60 Second Wine Courses 2016-10-30T12:38:02+00:00

Glossary of Wine Terms

May 12th, 2016|1 Comment

There are thousands of words associated with wine, but this is a good overview. For a more in-depth source, check out the Wine Lover’s Companion. Acid A vital part of wine, necessary to help achieve

How to Taste Wine

May 12th, 2016|0 Comments

Following a few simple steps will lead to a greater understanding of what you’re drinking, and hopefully help you put some words to what you experience when you drink wine. 1. Look at the color

Pairing Wine with Food

May 12th, 2016|0 Comments

With the great variety of both cuisine styles and wines available today, the old rule of “red wine with meat and white wine with fish” doesn’t cut it any more. Is the “fish” sushi or

Vermouth is undergoing a revival

February 25th, 2016|0 Comments

Vermouth is no longer seen as an unfashionable tipple and is undergoing a revival It wasn't so very long ago that vermouth seemed irredeemably unfashionable, the butt of tongue-in-cheek jokes on TV ads and doomed

Terroir – What is it & why should you care?

July 24th, 2015|0 Comments

Terroir (tear-whar) is one of the most important variables in wine. Understanding what it is and why it matters in winemaking will help you enjoy your culinary creations with the wine best suited to complement

Course 74 – Five Essential Wines for Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2014|0 Comments

While hosting Thanksgiving can be great fun, it can also create a ton of stress and anxiety. Having to manage friends, family, the menu and when to serve everything is enough to worry about without

Course 73-Wines of Argentina

February 10th, 2012|2 Comments

Great things are happening in Argentina’s wine industry.  A growing number of wineries have changed their philosophy and now concentrate on producing higher quality wines rather than manufacturing large quantities. Until recently, Argentina was more interested

Course 72-How and Why Wine Ages

January 27th, 2012|2 Comments

Aging is most noticeably the process of the tannins in the wine reacting with other components until they are unable to stay in solution, where upon they become sediment (precipitation). While this is happening, the

Course 71 – Food Network’s Wine IQ Quiz

January 18th, 2012|2 Comments

Source: Food Network Magazine  

Course 70 – Wine Blends: From Bordeaux to Meritage OR It’s better blended

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Why blend different types of wines? If the grapes were great and the quality of their juice is good enough to bottle on its own, why blend? In essence, sometimes the sum is greater than

Course 69 – Decisions, Decisions…What wine shall I serve for Thanksgiving Dinner?

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, there is no better time to start planning your Thanksgiving dinner menu and selecting wines to complement the feast. Historically, the week before Thanksgiving is a great time to buy wine

Course 68 – South African Wine Facts

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

  « Return to course list

Course 67 – Ultimate Summer Wine Guide

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Ultimate Summer Wine Guide New and classic wine pairings for grilled foods of all kinds. By Ray Isle,  reprinted with permission from Food and Wine. Generally, grilled dishes mean bold flavors, and the top wine

Course 66 – How to read a German Wine label

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

1. Appellation of origin - Wine Growing region To identify the region compare with the following list of the 13 German wine growing regions: Ahr, Mittelrhein, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Rheingau, Nahe, Pfalz, Rheinhessen, Franken, Hessische Bergstrasse, Württemberg,

Course 65 – Test Your Italian Wine Knowledge

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

1. What is the most famous red wine grape varietal used in Tuscany? A. Asti Spumante B. Vin Santo C. Sangiovese D. Marsala 2. Chianti is which of the following: A. A wine producing region

Course 64 – Test Your Knowledge of Sparkling WIne

August 3rd, 2011|1 Comment

1.    What grape is normally NOT used in Champagne? a.    Chardonnay b.    Cabernet Sauvignon c.    Pinot Noir d.    Pinot Gris   2.    What country is true Champagne made in? a.     France b.     Spain c.     United States

Course 63 – Test Your French Wine Knowledge

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Here are twenty questions concerning wines produced in France. Information about French wines can be found on our web site under the education tab and the 60 second wine courses. Bring your completed questionaire to

Course 62 – What is Rutherford Dust?

