wines from other countries
Portugal is justifiably famous for its great dessert wine, Port.
Australia is one of the world powers of wine. The wine industry of Australia is perhaps the most technologically advanced, forward-thinking on earth, and the success of Australian wines around the world is the envy of wine producers in many other countries.
Australia has about 2,000 wineries. Many of these wineries are small, family-owned companies, but four mega-companies — Foster’s Wine Group, Constellation Wines, Pernod Ricard, and McGuigan Simeon Wines — together with one family-owned winery, Casella Wines, are responsible for about two-thirds of Australia’s wine production.
The one Hungarian wine region that does have international fame is Tokaj-Hegyalja, which takes its name from the town of Tokaj and owes its reputation to its world-class dessert wine, Tokaji Azsu. The word Aszu refers to botrytised grapes. The wine comes from Furmint and Harslevelu grapes, both native white varieties, and sometimes Muscat grapes. This region also makes dry table wines, such as the varietal Tokaji Furmint.
Tokaji Azsu wines are labeled as three, four, five, or six Puttonyos, according to their sweetness, with six Puttonyos wines being the sweetest. (Puttonyos are baskets used to harvest the botrytised grapes, as well as a measure of sweetness.) All Tokaji Azsu wines sell in 500 ml bottles, and they range in price from about $35 to $150 per bottle, depending on their sweetness level.
Germany has 13 wine regions — 11 regions in the west and 2 regions in the eastern part of the country. German wines are mostly white. They’re fruity in style, low in alcohol, rarely oaked, and often off-dry or sweet. Their labels carry grape names, which is an anomaly in Europe.
Germany’s finest vineyards are situated along rivers such as the Rhine and the Mosel, and on steep, sunny slopes, to temper the extremes of the weather and help the grapes ripen.
Austria's wines come from the eastern part of the country, where the Alps recede into hills. Most of the wines come from small wineries. Austria makes less than one percent of all the wine in the world.
Switzerland is in a perfectly logical location for growing grapes and making fine wine, nestled between Germany, France, and Italy.
About half of Switzerland’s wines are white; most are made from Chasselas — a grape cultivated with much less distinction in Germany, eastern France, and the Loire Valley. In Switzerland, Chasselas wines tend to be dry, fairly full-bodied, and unoaked, with mineral and earthy flavors.
Other white grapes include Pinot Gris, Sylvaner, Marsanne, Petit Arvine, and Amigne — the latter two indigenous to Switzerland. Merlot is an important red grape (especially in the Italian-speaking Ticino region), along with Pinot Noir and Gamay.
For several years New Zealand has won international acclaim for its white Chardonnays and Sauvignons, though Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Merlot are also able to win. Despite the success of other varieties, it is undeniably Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that has conquered the world of wine.
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