Sweet Wine vs Dry Wine

Rich vs poor. Liberal vs conservative. Sweet wine vs dry wine. These are the greatest divides of the modern era, but because this is a wine blog I’ll only be talking about the last one. Red wine vs white wine can get a lot of attention, but in many ways the real debate in the wine world is whether you like your wine sweet or dry. It’s a complicated debate, and one that you will likely find yourself on both sides of over the course of your life. In this post, we’re going to break down the flaws and virtues of sweet and dry wine and decide once and for all: Which one should you be drinking right now?

What Makes a Sweet Wine Sweet? A Dry Wine Dry?

Usually, the sweetness of a wine comes down to how long the grape juice is fermented. As the fermenting process continues, sugar is converted into alcohol. So a wine that needs to be aged for 6 months or a year will generally be a lot less sweet than one that only ferments for a couple of weeks to a month. Tannins can also affect the sweetness of wine. Higher tannin content means a drier wine, and vice versa! That’s why red wines are often (but not always) drier than white wines.

Which Type of Wine is Best?

Unfortunately, I have led you astray- there is no definitive answer to that question. Drinking sweet wine vs drinking dry wine really comes down to circumstance and personal preference. Many cheap wines can seem overly sweet, but some higher quality stuff is also pretty sweet, and hey, sometimes cheap wine is just what the doctor called for. Likewise, while a dry red wine might seem complex and refined when served with a fancy dinner, but will probably feel out of place on a casual picnic with some friends. When it comes to wine dryness, let your heart guide you.


A Partisan’s Guide to Oktoberfest Wine

Autumn is well on its way, which means that every wine enjoyer’s nightmare is on the horizon: Oktoberfest, when beer drinking is ascendant and every good and honest wine aficionado must hide in their homes for fear of violent reprisal by the beer drunk mobs that roam the streets. Some of you may be asking yourselves: What is he talking about? Does anyone really care that much about this? Why do we have to be this tribal about alcohol preference? In response I say, if you are not with us, you are against us. For loyal, ride-or-die wine enjoyers, here is my definitive list of the best Oktoberfest wines.

Sparking Wine- The Stealthy Choice

While it may leave you with more wine than you know what to do with, a wine drinker may remain inconspicuous at Oktoberfest festivities by filling a beer stein up with a sparking white wine such as Champagne or Prosecco. The beer-drinking oafs around you will be unable to tell the difference between the delicious wine and their own putrid lagers, and will let you roam freely to enjoy delicious Germanic foods such as pretzels and sausages. Just be sure not to drink too much- theres a reason wine is general served in smaller glasses than beer!

Riesling- the Connoisseur’s Oktoberfest Wine

While it may be harder to disguise than a sparkling wine, a German Riesling pairs excellently with Oktoberfest Cuisine– and if the goal of this mission is to enjoy Oktoberfest without drinking any beer, it may pay to employ the best food pairing possible. Wash down your bratwurst and sauerkraut with light, sweet Riesling, but be aware that if any of the beer drinkers around you find out what you’re drinking, you will be in terrible danger.

Pinot Noir- The Statement Maker’s Wine

While white wines might sneak under the noses of the beer drinking horde, a red will almost certainly be sniffed out. That’s why Pinot Noir is a great Oktoberfest wine for those among us who refuse to compromise our beliefs. The instant you walk into Oktoberfest with your glass of Pinot Noir, you become public enemy number one- but its a decent pairing with German cuisine, and who knows- maybe the beer drinkers will be so impressed with your boldness that they will leave you be.


A Guide to Literature Wine

We all have books on our shelves that we have always planned  on getting around to. Big, important books by authors that everyone knows, and if we read them we know we would get measurably more cultured and intelligent. But then you pick the book up and find out that, oh no, it’s 600 pages, and oh no, 70% of it is an outdated scientific study of sperm whales. You may ask yourself: Am I too dumb for the western canon? Has Tiktok and Instagram rotted your brain to the point that you’ve become an illiterate? No! You’re perfectly capable of reading Moby Dick, or any book that people swear is good. You just need the right wine pairing. Read on to find our what literature wine is right for you.

MOBY DICK: Chardonnay

Moby Dick starts off as a homoerotic love story between a depressed sailor and his Polynesian bunkmate, ends as a biblical revenge play enacted between an angry man and a fish, and in between offers a whale fact to page ratio of about 10 to 1. This may seem confusing at first, but it will all make sense after a glass of chardonnay. The oaky notes will place you in mind of a large wooden ship, and the white color and full body will really help you understand the mystique of the White Whale.