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Rutherford Dust is the legendary reason why Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in the soil of the Rutherford area produce such excellent wines. And indeed, Rutherford wines consistently win high praise from wine critics around the

Course 61 – Beaujolais Nouveau Primer

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

At one past midnight on the third Thursday of each November, from little villages and towns like Romanèche-Thorins, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for

Course 60 – Alsace, France versus Germany-Reading Between the Wines

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

The wines of Alsace have a distinctive character and style that sets them apart from the other wine growing regions of France. Its wines are also totally different from those produced in neighboring Germany. Located

Course 59 – Pacific Northwest Wines

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

America’s Pacific Northwest Wine Appellations Washington and Oregon are premier wine growing regions, each with diverse geography, climates and soils. Combined, the states have 20 American Viticulture Areas, where high quality grapes are grown and

Course 58 – Italian Wine Demystified- Part 2

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

We looked at the various regions of Italy in part one of this course, so now lets get to the heart of the matter:  the Italian wines for your tasting pleasure! Some well known Italian

Course 57 – Italian Wine Demysified- Part 1

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

From fertile valleys to rocky mountain tops, it seems as if every inch of Italy is planted with grape vines. Some of the wines are considered along with the world’s best, others are less distinguished.

Course 56 – French Wine Demystified

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

No other winemaking country in the world has such a wide range of cool climates, and this has enabled France to produce the entire spectrum of classic wine styles. They range from the crisp sparkling wines

Course 55 – Blending: Why and How

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Blending is one of the most important steps in making fine wine with a distinct and unique character. Complexity is probably the number one reason that most winemakers blend their wines. Blending often will give wine a

Course 54 – Wines of Washington State

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Think fast: which state leads the U.S.'s wine production? California probably quickly comes to mind, but do you know the runner up? Maybe that's not so easy. The State of Washington is the less-obvious answer

Course 53 – South African Wines

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

South Africans have been making wine for centuries, but it's only been since the mid-1990s with the fall of apartheid and the lifting of U.S. sanctions against exports that its wine has been widely available

Course 52 – Expand your wine knowledge

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

The enthusiasm for wine-drinking in America has reached a fever pitch and with that increased popularity comes a host of magazines, web sites, books, DVDs and television programs that can expand your knowledge and your

Course 51 – Comfort Wine

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

The bad news is we've been enduring some really harsh winter weather lately. The good news is that this is some of the best weather for drinking wine, especially with the rich, slow-cooked foods that

Course 50 – It takes a Village

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

France is the world's second largest producer of wines (barely edged out most years by Italy), most of which comes from big-name regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone. But tucked within bigger appellations are small

Course 49 – Beaujolais Nouveau 2006

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! ("the new Beaujolais has arrived!"). Well, it hasn't arrived yet but it soon will, kicking off one of France's most celebrated unofficial holidays which has spread throughout the world. Beaujolais

Course 48 – Exotic Grapes: Tannat

August 3rd, 2011|1 Comment

Almost everyone has heard of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, so in an ongoing series we will periodically explore a grape that is a little outside the mainstream. This time we take a look at

Course 47 – Ahhh…Rosé

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Long, hot summers like the one we've been "enjoying" are tough on wine lovers. A lot of the wines we savor all winter are just not that appealing when the temperature spikes and humidity becomes

Course 46 – Zinfandel: The Super Summer Wine

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Red wine lovers have it tough in the summer months when it seems like all but the die-hard are forced by the mounting heat and humidity to eschew their favorites in favor of crisp white

Course 45 – The Art of Wine

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

With the thousands of bottles competing for consumer attention on wine shop shelves these days, it's no surprise that many winemakers have turned to clever labels to set their wines apart from the masses. Who

Course 44 – Spain Gets Hot

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Until recently, most wine drinkers outside of Spain associated the country primarily with Rioja, which was saddled with the reputation of being simply cheap and easy drinking. The country's winemakers have worked hard to ratchet

Course 43 – Aussie Wines

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Since the early 90s, Australia has been known simply for making decent quality, easy drinking wine that could be had for way below $10 a bottle. But with demand for Australian wines at an all

Course 42 – Celebrity Winemakers

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Have you heard the one about how to make a small fortune in the wine business? Start with a large fortune. Corny jokes aside, some of the world's richest business moguls, athletes and entertainers have

Course 41 – Carmenere: Chile’s Heirloom Varietal

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Everyone loves a comeback, and who couldn't love a grape that was deemed extinct more than 100 years ago only to be discovered alive and kicking thousands of miles from its birthplace? This is the

Course 40 – Meritages: The Best of the Blends

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Meritage wines are some of the best on the market today, but many wine drinkers shy away from them because they don't even know what a Meritage is! The term "Meritage" was born in much

