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Snooth User: Callie Exas

Whats up with Burgundy?

Posted by Callie Exas, Apr 28, 2008.

[I'm very pleased to welcome our latest guest blogger. Callie Exas, newish to the world of wine, recently began work at NY Wine Co and will focus on some Wine 101 posts for us all.]

So with this being my first blog, I should introduce myself a little bit. I'm Callie…as in "Cali". I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb liking wine, but didn't really get a chance to fully develop that passion into a love until I studied in Rome. I started out in the advertising business doing some media planning and hap-hazardly acquired a part-time job at New York Wine Co because I was really interested in wine and wanted to learn. The head guys at NY Wine Co. have since taken me under their wing and slowly but surely I'm starting (and when I say starting I mean infantile steps) to wrap my head around the wine world.

Working in this industry has definitely been a great experience; however it can be extremely overwhelming at times. The world of wine is big and complex. There are laws, rules, science, tradition and history to know in order to fully get a grasp on the business and products. When the guest blog spot was brought up to me, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to learn more and connect with people like me who are just getting into wine. That being said, I'll be addressing some wine 101 issues all of us beginners might come across in day to day life.

As of my first day working at New York Wine Company, I had no idea what made a Burgundy, other than the fact that the wine was made there and it tasted good. I remember this being my first little lesson. Now that I've invested some time into getting a better understanding of the region, I really love Burgundy wines. I learned that this region actually makes some of the most collected wine in the world and the wine itself must satisfy a number of different factors before it's considered a Burgundy. So, what is a Burgundy?

Typically, to be a Burgundy wine, it must be made of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. There are a couple of other grape types that are allowed by law to be grown there but these are the major two. The wine must go through a certain fermentation period and then samples of the wine must be passed along to the INAO, (which makes me think of old men in white wigs sipping and spitting wine all day with their pinkies up, but don't mind me) where it is then determined a Burgundy. Ta Da! Sounds so simple, right? You may be asking yourself how all of this got started. In my research I found that in the 14th century, Duke Philip the Bold declared the Gamey grape to be inferior to Burgundian practices and ordered that all vines be destroyed and only Pinot Noir be produced. Seriously. So that practice continues today as we drink our bottles of the lovely pinot noir. Thanks Phil.

There's your little lesson for today. Laws, rules, history, and tradition in approximately one paragraph. I hope you enjoyed. If there's anything anyone would like to touch upon in the future, feel free to give me a shout and I'll be happy to investigate properly. In the mean time, happy sipping!

Callie Exas has just launched her wine career at New York Wine Co. in Manhattan. So far so good!


Reply by Philip James, Apr 28, 2008.

Welcome Callie - I'm really glad to have you aboard. I think the Wine 101 stuff will be really well received.

Blog comment by Mirda, Apr 28, 2008.

Allow me to give you a warm welcome...
Since I am wannabe wine lover, I am sure I'll be visiting your blog often. :-)

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Apr 28, 2008.

Welcome aboard, Callie! I'm looking forward to the wine 101 stuff as well. One can get pretty comfortable pretty quickly with the basics. Did that particular move earn Duke Philip his "the Bold" epithet, I wonder? He probably was an all around bold kind of duke.

Reply by Chris Carpita, Apr 28, 2008.

Great post, Callie, and welcome! I really look forward to some good micro-lessons (sips?) in wine-making.

Blog comment by Dean Exas, May 2, 2008.

Until recently, the only real thing I knew about wine was....that I enjoyed drinking it. The science, grapes, scents, process, etc really didn't matter. I just enjoyed consuming it. Now I have my own resource for knowledge. Whether I want to or not, I will now become educated about what I am consuming. A good thing!! Great post Callie!!! Your Dad!!!

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