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MORE THAN 3 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE

KEVIN ZRALY . . . . . . . . . .

WINDOWS ON THE WORLD COM PLETE WIN E COU RSE . . . . . . . . . . "One of the best star t-from-scratch wine books ever written."

THE NEW YORK TIMES


� CONTENTS � THE STORY OF WINDOWS ON THE WORLD 00 THE WINE REVOLUTION 00

PRELUDE TO WINE GRAPES OF THE WORLD 00 WINE FLAVORS 00 THE PHYSIOLOGY OF SMELL AND TASTE 00 TASTING WINE 00 HOW TO READ A WINE LABEL 00 THE 60-SECOND WINE EXPERT 00 CLASS ONE THE WHITE WINES OF FRANCE 00 CLASS TWO AMERICAN WINE AND THE WHITE WINES OF CALIFORNIA 00 CLASS THREE THE WHITE WINES OF GERMANY 00 CLASS FOUR THE RED WINES OF BURGUNDY AND THE RHÔNE VALLEY 00 CLASS FIVE THE RED WINES OF BORDEAUX 00

CLASS SIX THE RED WINES OF CALIFORNIA 00 CLASS SEVEN THE WINES OF SPAIN AND ITALY 00 CLASS EIGHT CHAMPAGNE, SHERRY, AND PORT 00 WINES OF THE WORLD AUSTRIA, HUNGARY, GREECE, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, SOUTH AFRICA, CANADA, CHILE, AND ARGENTINA 00 THE GREATER WORLD OF WINE PAIRING WINE AND FOOD 00 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WINE 00 BEST OF THE BEST 00 BEST VALUE LIST: $30 AND UNDER 00 WINE QUIZZES 00 WINE RESOURCES 00 GLOSSARY OF SELECT TERMS 00

INTRODUCTION 00

AFTERWORD: LOOKING BACK, WITH GRATITUDE 00 PHOTO CREDITS 00 INDEX 00

� For more information, including links to videos, � pronunciations, and an online store, visit KevinZraly.com.


California Winemaking � No wine-growing area in the world has come so far so quickly as California. Americans historically have had little interest in wine, but from the moment we first became “wine conscious,” winemakers in California rose to the challenge. Forty years ago we were asking if California wines measured up to European wines. Now California wines are available worldwide: Exports have increased dramatically in recent years to countries such as Japan, Germany, and Britain. California produces more than 90 percent of United States wine. If the state were a nation, it would be the fourth leading wine producer in the world!

an introduction to california wines

The map on this page will help familiarize you with the winemaking regions. It’s easier to remember them if you divide them into four groups:

CALIFORNIA

THE MAIN VITICULTURAL AREAS NORTH COAST

Napa

REGION

COUNTY

BEST WINES

NORTH COAST

NAPA SONOMA MENDOCINO LAKE

CABERNET SAUVIGNON ZINFANDEL SAUVIGNON BLANC CHARDONNAY MERLOT

Sonoma

San Francisco

SAN JOAQUIN

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

Monterey

NORTH CENTRAL COAST Pacific Ocean

INEXPENSIVE JUG WINES

NORTH CENTRAL COAST

MONTEREY SANTA CLARA LIVERMORE

CHARDONNAY SYRAH GRENACHE VIOGNIER MARSANNE ROUSSANE

SOUTH CENTRAL COAST

SAN LUIS OBISPO SANTA BARBARA

SAUVIGNON BLANC CHARDONNAY PINOT NOIR SYRAH

SOUTH CENTRAL COAST

Santa Barbara

0 Miles

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100

200

200

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Although you may be most familiar with Napa and Sonoma, fewer than 10 percent of all California wine comes from these two regions combined. Even so, Napa alone accounts for more than 30 percent of dollar sales of California wines. Wine from the San Joaquin Valley accounts for 58 percent of the wine grapes planted, much of it jug wine. Maybe that doesn’t seem too exciting— that the production of jug wine dominates California winemaking history—but Americans aren’t atypical in this preference. In France, AOC wines account for only 35 percent of all French wines; the rest are everyday table wines.