Course 39 – Wine FAQ 2006

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

The new year brings 365 fresh opportunities to learn about wine. Whether you're a connoisseur or you've recently discovered the world of vino, the Detroit Wine Organization hopes to spend this year expanding your knowledge

Course 38 – Tis the Season to Enjoy Wine

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

The holiday season is rife with opportunities to experiment with food and wine pairing, give wine as a gift, and all-round make wine a sharing experience. Sparkling wine, including Champagne, is practically the default holiday

Course 37 – The Mediterranean Heats Up

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

The Mediterranean diet is hot. Who wouldn't love a diet that calls for an abundance of fresh fish, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and most importantly, moderate yet regular consumption of wine?! At least 16

Course 36 – The Fine Wines of Michigan

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

After years of relative obscurity, the wines and winemakers of Michigan are finally beginning to see some national recognition perhaps in response to the immense jump in quality these wines have recently made. With 13,500

Course 35 – Red Wine Headaches

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Red wine headaches, fact or fiction? Even in small portions red wine can leave some people with a throbbing headache. Not to be confused with the headache you may get the morning after a night

Course 34 – The Rhône Valley

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

The Rhône Valley in southern France is one of the world's most famous wine regions, home to appellations like Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes-du-Rhône, Côte Rotie, Hermitage and Tavel. The Rhône region is actually split into two areas

Course 33 – Kosher Wine

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Those who want to enjoy wine with their seder may be pleasantly surprised by the range of high-quality kosher wines now available to them. It wasn't long ago that Manischewitz and similar sickly-sweet wines made

Course 32 – Petite Sirah

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Despite its rather delicate sounding name, Petite Sirah is a gutsy bulldog of a wine, deep and dark with an appropriately mysterious past. Petite Sirah's ancestry and name origin confounded the wine world for decades.

Course 31 – Exploring Terroir

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

In wine, like real estate, it very often comes down to location, location, location. Or, maybe we should say terroir, terroir, terroir. Terroir, the French word for "soil," is a wine-world term used to describe

Course 30 – White Wine – Moving Beyond Chardonnay

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

When you hear "white wine," what immediately springs to mind? Undoubtedly 90% of you thought, "Chardonnay." Maybe a couple thought of Sauvignon Blanc. But what about Gruner Veltliner, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc or Riesling? As

Course 29 – Ordering Wine in a Restaurant 101

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

When making any purchase decision, from a car to a cell phone, a little research goes a long way toward making a good choice. Ordering wine in a restaurant is no exception. First, you should

Course 28 – The Santa Ynez Valley

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

For years, the Santa Ynez Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) in California's Santa Barbara County quietly produced excellent wine while being dwarfed by the imposing shadow of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys to the north.

Course 27 – Super Tuscans

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

If you've been a reader of the 60 Second Wine Course for awhile, you know that wine naming is a pretty standardized process, usually enforced by federal law. So how is it that a label

Course 26 – Dessert Wine

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

The holiday season is the perfect time to explore the wine world’s most decadent product: dessert wine. This luscious treat usually has both a higher residual sugar level and alcohol percentage compared to table wine,

Course 25 – Zinfandel — The All-American Grape

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Thoughts turn to Zinfandel at this time of year not only because its spicy, jammy flavors seem so perfectly suited for winter, but because it is an all-American wine — the most widely planted grape

Course 24 – Beaujolais Nouveau

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

There are lots of important dates in November: Election Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving. But November 16 is the date circled in bright red on most wine-lovers calendars. Beaujolais winemakers begin shipping about 70 million bottles

Course 23 – Wine Becomes Uncorked

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

The wine industry is abuzz, and it’s not about the new harvest. Winemakers across the globe have been popping their corks — literally — in favor of metal screw caps. Yep, the same ones that for

Course 22 – Building Your Cellar

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Whether you're thinking of investing your retirement funds in wine or just have more wine around the house then you plan to drink in the next month, how to store your wine is going to

Course 21 – Barbecue-Friendly Wines

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

A frosty brew may be the common beverage of choice at a Labor Day barbecue, but wine lovers shouldn't despair. There are a lot of wines that marry beautifully with burgers, brats and baked beans.

