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France (Whites)


Alsace ( Aal-saaz ) – Riesling; Gewurtztraminer.

Chablis ( Shub-lee ) in Burgundy – Chardonnay ( shar-doe-nay ).

Champagne – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier ( pee-no-myu-neeay ).

Hermitage – Marsanne; Rousanne.

Loire ( Low-aar ) Valley – Chenin Blanc ( shaynin-blawnc ).

Pouilly-Fuisse ( Poo-ee-foo-ee-zay ) – Chardonnay.

Northern Rhone – Viognier ( Veeo-near ).

Sauternes ( Saw-tayrn ) – Semillon ( semi-yon ), Sauvignon Blanc ( saw-vinyon-blawnc ) and Muscadelle.


France (Reds)


Beaujolais ( Bo-zho-lay ) – Gamay.

Bordeaux Reds (St-Emilion) – Merlot ( mur-low ); Cabernet Franc ( caber-neigh-frawnc ).

Bordeaux Reds (Pauillac) – Cabernet Sauvignon (caber-neigh-saw-vinyon); Merlot; Cabernet Franc.

Burgundy Reds (other than Beaujolais ) – Pinot Noir ( peeno-no-aar ).

Chateauneuf-du-Pape ( Sha-too-nuf-du-Paap ) in the Rhone Valley – As many as 13 grape varieties are grown here. Grenache ( grey-naash ) is the principal variety. Syrah ( see-rah ) and Mourvedre are the other popular varieties. All these varieties are red.

Hermitage ( Hermi-taazh ) – Syrah.


Italy (Whites)


Dolcetto d'Alba – Dolcetto ( dol-chay-tow ).

Gavi – Cortese ( kor-tay-say ).

Roero Arneis – Arneis ( aar-neighs ).

San Gimignano ( jimmy-ya-no ) – Vernaccia ( ver-naa-chhia ).

Trebbiano d'Abruzzo – Trebbiano. Also known as Ugni Blanc ( yoo-nee-blawnc ).


Italy (Reds)


Barbaresco – Nebbiolo.

Barbera d'Alba – Barbera.

Barolo – Nebbiolo.

Brunelo di Montalcino ( Mon-taal-cheeno ) – Sangiovese. It is Italy 's most planted red wine grape variety.

Chianti ( Keeanti ) /Chianti Classico – Sangiovese.

Montepulciano ( Mon-tay-pull-chiano ) d'Abruzzo – Montepulciano

Sicily – Nero d'Avola

Soave ( So-aa-weigh ) Classico – Garganega.

Valpolicella ( Val-poly-chella ) – Corvina.


Spain (Whites)


Rueda (Castilla y Leon) – Verdejo ( Ver-de-ho ) and Sauvignon Blanc.

Rias Baixas ( Galicia ) – Albarino.


Spain (Reds)


Catalunya (Penedes) – Garnacha and Carinena.

Navarra – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Ribera del Duero – Tempranillo.

Rioja ( Rio-kha ) – Tempranillo ( temp-ra-niyo ), Garnacha, Carinena and Graciano.


Snappy Questions on Old World Wines


Q. In the wine world, name the countries that constitute the Old World ?

A. France , Italy , Spain and Germany . The Greeks, by the way, were the first to make wine in Europe . They brought viticulture and wine-making to Italy , from where the processes went to France . Spain , the world's third major wine producer, was also introduced to wine-making by Greeks fleeing political turmoil in the eastern Mediterranean .


Q. Which is the world's first sweet, sparkling wine?

A. Asti Spumante ( Italy ).


Q. Which is the world's largest-selling sparkling wine?

A. Cava ( Spain ). It overtook Champagne in 2001.


Q. What do the Germans call their sparkling wine?

A. Sekt.


Q. An Englishman is said to be responsible for the boom in the popularity of the Sicilian fortified wine called Marsala . Who was he?

A. John Woodhouse. He arrived in Sicily in 1770. The famous English admiral, Lord Nelson, was an original devotee of Marsala .


Q. Where in the world would you find the grape variety called Albarino, which is behind some truly great white wines?

A. Albarino.


Q. Are the famous Vega Sicilia wines produced in Sicily ?

A. No, they are made in the Spanish wine region called Ribera del Duero. Vega Sicilia is the region's oldest and most prestigious fine wine house, which was founded in 1864.



Q. Which is the grape variety that provides the backbone to sherry?

A. Palomino.


Q. Which is the Spanish region famous for sherry?

A. Jerez.


Q. What is the technique of producing sherry called?

A. The Solera System.


Q. Name Portugal 's second largest city that lends its name to the world's most famous fortified wine.

A. Porto ( Oporto ). The drink is port; its Portuguese name is vinho do porto .


Q. Name the river whose valley is famous as the centre for the production of port.

A. Duoro.


Q. Name the grape varieties famously associated with port.

A. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinto Cao.


Q. Name the ocean where the island of Madiera , which lends its name to another famous fortified wine, is located.

A. The Atlantic Ocean . It is 1,500 km from Lisbon , the Portuguese capital.


Q. Name the grape variety that is used to make madeira.

A. Verdelho.


Q. Name Hungary 's famous grape variety that is responsible for the country's legendary dessert wine, Tokaji.

A. Furmint




Salad (with creamy dressing) – Chablis or Pinot Blanc.

Salad (with vinaigrette) – Sauvignon Blanc or a dry German Riesling.

Chicken Soup – Chardonnay, medium bodied, or Pinot Blanc.

Soup (creamy and fishy) – Chardonnay, fuller flavoured, Muscadet, or Pinot Grigio.

Creamy Chowder – Basic Chardonnay.

Chowder (tomato-based) – Italian reds, medium bodied.

Crab – Dry Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Lobster – White Burgundy .

Salmon (Grilled) – Unoaked Chardonnay or Alsace Pinot Blanc.

Salmon (Poached) – Chablis or a dry white Bordeaux .

Salmon (Smoked) – Champagne to Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc to dry Riesling.

Barbecued Chicken – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or light red wines such as Beaujolais .

Chicken (with cream sauce) – White Bordeaux, Riesling from Alsace or New Zealand , or South African Chenin Blanc.

Roasted Chicken – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or soft Merlot.

Lamb (casseroles, hotpots and meat stews) – Spicy French reds such as Vin de Pays d'Oc, Coteaux du Languedoc, or Cotes du Rhone.

Lamb Chops – Good quality reds from Rioja, Bordeaux , or Chianti, as well as New World Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Lamb Roast – Top quality Bordeaux and Burgundy . Alternatively, Rioja, Chianti and New World Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

Mushroom Risotto – Full-bodied Italian wines such as Barolo, Chianti Classico and Brunelo di Montalcino.

Pasta (with creamy sauce) – Dry Italian white, Chardonnay (unoaked), Pinot Blanc, or Semillon.

Pasta (with tomato-based sauce) – Light Italian reds such as Valpolicella and Chianti.

Vegetarian Lasagne (with tofu) – Gewurtztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, or Riesling from Germany or the New World .

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