Jane Austen is all about courtly drama and quiet humor, and a light red like a pinot noir is perfect for opening up the deep dimensions of her work. She’s marrying WHO? Sip some pinot. He makes HOW MUCH MONEY A YEAR? Sip some pinot. Every page, a little bit of pinot.


The Russian literary tradition is bleak, dour, and often seemingly hopeless, so it’s literature wine should be strong, complex, and dry to balance it out. A syrah is a perfect choice for Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece. After the first glass or two you might be able to look past the senseless murder and general tragedy and find out what few have: Crime and Punishment is really funny!


Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is about a living man created by unconventional means. Rosé is a wine created with red grapes, but also not in the conventional way. They are a perfect match, except that Frankenstein’s Monster is consumed by a tragic angst that destroys all around him, while rosé is delicious, light, and loved by all. Consider the differences as you sip one and read the other!


What Is Orange Wine?

Wine comes in all sorts of colors. Red wine can be bright red, but it can also be so dark as to be purple or almost black. White wine can be perfectly clear or it can be tinged with yellow, gold, or even green. Rosé is traditionally pink but can seem orange or gold as well depending on the blend. But, thankfully, common knowledge dictates that those are the three broad types of grape based wine, and so it’s not too hard to identify what type of wine you’re drinking by color. But what if there was a fourth type of wine? A whole world of different colors and flavors, living in relative obscurity. What if there was such thing as… Orange Wine?

What is Orange Wine?

This special wine is made when you use the grapes that are generally used for white wine, but allow the skins to remain in the fermenting mixture. For reference,white wine is made without skins, but red wine leaves the skins in to imbue color, flavor and depth.  If rosé is red wine made in the fashion of a white wine, then orange wine is white wine made in the fashion of a red.

What Does It Taste Like?

Orange wine is a bold, flavorful beverage that can have tasting notes like hazelnut, apple, and sourdough. Its intense tannin content can also lead to an intense sourness, like that of a sour-style beer. Due to its intense flavor orange wine has never achieved the notoriety of its more famous siblings, but that doesn’t mean that its acquired taste isn’t worth acquiring.

What Should I Drink It With?

If you’re looking to pair food with orange wine, try something complex and flavorful. Dishes from Asia and Africa often use complex combinations of spices that combine nicely with the equally bold complexity of orange wine. Next time you’re making Indian food, pick up a bottle from your nearest supplier and see how you like it!

rosé cocktail

Wine Aging: What’s the Deal?

We all know that wine needs to sit for a few months before it’s ready to drink. Flavor (and alcohol percentage!) can’t be created in a day. But what is wine aging? How long do wines take to age? And why do some wines get better year after year while others turn into vinegar? There’s a few ways you can find out: You could engage in a lengthy and intensive scientific study, aging different wines in different conditions for different lengths of time in order to determine what can be aged and how to age it, or you could save years of your life and read the information compiled in this blog post!

What Does Wine Aging Do?

Wine, like any perishable food, changes with age. For all wines, this change happens first when a concoction of grape juice and yeast is set to resting until it develops an alcohol content and becomes delicious, complex wine. At this point, usually a matter of months after the initial creation of the wine, the winemaker moves the wine from their ‘age’ category into their ‘drink’ category, and you can enjoy it without guilt that you’re not enjoying the wine at its full potential

What Happens to Wine if You Age It More?

With a lot of wine, aging it past its prime drinkability will negate its alcohol content and turn it into vinegary swill. But with certain wines, primarily fortified wines and high acidity reds, aging can produce complex flavors and introduce an extra dimension of depth. A general rule of thumb is that the higher the tannin content of the wine, the better it will age- but there are other factors, such as sugar content and alcohol content, that can effect the aging process. While aging is usually the purview of red wines, other wines can be aged as well. High acidity whites, rosés, and champagnes can also develop complex flavor as they age, though it’s less common. If you’re looking to experiment with wine aging, try with a Syrah!


A Guide to Patriotic Wine Practices

It’s the Fourth of July, which means, barbeque, fireworks, and displays of patriotic fervor! While beer is generally considered to be the drink of the holiday, America is a melting pot, and that means that wine drinkers have a place too. However, since the founding of this great nation, there have been a few rules put in place to make sure that wine drinking americans have their loyalties in the right place. Wine is, after all, a very european beverage and thus can often denote its enjoyers as cowardly, or evil, or just plain unamerican. Don’t worry, though! We’ve compiled a special guide to teach you how to employ patriotic wine practices during this Independence day.