Course 20 – Grapes of the Great Northwest

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Next to California, Oregon and Washington are probably the best known states for wine in the U.S.  Washington is the country's second largest producer and Oregon is not far behind.  Known for some of the

Course 18 – New Zealand

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

I am a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc freak.  I admit it.  In fact, I'm proud of it.  I've been a freak for about a year now (longer if you ask my husband, but that's another

Course 17 – Australian Overview Practical Knowledge

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Think of Australia and images of the rugged outback, Ayers Rock, the Sydney Opera house and, of course, the latest installment of "The Bachelor" immediately pop to mind.  It is a continent with a reputation

Course 16 – Best Local wine Lists – Part I

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Each month, the venerable wine publications like Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast publish articles and information about restaurants around the nation with premium wine lists.  There are actually quite a few Detroit area establishments that

Course 15 – Riesling – The Misunderstood, Undervalued Grape

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

With warm weather comes the inevitable search for summer whites that pair well with light summer foods.  As you begin that search, don't overlook Riesling (reece-ling not rye-sling). If you're anything like me, your first

Course 14 – Wine Competitions and Ratings

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

I must begin this edition of our 60-second Wine Course with an apology... I neglected to send an issue out at my regularly scheduled time 2 weeks ago.  The reason for that oversight is that

Course 13 – French Wine Primer

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Pick up any book about wine and one of the first things the author will tell you is how important France is to the study of wine.  The French not only make what are commonly

Course 12 – Sake, The Basics

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

Wine, as we all know, is made from grapes.  Wine can also be made from other fruits and berries - strawberries, pears, apricots - pretty much anything that can be fermented to create alcohol from

Course 11 – Aroma and Bouquet Practical Knowledge

August 3rd, 2011|0 Comments

It's finally Spring (at least until that last blast of winter hits around the first week in April)!  You can see it.  You can feel it.  But most of all, you can smell it.  It

Course 10 – Spain: More than Sherry and Tempranillo

August 2nd, 2011|0 Comments

Spain - it brings to mind images of flamenco dancers in brightly color costumes moving to hypnotic music under a bright sun and sipping bright red wines in an open air cafe.  It also brings

Course 9 – WineMaking 101 – The Basics

August 2nd, 2011|2 Comments

Our first course when we began these 60-second Wine Courses back in November was Wine Tasting 101 - The Basics. We've come a long way since then - explored many different wine-growing regions and learned

Course 8 – Chile and Argentina – The Hottest Wine Growing Region in the World

August 2nd, 2011|0 Comments

Chile and Argentina are hot - and not just climatically.  The past 15-20 years have seen an explosion in wine quality, production and exports from these countries that have been producing wine for over 400

Course 7 – Giving Your Wine Some Breathing Room

August 2nd, 2011|0 Comments

We've all been told to "take a deep breath and relax" at some point in our lives.  Sometimes it helps.  Sometimes it doesn't.  It's pretty much the same way with the process of decanting wine

Course 6 – Italian Overview

August 2nd, 2011|0 Comments

News Flash - It's really cold outside!  Kind of makes you want to curl up in front of a fire with a good book and a soothing glass of red wine... or bundle up and

Course 5 – Old World – New World… What’s the Point?

August 2nd, 2011|0 Comments

Thinking back to elementary school history lessons, you probably recall America being referred to as "The New World".  If you visit Europe or Asia and see the centuries-old tombs, cathedrals and monuments, you can almost

Course 4 – Champagne

August 2nd, 2011|0 Comments

The New Year is quickly approaching and bubbly wines are on every store shelf, so it seems appropriate to talk about them.  In keeping with our pledge to explore the various wine producing regions in

Course 3 – What’s Climate Got to Do With It?

August 2nd, 2011|0 Comments

You're in your local wine shop, browsing the shelves for something to take to a holiday party.  You want something full bodied and smooth with warm fruit flavors that will match well with holiday foods...

Course 2 – Oak

August 2nd, 2011|0 Comments

In our last edition, we started the discussion of oak fermentation and aging...Unlike fruit flavors or sweetness, which come from the grape, oak flavors in a wine come from the winemaker.  Master Sommelier Andrea Immer

Course 1 – Naming Conventions

August 2nd, 2011|0 Comments

Bordeaux vs. Cabernet Sauvignon - what's the difference?  Chablis vs. Chardonnay?  Sancerre vs. Sauvignon Blanc?  In most cases, the difference is the naming convention.  Some wines are named for their grape variety.  Others are named