CALIFORNIA, PAST AND PRESENT 1970: 240 wineries 2015: 2,842 wineries

California wines dominate American wine consumption, equaling 61 PERCENT OF ALL SALES in the United States. There are more than 615,000 ACRES OF

JUG WINES AND VARIETALS

WINE VINEYARDS in California.

Jug wine refers to simple, uncomplicated, everyday drinking wine. These wines sometimes are labeled with a generic name, such as Chablis or Burgundy. Inexpensive and well made, they originally were bottled in jugs, rather than conventional bottles, hence the name. They are very popular and account for the largest volume of California wine sold in the United States. Ernest and Julio Gallo, who began their winery in 1933, are the major producers of jug wines in California. Many people credit the Gallo brothers with convertThe majority of ing American drinking habits from spirits to wine. California wines retail The best jug wines in the world come from Califorfrom $9 TO $20. nia. They maintain both consistency and quality from year to year. As early as the 1940s, Frank Schoonmaker—an importer, writer, and one of the first American wine experts—convinced some California winery owners to market their best wines using varietal labels. Robert Mondavi may be one of the best examples of a winemaker who concentrated solely on varietal wine production. In 1966, Mondavi left his family’s Charles Krug Winery and started the Robert Mondavi Winery. His role was important to the evolution of varietal labeling of California wines. He was among the first major winemakers to make the total switch that led to higher-quality winemaking. Robert Mondavi was also a great promoter for the California wine industry. “He was able to prove to the public what the people within the industry already knew—that California could produce world-class wines,” said Eric Wente.

More than 60,000 wine labels are registered in California.

Several other wineries also produce JUG WINES, among them Almaden, Paul Masson, and Taylor California Cellars.

E & J Gallo Winery owns MORE THAN 20,000 ACRES in California. Gallo produces 67 million cases of wine annually and is the largest winery in the world.

AMERICAN WINE AND THE WHITE WINES Of CALIfORNIA

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NAPA VALLEY

1838: First wine grapes planted in Napa 1858: First winery in Napa Valley

NAPA VALLEY, PAST AND PRESENT

DIAMOND MOUNTAIN DISTRICT Calistoga SPRING MOUNTAIN DISTRICT

HOWELL MOUNTAIN

1970: 27 wineries in Napa 2015: 400+ wineries in Napa RUTHERFORD

St. Helena

ACRES OF WINE GRAPES planted in Napa: 44,398

ATLAS CREEK

SONOMA COUNTY

OAKVILLE Rutherford

TOP GRAPES PLANTED IN NAPA

Oakville

1. Cabernet Sauvignon (19,894 acres) 2. Chardonnay (7,238 acres)

Yountville

3. Merlot (5,734 acres) MT. VEEDER

STAGS LEAP DISTRICT OAK KNOLL DISTRICT Napa

WILD HORSE VALLEY

Sonoma

LOS CARNEROS

FAMOUS INDIVIDUAL VINEYARDS OF CALIFORNIA Bacigalupi

Hyde

Bien Nacido

Hudson

Dutton Ranch

Martha’s Vineyard

Durell

McCrea

Robert Young

S.L.V.

Bancroft Ranch

To-Kalon

Gravelly Meadow

Beckstoffer

Monte Rosso

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WINDOWS ON THE WORLD COMPLETE WINE COURSE

0 Miles

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10

10


More than 24 different varieties of white-wine grapes grow in California.

The TWO LEADING premium white grapes planted in California in 2015: 1. Chardonnay (97,826 acres) 2. Sauvignon Blanc (15,248 acres)

CALIFORNIA HAS MORE CHARDONNAY planted than any country in the world!

