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Wine names: Grapes vs Regions.

grapes

A brief explanation here -- wines are usually either named by their grape (for example, "Merlot", or "Pinot grigio"), or by the place where they are bottled (for example, "Burgundy" or "Bordeaux", which are from regions in France). Other than France, Italy and Spain (and probably lots of other countries) also have wines named by their origin rather than grape. We don't seem to have this in the US however, even though the USA produces some very good wine.

This causes some problems as there are overlapping wine naming systems. A wine from a region of France, Italy, Spain, whatever might be almost completely a particular grape, but it is not named after the grape, but it is named after the region. There may be many different location names for the same grape name. A huge mess, and a lot to remember.

Here are a few differences between grape named wines and location named wines:

 

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