Questions and answers
What varieties can you use to make Madeira?
The most widely planted variety is Tinta Negra Mole but it is the other four 'noble' varieties that are most highly prized for ageworthy, quality wines.
How many grape varieties are permitted in Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Never heard of some them? Don't worry, we hadn't either!
What's the difference between Syrah and Shiraz?
Shiraz is the Australian name for Syrah.
Australian Shiraz is quite different in style to that of its Rhone heartland. Ripe fruit, high alcohol, chocolate, black fruits and lashings of oak are typical of South Australian Shiraz; the wines of the the northern Rhone are more perfumed with aromas of white pepper and violets; lighter body and lower alcohol.
Today, the name Shiraz is fast becoming synonymous with the up-front, full-on Australian style while Syrah is perceived by some as a wine with more elegance and restraint. New World countries includng Chile and South Africa label their wines both Syrah and Shiraz although there is a trend for more and more producers to use Syrah.
There are three varieties permitted in Valpolicella. What are they?
Corvina is considered the region's best grape, making a sour cherry-like vibrant wine.
Molinara is considered inferior to both Corvina and Rondinella, and it is no longer a compulsory part of the blend.