MONTEREY COUNTY HAS THE MOST Chardonnay in California with 17,164 acres.

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the white wines of california � Chardonnay

The most important white-wine grape grown in California is Chardonnay. The major regions for California Chardonnay are: Carneros

Napa

Santa Barbara

Sonoma

This green-skinned grape (Vitis vinifera) often ranks as the finest white-grape variety in the world. A THIRD It’s responsible for all the great French white BurOF ALL GRAPES gundies, such as Meursault, Chablis, and Pulignygrown in Sonoma are Montrachet. In California, as the most successful Chardonnay. white grape, it has yielded a wine of tremendous character and magnificent flavor. In the vineyard, yields are fairly low, and the grapes command high prices. The wines often age in small oak barrels, increasing their complexity. Chardonnay is always dry and benefits from aging more than any other American white wine. Superior examples can keep and develop well in the bottle for five years or longer. The best wineries age these wines in wood, sometimes for more than a year. French oak barrels have doubled in price over the last five years,

WINDOWS ON THE WORLD COMPLETE WINE COURSE


averaging $1,000 per barrel. Add to this the cost of the grapes and the length of time before the wine is actually sold, and you can see why the best California Chardonnays cost more than $25.

NOT ALL CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS ARE CREATED EQUAL

Some 800 DIFFERENT CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS are available to the consumer.

CHARDONNAY IS THE MOST

Put it this way: Grocery stores sell many brands of ice cream. The brands use similar ingredients, but there’s only one Ben & Jerry’s. The same holds true for wine. Among the many points to consider: Where do the grapes come from? Was the wine barrel fermented? Did it undergo malolactic fermentation? Is the wine aged in wood or stainless steel? If wood, what type of oak? How long does it remain in the barrel?

POPULAR VARIETAL sold in the United States. MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION is a second fermentation that lowers tart malic acids and increases the softer lactic acids, making for a richer-style wine. The result is what many wine tasters refer to as a

MY FAVORITE CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS Acacia Arrowood Au Bon Climat Aubert Beringer Brewer-Clifton Cakebread Chalk Hill Chateau Montelena Chateau St. Jean Diatom Dutton Goldfield Ferrari-Carano

Flowers Grgich Hills Hanzell Kistler Kongsgaard Landmark Lewis Littorai Marcassin Martinelli Mount Eden Paul Hobbs

buttery bouquet.

Peter Michael Phelps Ramey Robert Mondavi Rudd Winery Saintsbury Sbragia Family Shafer Silverado Talbott Testarossa Tor

— BEST VINTAGES FOR CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY — CARNEROS: 2004* 2007** 2008 2009* 2010 2011 2012* 2013* 2014* 2015*

NAPA: 2007* 2008* 2009** 2010* 2011 2012* 2013* 2014* SONOMA: 2004** 2005** 2006* 2007** 2008* 2009** 2010* 2011 2012*

2013* 2014* 2015*

SANTA BARBARA: 2007* 2008 2013*

2009* 2010 2014* 2015*

2011 2012

* EXCEPTIONAL VINTAGE **EXTRAORDINARY VINTAGE

AMERICAN WINE AND THE WHITE WINES Of CALIfORNIA

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Robert Mondavi realized that no one was buying Sauvignon Blanc, so he changed its name to FUMÉ BLANC. Strictly a marketing maneuver—it was still the same wine. Result: sales took off. Mondavi decided not to trademark the name, allowing anyone to use it (and many producers do).

other major California white-wine grapes Sauvignon Blanc Sometimes labeled “Fumé Blanc,” this is one of the grapes used in making the dry white wines of the Graves region of Bordeaux and the white wines of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé in the Loire Valley of France as well as New Zealand. California Sauvignon Blanc makes one of the best dry white wines in the world. It’s sometimes aged in small oak barrels and occasionally blended with the Sémillon grape. Chenin Blanc In California, the grape—one of the most widely planted in the Loire Valley—yields a very attractive, soft, light-bodied wine. It’s usually made very dry or semisweet; it’s a perfect apéritif wine, simple and fruity. Viognier One of the major white grapes from France’s Rhône Valley, Viognier thrives in warmer and sunny climates, so it’s a perfect grape for the weather conditions in certain areas of California. It has a distinct fragrant bouquet. Not as full-bodied as most Chardonnays, nor as light as most Sauvignon Blancs, it’s an excellent food wine.

