Different grapes from different regions, all screaming Italy

WHAT makes a wine French, or American or Spanish? Attributing national characteristics is a murky business, with one significant exception.

It's all Greek - wines of surprisingly tannic reds, with energy and balance

RED WINES the world over have become fresher and more energetic in the past decade, offering delightful and lively alternatives to the once dominant fruit bombs that could sink a palate in one salvo.

From wild Maine blueberries comes a buzzworthy new bubbly

UNLESS you have trained eyes, you could drive the narrow roads winding through the heart of coastal Maine's wild-blueberry country and never realise you were surrounded by acres of blueberry vines.

Manzanilla sherry: Singular, saline and so polarising

SHERRY is among the most singular wines available today.

Home of port now producing reds and whites that are surprisingly good

IN THE cellar of a modern, concrete winery in this small town in the Douro Valley, Luis Seabra was drawing a sample of his 2018 Xisto Cru Branco from the large old barrel in which it was ageing.

Sicily's white wines - rich and salty, racy and refreshing

SICILY, like the rest of Italy, has long been known as red wine territory. Yet slowly, the whites of Sicily, particularly those grown in the foothills of Mount Etna, have been earning attention as among the most distinctive and unusual white wines in Italy, if not the world.

Helpful words that demystify wine appreciation

FEW things are as maddening or as elusive as trying to convey the character of a wine, both for the reader and the writer.

Albarino on a journey of self-discovery

AMONG the first wave of new grapes that came to define today's era of diversity in wine was albarino, from the Rías Baixas region of Galicia in northwestern Spain.

Drinking beyond the beach: Rosés with character and dimensions

I'M SITTING in my Manhattan apartment, but in my mind I'm far away, watching the ocean, glass of rosé in hand, staring out at the waves breaking under pale blue skies, sea breezes rustling the leaves above.

Time to rethink wine criticism

ROBERT M PARKER JR, who dominated wine criticism in the United States for roughly 30 years after his enthusiastic embrace of the 1982 Bordeaux vintage, formally announced his retirement last month after quietly withdrawing from writing a few years ago.

Soave Classico these days is not what it was in the bad old days

SO MUCH of what we think we know about wine is probably wrong.

Zen and the art of Australian winemaking

ON a warm, sunny day in February, Will Berliner, the proprietor of Cloudburst, crouched and scuttled under the bird netting that had been draped over the vines in his small vineyard just 3.2 kilometres from the Indian Ocean here in Western Australia.

Despite eye rolls, good Sancerres rise above the sniping

A SMALL group of ubiquitous wines occupies the paradoxical territory of being well-known, highly popular and often reviled.

Winemakers find room to roam in rambling Texas

FROM a porch swing at the Southold Farm & Cellar tasting room outside this small city in Texas Hill Country, a vista of scrubby ranchland stretches to the horizon.

The value of Burgundy, regardless of the price

WE can talk about the aromas and flavours of a wine, possible food pairings, history and culture, personalities or glassware. But from where I sit, it often seems as if people have one overriding topic on their minds: price.

For connoisseurs and Joe Sixpack: Swig on canned wines

A FEW years ago while driving in Sonoma County, California, Gina Schober and her husband, Jake Stover, had a discussion that led to a brainstorm.

How does your love of wine contribute to climate change?

THE exquisite vulnerability of grapes to nuances of weather makes wine both particularly susceptible to climate change and a harbinger of what's to come for many other agricultural products.

To find the best of Languedoc, follow the producer

THE Languedoc region has regularly been described as the New World of France.

'Natural' winemakers showcase rugged beauty of Aussie vintage

BY DAY, Alex Schulkin studies topics in wine chemistry, such as texture, for the Australian Wine Research Institute, which is supported by mainstream grape growers and wine producers.

Why simplicity can be a winemaking virtue

SWEETNESS in wine can make people seem crazy.

Aussie wine sheds vin de table image for finesse and grace

THIS cosmopolitan city on the southern coast of Victoria teems with great restaurants of all sorts, and the diners there are often thirsty for wine.

Aglianico in its own right

WINES made from the aglianico grape were virtually unknown to much of the world just 25 years ago. They have made great progress since. Now they are merely unappreciated.

Leaving it all behind for the love of nebbiolo

IN AN unassuming shed near this small town in the centre of the Yarra Valley, just north-east of Melbourne, Luke Lambert makes gorgeous, minerally chardonnays and perfumed, savoury syrahs under the Luke Lambert label.

Valtellinas that are worth the labour and physical challenges

IF you ever doubt the value that humanity has placed on the fermented juice of the grape, take a look at the labour-intensive, death-defying challenges that people have accepted to tend vines on some of the most perilous hillsides in the world.

In a sampling of supermarket wines, 2 different worlds collide

IN my Wine School column, each month I choose a genre of wines to explore and suggest three representative bottles. Participants find one or more, and drink them in a natural setting with food and company, paying attention to their reactions to the wine. The aim is to help make them more...