What is perhaps the single greatest standard used in assessing the quality of wine?


Complexity. The more times you can return to a glass of wine and find something different in it - for example, in the bouquet or in the taste - the more complex the wine. One returns to the wine again and again, each time enlightened by a new sensation.

Cork comes from a type of oak tree found growing mostly in Spain and Portugal. How often can the cork be harvested from these trees?

Cork comes from the inner layer of an oak tree variety called Quercus super. The tree must be at least 20 years old before the first harvesting and can be re-harvested approximately every nine years.

What varietal coming out of California has had the biggest increase in popularity in recent years?

The varietal most in demand last year was Merlot. Shipments of Merlot rose 35% from eh previous year. Following Merlot were Chardonnay at 18% and Cabernet Sauvignon at 13% increase.

Originally published in our Gold Wine Club's The Wine Press, Bargetto Winery and Schug Winery edition featured in 1998.