encourage the wine to release all of its powerful aromas. Most don’t fill the glass more than a third full in order to allow aromas to collect and to not spill it during a swirl.

Most wine is served in a glass that has a gently curved rim at the top to help contain the aromas in the glass. The thinner the glass and the finer the rim, the better. A flaring, trumpet-shaped class dissipates the aromas.

When tasting wine, hold the wine in the mouth for a moment or two and then either swallow it or, preferably, spit it out, usually into a spittoon. A really good wine will have a long aftertaste, while an inferior wine will have a short aftertaste.

Wine grapes rank number one among the world’s fruit crops in terms of acres planted.

The Code of Hammurabi (1800 B.C.) includes a law that punishes fraudulent wine sellers: They were to be drowned in a river.

Romans discovered that mixing lead with wine Continue reading

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25 Another Interesting Facts About Wine

other  %tages 25 Another Interesting Facts About WineWine for Orthodox Jews must be kosher, meaning it must not be touched at any point in its process (from picking of the grapes to bottling it) by either a “Gentile” or non-observant Jew and it must contain only kosher ingredients.

The combination of soil type, climate, degree of slope, and exposure to the sun constitutes the terroir of a vineyard and what makes each vineyard and each wine unique.

In the Middle Ages, the greatest and most innovative winemakers of the day were monastic orders. The Cistercians and Benedictines were particularly apt winemakers, and they are said to have actually tasted the earth to discover how the soil changed from place to place. Their findings are still important today.

Wineskins were a common way to transport wine in the ancient world. Animal skins (usually pig) were cleaned and tanned and turned inside out so that the hairy side was in contact with the wine.

It is traditional to first serve lighter wines and then move to heavier wines throughout a meal. Additionally, white wine should be served before red, younger wine before older, and dry wine before sweet.

Serving temperatures should be lower for white (45-50 degrees Fahrenheit) than for red wines (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit).

The prohibitionists, or the “drys,” in the early twentieth century fought to remove any mention of wine from school and college texts, including Greek and Roman literature. They also sought to remove medicinal wines from the United States Pharmacopoeia and to prove that Biblical praises of wine were for non-fermented grape juice.

The vintage year isn’t necessarily the year wine is bottled, because some wines may not be bottled the same year the grapes are picked. Typically, a vintage wine is a product of a single year’s harvest. A non-vintage wine is a blend of wines from two or more years.

There is a right and wrong way to hold a wine glass. Wine glasses should always be held by the stem and not the bowl because the heat of the hand will raise the temperature of the wine.

Champagne, one of the world’s greatest sparkling wines, is popularly but erroneously thought to have been invented by the Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Perignon (1638-1715). Although he did not invent or discover champagne, Continue reading

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25 Interesting Facts About Wine

other  %tages 25 Interesting Facts About WineWith age, red wines tend to lose color and will eventually end up a sort of brick red. On the other hand, white wines gain color, becoming golden and eventually brown-yellow.

All wines taste like fruit. Only rarely does a wine taste like grapes—for example, Muscat or Concord wines.

Because grapes in the Southern Hemisphere are picked during what is Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, a 1999 Australian wine could be six months older than a 1999.

Wine facilitated contacts between ancient cultures, providing the motive and means of trade.

For example, the Greeks traded wine for precious metals, and the Romans traded wine for slaves.

In ancient Egypt, the ability to store wine until maturity was considered alchemy and was the privilege of only the pharaohs.

Archaeologists found grape pips (seeds), usually considered evidence of winemaking, dating from 8000 B.C. in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. The oldest pips of cultivated vines were found in Georgia from 7000-5000 B.C.

Winemaking is a significant theme in one of the oldest literary works known, the Epic of Gilgamesh. The divinity in charge of the wine was the goddess Siduri, whose depiction suggests a symbolic association between wine and fertility.

One of the most quoted legends about Continue reading

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