MY FAVORITE CALIFORNIA SAUVIGNON BLANCS

CALIFORNIA TRENDS THROUGH THE DECADES 1960s and 1970s: JUG WINES (Chablis,

Brander Caymus Chalk Hill Chateau St. Jean Dry Creek Ferrari-Carano Girard

Grey Stack Honig Joseph Phelps Kenwood Matanzas Creek Mason Merry Edwards

Orin Swift Quintessa Robert Mondavi Silverado Simi Vogelzang

Burgundy) 1980s: VARIETAL WINES (Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon) 1990s: VARIETAL LOCATION (Cabernet Sauvignon—Napa, Pinot Noir— Santa Barbara) 2000s: SPECIFIC VINEYARDS for varietals Today: CONSISTENTLY GREAT WINES

CALIFORNIA WINE TRENDS The 1960s saw expansion and development. The 1970s brought growth, especially in the number of wineries established in California and the corporations and individuals that became involved. The 1980s and 1990s fostered experimentation in grape-growing as well as in winemaking and marketing techniques.

from all regions

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WINDOWS ON THE WORLD COMPLETE WINE COURSE


Over the past twenty or so years, winemakers finally had a chance to step back and fine-tune their wine. Today, they’re producing wines with tremendous structure, finesse, and elegance that many lacked in the early years of the California winemaking renaissance. They also are making wines that can give pleasure when young and great wines that I hope I will be around to share with my grandchildren. The benchmark for quality has increased to such a level that the best wineries have improved, but more important to the consumer is that even the wines under $20 are better than ever before. Another trend has pushed wineries toward specializing in particular grape varieties. Forty years ago, I would have talked about which wineries in California were best overall. Today, I’m more likely to talk about which AVA, winery, or individual vineyard makes the best Chardonnay or which winery makes the best Sauvignon Blanc. Chardonnay remains the major white-grape variety by far in California. Sauvignon Blancs/Fumé Blancs have improved greatly, and they’re easier to consume young. Although they still don’t have the cachet of a Chardonnay, they pair better with most foods. Other white-grape varieties, such as Riesling and Chenin Blanc, aren’t meeting with the same success, and they’re harder to sell. Still, to keep it interesting, some winemakers are planting more European varietals, including Viognier and Pinot Gris.

WINE AND FOOD �

to take a whole fresh salmon or salmon steaks

FURTHER READING The Far Side of Eden and Napa: The Story of an American Eden by James Conaway Making Sense of California Wine and Matt Kramer’s New California Wine by Matt Kramer The New California Wine by Jon Bonné Wine Atlas of California by James Halliday The Wine Atlas of California and the Pacific Northwest by Bob Thompson Wine Spectator’s California Wine by James Laube Wines of California by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen

scallops with julienne vegetables. —Janet Trefethen

and cook them over the barbecue in an aluminum

With Chardonnay: Sonoma Coast Dungeness

foil pocket. Place the salmon, onion slices, lemon

crab right from the crab pot, with fennel butter as

With Chardonnay: oysters, lobster, a more

slices, copious quantities of fresh dill, salt, and

a dipping sauce. —Richard Arrowood

complex fish with beurre blanc, pheasant salad

pepper on aluminum foil and make a pocket.

with truffles. With Sauvignon Blanc: traditional

Cook over the barbecue until barely done. Place

barbecued with olive oil and lemon leaf and slices.

white meat or fish course, sautéed or grilled fish

the salmon in the oven to keep it warm while you

—Bo Barrett, Chateau Montelena Winery

(as long as it isn’t an oily fish). —Margrit Biever

take the juices from the aluminum pocket, reduce

“With my Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley

and Robert Mondavi

the juices, strain, and whisk in some plain yogurt.