Open your bottle with a gun

On any other day its best to simply uncork your wine, or if your feeling fancy knock the top off with a saber, but on the fourth of July the only way to open a bottle is by blasting its top off with the highest caliber firearm you can find. This rule of thumb originated during the signing of the declaration of independence, when Thomas Jefferson held up a bottle of Ye Olde Pinot Grigio for Ben Franklin to shoot open with a musket. Be sure to practice gun safety when doing this, and be prepared for your wine to taste strongly of lead, gunpowder, and glass shards.

Before taking a sip, announce your capitalist convictions aloud.

In the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy passed Jefferson and Franklin’s Independence Day Wine Rule from tradition into law, and added an addendum of his own: If you are a truly patriotic wine drinker, after you shoot the bottle open but before you take a sip you will yell at the top of your lungs, “I am not now nor have I ever been a member of the Communist Party!” While this is no longer a legal requirement thanks to revisions made by the Clinton Administration, people will still give you weird looks on the Fourth of July if you don’t do it.

When you have finished your wine, thank the presidents in order.

Finally, once you have successfully finished your patriotic wine experience, you should thank each individual President, from Washington to Biden, for allowing you to enjoy such delicious nectar. It is expected, though not required, that each president’s thanks is personalized with a short dedication. Once you’ve finished, you’ve successfully drank your wine like an American.


What Your Favorite Wine Varietal Says About You

Between astrological signs, Myers-Briggs Personality types, and ‘What Hogwarts House Are You’ quizzes, theres more options than ever to sort yourself into identifiable categories. This can be useful! Sometimes it’s comforting to be able to enter elements of yourself into an equation that will then tell you what type of person you are. But what can your favorite wine varietal teach you about yourself? As it turns out, a lot! After many hours of dedicated ‘personality science,’ I have mathematically figured out what your favorite varietal says about your personality, as well as what crime you will eventually go down for.

Pinot Noir

If your favorite wine varietal is pinot noir, you’re independently minded with a sense of refinement and class. You love order, hate a mess, and would excel as an interior designer or a small business owner. You will be sent to prison for the rest of your life for accidentally murdering your long-lost twin, believing them to be some phantom or demon sent from hell to steal your face and replace you.


If you like chardonnay, you’re a free spirited iconoclast with a love of nature and a happy-go-lucky attitude. You will eventually be caught after a string of successful bank robberies, and while you will spend the rest of your days behind bars, the authorities will never find the money and your terminally ill niece will be able to pay for her recovery.


If syrah is your wine varietal of choice, you love stirring up trouble and talking behind other peoples backs. Gossip is your middle name, and if there isn’t someone mad at you for revealing their secrets, than you’ve been having a bad week. When you get your life sentence, it will be because your enemies framed you for a triple-homicide that you didn’t commit, and you will be left with a choice to either prove your innocence through the law or break out of jail and take extrajudicial revenge.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc aficionados are known love deeply and fall hard. You wear your heart on your sleeve, and while some view your thin skin as a weakness, it’s actually a sign of a deep, complex soul. You will be sent to prison for the rest of your life after it is revealed that your once-trendy tech startup has been defrauding its investors for billions of dollars.


What Time is Rosé Time?

As we have previously established, the phrase ‘Rosé All Day’ does not actually mean that you should spend all day drinking rosé. All things are best in moderation, and rosé is no exception. But when is it appropriate to drink rosé? When is it inappropriate? These social puzzles can be hard to solve, especially when your ability to reason has been hopelessly compromised by the delicious flavor of rosé. Don’t worry– We’ll make sure you always know when to drink rosé and when to abstain with this handy guide.

Are you operating heavy machinery?

Lets start with the most obvious ones: If you are currently in control of a car or other heavy machinery, and you are wondering if it is rosé time, it is NOT! Rosé, like any alcohol, will make you drunk when you drink it and your ability to operate your machinery safely will be compromised! 

Are you with friends?

While it’s not as big a transgression as point number 1, if you’re alone it might also not be the best idea to drink rosé. Rosé should be enjoyed with friends, so if you’re out with a group of people you like, it just might be rosé time.

What time is it?

