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What is veraison?

Veraison is the fourth step of grape maturation. At this stage, the vines focus their efforts on storing sugar in the grapes and developing their flavors, causing the berries to change color and begin softening.

How do alcohol levels vary between table wines, dessert wines, and sparkling wines?

Table wines are technically not supposed to exceed 14%, but today, it’s not as clear cut as it was when the laws were written. Many grapes are now grown in warm climates where they become so ripe and have so much natural sugar that their juice attains more than 14% alcohol when fermented. Wine drinkers still consider these table wines, but they are taxed at a higher rate. Dessert wines contain more than 14% alcohol and often have alcohol added to them during fermentation. Sparkling wines are typically lower in alcohol, often ranging between 11.5 and 13%.

Do white wines need to be aerated?

Although many white wines do not need aeration, young full-bodied whites like Viognier or old, luscious whites like white Burgundies, can greatly benefit from aerating. A white wine with exotic aromas needs a delicate touch of air to really make those aromas sing. Gold Medal Wine Club offers the White Wine Vinturi Aerator, which is specifically engineered with smaller, more delicate pores that are gentle on a white’s unique composition. You can also find the Red Wine Vinturi Aerator in the Accessories section of the website, or you can call 1-800-266-8888 for more information.

Originally published in our Gold Wine Club, featuring Jason-Stephens Winery.