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Wine Spectator School

Class 5: Old World Model: France




The previous two classes highlighted the world’s major grape varieties along with the unique flavors and characteristics each variety imparts to wine. Wherever a specific grape variety is grown, the full set of possible flavors and characteristics remains the same; Chardonnay from New Zealand, California and Chablis all taste like Chardonnay.

That said, some of the flavors and characteristics may vary from one region to another; Chardonnay from California is usually more full-bodied compared to Chardonnay from Chablis, which is more crisply acidic. This is because the climate, soils and winemaking traditions vary from region to region.

A familiarity with the world's great growing regions helps wine lovers understand the styles of wine they can...

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