Chardonnay: bruschetta with wild mushrooms,

Enjoy!”—David Stare, Dry Creek

leek-and-mushroom-stuffed chicken breast, and

With Chardonnay: fresh boiled Dungeness crab cooked in Zatarain’s crab boil, a New

With Chardonnay: ceviche, shellfish, salmon

Orleans–style boil. Serve this with melted butter

with a light hollandaise sauce.—Warren Winiarski,

and a large loaf of sourdough French bread.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

With Sauvignon Blanc, “I like fresh salmon cooked in almost any manner. Personally, I like

With Chardonnay: barbecued whole salmon

With Chardonnay: salmon, trout, or abalone,

halibut with caramelized endive and chanterelles.” —Jack Cakebread With Chardonnay: lobster or salmon with lots of butter. —Ed Sbragia, Sbragia Family Vineyards

in a sorrel sauce. With White Riesling: sautéed bay

AMERICAN WINE AND THE WHITE WINES Of CALIfORNIA

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S EPTE MBE R 2 016 “When it comes to beginners’ wine guides, Windows on the World Complete Wine Course is one of the perennial best.” —Wall Street Journal

I

n the clear, engaging style that has made this comprehensive book a national and international favorite for more than three decades, Kevin Zraly—America’s ultimate wine educator and the creator of the Windows on the World Wine School—demystifies every aspect of wine: from grape varieties and their flavors, different types and styles of wines, and how they’re produced, to the latest winemaking developments, how to read a wine label, and the physiology of smell and taste. Covering the world of wine from the renowned reds of Bordeaux and California to the cutting-edge whites of Washington State and New Zealand, this essential volume features lush new photographs, a wealth of enlightening infographics, clear maps of each region, guided tastings, the best 500 wines in the » N  ational print and online world under $30, and hundreds of labels to help you identify wines publicity campaign worth tasting. Completing this must-have guide are notes on food pairings, frequently asked questions, a directory of resources, and » N  ational & local TV and a glossary of select terms. This newly revised and expanded 2017 radio show outreach edition introduces a fresh new interior design, the latest vintages to savor, and much more for beginners and experts alike. The » D  igital focus on wine Windows on the World Complete Wine Course will give you all the blogs and websites tools you need to discover and enjoy the perfect wines for you.

KEVIN ZRALY is the founder and teacher of the Windows on the World Wine School, which has graduated more than 20,000 students in 40 years, as well as the Sherry-Lehmann / Kevin Zraly Wine Club and master classes. His Windows on the World Complete Wine Course (Sterling Epicure) has sold more than three million copies, making him the

world’s bestselling wine author. He has received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award and the European Wine Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award, among numerous others, and has been featured in GQ, The New York Times, Newsweek, People, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications. He lives in New York.

For publicity inquiries, contact Blanca Oliviery at (646) 688-2548 or boliviery@sterlingpublishing.com September 2016 Culinary / Wine $27.95 ($31.95 Canada) Hardcover with Jacket 8 ½ × 9 ¼ • 368 pages ISBN 9781454921066

DISCLAIMER Reviewers are reminded that changes may be made in this uncorrected proof before books are printed. If any material from the book is to be quoted in a review, the quotation should be checked against the final bound book. Dates, prices, and manufacturing details are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Kevin Zraly Windows on the World Complete Wine Course  

In the clear, engaging style that has made this comprehensive book a national and international favorite for more than three decades, Kevin...

Kevin Zraly Windows on the World Complete Wine Course  

In the clear, engaging style that has made this comprehensive book a national and international favorite for more than three decades, Kevin...

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