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    I’ve compiled a short list with simple explanations for some facts that can impress people:

    What are the 5 red varietals allowed by French law in Bordeaux wine?

    Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and a sixth almost never used varietal.. Carménère
    What two parent grapes gave way to Cabernet Sauvignon?

    Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc (its easy to remember too because its in the name)

    Champagne vs. Sparkling wine
    Champagne is only from the region of Champagne, France. Everything else is called sparkling wine (or can have another pseudonym such as Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy)

    Barolo and Barbaresco are regions in Italy that use only the Nebbiolo grape in their DOCG approved reds

    Syrah and Shiraz are genetically the same exact grape as are Zinfandel and Primativo

    Parts of California and Chile have almost the exact same growing conditions, but opposite seasons

    Basic rule of thumb when picking a wine
    If you want a lighter California red then pick a coastal wine (Central or Sonoma Coast for example)
    If you want a big fruit driven wine go for Napa

    Red grapes can also make white wine such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier which are used in most any Champagne (unless it says Blanc de Blanc which denotes only Chardonnay being used)

    Decanting is done when you want to remove sediment (typically an aged wine or one that is unfiltered) and when you want to soften an aggressive or new red wine by introducing air (oxygenating)

    Wines from California, by law, can be up to 25% of a different grape varietal or year than is stated on the label

    The higher the acidity in a grape the lower the Brix (sugar) and vice versa. The more sugar a grape has at time of harvest, the more alcohol it will have after fermentation

    New World wines typically include the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and others. These wines are generally bigger fruitier wines with higher alcohol

    Old World wines are from France and Italy (among others) and tend to be higher acid and more earthy in nose and palate

    Fun bonus fact that pertains to spirits not wine

    Origin of the word proof when talking about spirits:
    In the 18th century, whatever spirit was in question would be poured over gunpowder. If it caught fire then it was proof that it was not watered down. So it was either proof or under proof