Category Archives: Jargon Buster

The European Union and French Wine Classification Systems

The European Union The French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system, governed by the Institut national des appellations d’origine (INAO), dates back to 1935. It has inspired or influenced many other national systems and, ultimately, the European Union (EU) wine laws. … Continue reading

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The Structure of Wine

Over the last few weeks I’ve been writing a series on the structural elements of wine for the Rambling Epicure blog. I’ve assembled the seven posts here as a series of links, which constitutes a concise overview of the elements … Continue reading

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Wine bottle shapes

Have you every wondered why a standard wine bottle is 750mL? Or why wine bottles are the shape they are? My curiosity was recently piqued by David Ling at Hugel in Alsace when he uncovered a few tidbits. 750mL is … Continue reading

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Getting more out of your wine

An academic article titled Wine Expertise Predicts Taste Phenotype was recently published in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. It received a lot of attention in the press mainly due to the finding that those who gravitate towards wine … Continue reading

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Should we write about wines we don’t like?

For a while now I’ve been slightly annoyed by the conventional 20- or 100-point scales used frequently in the wine media to rank or rate a wine. Yes, I can understand that with a commodity as complex and hugely varied … Continue reading

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The Best of Italy

As a follow-up to my post outlining how to get to grips with Italian wine labelling, I thought I’d illustrate the approach with a few examples of the finer and more common Italian wines seen on the export market. North … Continue reading

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Labelling Italians

What you may see on the label of a bottle of Italian wine is fairly similar to that on French wines. Like France, Italian wine laws specify two levels of ‘table wine‘ and two levels of ‘quality wine‘. Table Wine … Continue reading

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