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What's in a Wine - B


The Wine Buyer created this alphabetical list of wine "names" along with color, place and grape to help you decipher what's in a wine! In the US, most wines are labeled with what grapes are used to make the wine (there are some notable exceptions!). However, in other parts of the world, especially in Europe, many wines are named for their location, appellation, village, etc. In some cases, we've listed both reds and whites for a "name" if there are good wines made from another varietal. We also indicate if the wine is sweet if that's what the area/name is known for. Note that for Bordeaux, France we've listed the appellation/village names for most of the important ones but not the individual chateau. And in Burgundy it is possible that you won't find the village on the label if it's a Grand Cru wine. However, most of the Grand Cru have the name (or part of the name) of the village incorporated in their name, like the Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin from Gevery-Chambertin. This can get complex! If you have another wine name you know about and would like to add to this list or have a question about another one, please let us know! We will be adding a new wine name to this list every week from our newsletter.

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Barbaresco
This DOCG is located in Northwestern Italy just east of Alba. It includes the villages of Barbaresco, Tresio, and Neive. As with nearby Barolo, the only grape used here is Nebbiolo, a red grape. These wines are considered some of Italy's best.

Barbera
As with a few others here, this is the name of the Italian red wine grape. This grape can produce wonderful wines with currant and smoky flavors. The best Barberas come from two growing areas in Italy. The Barbera d'Alba DOC produces some of the best and most robust examples followed closely by the Barbera d'Asti DOC which produces wines slightly less full-bodied.

Barolo
The Barolo DOCG (the added G is for guaranteed) lies south of Alba and includes the vineyards that are on the hills surrounding the village of Barolo and others. Barolo wines are made from the Nebbiolo grape. Many people view these wines as Italy's best. They can be tough and tannic in their youth but often become very elegant with age.

Beaujolais
This is an area of the French Burgundy region. Unlike the rest of Burgundy, the red wines here are made almost exclusively with the Gamay grape. Very little white wine is produced. Wine quality is denoted on the labels by the terms Beaujolais AC (lowest), Beaujolais Superieur (next higher), and then Beaujolais-Villages (a collection of 39 villages with the best vineyards). In addition, there are 10 villages at the highest quality level and their names are on the labels: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnié, and Saint-Amour.

Brunello
Interestingly, this is actually a red grape name. It is a strain of the Sangiovese Grosso clone of Sangiovese. Brunello means "little dark one" (named for the dark brown hue of the skin) and is the only grape used for these highly concentrated and long-lived wines. The viticultural area is called Brunello di Montalcino and is located in Tuscany. These red wines must be aged for 4 years before release; the riservas for 5 years.