News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Top Story 2

July 22, 2012

GRAPE SENSE: The most legendary and mystifying of all the world’s wine regions

TERRE HAUTE — It’s time to discuss Bordeaux. Of all the world’s wine regions it’s probably the most legendary and mystifying. It’s not easy to understand France’s iconic wine country but it’s possible.

The French, of course, make it difficult to understand any of their wine regions.

The French labeling system tells you the producer, the region, the appellation (region) where the grapes were grown, and the vintage but those darn French don’t tell you what grapes are used for the wine.

That’s old world wine making and you’ll find the same from Italy and Spain. Burgundy isn’t Burgundy at all; it’s Pinot Noir. The Loire Valley is Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. Champagne is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and some minor varietals. You get the picture.

Bordeaux is largely Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. There are other grapes but we’ll get to that.

If you know just a little about Bordeaux, it’s probably all the confusion over left bank and right bank. Let’s try to simplify. The area is divided by the Garone River running about 375 miles through the southwest region of France and a bit of Spain. The river divides Bordeaux right down the middle.

The left bank is the one closer to the Atlantic Ocean. The soil has gravel allowing for good drainage — ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon. The right bank has limestone and clay soils which act like a sponge when it rains keeping vine stock roots moist long after the rainfall. That is perfect growing conditions for Merlot.

If you can remember those simple facts Bordeaux gets a lot simpler. We’ve mentioned Cab and Merlot but the area also grows Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Carmenere and Malbec. Bordeaux wines are driven by the two dominant grapes but almost never 100 percent Cab or Merlot. So remember Bordeaux is always going to be a blend.

Now, let’s say you’ve seen Sideways one too many times and you’re convinced you don’t like Merlot. That is probably because the only Merlot you have ever tasted was crappy Merlot. The right bank wines of Bordeaux, which are Merlot driven, will surprise you. The blends are big and rich and might even make you think you’re drinking Cabernet.

The left bank wines, and particularly the areas of Medoc, Haut-Medoc and Margaux, are where the insanely expensive French wines are produced. But that still leaves more than 15 other appellations on the left bank for you to explore. There are more than 20 appellations on the right bank, perhaps the best known is Saint Emilion. And those wines are beautiful.

The French love regulations when it comes to making wine. Let’s just say what grapes grown, how long those grapes are aged, and virtually every step of the process has some government regulation.

It’s highly unlikely you’re going to find Bordeaux wines in your neighborhood supermarket or neighborhood shop. But retailers with larger inventory and shops catering to wine enthusiasts will definitely have Bordeaux wines. But with just under 10,000 wineries how do you decide what to buy?

I’d suggest you start with your preference of Cab or Merlot and go from there. There are plenty of good Bordeaux wines at value price points. But keep in mind that Bordeaux’s high end goes to thousands of dollars per bottle for the world’s best wine.

Grape Sense has always focused on finding a small wine shop where the proprietor knows wine. That’s never more true than when buying in Bordeaux.

Having visited Bordeaux recently, it’s not as complicated as it seemed before. We can argue if Bordeaux makes the world’s best wines. But it’s a region wine enthusiasts need to sample and understand.

Bonjour!

Howard W. Hewitt, Crawfordsville, writes Grape Sense every other week for 18 midwestern newspapers.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Top Story 2
  • Health Overhaul Subsi_Ter .jpg Obamacare hit by ruling, but subsidies to continue

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama’s health care law today, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Switzerland Obit Wint_Ter .jpg Blues legend Johnny Winter dies at 70 in Zurich

    GENEVA (AP) — Texas blues legend Johnny Winter emblazoned himself into the world’s consciousness with his tattooed arms churning out lightning-fast guitar riffs and his striking long white hair flowing from under his cowboy hat.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 071609 BLUEBERRIES.jpg Scoop up some blueberries, live music

    Terre Foods Cooperative Market will present the sixth annual Blueberry Festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, at Central Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Seventh St.
    Blueberry compote sundaes will be available for $5.

    July 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Emmy Nominations_Ter .jpg ‘Game of Thrones’ earns a leading 19 Emmy nods

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The sprawling and bloodthirsty saga “Game of Thrones,” defying the Emmy Awards’ grudging respect for such fantasy fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced today with 19 bids, including best drama series.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 033114 GREG ZOELLER MUG.jpg GREG ZOELLER: State’s lawyer has duty to represent state in marriage lawsuit appeal

    Recent federal court actions that first struck down Indiana’s statute limiting marriage to the traditional definition, and then stayed that order pending appeal, have left many in our state in legal limbo.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge strikes down Kentucky's gay marriage ban

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge in Kentucky struck down the state's ban on gay marriage on Tuesday, though the ruling was temporarily put on hold and it was not immediately clear when same-sex couples could be issued marriage licenses

    July 1, 2014

  • APTOPIX Gay Marriage _Morg.jpg ACROSS INDIANA: The latest news after gay marriage ruling

    Pence: Marriage should be a state-by-state choice

    GOP leader: Supreme Court must act on marriage

    Some counties wait to issue gay marriage licenses

    Gay marriage opponents say they 'warned' of ruling

    Same-sex couples in Indiana hail equal treatment

    Indiana AG says it will appeal gay marriage ruling

    Judge strikes down Indiana ban on gay marriage

    1st gay couple marries legally in Indianapolis

    June 25, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • Obama_Morg.jpg Obama: U.S. should have paid maternity leave

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States should join the rest of the industrialized world and offer paid leave for mothers of newborns.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obit-Ruby Dee_Ter .jpg Daughter: Actress Ruby Dee dies at home of 'natural causes'

    NEW YORK (AP) — Ruby Dee, an acclaimed actor and civil rights activist whose versatile career spanned stage, radio television and film, has died at age 91, according to her daughter.