Rosé time? You ask hopefully. Maybe! If its first thing in the morning you should refrain from drinking rosé, though a glass at sunday brunch is both yummy and socially acceptable. The optimal time for Rosé is probably late afternoon, when the sun is still hot but the day is winding down.

What are the vibes like?

This one you’re going to have to do a little bit of intuiting for. Rosé is a light, fun drink, and so if even if its late afternoon and you’re with friends and you are not driving a car, it might not be rosé time if, say, your best friend has just lost a family member or if they got fired or something similarly bad. Save the rosé for happier times, so your memories of it stay cheerful! For the bad times, maybe a dark red or some liquor.


A Guide to French Wine History

Amarose rosé, as you may know, is a Provence style rosé. That means that Amarose is relatively dry and crisp compared to some other rosés, and, crucially, that its style originated in France. We’ve talked a lot about the history of rosé on this blog, but what about the history of French wine as a whole? France boasts one of the oldest winemaking traditions in the world, and the development of its industry from ancient times to the present offers a fascinating window into why the wines we drink today taste so good. It’s French wine history time!

Ancient Times

Though there is evidence of ancient Gauls cultivating wine grapes, French wine as we know it began in the 6th century BCE when Greek settlers imported the plant to France’s southern coast. There the plant flourished and wine was produced in the Ancient Greek style- with little regard for keeping white and red grapes separate, and often mixed with water to reduce its potency. When the Roman Empire came to prominence, French wine suffered from prohibitions on non-italian wines, but once Rome fell there was plenty of space for France to once again thrive. It is during this Roman period that Provence, the area where Amarose gets its style, gained its name

The Middle Ages

After a new economic paradigm was formed by the founding of Charlemagne’s Carolingian Empire, wine production in France boomed. Due to the importance of waterways in trade at the time, wine regions on the coasts and near rivers became vital to emerging French culture, and as alliances between medieval courts were formed and broken, French wine made its way to Scotland, England, and the Netherlands. As the Dutch built their trade networks into a primitive form of capitalism, the quality of french wine led to increased Dutch investment and became even more renowned and widespread.

The Modern Age

Following the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, French vintners led the world in refining and perfecting wine-making techniques. Production continued to boom and French wine enjoyed worldwide prominence until the mid 19th century, when a host of maladies brought over from the burgeoning American wine industry caused French vines to die in swaths. Thankfully, French vintners saved their livelihoods by planting hybrid vines- original french grapes bolstered by the genes of more resistant American stock. French wine history from then on is more or less a straight line of development, the vinters becoming more exact in their art and the production capacity steadily increasing. Whatever problems French wine might face in the future, they have proved themselves more than a match!


Wine Security: How To Protect Your Wine

The first step to happiness, as we all know, is accruing a wide and varied collection of wine. But once you have all that wine? How are you going to protect it? What the lying news media won’t tell you is that there are anywhere between 10 and 1,000 bandits, ruffians, and ne’er do wells on your street every night looking for delicious vintages to steal. If you’re not willing to guard your wine with your life, you might as well put it out on the curb and relinquish all claim to it. But how are you going to go about securing your stash? Wine security is no joke, but we’re here to help.

Wine Security Essentials: Hire 20 Armed Guards

MINIMUM. The more guys you have watching your delicious whites, decadent reds, and playful rosés, the less likely it is that a prowler thirsty for vino will be able to access your stash. Cameras can be avoided, security systems can be hacked, but 20 loyal guys with lethal weaponry will never let you down. Be sure to keep them from flipping on you by sharing your wine with them. Invite them to your picnics and barbeques. Let them know that they are part of the family.

Poison Your Wine.

Starting now, inoculate yourself to an odorless, flavorless poison of your choice by adding a low dose to every meal you eat. Once you accrue a tolerance, spike your wines so that any wannabe thief will be killed the instant they take a sip. Be sure to inoculate your friends, family, armed guards, and whoever else you might want to share wine with or your life could suddenly become incredibly tragic.

The Latest in Wine Security: Mouse Trap

If somehow the wine crazed burglar gets past your 20 loyal protectors and your poisoned goods, then treat them to the final boss of wine security: A human sized mouse trap. While the snap of the trap will likely destroy the bottle of wine that you leave as bait, one lost bottle is better than 10 stolen ones. Mesmerized by the idea that their criminal enterprise is about to pay off, your would be wine thief will jump at the bait  bottle- And then be trapped between a plywood base and a steel wire. Works every time!

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