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What's in a Wine - V

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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This village in the southern Rhone valley of France is located northeast of chateauneuf-du-pape. The vintners here can use the cotes du rhone-villages designation. The area is most famous for its red wines that use the grapes grenache, syrah, cinsaut, and mourvedre.

This DOC, located in Northeastern Italy's Veneto region, is second only to Chianti in total red wine production. The primary red grapes used in all the wines are Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. The wines range from light reds to the better Superiore's, Classico's (from a specific area like Chianti Classico), Ripasso's (made using the Ripasso method) and the ultimate Amerone's.

Vin De Pays
French for "country wine." There are a whole host of regions and sub-regions in France that use this designation on their wines, such as Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France and Vin de Pays D'Oc. The bad news is that unless the grape variety is on the label, it's almost impossible to tell what is in the bottle without looking up the particular region to see what sort of grapes are grown there!

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
An appelation located in the eastern part of Tuscany in Italy. It is actually located inside the large Chianti sub zone of Colli Senesi. It is named after the town of Montepulciano and the notion that the wines originally produced here were for the nobility. The red wines are blends of Sangiovese (also called Prugnolo), Canaiolo, and up to 20 percent of other varieties. These red wines must be aged in oak or chestnut casks for a minimum of 24 months and 3 years if they are labeled Riserva.

Vintage Port
This is a sweet red fortified wine made from the red wine grapes Tinta Barroca, Tinta Co, Tinta Roriz (tempranillo), touriga francesa, and touriga nacional. Vintage port comes from Portugal's Duoro Valley and is actually labled Porto because it is shipped out of the city of Oporto. Vintage ports are made with the grapes from one vintage and bottled within 2 years. Only the best years are "declared" vintage years so not every year will have a vintage port.

This village in the France's Loire Valley is surrounded by the appellation of the same name. The only grape grown in this area is Chenin Blanc. These white wines can vary greatly in style from very dry to sweet and even some sparkling wines.