    June 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mosaic Potholes _Ter .jpg Chicago man filling potholes — artfully

    The perfect pothole might not exist for many people — but for mosaic artist Jim Bachor, it’s one with a nice oval shape. Bachor began filling those potholes a little more than a year ago, after one in front of his house became a hassle.

    June 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • Staten Island Fire _Ter .jpg 34 injured in Staten Island fire

    NEW YORK (AP) — Fire tore through three townhouses on Staten Island early today, injuring 34 people including two young children who were tossed out of a smoke-filled second-floor window into the arms of neighbors below, authorities and witnesses said.

    June 5, 2014 3 Photos

  • Germany Van Gogh~s Ea_Ter .jpg German museum shows live replica of van Gogh’s ear

    BERLIN (AP) — A German museum has put on display a copy of Vincent van Gogh’s ear that was grown using some of the Dutch artist’s genetic material.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heat Pacers Basketball Pacers keep hope alive with win over Heat

    Paul George and the Pacers got one win Wednesday night.
    Now comes the hard part: Winning an elimination game at Miami against LeBron James and the Heat.

    May 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 050414 PINK SHADOW.jpg Awareness advocates gather to ‘Paint the Town Pink’

    Pink.
    It is the color of the ribbon painted on the pavement at the corner of Sixth Street and Wabash Avenue in downtown Terre Haute. It’s also the color associated with women and breast cancer.

    May 4, 2014 4 Photos

  • MERS Virus American_Tayl.jpg MERS-CoV: Mysterious virus found in Indiana

    Health officials on Friday confirmed the first case of an American infected with a mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East.

    May 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 041314 PAINT PARTY.jpg Going purple: ‘Honoring those who are still fighting’ against cancer

    Every stroke of paint that touched the roadway had a profound meaning to a small group of painters on Sunday.

    April 13, 2014 4 Photos

  • Ukraine_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Tuesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, April 8:

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • NCAA Kentucky UConn F_Tayl.jpg UConn wins NCAA title, 60-54, over Kentucky

    No conference wanted them. Several teammates and their coach left them. The NCAA wouldn’t have them.
    UConn won it all anyway.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV-Letterman Retiring_Ter .jpg Letterman’s departure will reshape late-night

    NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Fallon’s fast start replacing Jay Leno on the “Tonight” show the past two months had a secondary effect: David Letterman suddenly seemed old.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts Owner Arrested _Ter .jpg Police: Colts owner had $29K in cash when arrested

    CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his vehicle when he was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving, according to a police arrest report.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malaysia Plane_Ter .jpg UPDATE: Relatives sob as Malaysia confirms plane is lost

    BEIJING (AP) — Relatives shrieked and sobbed uncontrollably. Men and women nearly collapsed, held up by loved ones. Their grief came pouring out after 17 days of waiting for definitive word on the fate of the passengers and crew of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Chicago Train_Ter .jpg Train derails, climbs escalator at Chicago airport

    CHICAGO (AP) — An eight-car Chicago commuter train plowed across a platform and scaled an escalator at an underground station at one of the nation’s busiest airports early today, injuring 32 people on board, officials said.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snohomish Mudslide_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Monday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, March 24:

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NYC Explosion_Ter .jpg Searchers scour rubble after blast kills 7

    NEW YORK (AP) — Rescuers working amid gusty winds, cold temperatures and billowing smoke pulled four additional bodies overnight from the rubble of two Manhattan apartment buildings, as the death toll rose today, to at least seven from a gas leak-triggered explosion.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Film Casting Jesus_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Friday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, March 7:

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • US Obama Ukraine Russ_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Tuesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, March 4:

    March 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • 86th Academy Awards -_Ter (2).jpg ‘12 Years a Slave’ wins best picture at Oscars

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Perhaps atoning for past sins, Hollywood named the brutal, unshrinking historical drama “12 Years a Slave” best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards.

    March 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET030114swope shaffer.jpg VIDEO: Mardi Gras at the Swope

    Teresa Shaffer was handing out beads and masks at the Swope Art Museum's Mardi Gras celebration Saturday night. The event is an annual fundraiser for the downtown museum.

    March 1, 2014 2 Photos 1 Video

  • Married Priest_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Friday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 28:

    February 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Planet Bonanza_Ter .jpg 10 Things to Know for Thursday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today, Feb. 27:

    February 27, 2014 1 Photo

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Bodies of Malaysia Jet Victims Leave Ukraine Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Fighting Rages Amid Mideast Truce Push Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Raw: Massive Explosion in Gaza City Raw: Typhoon Brings Heavy Wind, Rain to Taiwan Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: Secretary of State Kerry in Israel NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era
NDN Video
CDC Director Warns Of A World Where Antibiotics No Longer Work Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity